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AC Marriot is coming to Herzeliya Pituach

February 24, 2015
At AC Marriott Herzeliya building site

At AC Marriott Herzeliya building site

In my previous newsletters, I have written quite a bit about how large international companies (Intercontinental, Marriott etc.) are returning to the Israeli market through their lifestyle brands. One of the best examples for this is Indigo hotel (you can find the article here).
Another brand taking its first steps in Israel is AC Marriott. This brand is a result of cooperation between Marriott and a Spanish lifestyle company that has been opening many hotels worldwide.
In Israel, Marriott has teamed with entrepreneur Reuvan El​ah​ and Issta hotels, to create AC Marriott Herzeliya Pituach, scheduled to open its doors to its first guests by the end of the year. I am proud to say that I have been involved in this project for over two years.

ac marriott herzeliya builiding rendering

AC Marriott Herzeliya Pituach – building rendering

I have known Reuven Ella for more than 15 years, ever since I was VP Marketing of Tamares Hotels, the management firm that also runs Daniel Hotel (were Ella is co-owner). When I opened my firm in 2010, one of my first projects was creating a concept for Ella Hotel’s Cramim Hotel, before they entered into agreement with Isrotel Hotels. My loyal readers may remember that you were one of the first to hear about this project.

Copeland entered the Herzeliya AC project by creating the link with Marriott and assisting negotiations on the agreement that was signed in June 2014. We continue to assist owners in adapting the requirements and standards of the AC brand to the Israeli market, to the unique concept of this hotel, and to its location.Copeland is taking part in aspects of creating this hotel, including design and acquisition, as well as creating a management structure and assisting in bringing in a GM. We are now working together on a pre-opening budget and a first year budget.
Copeland is also involved in the branding process of the hotel, one which has to meet the standards of the international brand, but still give the Israeli hotel a unique personality. We are certainly taking into account the excellent location in Herzeliya’s business park that appeals to the business sector, together with the proximity to the beach and promenade that will appeal to many tourists.
The branding takes into account every aspect of the guest experience – not just guest rooms, but also public spaces, including a lounge, bar, restaurant, spa and more surprises to come. All these points need to “speak the same language” and present the same image to guests.
The hotel’s architect is Rani Ziss, and Dana Oberson is in charge of interior design.
We will continue to update you about this project, soon to be an excellent addition to the local hotel market.

AC Marriott Herzeliya – pool and chill-out area on the roof

AC Marriott Herzeliya – pool and chill-out area on the roof

AC Marriott Herzeliya – bar area rendering

AC Marriott Herzeliya – bar area rendering

New Hotels in Amsterdam

February 23, 2015

Amsterdam has long maintained its status as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The city’s cultural and culinary scenes, the blend of many peoples and tastes, together with the fact that the surprisingly small city is very easy to navigate, join to maintain its sought after status. Lately, we are seeing a real boom in the city’s hotel market, and of course we are happy to share with you our favorite new hotels in Amsterdam. These hotels seemingly do not have much in common. One is a designed boutique hotel, another a student hotel for budget travelers and the third is the announcement of the W brand opening a hotel in the city. There are some common denominators: all three are targeting the Y generation market, they are brands that do not take themselves too seriously and have invested in a young, “hipster” design. However, a closer inspection reveals that the hotels are trying to appeal to guests of all ages, including business travelers who do not wish to stay at a generic chain hotel. Many guests today want to get to know the “real” city, to feel like they are hanging out with the local crowd and eating and drinking in the “right” places. This feeling is shared by all three hotels we will tell you about – the promise they make that if you pick them, you will feel like part of the Amsterdam scene.

Sir Albert Hotel Amsterdam

Sir Albert Hotel – erasing the boundaries between outdoors and in. Photography : Ewout Huibers

Sir Albert Hotel – erasing the boundaries between outdoors and in. Photography : Ewout Huibers

Sir Albert hotel is located in a building that previously served as a diamond factory, close to the galleries, boutiques and bars of the fashionable De Piip area. The story of the hotel is built around the fictional character of Sir Albert, the modern aristocrat that invites guests to stay at his family estate. The interior design is in a style much sought after but rarely achieved – a coherent and unique look that is based on various items Sir Albert collected in his travels around the globe. Italian furniture is mixed with Dutch artwork and many other interesting pieces.

sir albert guest room

Guest room at Sir Albert. Photography : Ewout Huibers

The hotel has a great sushi restaurant called Izakaya, and a lively bar. Much thought to design was given to the public spaces where one can see and be seen. The guests sitting in the restaurant or library-lounge on the ground floor can see each other through broad doorways and glass partitions, and also have a view of the street with its pedestrian and bicycle traffic. The ground floor is very connected to the street and blends the distinctions between outdoors and indoors.

The Israeli link: This cosmopolitan hotel is owned by Liran Weizmann, owner of one of the most successful hotel groups in Germany. It was designed by Tel Aviv architects Bernowitz and Kronenberg, and Yossi Eliyaho is responsible for the hotel’s Asian restaurant.

The Student Hotel

Student Hotel Cafeteria

Student Hotel Cafeteria

The name Student Hotel is very descriptive of the hotel’s main target market – foreign students in Amsterdam, from all over the world. The hotel offers special rates for longer and medium length stays , and has everything a student may need: plain clean rooms that still have sophisticated design, many work and meeting corners, free Wi-Fi service, kitchens for the free use of guests, a café-bistro open almost all day long, and even social events that making meeting new friends a whole lot easier.

In fact, it’s interesting to note that most of the hotel’s guests are not really students. They are tourists and business travelers that realize the advantages of this hotel: nice, comfortable design, spacious public spaces, work corners, comfortable rates and proximity to public transportation operating 24 hours a day.

student hotel public space

The student hotel public space

W Amsterdam

w amsterdam

The W Amsterdam is scheduled to open in the fall of this year in an excellent location at the heart of the city: near Dam square, behind the Royal Palace and a short walking distance from the canals area with restaurants and vibrant night life.

The hotel will be quite large, with 169 rooms, 10 suites and one “Extreme Wow” suite ( W brand speak for “presidential suite”…). It will have a large roof-top lounge, restaurant and bar overlooking Dam square and the city lights. The service in the hotel will be in W’s Whatever/Whenever® style: a promise to supply guests with whatever they want, whenever they want it (as long as its legal). The hotel will try to let its guest sample everything that is hot and stylish at the moment, in terms of design, fashion and music.

Check out our new newsletter!

September 29, 2014

Come check out our new September 2014 Newsletter!

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Lusky Tel Aviv: a small hotel that was infused with personality and experience

September 21, 2014
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The renewed Lusky hotel: renovated rooftop

“I wake up every day with a vision and will for renewal”. This is one of the first things Eti Peres, one of the owners of Lusky Hotel, told me. And the mission I received from her: to translate this need for renewal into a new chapter for her hotel.

Lusky Hotel’s makeover process is still underway, but I would like to share with you what we have accomplished so far. Lusky is small hotel (27 guest rooms, several suites) on Ha’yarkon street in Tel Aviv. The budget for this renovation is very limited, but we managed to accomplish a lot with good ideas and especially with emphasis on exceptional execution.

One of the most important things we did was link the hotel to its excellent location – right by the beach. Lusky is located in a very competitive area, but was not differentiated from other hotels in its vicinity: it did not offer a design, service or any other experience that would make it stand out. One of my main goals was to create this differentiation, by creating a personality for the hotel: Creating a brand with a personality, just like a person’s; Creating a story for the guest. In addition, the prime location by the beach was not present inside the hotel. Together with architect Ruth Arad and Anat Gafni’s branding company (Fresh), we created a renovation and rebranding plan that links the hotel to its surrounding – mainly the beach.

Our concept is based on having the sea felt inside the hotel with all 5 senses:

Sense of touch – beach textures (for example in wallpaper) and wave like rounded lines in the design
Sense of sight – color scheme of the sea. The element of the sea shell that became central in graphic elements throughout the hotel.
Sense of Taste – culinary line that includes seafood.
Sense of smell – aromas from the sea
Sense of hearing – music to create a beach atmosphere

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Renovated guest room: the sea enters the design through the use of blue and the seashell element.

The design plan includes renovating the guest rooms, redesign and bring into use the patio and the rooftop, rebranding and new graphic materials – print and digital. All this was planned in order to create a new message and story around the hotel. We also refreshed work procedures and operational processes.

I am sharing with you a project that is still an ongoing process : a real makeover that includes a new look a rebranding that will enable hotel managers to ask for a higher premium on their price and will improve the hotel’s business results.

color pallette lusky

The color scheme and graphic elements that were the inspiration of the redesign of the hotel, as well as graphics for marketing materials.

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We renovated Lusky’s website to fit the new image

Garden hotel in Haifa : Doing business in style

August 15, 2014

I have been waiting for the opportunity to work in Haifa for a long time. For the last year, since I met the owners of Garden Hotel, the Adi family, we have been working on this project together, and I’m proud to say that the hotel is currently being launched. I was born in Haifa, so when I met the owners and heard about the project, I immediately felt committed.

Anyone who has been to Haifa recently knows that its not the sleepy port city it used to be. Haifa today has a lot to offer : a Hi-tech park, great shopping, culture events and a lot of attractions. It has a unique blend of three religions that together make up the heart of the city. However, some things will never change : the sea, the beautiful nature surrounding the city on the Carmel mountain and the easy access from Tel Aviv. All these together make Haifa an ideal location for tourists and Israelis seeking a get-away not to far away from home. More and more companies have business in Haifa and their staff requires accommodations.

The Adi family also runs the Gan Hacongressim complex at the city entrance – for personal and business events. This is a great location for business guests and tourists alike : close to the train station and the beach is a short walk away.

 The Design : delicate and sophisticated

When I joined the project, the owners were leaning towards a classical and traditional design style. Together we analysed the target market, and understood that many future guests will probably be in Haifa to do business in the nearby Hi-tech park. These are modern, sophisticated guests. Therefore, we decided to upgrade the hotel concept. Together with branding studio Anata, we came up with a new concept for Garden Hotel. The hotel’s name refers to the immediate surrounding –  there is green everywhere with gardens and terraces all around. The greenery does not stay outside but rather follows the guest into the hotel through the use of interior gardens and fresh design.

Even before entering, the guests encounter a small garden sunk into a niche in the exterior wall. The main design element inside the lobby is a cactus garden in the middle of the space. A high ceiling with a skylight allows natural light to enter and increases the feeling that we are in a space that brings the outdoors inside.

גארדן הוטל גינת קקטוסים בלובי

Cacti garden in the middle of the lobby brings the outdoors inside. Photography: Assaf Pincuk.

It was important for us to create a “wow” effect right when the guests take their first steps inside. The lobby is very impressive with 14m high ceiling, marble flooring and a cacti garden in the middle. The lobby has afghan rugs and a Onyx marble reception desk that adds to the luxurious feeling.

גארדן הוטל אלמנט גרפי

The hotel logo as a graphic emblem on the lobby wall. Creates a modern fresh look. Photography: Assaf Pinchuk.

The lobby is designed as an open space – one space with many uses. I have written before about the importance I give to the design of the public spaces in all my projects. Today, even those on a business trip do not want to be cooped up in their room at the end of the work day, but would rather be surrounded by inspiring design and experience social interactions. The hotel lobby enables a blend of business and leisure: an open space perfect for networking, that has all the amenities such as work stations and free wi-fi. The hotel restaurant Bistro 29 serves light meals all day long, and the cacti garden adds an interesting twist to the space.

online corner

Online corner – work stations for guests. Photography: Assaf Pinchuk

With the design of the guest rooms, we tried to set a different mood. Garden Hotel has 29 rooms, with a relaxed classical designed, that is meant to create a calm oasis different from the more bold design of the public spaces. The rooms are decorated in neutral and earth tones, with wooden furniture that adds to the warm feel. There are touches of blue and green that refer to the blue of the ocean and the greenery that surrounds the hotel inside and out. In addition, the hotel has one honeymoon suite – the “white suite” that is decorated all in white, with a round bed, designer lighting and a retro bath that all create a romantic atmosphere. The honeymoon experience can be completed with a visit to the hotel’s “white spa”.

Garden Hotel guest room: relaxed design. Photography: Assaf Pinchuk

Garden Hotel guest room: relaxed design. Photography: Assaf Pinchuk

White Suite. Photography: Assaf Pinchuk

White Suite. Photography: Assaf Pinchuk

Making It Work

Since the project did not have a management company, Copeland took on this role as well in the setting up period. We put much thought to how to implement the concept in the best way to ensure smooth and successful operation in the future.

We were able to recruit key management positions only two months prior to opening. This timing allowed the owners to minimize costs at a stage when their asset is still not operational, while still allowing staff enough time for training and implementing procedures before the first guest enters the doors.

I introduced Eva Cabassa to the project – an accomplished marketing professional I had worked with in the past, and she was hired as the hotel’s general manager. To me, recruiting a marketing expert as a general manager ensures a link between the concept and the actual operation of the hotel – after all, the most important marketing tool is the hotel itself, how it looks and operates, how guests are treated and the experiences each of them have.

 Business in style

To conclude, Garden Hotel is a business hotel that has a personal, intimate atmosphere. I have no doubt we will be able to lead it to excellent results.

December 2013 Newsletter

December 17, 2013

December 2013 Newsletter

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