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Designers taking center stage

July 29, 2015

Lately, I have been inspired by several hotels I visited in Europe. Their common denominator is that they were all designed by well-known designers. I feel this really “completes” the hotel. I would like to congratulate the brave hoteliers that created these hotels. They believed in themselves, in their choice of designer, and they let them take a free hand and think of no limits with their designs.  That being said, every design you see here not only looks good, but it also completes the concept of the hotel in creating a unique guest experience. All four of the examples you’ll see here are extraordinary.

Guest bedroom in Ham Yard Hotel London, designed by Kit Kemp

Guest bedroom in Ham Yard Hotel London, designed by Kit Kemp

Das Stue – Berlin

Das Stue Hotel in Berlin, next to the zoo and Tiergarden Park, lets you glimpse exotic animals through their window as you sit in perfectly designed and pampering rooms designed by the famous Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola . If that is not enough, you can also enjoy a 25 course meal in a Michelin star restaurant!

The hotel is located in a restored building from the 1930’s that used to house the Danish Embassy. The outside retains its “proper” appearance, while the interior design received a completely modern twist: geometric patterns on the walls, statues of giraffes and monkeys made from neon wiring, and artistic photography, all combined to create an amazing look. As soon as you enter the lobby, you are greeted by an alligator skull reminiscent of a nature museum exhibit.

Entrance to Das Stue Hotel - Alligator skull greets guests

Entrance to Das Stue Hotel – Alligator skull greets guests

A climb up the marble staircase leads to the guest bedrooms. The hotel has 79 rooms and suites, each distinctly designed using luxurious and interesting textiles that are Urquiola’s trademark.The walls are covered with framed photographs. The rooms are not large, but have a great view. They offer a wonderful view of the neighboring park and zoo. If you’re lucky you can look directly into the ostrich enclosure.The hotel has a spa and two restaurants. A simple word to the concierge will get you set up in a yoga class or group jog in the park, as well as with bike rentals and picnic baskets for guests.

This is a real boutique hotel with a twist that gives a hospitality experience one doesn’t soon forget.

 Hotel spa DAS STUE

Hotel spa DAS STUE

Ham Yard Hotel – London

The Ham Yard hotel in London is a hotel that certainly leaves its mark. The atmosphere is hard to define and even harder to ignore.The hotel is part of the Firmdale chain, and owners Kit and Tim Kemp have another eight establishments around London. Kit Kemp, who does all interior design in the chain, succeeded in creating a look that is completely her own.

In her hotels’ open spaces, Kemp creates an atmosphere that is warm and inviting with attention given to every little detail. She is not afraid to use strong colors, crazy patterns and styles and shapes that anyone else would never use together. But, somehow, it all works together to create a look that is never repeated but is instantly recognizable as the Kit Kemp look.

Ham Yard hotel in London, designed by Kit Kemp. A style that is hard to define but easy to recognize

Ham Yard hotel in London, designed by Kit Kemp. A style that is hard to define but easy to recognize

The hotel’s 96 guest bedrooms are also individually designed, with no repetition or even recurring motifs. The walls are lined with fabrics Kemp designs herself, and many art objects are placed in the rooms and public spaces. The eclectic look combines Indian drawings, recycled plastic bottle lamps, pop art and a variety of other styles that create a fun, colorful and totally unique atmosphere.

Another happy and colorful corner in Ham Yard Londn

Another happy and colorful corner in Ham Yard Londn

Soho House – Berlin

The huge Bauhaus building of the Soho House in Berlin incorporates all of the city’s modern history. It was built in the 1920’s as a department store, owned by a Jewish family. In 1937 the Hitlerjugend youth movement took control of the building, and after the war it housed the archives of the communist party. Today, Soho House is a hotel and members club and a sign of the gentrification of East Berlin’s Mitte district.

Entrance to Soho House Berlin. Clean look with exposed concrete walls.

Entrance to Soho House Berlin. Clean look with exposed concrete walls.

The hotel lobby has kept the “clean” communist look, with exposed concrete beams and white walls covered with graffiti art by Damien Hirst. The atmosphere is one of laid back luxury, together with odd objects strategically placed to bring a smile. The service is also informal. The staff is very attentive and very friendly. The fact that the building is both a hotel and a members club gives hotel guests a chance to come into contact with the city’s “innest” crowd, without even leaving the lobby.

Graffiti by Damien Hirst in Soho House hotel

Graffiti by Damien Hirst in Soho House hotel

soho house 3

Sea Containers – London

Sea Containers hotel (part of the Mondrian chain) in London is near the Thames River, in a building that formerly housed a shipping company. Designer Tom Dixon, in his first hotel project, drew inspiration from the building’s past and combined it with new and surprising elements.

The design draws a lot from the world of ships and the ocean, while still being true to Dixon’s signature look – warm colors, combined with copper and metal, extraordinary lighting and touches of extravagant luxury (like gilded faucets in the lobby bathroom).

Sea Containers entrance. Like a ship from a different era

Sea Containers entrance. Like a ship from a different era

The atmosphere resembles a night club, while the copper front desk looks like something taken off a ship. Lighting in the floor leads guests further into the hotel to the bar and restaurant. The bar was inspired in its design by old steam boats. The green walls and upholstered sofas give a feeling of a gentleman’s club.

Sea Containers lobby

Sea Containers lobby

Dixon went all out in the hotel’s rooftop bar, with gold chairs and purple art deco tables.  The spa is designed with 70’s glam-rock style, and the atmosphere is one of decadent indulgence rather than health and beauty like most spas these days. The soundtrack playing includes David Bowie songs and the spa menu even has ice cream and champagne.

The guest bedrooms are small, but very luxurious, with a great view of the river.

Sea Containers Guest room

Sea Containers Guest room

**All pictures in this article are from the hotel websites.


Copeland Newsletter – February 2015

February 25, 2015

Hi Everyone,

I invite you all to read the latest from Copeland in our new Newsletter that was just released!

Copeland Newsletter – February 2015

newsletter intro

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!


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

September 21, 2014
yos_7928 small

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

yos_8004 small

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.


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

I invite you to read our latest newsletter!

Smart hotels Israel : the making of a smart and small hotel chain

December 17, 2013

One of the basic principles of business is the idea of economies of scale. This is a simple concept that states that a larger company enjoys a more efficient cost structure than a smaller one. The percentage of fixed costs is lower, overhead per unit goes down and the company’s bargaining position with suppliers, clients and other interested parties improves.

My experience in the hotel business has taught me that the advantage is stronger in  hotel chains.While it is true that a hotel needs to have a minimum number of rooms to be profitable, a small hotel of 30-40 rooms can also make a profit if it is managed wisely. However, hotels that are organized in chains can share costs like marketing, sales, supplies and more, and so make each one more efficient.
On the other hand, being part of a chain also has its drawbacks. Many guests today are looking for a unique experience that they cannot find in other hotels. One of the challenges of the business is finding the balance between keeping a hotels uniqueness, that gives a marketing advantage, and taking advantage of economies of scale, that give a business advantage.

Copeland Hospitality has had the priviledge to work with the Azulay family who  manages Ayala Hotels.Over the past years  the business has expanded beyond established Ayala Tours and their properties now include several small hotels including Montefiore and Jerusalem Inn in Jerusalem and Ramon in Mizpeh Ramon and soon to come Eyal Hotel also in central Jerusalem.. We have been working together in developing and repositioning these properties in a chain.
Our work together started with creating a coherent brand and concept. The goal was to create a brand that would enable marketing the hotels together and sharpen the message to the target audience : tourists (most guests in these hotels are leisure travelers), relatively young with limited budgets.

After much thought, we pinpointed a few points that unite all the hotels:

  • centrally located and within walking distance from major attractions such as the old city and food market
  • small hotels – a size that can create an intimate feel for guests but still remain profitable
  • attractive price
  • efficient service
  • comfortable hotels that have everything you need but lack extras such as pool, spa, lounges etc. that have upkeep costs that reflect in room rates.

Drawing inspiration from doing everythng smart; location, few features , value price and tech savvy services,we chose the name SMART for the new chain: When you choose these hotels you are making a smart choice.
A hotel in the right location, the right look, the right size and the right size : smart in every way.
Of course this is also an advertising message to the customer. We are actually saying to them “smart customers choose smart hotels, so if you are smart you have to pick us”

The new look: small smart hotels

We addded to the team  a graphics agency that created a creative look and feel and a visual story for the new brand. Here you can see some examples of the visuals that reflect the sophisticated, clean simple concept of the chain.

The new logo: clean and simple lines. Below the chain logo the name of each hotel appears in color. A different color for each location.

Back of business cards: the  feel of the text is meant to allude to the location of the hotels right in the middle of the action.

The hotels were renovated to fit the new brand. Designers added new color, lighting, textiles, styling to create a younger and more vibrant look. My experience in large international chains was actually an advantage here, and helped me outline new work practices and procedures for this small local chain. We succeeded in joining functionality and design, and between maintaining a unique guest experience and improving the bottom line.

Jerusalem Inn: Dining room

Montefiore Hotel: guest bathroom
Smart Hotels are an example of a small chain that is succeeding in creating a umbrella brand that reflects also the individuality of each hotel.  For example, I recently wrote about my work with Indigo Tel Aviv (link), owner by a huge chain (intercontinental) that has a boutique feel through the use of local landmarks in its design (in this case the diamond exchange and Shenkar school for fashion design. The more chains utilize this way of management, they will succeed in improving their bottom line as well as creating an experience that will keep guests coming back.