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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

10 things that annoy us about hotels #5 Apples in vases and other silly design 'trends'

We get it. You’re a ‘fresh’ contemporary hotel that has fresh fruit and doesn’t mind wasting it by putting it in vases. All throughout the hotel. Sometimes it looks like they’re there for the guests to enjoy, but most times they just look silly. Apples sitting on pebbles in vases. Apples in marbles in vases. And apples on some glow-in-the-dark jelly-like substance that looks downright dangerous. Frankly, the apple in vases look must go down as one of the silliest and most copied hotel decor trend in the hospitality world. It has been so widespread in hotels we've stayed at in Italy recently, we're beginning to think it's obligatory. Who started the trend anyway? And when did it spread like wildfire? Regardless, it has to stop. Vases are meant for flowers and fruit is meant for eating. Please make it stop.
We asked
the director of boutique hotel connoisseurs, Mr and Mrs Smith, Tamara Heber Percy (AKA Mrs Smith) for her take on the subject:
"It’s just another example of trendiness for trendiness’ sake in the hotel industry - to be filed alongside point-folded toilet paper, framed walnuts, and ‘unusual’ modern art that could have come in a triple pack from IKEA. We’ve no idea why apples get highlighted in such a way – why not hardier fruit, such as pomegranates or pineapples? Why vases? Why not go all the way and fill your hotel with apricots in drawers, lychees in shoeboxes, mangosteens in cabinets? The only hotel I know that does the whole ‘ornamental fruit’ thing with anything like sense is Be Manos in Brussels – this hotel has quirky apple ‘racks’ dotted about that guests can help themselves to. The design looks unpretentious and attractive and it serves a practical purpose – but for every hotel getting it right, there are countless others getting it so, so wrong..."

We couldn't have said it better ourselves. It's nice to see Mrs Smith takes hotels as seriously as we do. Take a look at this post on the Mr and Mrs Smith blog about what makes a boutique hotel. The Martini test is one we like to apply ourselves!


Anonymous said...

Ha! I love this post. You saw them everywhere in Italy because it is trendy. Once someone finds something that works ... :-)

Lara Dunston said...

Hi Cherrye - glad you like this one! But you see (and I don't mean to offend old Italy - I love the place!), I think the apples in vases were fashionable everywhere else in the early 90s. And even then they didn't last long. So, it's not even a case of every hotel grabbing hold of a trend so that it is commonplace, but grabbing hold of an outdated trend! The apples in vases' trend is spoiling hotels that are otherwise rather stylish. A shame!