La Oca, in Marseille, is another boutique hotel created by French interior designer Philippe Starck. It belongs to the hotel chain Mama Shelter (which already had a similar business in Paris), and it is a “boutique” hotel very much in fashion.
As incredible as it may seem, it offers high quality options within mid to low prices. In this case it also means industrial exclusivity, as the owners of this enterprise claim. Prices start at 69 €, and their web page offers a brief description of the space and contents of their 127 rooms. The mere fact that this is a Philippe Starck design, makes staying in this hotel an attractive option to discover all the details that were not mentioned or shown in the hotel’s advertisement.
Starck is well known for the functionality of his designs. Noteworthy among his work is his role as art director for the brand Pierre Cardin. He was also in charge of interior decoration projects in night clubs in Paris and Tokyo.
Hotel Fasamo. Río de Janeiro.
During the eighties he renovated the private apartments of French President François Mitterrand in the Elysee Palace. He has also been responsible for recovering spaces that originally served a different purpose, such as the charming Teatriz restaurant in Madrid.
In Rio de Janeiro he was highly praised for his design of the Fasamo Hotel, where the combination of wood, glass and marble as the basic design materials makes for an elegant and sophisticated atmosphere on the waterfront.
In France, the hotel La Co(o)rniche near Bordeaux is specially remarkable.
In the United States he has decorated the interiors of the Royalton Hotel in New York. His most famous work is Hudson New York, where he adopted such an eclectic style that the visitor can arrive to a totally futuristic place and later move around to spaces with Asian flair or inspired in the classical canons of interior design.
Another of Philippe Starck’s creations is the Delano Hotel, in the heart of South Beach in Miami. There, he combined a collection of furnishings and art from all over the world, including works by prestigious artists such as Gaudi, Man Ray, Charles and Ray Eames, Dali and Mark Newson. His palette here is mainly white, emphasizing the bright light that characterizes the Tropics. This hotel has been under renovation and just reopened in August, 2012. The SLS Hotel, also in South Beach, announces as one of their main attractions its Philippe Starck design.
Restaurante Teatriz. Madrid.
The new hotel chains compete in technology, but also in the sophistication of their design. ■