HOSPITALITYDESIGN: Five on Friday: September 24th, 2021


Kengo Kuma makes Time’s most influential people list, hotelier Jason Pomeranc is back with a brand-new hotel, and the U.S. is set to ease travel restrictions for vaccinated travelers. All this and more in this week’s Five on Friday.

ICYMI: HD announced winners of the 17th annual HD Awards

The Wellness + Wellbeing category winner, Say No Mo in Kyiv. Photo by Yevhenii Avramenko

After going virtual in 2020, HD’s annual awards celebration was held in person in New York this week, where the project and products winners of the 17th annual HD Awards were revealed. Of the winners, Hotel Milla Montis in Alto Adige, Italy took home the Best in Show nod in projects, while Hi-Fi Thermostatic from Gessi North America was named Best in Show in products. The night also recognized six individuals for the contributions to the industry: Kimpton’s Ave Bradley was named Hotelier of the Year; the four principals behind AvroKO were awarded Design Firm of the Year; and the Hospitality Diversity Action Council (HDAC) honored Dyonne Fashina of Toronto-based studio Denizens of Design with its inaugural Awards of Excellence. You can find all the winners and more details about the evening’s festivities here.

A Caribbean Island rethinks tourism amid COVID-19

View to the active volcano in Montserrat

Twenty-one travelers from seven families with an income of at least $70,000 per year have agreed to stay on the Caribbean Island of Montserrat for at least two months, an incentive to lure back travelers while keeping COVID away. When the British territory reopened its borders in April 2021, it launched its remote worker program, which required both vaccinated and unvaccinated visitors to quarantine for two weeks and then take a coronavirus test before exploring the island, writes The New York Times. The concept is not new for tourism-hungry countries that have suffered during COVID, but Montserrat’s program stands out for some of its unconventional requirements, like the two-month minimum stay. Come October 1st, however, the parameters will chance, welcoming all vaccinated tourists back to the island.

Jason Pomeranc to launch Civilian hotel this fall

Veteran hotelier Jason Pomeranc, the pioneering mind behind Sixty Collective hotels, is opening a new one this fall in New York. Rockwell Group will spearhead the design of the 203-room Civilian, which includes a restaurant, secret garden, guest lounge, library, and rooftop bar, writes The Real Deal. It will also feature a curated art program, with a portion of the daily fees donated to the American Theatre Wing. The hotel will reflect its Theater District location with marquee-inspired lighting, dramatic curtains, and more stage-like elements.

U.S. to ease travel restrictions for vaccinated travelers

This week, the Biden administration announced that the U.S. will reopen to fully vaccinated air travelers from anywhere around the world in early November, ending a ban on visitors from more than two dozen countries that has been in place for the past 18 months. According to the U.S. Travel Association, if the travel restrictions ran to the end of the year, it would cost the U.S. economy $25 billion in total losses and 1.1 million jobs. According to Skift, lifting the restrictions will be a huge boost for the U.S. travel sector, accelerating bookings and driving up share prices for travel companies.

Time magazine names Kengo Kuma the world’s most influential architect

The exterior of the Ace Hotel Kyoto by Kengo Kuma. Photo by Yoshihiro Makino

Kengo Kuma made Time’s list of 100 most influential people in 2021. The venerated Tokyo-based architect—who was the only of the profession to make the list this year—was recognized for his “intricate buildings that disappear into their environments,” including the Japan National Stadium, Kenjiro Hosaka, director of the Shiga Museum of Art, wrote in the piece. “Greenery dots the façade of the oval-shaped structure, the centerpiece of this year’s [Summer Olympic] Games, allowing a series of wooden eaves—a favored material for Kuma, procured from prefectures across Japan—to better blend in with the surrounding garden,” Hosaka continued. Kuma is known for such influential work as the V&A Dundee in Scotland, the Folk Art Museum in China, and hotel projects including the Ace Hotel Kyoto, where he helped restore the city’s old Central Telephone Office into the hotel brand’s first property in Japan.

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