Hotel Hotel is a collaboration between designers, artists, artisans and fantasists… We love hotels, not for their swank but for reminding us of our transience and the importance of romance… We like textures and patinas that remind us of the bush, big trees, well-worn t-shirts and old wise faces that in every line reflect the enormity and joy of a life well lived… We treasure simple human interactions and making every day experiences interesting and special.
Canberra’s newest boutique Hotel Hotel is no ordinary guesthouse, but more a visionary platform for social interaction. Brothers Nector and Johnothan Efkarpidis have embarked on this ambitious project with fervour with architect Fender Katsalidis, who has orchestrated the master planning and the architectural bones of this brutalist-inspired, and March Studio who introduce the visitor to the hotel through the lobby and stair.
The hotel celebrates that inevitable extra layer of warmth we seek in the nation’s capital, a moody experience of raw materials and rich natural textures all dimly lit by very deliberate shafts of light. Hotel Hotel is a monumental roll call of Australian creatives across all disciplines and celebrates the collaborative crafts of it’s doers, curators, makers and artists.
Everywhere you go in Hotel Hotel you are met by delightful surprises. From the moment you walk into the entry foyer, which houses a small, but engaging library of loanable books on art, architecture and design your arrival to an environment that is richly curious, yet snug and welcoming is felt. Throughout the hotel, vintage pieces courtesy of Ken Neale sit side by side with vintage-inspired custom lighting silhouettes, custom-commissioned art (ranging from contemporary photographer Lee Grant to the late ceramist Gerard Havekes, whose vintage mosaic tiles were lovingly collected and curated by his daughter Anna-Maryke), boxy linen uniforms and unconventional floral arrangements.
The guest rooms read as a richly developed theatre set and it is no surprise that the revivalist approach was orchestrated by music video and advertising director Don Cameron. Each room has its own heartbeat. It’s raw, it’s rich and it’s original with anything that was not in existence dreamt up by Cameron and fabricated as editions by craftsman and artisan companies. It’s the theatrical experience you want to stay in for days on end. It seduces your sense of curiosity, beckoning you to discover all the dark recesses of its secrets.
As Efkarpidis says ‘ultimately you want the business guest, student, locals and someone travelling from the outskirts of Canberra staying with family and friends to sit down beside each other and have a conversation’. Canberra after all, is all about this collision of different identities and a good hotel is all about human interactions. We whole-heartedly felt both of these experiences at Hotel Hotel.
Credits: Hotel Hotel