Dream Hotel: If you owned a hotel, what novel features would you include?
It’s not common to hear about professionals in the architecture and the allied arts industry designing and building their own hotels. Often, they are commissioned to design, but in this edition of Something Light, we asked nine architecture and design professionals about their dream hotel and their must-have features.
If you’re a guest going for a swim, you won’t need to go down because I’ll provide a water slide in every floor that leads directly to the pool. Chris Guerrero, architect
First-world WiFi speeds, pre-trip shipping of luggage to avoid laglag bala problems, and a mini-Starbucks by the pool. Regular switches and switch banks for lighting control in rooms, because these new-fangled touch screen control panels always confuse guests. Waterproof cameras and selfie sticks can be loaned from the hotel, for pool and countryside trips. Paulo Alcazaren, landscape architect
I love nature, so when I’m in a hotel, I want to feel like I’m in a forest. The hotel will have glass walls and it will be built in an area with lots of trees, so that guests can feel that they’re being embraced by nature. Von Azagra, managing director of Playpoint Philippines
My hotel will be in outer space, so a rocket ship will carry guests. Don Lino, architect
I would love to strip an aircraft carrier of all weaponry and transform it into a forest. I’d insert the hotel cabins amongst the trees. The unique amenity this could offer is perspective—about technology, the fragility of life and nature, and our position as a species ever mediating between the two. Perhaps this can lead to enlightenment that could inform each choice we make to best benefit all life on our planet. Nick Ramos, architecture professor at College of St. Benilde – School of Design and Arts
Perhaps more gardens. More greens, pocket gardens, an atrium. What I see for most hotels is that every floor is just composed of rooms, which I understand is necessary to maximize the floor area. But if I had my way, I’d put gardens on every floor, or just an atrium in the middle where trees growing from the ground floor can be seen. Renato Heray, landscape architect
I’ll have an Autorevenge Room—an enclosed area (preferably in the basement parking) where guests in full protective gear can smash a parked car to a pulp using sledgehammers, crowbars or rocks. Meanwhile, guests at bars, lounges and rooms upstairs will be able to watch the action through closed circuit TVs. For other issues, there’s The Crockery Hurling Room where guests dressed in evening wear can hurl fine dinnerware at a wall covered with simulated art masterpieces. For an extra cost, guests may fill their plates with leftover pasta to toss on the wall ala Kevin Spacey in American Beauty. The broken pieces will be gathered and donated to public school art programs as mosaic-making material. In addition, I’ll establish a hotel artist residency program for wannabe contemporary Gaudis. Juan Alcazaren, artist and industrial designer
I’ll design a bike-friendly hotel, probably in a remote location. Cyclists can check in before taking on the challenging bike routes of the area. Inside would be a network of meandering “bike streets” as part of its amenities. Guests can ride out from their rooms on their bikes onto these streets which can lead to other amenities and spaces inside the hotel, and even outside if they want a longer ride. I imagine that the internal traffic and circulation planning would be a nightmare, but it’ll definitely be a fun and unique challenge to take on. Chok Manalo, architect
I’ll have a crew of singing cooks and waiters to serenade guests in the hotel restaurant. In fact, that should be a default dining experience in all hotels in the Philippines. Leandro Llorente, architect