Renzo Piano’s archive in Genoa houses the great architect’s projects. It brings young people closer to creative work, which he equates to “looking into darkness without fear”.
12 hotels for vinyl lovers
Suites equipped with vinyl records, halls that look like discos, entire floors dedicated to a label. These 12 hotels are the perfect haven for vinyl lovers.
For many music enthusiasts there’s nothing like the sound of vinyl. Seventy years after its invention, vinyl records are still here and have survived the evolution of phonographs. Cherished by collectors and loved by nostalgic people, the sound of vinyl, with its crackles, comes back into fashion from time to time and seems to resist the course of time and technological progress. But there’s a practical problem audiophiles must face: how to comfortably take a collection of vinyl records on holiday?
A growing number of hotels around the world offering record players, audio systems and curated libraries of records to satisfy their clients’ music whims are the answer to our question. The independent British company The Vinyl Factory selected some boutique concept hotels that are particularly suitable for people who can’t do without vinyl even on holiday.
Brae accommodation, Birregurra, Australia
After opening a restaurant of success in 2013, owners Dan Hunter and Julianne Bagnato added six guest suites. The building is sustainable: it’s made of recycled bricks and wood and uses solar energy and aquifer water. The suites are equipped with Thorens turntables and records for every taste, from Björk and Bowie to Caribou and Nick Cave. “It’s our hope that guests choose to spend time in the rooms, rather than just using them as a place to lay their heads – play a few records, mix a cocktail, sit back on the sofa, enjoy the rural views and disconnect for a while”, said Bagnato.
The W, London, UK
Located in Leicester Square, the W’s hall is full of glitter balls as if it was a night club. It is world’s first hotel to offer a vinyl room service, The Vinyl Collection: guests can request up to five records from a collection of over 200 titles curated by DJ and radio speaker for the BBC Annie Mac. The eclectic selection includes electro music as well as R’N’B and soul classics and a large section dedicated to Britpop. The records are delivered with a Crosley portable reader with high-quality built-in speakers.
Autor Rooms, Warsaw, Poland
Located in a historic, 19th century residence, the Autor Rooms has just four rooms and a central shared space with a kitchen where guests can cook, share books, use a video projector or a turntable. They can explore a collection of vinyl records by Polish artists, curated by Michał Pawlik, spanning from classics to hidden gems, from internationally known jazz musicians to new electronic promises. Furniture and objects, either antique or modern, can all be purchased.
Soho House, Berlin, Germany
Located atop a Bauhaus building, the Soho House in Berlin includes four lofts where guests can stay for entire weeks and months. In the hotel there are two or three rooms, a large lunch area and an open space with ancient table football, audio-video systems and one hundred vinyl records curated by The Vinyl Factory. Some of them are limited edition releases, including Grace Jones, Florence + The Machine and The XX. The lofts can host Loft Sessions, live performances, while at the ground floor there’s a record shop where guests can attend concerts and DJ sets, listening to music through a sound system handcrafted by Funktion One.
The Dean, Dublin, Ireland
Music is a theme at the Dean, where rooms are named Hi-Fi, Mod Pod and Punk Bunks. In each one of them there’s a Rega RP1 turntable, Marshall amps and a collection of vinyl records and books curated by Tower Records. The genres span from soul to blues and hip hop, with a special attention on Irish artists. Every week at the ground floor bar and every weekend at the hotel terrace guests can DJ, celebrate and have fun.
Santa Cecilia, Austin, United States
Hotel Saint Cecilia is a former Victorian house that boasts a selection of classic rock records of the ‘60s and ‘70s, even though a sign reading Soul dominates the outdoor pool. All the rooms are equipped with Rega RP1 turntables and Geneva audio systems. The guests can borrow old LP records, collections of rock band biographies, collections of poems written by some musicians and also a few Gibson guitars.
Ludlow, New York, United States
Opened in Manhattan in 2014, a stone’s throw away from Katz’s Delicatessen, The Ludlow has a roof terrace overlooking the Lower East Side. But the best attraction is the suite with JBL floor speakers designed by Arnold Wolf, a classic Technics 1200 turntable of the ’70s (the same used at Studio 54) and a big vinyl collection including classics by Frank Sinatra and Bob Dylan, as well as albums from the post-punk no wave and hip-hop scene.
Hotel Max, Seattle, United States
Built in a building of the 1920s, Hotel Max has antique furniture and an exhibition of over 350 paintings. The fifth floor with its 19 rooms is entirely dedicated to Sub Pop, the label of Seattle of many punk, indie rock and grunge bands: guests can listen to all the vinyl records released by the label, watch their favourite artists’ videos and admire Charles Peterson’s photographs that defined the visual aesthetic of rock in the ’90s.
Gritti Palace, Venice, Italy
Dating back to the 15th century, Gritti Palace was revamped by American designer Chuck Chewning in 2013. Chewning, creative director of fabric and furnishings at the company Donghia, opted for classic Venetian design. He also dedicated one of the suites to designer Angelo Donghia, who reached fame in the ‘70s for working for Ralph Lauren, Diana Ross and Liza Minnelli among others. In every suite there’s a turntable and a collection of records curated by Chewning himself, where disco and glam rock albums by Bee Gees and David Bowie stand out.
Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles, United States
The Ace Hotel, Los Angeles, much loved by the Millennials, pays tribute to the music of past years. Many rooms have Martin acoustic guitars to play impromptu gigs and a Rega RP1 turntable with a collection of vinyl curated by Amoeba Music. The hotel rises near the United Artists Theatre, which contributed to revive the hotel by promoting 1,600 seat performances.
The Goodland, Santa Barbara, United States
Specifically designed for music enthusiasts the Goodland of the Kimpton group offers a vintage-style turntable and vinyl in every room. Inside the hotel there’s a record shop, Vnyl, that offers a listening station connected to the web, so that people around the world can listen to the music of the Goodland. There’s also a Vinyl Concierge, Lea Sindija, the Director of Programming who chooses the records for every room, books concerts, purchases vinyl records by artists who perform at the hotel and organises yoga classes with DJs. Her favourite artists include Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Astrud Gilberto, Zodiac Death Valley and Britten Newbill.
The Redbury South Beach, Miami, United States
Curated by popular photographer and art director Matthew Rolston, who also worked with Madonna, the Redbury’s 69 rooms recall the theatrical and fanciful golden age of Hollywood with its interiors inspired by South Beach’s Art Deco heritage. Every room is equipped with a turntable and a collection of vinyl records selected by Capitol Records.
Featured image: Lauren Laverne, BBC Radio, the W, London
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