If you want to give designers an opportunity to be really creative, you need to give them the space to do something special. With 12 floors and communal spaces providing canvas for 19 design agencies, your choice of room is critical at Hotel Puerta América. Thankfully the front desk staff anticipates guests changing rooms. A menu of design choices for the different floors is provided at check-in and you are recommended to study closely, or to review the website in advance. Some floors are a triumph of style over substance and there are stories of guests whose inability to find (or use) room fittings forced them to call reception for help. Although floors have a similar layout, when you exit the elevator on each floor you feel in altogether different worlds – from futuristic red plastic to black marble through to traditional leather and wood.
Example floors include the first floor by Zaha Hadid, where everything seems to come out from the wall. The bathroom is a single structure from floor to ceiling which changes colour according to the room. Most frustratingly the waste basket is intended as a challenge for guests, because it is not so easy to find. Or you can just drop your rubbish on the floor with frustration.
The eighth floor by Kathryn Findlay titled “Light in motion” intends to suggest a feminine touch. Refusing to consider walls or doors, Findley provided for sweeping white curtains that separate the bathroom from the room. The entire room is white and forms a single space.
Patience is required on the ninth floor of Richard Gluckman with his ‘Boxes of colours’ concept as you need to find everything in the room and bathroom, because it is hidden in a box. The biggest box, in the middle of the room, houses the television. In the bathroom, the first thing you see when you enter the room, is a large glass box containing the shower, with a sliding door separating it from the bedroom by means of a white metal curtain. Contrasting a raw industrial look with back-lit illumination, it is critical for guests to ask how to turn off the lights, otherwise you’ll struggle to get to sleep.
Hotel Puerta América
Photo: (c) Puerta América