Happy 2007!

I hope 2007 makes all of you (and me) as happy as 2006 made me happy!

It was a happy year for me, 2006. I started this Blog adventure and are having fun with it, although it takes a lot of time which I do not always have. It takes more time than you would anticipate before you start. Because of the amount of time involved I believe that the number or derelict Blogs will soar in 2007 and that the number of new Blogs started will decrease.

The last days of a year often makes you wonder how many unfinished objects, or UFOs you have left unfinished.

Here are some of my UFOs postponed to 2007:

  • Suite with a Vault, about Palais Coburg in Vienna that was completely renovated into a luxury all suite hotel;
  • Report about our visit to Berlin and stay in Propeller Island City Lodge;
  • report about our visits to Vienna and stay in Style Vienna;
  • Web two Bubble (web2.0) and what it means for the Hotelier;
  • Finalizing the translating of the Dutch posts and fine tune the instant translation possibility of this site;
  • Further developing the style of this site. I would love to have a multi style switch installed, so that the reader can choose which style he likes best;
  • Bring you more news about Dutch Hotel Design;
  • The Ferragamo Portrait Suites in Rome;
  • The Nitenite Hotel in Birmingham;
  • pay attention to What Woman Want
  • And many more…


Lars Stroschen: The Artist who became a Hotelier

Recently, I stayed a couple of days in Propeller Island City Lodge in Berlin with a group of about 20 baby boomers.

It was a lot of fun having some members of the group remembering their backpacking and youth hostel days (waaay back!) as the down to earth design of the rooms forced some of us on their old knees to properly enter the bed which was sunken in the floor.

In a separate post I will address some of its features, but now first some attention for Lars, who is the originator and owner of the hotel and with whom I shook hands the day we departed. I asked him whether he liked it to be an hotelier: His answer was:”No, but I liked the making of it, and I have a very nice crew of 5 who attend our guests”.

I had the impression already as he roamed around as if being the ghost host of the hotel during breakfast hours. But indeed his crew is excellent and very friendly and they make the visit worthwhile!

Lars himself explained it as follows somewhere on his site:

Ever since childhood I have always enjoyed doing things that had something to do with sound and images. I had music lessons, started to draw, built my own furniture and took photos like mad. I could never settle for one particular discipline because I loved them all. Because technical innovations were also a great inspiration to me, I soon turned in the church organ for a synthesizer and later shifted from the pencil and the darkroom to computer art.

After school I studied Visual Communication at the Berlin Art College. In my spare time I worked as photographer and sound engineer. During my various travels at this time, I swapped my camera for a microphone and started to collect noises. This material formed the basis for my experimental music and sample-CD projects. My instrument collection grew to a full size, specialist electronic music studio. I then got a job as author of a radio series on electronic music. During these two years I created several compositions for demonstration purposes, several of which got released on CD.

The radio broadcasts also earned me a composition contract for a dance performance at the Berliner Schaubhne (Playhouse Theatre). I got my first recording contract with a Hamburg-based label and shortly afterwards another one in France. From this time onwards, all my projects were published under the name PROPELLER ISLAND. This pseudonym stems from a book written by Jules Verne at the end of the nineteenth century which describes an artificial island that travels with its inhabitants around the world – way ahead of its time! I chose this pseudonym mainly because it sounds good in German and English and because can refer to almost any kind of work – not just music.

Later I founded my own record label so as to be completely independent. Along with the many CDs with music and sound sculptures, I also published (as PROPELLER ISLAND) several sample CDs and CD-ROMs with unusual sound collections.

The only musical excursion without the aid of a ‘propeller’ was with the composer community TONART, which I joined along with other artists in order to publish avant-garde music. We dissolved the group after the fifth CD.

To fund my music projects and my studio, I turned two rooms in my flat into guest’s rooms. Because normal rooms it would have been far too boring, the first rooms of CITY LODGE were created.

The rooms quickly became very popular via the press, especially in England, and soon the letting out became so much work that I had almost no time left for my studio projects. I decided to enlarge the guest room business, thinking that I would be able to hire staff and therefore have more time for my studio. How naive! ….

An old pension hotel in the same building seemed perfect for the expansion. I was lucky, the lease had just run out and it was up for sale. It took over five years to complete PROPELLER ISLAND. During that time I designed hundreds of interior elements, objects, and pictures and drew up new concepts. As a ‘non-hotelier’, I had to learn to think about safety regulations for guests and also convince authorities of the practicality of my fantasy interiors.
It was a long hard road that makes me even more proud of my giant work of art, since so many doubted that I would ever manage to make it work. It is attracting art lovers from all over the worlds- even ‘proper’ architects and ‘proper’ hoteliers! :-))

The only problem is that I still haven’t managed to make enough time for the music – and that is what I wanted to achieve in the first place, didn’t I? … Oh well, c’est la vie!

Lars Stroschen, Summer 2004

NL Hotel in Theme:NL

NL Hotel

With an article and this splendid photo on the 12th cover of »Theme:NL, a Dutch glossy devoted to the stylish part of Dutch hospitality industry, »NL-Hotel was nicely featured this month.

New in Paris: Hotel Sezz

Hotel Sezz

My attention to Hotel Sezz was drawn by the fact that Philippe Starck, albeit through his associate Christoffe Pillet was involved in the design of Hotel Sezz,
originally built in 1913, completely renovated in 2005, and recently reopened.

30 rooms of which 14 suites and junior suites rating from Euro 250 to Euro 600. No front desk. Your Personal Assistant will check you in and will assist you during your stay with concierge services such as tickets, a massage or a reservation in the bar of the hotel, the “Veuve Clicquot Cellar”. Nice Flashy Site!

Maastricht: Beaumont reopened


Hotel Beaumont in Maastricht has been restyled and reopened recently. It won the “Dutch Hotel Award” for its renovation.