In the age of the hipster, coolness in a hotel is almost as important as luxury. At LA’s The Standard, a female model broods in a fishtank behind reception, while US chain Hotel Palomar provides guests with a goldfish on request if they’re alone and feel like company.
At the new Sherwood in Queenstown, the coolness comes from somewhere deeper, and more authentic. Described as “an experiment in modern living”, it’s a hotel, restaurant, cocktail bar and wellbeing centre. Each aspect works independently, but all flow from the same core philosophy: doing good for the world, doing good to your body and not taking the whole thing too seriously.
This last bit is quite important, given that the idea of staying at a hotel where employees constantly hector you about improving your posture and recycling your drink bottle isn’t particularly alluring. In fact, though the staff are all on message, much of the worthiness lies below the surface, out of sight until you scratch around.
Examples: the stylish black kitchen floor in each room is made from recycled car tyres; the dark brown feature wall is made from carbon negative cork.