US furniture retailer West Elm to launch boutique hotel brand

George Sell By George Sell
26 September 2016 | Updated 27 September 2016

US: West Elm has teamed up with hospitality management and development company DDK to develop a string of boutique hotels.

US: West Elm has teamed up with hospitality management and development company DDK to develop a string of boutique hotels.

West Elm will design, furnish and market the hotels, the first of which will open in Detroit and Savannah in late 2018, while DDK will operate them. Further properties are planned for Charlotte, Indianapolis and Minneapolis. Guests will be able to buy the room furniture and other décor online.

The company recently launched Workspace, a commercial furniture division. It created new décor for 30 SpringHill Suites by Marriott hotels that will open by the end of this year and is adapting designs for Starwood's FourPoints by Sheraton chain from its existing collection.

To test its ideas for West Elm Hotels, the company built mock rooms in a Brooklyn warehouse. The room furnishings are custom designed for the hotels, including marine blue tile in the bathroom, marble coffee tables and 280-thread count cotton sheets.

"I love that you go to a West Elm store in Miami and it's different from a West Elm store in New York," said DDK's David Bowd.

The hotels will have between 100 and 250 rooms, with room rates ranging from $175 to $400.

West Elm president Jim Brett said the company could eventually have as many hotels as retail stores.

Founded in 2002, West Elm has stores in 85+ US cities, as well as locations in Canada, Mexico, Australia, the UK and the Middle East. It designs more than 90 per cent of its products in-house, and has an emphasis on organic, handcrafted, sustainably sourced and Fair Trade Certified products.

DDK is a development and operations company led by David Bowd, Kim Phoebus and David Wasserman.

www.westelm.com

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