Check In & Check It Out: The Evolution of Hotel Branding


We’ve been immersing ourselves recently in a few projects, one of which has re-awoken a certain passion. From funky check-in desks, to lobby DJs and craft beer mini bars, we’re suckers for a cool hotel brand.

We’re now well into the Airbnb generation, the disruptor brand which ripped up the rule book has also evolved alongside a new generation of social media and street food savvy travellers who engaging in their own special brand of wanderlust. The garishly carpeted hotel chains of yesteryear with their stiff staff in badly ironed shirts and more rules than a masonic garden party seem more cast adrift than ever. Hotel branding has evolved and we’re all the better for it.


Now, some of the most innovative and exciting interior design, concept and branding is coming from the hotel sector. Norms have been pushed aside, the status quo sent to sit on the naughty step and, completely transforming many people’s pre-conceptions, these accommodation stations are providing exciting, blog-worthy food and drink offerings.

Here’s a selection of some of our favourites.



Followers of our own Saved By Robots Instagram account will notice a few snaps of this stunning space! Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn blends contemporary cool with the industrial history of the building to create an experience of casual luxury.

Ground floor restaurant ‘Reynaud’ offers a foodie-friendly menu which centres around a wood-fired oven and seasonal produce, whilst the real wow factor moments come on the sixth floor Terrace ‘The Ides’, where New York sunsets can be enjoyed over a cocktail and a lobster slider. Travel Lodge this ain’t!


Wythe Hotel branding balances cool-as-a-cumber modernity with a premium retro classic feel, embracing both the area’s history and the brand’s future.



We are longtime fans of Ace, their punchy minimal branding edgy, stylish interiors and creative events programming.

The transformed the concept of the lobby, taking a previously dead and under-utilised space and creating a patchwork of spaces and offers. At Ace’s only UK outpost for example, Bulldog Coffee offers caffeine hits, booster juices and pastry nibbles, Hoi Polloi serves on point meals and a stylish space to have your morning Eggs Benny. A communal workspace desk is mobbed every day, before lights are dimmed and the decks come out to soundtrack a slick cocktail and drinks offering. With MTV relaunching their iconic ‘Unplugged’ series, they obviously wanted somewhere bone-chillingly cool to kick it off… step forward ACE Hotel Los Angeles.

Genre-bending hotels which haven’t just thought outside the box to improve the experience of their own guests, but who’ve built a whole new box to attract non-residents through the door.

ACE evolve their branding as they land in each new city and Hoi Polloi (Shoreditch Restaurant) is light, quirky and fresh to set the tone for a super-stylish foodie experience.


Newly arrived, this beautifully designed hotel is opening gradually across 2017 and once complete, will host three bars, a restaurant, a rooftop pool and a grand ballroom. Pitching for its niche amongst the great and the hip of Williamsburg, TWH will buzz when the lights go down and offer quirks such as their own branded pink and white chauffeured Tuk Tuk. With uniforms designed by Ovadia & Sons and a striking Lobby Bar installation from local street artist Eric Reiger, the venues reinforces how hotels are pitching more at street style than ever before.

Headlines were grabbed when British architects Michaelis Boyd announced plans to pay homage to the area’s history with a water tower rooftop bar, which guests would ascend stairs to before sipping drinks and enjoying panoramic views of one the world’s most famous skylines. Beats a warm G&T with yesterday’s lime at a Premier Inn anyway…


60 degrees in January calls for a Tuk-Tuk ride ☀️ give us a honk if you see us around the hood today #twhbk

A post shared by The Williamsburg Hotel (@wburghotel) on



One of our favourite spots…creative and cool probably doesn’t quite cover this place. Teeming with independent ideas and buzz, Michelberger really is Hip Heaven. The energy and fluidity of the venue is perfectly captured by their entrance sign, which changes regularly to show quirky and Instagram-friendly phrases.

Michelberger was designed, as was ACE, to be a hangout for like-minded friends of the owners and this free spirit flows thought the venue and those who frequent it. With ties to the Berlin artistic and music scenes, Michelberger reflects the spirit of the city. Throw in an in-house design studio, a booze company and an impeccably designed coconut water (worth watching the video story!) and you’ve got a place which is about so much more than just the room rate.


We’ve just unveiled the newest member of our stable to the world and it’s now all hands to the pump to fully bring the brand to life and get ready for opening in mid-September. With Scottish tank beer, table tennis and a drinks terrace complete with fire pit for toasting marshmallows, Black Ivy is going to be an independent bar and boutique hotel with a keen eye on what’s happening in the hotspots in Brooklyn and beyond.

Check out their newly launched ‘gram and watch the adventure unfold. For now though, B is for Beginnings…

Part of the teaser campaign we created for Black Ivy, Bruntsfield in Edinburgh

Hotels have come a long way in recent times, now embracing challenges as opportunities and engaging the insta-savvy traveller, the creative hot-desker and the local foodie to create vibrant hubs which offer much more than a check in, a check out and a couple of pillows in between. Long may it continue.