In my opinion, luxury hotels and fashion houses go hand-in-hand; they both offer the best in elegant and trendy concepts - whether in the form of fabric or bathroom toiletries.
So it's no wonder more luxury hotels are turning to to designers to create one-of-a-kind experiences for their guests.
While some designers are called on by hotels to actually design a guest room, others are recruited to create exclusive items that can only be found at the hotel.
In London, Diane von Furstenberg decorated her own suite at London's Claridge's hotel, and designer duo Teatum Jones created a scarf available only at the Dorchester. At XV Beacon in Boston, the hotel called on a perfumery in Italy to create the hotel's unique scent, used in all the bathroom amenities.
The options are endless for designers and hotels to collaborate, and I predict this trend will continue to grow. The one caveat, however: as the luxury hotel market becomes saturated with designer offerings, designers and their partner hotels must find unique ways to appeal to guests.
In the case of Hilton Hotels & Resorts, the hotel company teamed up with iconic international fashion designer Vivienne Tam to create limited-edition "Water Dragon" slippers. The slippers mark the one-year anniversary of Hilton's global welcome program, Hilton Huanying, for Chinese travelers.
The terry cloth slippers feature a mirrored design of two inward-facing blue dragons swimming in a turquoise "sea" – a common symbol of optimism, harmony and fulfillment in Chinese culture. The slippers celebrate the Year of the Dragon and will be made available to Chinese guests starting this month at 70 participating Hilton hotels in 23 countries.
"To give travelers a sense of comfort, I was inspired by the Chinese Water Dragon when creating these slippers exclusively for Hilton Hotels & Resorts," said Tam in a press release. "The Water Dragon bestows optimism, harmony and fulfillment, which are feelings we often seek when traveling. Although we may cross many oceans, home is the harmony within. I'm pleased to provide Chinese travelers staying with Hilton a warm welcome on their journeys."
What's ahead from luxury hotels and fashion designers? With Fashion Week in Paris and New York on the horizon, there's bound to be a few new offerings at guest rooms around the world.Melanie Nayer is a hotel reviewer and expert on luxury travel around the world. She has covered all aspects of hotels including corporate restructures, re-branding initiatives, historical aspects and the best of the best in luxury hotels around the world.
Melanie writes a weekly exclusive column for 4Hoteliers.com