Delano Hotel (For once, not a restaurant review)

Besides the glaring whiteness of everything, the first thing you are confronted with, when you walk into your room at the Delano hotel is a solitary Granny Smith apple on a peg.  “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” is etched beneath it.  I’m sure someone, somewhere thought it was a genius idea, original, quirky.  Here is my question though. Most rooms have two occupants right? So why only one apple? Am I supposed to eat half and Hrabi the other half? Or do we alternate, I get it on even days and he gets it on odd?  Who get’s the apple becomes a moot point by day two when several other thoughts occur to me.  Among them; that a Granny Smith is the Pamela Anderson of apples, from a distance you suck in your cheeks and inhale thinking “Wow” but up close there’s way too much plastic and cover up.  Granny Smiths always have too much wax on their skin and are impossible to date ” Are they from this season’s crop? The last one?”.  Tell me, have you ever seen one with a leaf still attached to the stem?  Which brings me to another question…apples?  In the land of citrus?  Does Starck’s design acumen not extend to other fruit?  Or is it that you have to peel them or that there isn’t some pithy (sorry) one liner that goes with oranges.

On to the room which is all white.  Lacquered white floors, white walls, white leather headboard, white table, white lights. My sister says it’s like being inside a Mac. I think it’s more like being inside a toilet cistern because of the hardness of everything.Despite decades of carpets in hotels to absorb sound, the Delano has opted out. I lie in bed and listen to the woman in the room above me clatter around in high heels. Then she drops her lipstick, thunk, clunk, roll – clippity clop, clippity clop, clippity clop; she arrives to pick it up.Maybe door dampers are an expense the Morgan group didn’t want to pay? Whatever it is, the doors don’t close with a muffled thwop of most 5 star hotels; no they slam and shudder, like an iron jail door.  Some of them have gaps so large beneath them so large that you could slide a pizza box under them.Opposite the bed is a large mirror, almost the size of the entire wall, in it hovers a silver plasma, beneath it a white table, on that a white iPad, in a white case. I’m pretty sure that having a mirror opposite the bed, even a small one, is bad feng shui and here they’ve gone and put a giant one.  As I write this, I see my scowling reflection in the mirror.  I try to figure why you would want to see yourself while in bed, then the penny drops, putting a mirror on the ceiling would be vulgar, this is semi-acceptable.

You know where there is no mirror? In the elevators.  The one place you count on finding one, so you can spot mascara gloop or something more embarrassing before you step out into Miami.  Instead there are 3 white panels, tipped over on their corners making me feel like they will fall over me any moment.  The floor of the elevator? White tiles, every single one cracked which is a bit like Angelina Jolie smiling to reveal chipped front teeth (I don’t know why all the female movie star analogies today).  Two elevators service the 14 floors and I wonder why they don’t take the out of service for a couple of hours in the wee hours of the night and change the broken dirty tiles?

I’m physically yearning for soft furnishings in this place but not even the lamps indulge me, they are made of transparent Perspex. I am considering going to Target and buying some soft shade lamps and a couple of patterned throws. Spending even one night in the white room makes me question the wisdom of putting crazy people in them and then being surprised when they don’t get better.As much as I loath the room design I love the public spaces, they have a sexy casual vibe.  Which by the way is the pervading look of Delano guests.  Tanned, implants, long hair, cut off shorts with about a fifth of peach fuzz covered buttocks exposed.  They totter up and down the stairs to the pool, met at frequent intervals by white-clad hotel staff with clipboards asking to see the room key before they can go any further.   “There are a lot of good-looking people at the Delano.” I observe to a girlfriend of mine (a Ford model herself).  ”Yes, we get a really cheap model rate. I think they like having attractive guests.”  ”Wow.” Hrabi jokes “In that case, I wonder if they charge ugly people more? Cause that woman over there must be paying a fortune.” He says, pointing out the dandelion in the sea exotic flowers.

And this, I guess, is what the Delano is about: the pretty people.  The rooms are probably so white so that it sets off their über tanned skin even more.  The lack of noise proofing is not an issue because no one comes here to sleep.  The apple a day is probably the meal of the day.

I’m back in Berlin now and will get back to the business about writing about food in Berlin. How were your holidays?

4 Responses to Delano Hotel (For once, not a restaurant review)

  1. ceciliag says:

    You are brilliant. you took that hotel and tied it in a knotty ball and drop kicked it straight back into its own pool! .. fantastic! c

  2. jibuyabu says:

    Yes, definitely bad feng shui! I am considering moving my bed to another position but it’ll mean I’ll face my wardrobe sliding doors which are completely covered in a mirror. I hate the idea of trying to sleep and then catching some movement in the mirror.

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