The Rise of the Hotel Bakery

Slate’s design blog.
Feb. 14 2014 8:45 AM

The Rise of the Hotel Bakery

140208_EYE_1
The Praktik Hotel in Barcelona, Spain, opens April 1.

Courtesy of Hotel Praktik Bakery

One of the key trends in hotel design in recent years has been a sharp focus on creating a hotel lobby that is a destination, not just a pass-through. If successful, such lobbies keep paying guests happily hanging out and spending money on site while creating enough buzz to attract nonguests when occupancy is down.

Hotels like the SLS chain—designed by Philippe Starck—resemble mini-vacation communities with high concept bars, restaurants, shopping, and entertainment spaces designed around the beating heart of the lobby to fulfill a guest’s every whim.

140208_EYE_3
The Hotel Praktik Bakery in Barcelona will greet guests with the smell of baking bread in the lobby.

Courtesy of Hotel Praktik Bakery

But what’s a modest hotel to do? The best hotels offer both something you can’t get at home and a welcoming sense of hominess. And the design plan for the lobby of a new hotel scheduled to open April 1 in Barcelona, Spain, is centered around the appealingly homey and ingeniously simple concept of a working bakery.

Advertisement

“Why a bakery? Because everyone likes bread, and everybody likes that smell,” hotel director Alejandro Prieto told me in an email, adding that the bakery is located right next to the front desk, so that guests will be greeted with (and wake up to) the aroma of fresh-baked bread. Luxury hotels spend a bundle manufacturing their own signature scents. But what better way to greet guests than with the crowd-pleasing aroma of baked goods?

140208_EYE_2

One of a mini-chain of Praktik hotels, the Praktik Bakery is located in a converted hospital with architecture typical of the Eixample style of its Barcelona neighborhood. With a striking wood, iron, and glass-dominated makeover from award-winning interior designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán, it promises to become a stylish, low-key meeting place or an unintimidating cantine for a solo traveler.

“It is a show bakery,” Pietro said, adding that they also hope to attract locals with the theater of a working bakery, complete with a giant bread oven that will be visible from the street.

140208_EYE_4
A room at the Hotel Praktik Bakery echoes the clean graphic lines and neutral color palette of the lobby.

Courtesy of Hotel Praktik Bakery

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

160 Countries Host Marches to Demand Action on Climate Change

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 21 2014 2:00 PM Colin Farrell Will Star in True Detective’s Second Season
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.