Introducing Hotel Palette

Our imaginary hotel is the perfect storm of service, soul and style. Hannah reveals the must-haves of her ultimate stay.

With the rise of apartment rentals and a surge in experience-led travel, is the time honoured hotel becoming obsolete? While some are lagging behind needs of the discerning traveller, the sector’s movers and shakers are expanding into smaller, more personal and hyper-local experiences.

So how do hoteliers bag an upgrade? Let’s check in at our imagined Hotel Palette. We are a place anchored in heritage, but we are unafraid of shaking up the hackneyed cliches. Our brand is confident with an intelligent tone of voice that is instantly recognisable, and the visual elements are tight, timeless and unobtrusive. Our front of house staff are warm and welcoming, offering lithe orientation of the building, tidbits of local knowledge and tempting recommendations of places to eat and drink in the neighbourhood. Our bar staff take time to understand their guests’ tastes before offering expert recommendations, while the housekeeping team look after a thoughtful and practical turn down.

The function is to provide a bed for the night. The purpose is to create an environment that stirs the imagination, provides peace and respite, and where every guest feels at home. The rooms in our hotel are crafted for private rest, while communal spaces are designed equally for mingling and private conversation. With a property selected for its soulfulness and intimacy, we have created a petite hotel of under twenty rooms, a bar and grand-cafe-style restaurant, and a comfortable lounge that feels at once private and welcoming. We understand the power of pre- and post- stay communications to make the experience much larger than the sum of its parts. Tempted?


Hotel Palette has a website that is compelling and easy to navigate. Seductive full screen photography dominates the homepage, together with compelling copy and easy-to-find key information. There is no uninvited music, no pop-ups, and no plethora of different offers and packages that take an hour to unpack and compare. For those looking for a taste of the brand, curated playlists, an integrated Instagram location tag feed and an online gift shop all give a flavour of the real thing. After booking, a friendly personalised email asks about arrival times, restaurant reservations, dietary restrictions and preferences on bedding and newspapers.


Check-in is from 2pm. Bags are whisked up to the room while the front of house staff look after the required check in admin. Conversations on the guests’ journey and intended activities during the stay replace awkward booking searches on the far side of the desk; paperwork is tucked into the Hotel Palette magazine, which includes local restaurant reviews and interviews with local artists; and, with a business model centred on trust, no card swipe is necessary. A short tour of the hotel with an invitation to make use of all areas and facilities precedes a personal welcome to the room, opened with a real key with a heavy, Italian leather tassel. It’s kept on the wall behind the reception desk while guests are out, which gives staff a handful of additional opportunities to impress with guest recognition and interaction. Guests are offered a drink from the bar, tea or coffee before the bedroom door is closed.


On arrival, the lighting is just right for the time of day, and classical music is just audible. It’s a room designed for lingering, with an oak writing desk in the window; inviting seating (be it an armchair in standard bedrooms, or full seating area in larger suites) and garden flowers arranged in a loose, romantic style. The bed is large and inviting, with tactile 1000 thread count bedding and cushions with removable covers (a pet peeve: decorative cushions and throws that are not washed between guests). Wall lights illuminate the bedside, and bedside tables are stacked with books on art and design. A welcome note is written by the general manager. There’s a full length mirror and a well-lit dressing table. Bathrooms are tiled in cool stone, with a rainfall shower and freestanding bath. A double sink has an attractive display of luxury toiletries from the likes of Aesop or Le Labo. Plush dressing gowns hang on the back of the door with embroidered branding, also stitched into the thick bath sheets, hand towels and flannels. The turndown is discreet and practical, with mood lighting, a bed ready to dive into and freshly stocked towels and toiletries for the following morning. There’s bottled water, eye masks and a hand written overview of tomorrow’s weather on the bedside.


A touchpoint that is often neglected but that can be used to celebrate the local area. Complimentary non-alcoholic drinks, fresh milk and snacks are all made locally. Guests are invited to call the bar to request anything further, which will be added to the bill. A state-of-the-art coffee machine sits next to a jar of homemade biscuits, and a mini fridge is concealed inside a bespoke cabinet, such as the one designed by Papila, below.


The communal areas are designed to attract locals for a drink and a bite to eat as well as travellers. This is not just a place for outsiders: it is not transient like an airport lounge, but a part of its local community with an atmosphere befitting of its location. The bar takes design cues from Italian coffee houses with mixed seating designed to encourage social interaction, but also provide a quiet and private place to work or chat. Drinks are crafted by expert barmen and served in Italian glassware with complimentary snacks. Guests are invited to the bar at 7pm for a sociable aperitif hour.


Inspired by grand cafes of Paris, the marble tables and relaxed feel of the restaurant is a space designed for all-day dining, socialising and working. The menu also takes cues from the French bistro, with a small selection of simple but perfectly executed classics – steak-frites, moules-frites, etc – scribbled on hand written, menus each day. Locals come for the atmosphere and the house wine, which is affordable, delicious, and served by the carafe. In the morning, the mood is vibrant and convivial, with piles of international newspapers and a seductive display of pastries, preserves and chopped fruit. Cooked breakfasts are ordered a la carte, with sausages and bacon from the local butcher, eggs from a nearby farm and bread that is baked in house each morning. Juices are pressed to order. Produce is fresh every day, and leftovers are taken to a shelter.


A small but perfectly formed spa and pool on the roof of the hotel is run by a local company for both residential guests and outside visitors. Bicycles are available to borrow, free of charge, as well as umbrellas, rain coats and wellington boots – all from British designers, and stocked in the porch. These are available to purchase from the hotel shop. A courtyard garden, brimming with climbing roses and lavender, hosts morning yoga and has lots of perfect nooks for a long and lazy afternoon tea at a wrought iron table.


Check-out is at 11am, and the bill may be delivered to the room before formal check out. A warm goodbye and “see you soon” is shortly followed with a thank you email that includes a discount on the next stay.

Contact Hannah

If you are looking to develop an existing or brand new hotel concept,
guest experience or creative strategy, I’d love to help.



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