Sleeping With The Big Brands

by The Editors on November 3, 2009

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Ever since the Marc Frank Montoya’s The Block Hotels shut their doors in December of 2008 action sports fans have been missing out on any really good places to sleep with their favorite brands in a themed hotel room. A Laguna Beach hotel is changing that with some help from SoCal’s Riviera Magazine and eight action sports fashion brands.

Through a collaboration between the La Casa del Camino Hotel, Riviera hooked up Roxy, Billabong, Billabong Women, Rip Curl, etnies, Lost, Quiksilver, and L*Space with some of Orange County’s top interior designers to create branded rooms in 10 of the boutique hotel’s 38 rooms. The resulting spaces run the gamut from beautifully modern (complete with Nelson Swag Leg desk and platform bench) to what can only be described as ASR trade show booths with beds and bathrooms.

Our favorite was the etnies eco suite (shown above with etnies vice president of marketing Don Brown). Using a skateboard theme (the only one in the hotel) etines worked with designer Eve Lowey of Studio Chameleon in Newport Beach to come up with a cool, environmentally friendly space. “The inspiration for the etines room was all about taking the skate eco design and bringing it together,” said Don Brown.Our favorite was the etnies eco suite (shown above with etnies vice president of marketing Don Brown). Using a skateboard theme (the only one in the hotel) etines worked with designer Eve Lowey of Studio Chameleon in Newport Beach to come up with a cool, environmentally friendly space. “The inspiration for the etines room was all about taking the skate eco design and bringing it together,” said Don Brown.

110209  26AThe room, which is painted in water based tones of concrete gray, features skateboard tracks across the ceiling, a headboard made of shoe material samples, a reverse shadowbox with skateboard wheels, a Skate Study House Godfather chair designed by etnies owner Pierre Andre, four working skateboards, a pair of Malto shoes up in the corner, a Malibu pool graphitti piece on 3M recyclable plastic, a water economizing toilet, and a custom poured concrete sink in the shape of a lefthand kidney which Brown said was inspired by Chicken’s famous Huntington Beach backyard pool. The bathroom also comes with a pair of Tech Decks so guests can get all Wrench Piloty.

Next to the door on the way out of the room etnies has places an “eco menu.” “We wanted everyone to leave this room with a little more knowledge about skateboarding and the creativity that goes into it,” Brown said. “But we also want them to consider the environment and know that they can make a difference. So we made a list based on the acronym SKATER. Sustainable, Kilowatt (think about the electricity you use), Aqua (we need to always conserve water), Time sensitivity, etines, and Reduce, reuse, recycle. At the end of the day we just want people to leave with a deeper message that they can make a difference.”

If the participating brands read like a media company’s advertising wish list, that’s because it is. Riviera owner Modern Luxury Media publishes 30 magazines in 13 markets. Their publications (which include Angelino, Hawaii, Dallas, Miami, Manhattan, San Francisco and others) focus exclusively on rich people and those who wish they were. While the company appears to do well with high end luxury brands, they have not effectively tapped into the action sports brands for advertising. The Casa Surf Project appears to be Modern Luxury’s way of getting to know some potential advertisers better, while helping their friends get media play for their hotel.

The media part is certainly working. We’ll have to wait and see on the advertising. .

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The design mind behind the etnies eco skate room: Eve Lowey of Studio Chameleon.

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etines Malibu pool art with skateboards. Wonder how long those will stay in the room?

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Billabong Marketing Director Enich Harris and The Skateboard Mag’s Grant Brittain.

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Billabong’s rustic surf stylings.

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Fuel TV’s Carlton Curtis (check out his photos here) and Rob Brink.

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Ripcurl’s duck-diving room where you’ll wake up gasping for air.

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Lost’s Moroccan dreamscape include a shower with double shower heads. Someone was thinking correctly.

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Quiksilver’s lush dark leather lair.

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L*Space’s glamorama room deluxe.

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The exterior of La Casa del Camino doesn’t even hint at the branded surf themes inside.

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