AHL Insider:

Richard Mishaan

Interior Designer

  • WHAT DO YOU DO?

    I am an architect, interior designer and style guru.

  • HOW DID YOU GET INTO HOTEL DESIGN?

    I was first asked to design the presidential suite for the St. Regis Hotel in NYC. It is the crown jewel for the brand and I was honored to have been asked to do so. After that, I designed mainly suites for other brands.

  • WHAT ARE SOME HOTEL PROJECTS YOU HAVE RECENTLY WORKED ON?

    I have recently completed designing the Shelborne Hotel in South Beach. I am currently designing the Hotel Tcherassi in Cartagena Colombia as well as the Marriot AC on South Beach. I have been working on the branding, design and concept for a new hotel brand I am a founder of that is soon to be announced.

  • HOW DOES HOTEL DESIGN DIFFER FROM YOUR RESIDENTIAL PROJECTS?

    Well oddly enough, there has been a convergence in design intent between home owners and hotel developers. It started a few years back when hotels started to feel more residential. At that point, clients would ask me to design their bedroom just like a room at a certain hotel they had just stayed at…they asked that the bathroom have the mirror with the TV or that we put pop up power outlets in their bedside tables. At the same time, hotel developers asked us to design rooms that make their clients as comfortable as they can be and to make them feel as much at home as possible.

  • WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

    I love design and for that reason I am inspired by everything around me; visiting every art exhibit I possibly can, attending most international design shows. I find inspiration in movies, theatre and fashion. I travel a great deal and love to visit exotic places, which inform me on other people's cultures and customs. It is important to see how people live as both a designer and an anthropologist.

  • WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHANGE YOU HAVE SEEN IN HOTEL DESIGN IN THE PAST FEW YEARS?

    The biggest change has been in lobby design. The traditional check-in desk no longer exists. Hotel services are more customized and personalized so as to make the experience more customer centric.

  • WHAT ARE THE KEY COMPONENTS OF A GOOD HOTEL?

    Glamour, comfort, quality and a double dose of sexiness.

  • WHO IN THE INDUSTRY HAVE YOU LOVED WORKING WITH?

    I love working with Silvia Tcherrasi because she is a fashion designer and has a great design knowledge to draw from. She is also as passionate about design as I am. I loved working with Ross Klein when he was at Starwood because he is a marketing genius and the most creative human ever. I have really enjoyed most everyone I’ve worked with.

  • WHAT DO YOU FORESEE AS THE NEXT BIG THING IN HOSPITALITY DESIGN?

    The next big thing is the club-style hotel experience. It means that you are going to find hotels by filling out an online survey that will direct you to an experience you are looking to fulfill with like-minded people who are looking for similar things.

  • DESCRIBE A DREAM PROJECT.

    My dream project has actually become a reality. I am working as the lead on a design concept for a hotel chain that will be a design vision from the bottom up. I have been, as I said, looking at how people live their lives and giving their lives a context to make their homes the ultimate experience. I am an avid traveler and know what I am looking for to make me happy as well as my wife and my kids. For that reason I am looking at this multi-generationally. I have designed furniture for Bolier and Company, who has a large hospitality division. I design lighting for Urban Electric Co., accessories for Asia Tides and on and on. I recently put that all together to design eighty five percent of the FF&E for the Shelborne. It is time I put it all together, which I am working on.

  • DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE HOTEL IN THE WORLD?

    My favorite hotel in the world was the Plaza Athene in Paris. Sadly, they have just closed for renovations…it was perfect and old world chic. I am so sad they felt the need to change what was already perfect.