AHL Insider:

Tracy Lowy

Founder of Living Rooms, The Hotel Alternative

  • What do you do and how did you get here?

    I'm the founder of Living Rooms, The Hotel Alternative. My role is to create, collaborate and realise a vision to every aspect of the properties in our portfolio from conceptual philosophies to the intimacies of detailing. My family is in the hotel business so it’s something I have grown up respecting and being inspired by.

  • You’re part of the Living Rooms Group, can you tell us about the company?

    In the 90's I identified a need for an alternative to London's traditional hotels and conceived the Living Rooms concept, combining the service of a hotel with the style, comfort and space of a stylish home. No.5 Maddox Street was the first incarnation of that vision. The Laslett - Notting Hill is the latest in our four-piece collection.

  • Do you have a design philosophy?

    The idea of considered design and comfort, service and the needs of our guests; providing a home from home. My most recent property, The Laslett, is inspired by the local culture and uniquely British style that is at the heart of this vibrant neighbourhood, embracing Notting Hill’s rich cultural past and its present personality with a sensibility realised through collaborations with creative visionaries, businesses and friends from the area.

  • The Laslett has so many wonderful details, including work by one of my favorite artists Harland Miller.

    The artwork in the guest rooms is from local artists: the Late Barry Kamen, Toby Mott, Barbara Hulaniki and curated by Ben Kelway. The artwork in the public areas is curated by Laura Bartlett and include works by Harland Miller. This is complimented by the eccentricity and curated curiosities by Jerome Dodd of Les Couilles de Chien.

  • How do you go about starting a complex project like this?

    I wanted to create the quintessential British hotel and employ local designers, artists and suppliers to create the overall effect of understated luxury. I wanted the hotel to feel as though you're staying in a friend’s fabulous townhouse, for it to feel personal and intimate. I named the hotel after Rhuane Laslett; a community activist and organiser of the Notting Hill Carnival, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year.

  • What makes a great hotel?

    Guests; bringing individuality and personality. Service; nothing can beat service with a smile, a genuine enthusiasm, and passion for what we do. Comfort; instinctive with every detail considered. Location; connecting the guest to the practicality of their stay as well as offering the unexpected delights.

  • What one thing would you tell people to do in Notting Hill that you can’t find in a guide book?

    Visit Les Couilles de Chien on Goldbourne Road for unusual and decorative antiques and natural history curiosities, and then take a tour of Trellick tower - a 31 story brutalist Landmark designed by Erno Goldfinger, one of London’s most iconic buildings. There's a great vintage clothes store opposite called Rellick.

  • What’s the next big thing in the travel/hotel industry?

    Improving sustainability, social responsibility and communications within the industry, allowing travellers to make informed decisions that have a positive impact on the planet. The more we talk about sustainability and what’s good for the guests, good for the hotels and good for the world, the more we all benefit.

  • Favorite hotel and why?

    The Ett Hem Stockholm: it simply means 'a home' in Swedish. Ilse Crawford converted a former arts and crafts building into a 12 room guest house. With its carefully curated mix of vintage and custom made furniture it has the feel of a well-loved house rather than a hotel.

  • Who do you admire in the industry?

    Anyone who has a passion for what they do and a vision that challenges the establishment.

  • If you could throw a dream party for anyone, dead or alive, who would it be for and what would the party look like?

    It would be a joint party for Yves Klein and David Bowie. Great personalities, great aesthetic, great music.

  • Where will you be on your next day off?

    Barcelona (with my sons to watch Messi play!).