Thursday, April 16, 2009

Meet the People - 39

Another in the Series Meet the People – Ordinary and Extraordinary New Zealanders Doing Interesting Things – When Wellington architect, Alan Blundell opted for a career change, he decided to design, build and run a hotel. The fact that he had never designed a hotel before was no impediment and, inspired by the ‘design’ hotels of Manhattan that he visited in 2000, he set to work to create a chic, urban hotel that would stand out from the rest. Alan, who has had his own architectural design business in Wellington since 1988, applied his knowledge of space planning (acquired in the design of inner city apartments) to the hotel concept and set to work on a 158 square metre site on Wellington’s prestigious Oriental Parade. The end result is Ohtel, a cleverly-planned and beautifully executed gathering of 10 hotel rooms that maximize both views and space. Images Courtesy Ohtel, Wellington And to ensure that Ohtel has a totally unique character, Alan has furnished it with a fabulous collection of Mid-Century Modern furniture and ceramics, which he spent two years hunting for in Melbourne and on the Internet. Each room is totally individual and each has a jaw-droppingly gorgeous bathroom – all glass and beautiful New Zealand graphics. Opened in 2008, Ohtel has been a dramatic change for Alan but he’s finding the tourism industry “upbeat and friendly compared to construction” and he’s enjoyed creating a new property and watching guests enjoy it and contribute to the idea. “Everyone has been positive and supportive and as a born and bred Wellingtonian, it’s been a pleasure and a privilege to introduce guests to the capitals best features. Wellington has evolved into a wonderful urban space filled with diverse New Zealanders and I love sharing that,” he says.

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