How AC Hotels are using design elements, and their signature AC Lounge, to make your hotel stay more productive and more enjoyable…
AC Hotels are a Spanish born branch of the Marriot chain started in 1998 by beloved Spanish entrepreneur Antonio Catalan. Since then AC Hotels have grown from a household Spanish brand (with an impressive 75% brand awareness among Spanish people) and expanded to a worldwide portfolio of 144 hotels in locations such the United Kingdom, USA and South Africa.
AC’s focus is on design and using design elements to increase comfort, productivity and enjoyment for their guests. They sit in the ‘business travel’ category, and although they also cater to leisure travellers, a lot of what they do surrounds providing a no-friction stay by removing the unnecessary and focusing on what is important. AC Hotels don’t have a spa as most business travellers do not have time for this service, instead they offer practical rooms and communal spaces focusing on work and making the little downtime business travellers do have as enjoyable as possible.
John Licence, Vice President Premium and Select Brands Europe at Marriot International said: “The brand believes that purposeful design improves our guests’ lives and provides them an opportunity to slow down and uncover the beauty in the essentials.”
The pinnacle of this approach is the AC Lounge: a multi-functional space catering to guests’ needs 24/7. By day, a communal creative hub for co-working and by night, a social space for drinking handcrafted cocktails, chatting and eating tapas. Carefully thought out design aids the day-to-night transition, such as clever use of sound and lighting. The AC Lounge is a space that aids productivity with bright open spaces, clean and clever design (think well-placed power points for on-the-go charging) and little touches to add personality, making each AC a little bit different.
“The AC Lounge at Casa Decor is a communal space of creativity and collaboration. The space features a lifestyle approach where its design, ambient sound and lighting create a social atmosphere where both guests and the general public can relax and enjoy,” said Licence.
Recently, the principles of the signature AC Lounge were taken out of the hotel and showcased among the work of Europe’s top interior designers at Casa Decor.
“Undoubtedly, there is no better setting for AC Hotels to bring its perspective on design than at one of the most important décor exhibitions in Europe,” added Licence.
Casa Decor is a distinguished design exhibition in Madrid, which hosts over 50 outstanding interior designers, each creating a space to display their work. AC was honoured to create the most important space of all: the social space, where the 40,000 plus guests to Casa Decor, could relax with drinks (try the signature AC gin and tonic) and enjoy each other’s company.
Back in the hotel the rooms are purposeful, modern and, again, designed with functionality in mind. They have a clean and expensive feel with open, elevated elements. The elimination of carpets and boxed-in furniture lift the room leaving only open spaces and clean spacious floors. The rooms are frill-free, saying goodbye to objects that get in the way – no bitty ornaments, no fancy throw cushions leaving just the essentials for a comfortable stay.
“AC Hotels believes that if we have time to make it, we have time to make it beautiful,” sums up Licence.