October 31, 2018

Hospitality Giants 2018 Says Salut to Montreal

On Tuesday, Interior Design wrapped up another exciting Hospitality Giants conference. The annual two-day event unites Interior Design’s Top 75 Hospitality Giants firms, as well as top purchasing firms, top hotel owners and design executives, and manufacturers. This year, over 100 guests traveled to Montreal for discussions about the state of the industry and design-minded adventures in la Metropole.

Guests arrived late Sunday afternoon and checked into Hotel William Gray, where they enjoyed a welcome reception and cocktail hour. Monday morning’s festivities began in earnest. Editor in chief Cindy Allen offered welcoming remarks, segueing into a three-hour morning session jam-packed with four of the event’s seven illustrious speakers. The guests came from a wide range of disciplines and professions, but each had something unique to contribute to the discussion of hospitality design’s future. These included Deborah Moss, artist and co-founder of Moss & Lam; Claude G. Théoret, astrophysicist and founder of social data discovery startup Nexalogy; Nicolas Cournoyer, who is extensively involved in the local EDM scene, managing the annual wintertime festival Igloofest and co-founding the summertime event Picnik Électronik; and British sculptor Mary Little.

Interior Design editor in chief Cindy Allen giving opening remarks. Photography by Nadia Zheng.

Lunch at Maggie Oakes followed. Located within the Hotel William Gray, this restaurant effortlessly blends timeless aesthetics with contemporary dining tastes. Warm walnut wall paneling and furnishings, brass lighting fixtures, and marble surfaces accompany a high-tech dry-aging meat cooler, all-glass wine cellar, and an herb and micro-greens living wall. Both the hotel and restaurant interiors were products of Camdi Design.

During the afternoon and evening, designers had the unique opportunity to tour two iconic examples of Montreal’s modernist and contemporary architecture. The afternoon tour took guests to Habitat 67, Moshe Safdie’s thesis-project-turned-architectural-wonder. This 50-year-old housing complex continues to resonate with architects and demonstrates how Safdie’s unique interpretation of architecture as an endeavor that should first and foremost enhance community and create meaningful, vital spaces foreshadowed the way design is considered today.

Mary Little, Allen Hawks of Sunbrella, Lois Goodell of CBT, Interior Design editor in chief Cindy Allen, Amanda Kingsbury of Cosentino, and Emily Cones-Browne of Clodagh. Photography by Nadia Zheng.

After a break (which included axe throwing and wine and cheese tasting), another tour of a prominent Montreal hospitality project followed. Guests were taken to Hotel Monville and treated with a tour by its designer, Maxime Frappier of ACDF Architects. The project, which has been dubbed “Canada’s most innovative hotel,” isn’t contemporary in just its looks, though—room service is handled 100% by robots and the concierge desk has been replaced by iPad kiosks in the lobby. Dinner followed at Les Enfants Terrible Place Ville Marie, which offered guests sweeping views of the city and distinctly Montreal fair.

Before returning home to their respective cities, attendees gathered one last time on day three. The morning began with a raffle design giveaway, which featured products like a Z Chair from Kinon Surface Design, a gift card to DWR Contract, and a gift card for JANUS et Cie accessories. After Cindy and Interior Design publisher Carol Cisco congratulated the winners, it was back to business. Interior Design Hall of Fame member Clodagh discussed the philosophy behind her “life-enfacing minimalism” aesthetic and the importance of sustainability in hospitality projects. She was followed by Christine Renaud, co-founder and CEO of e180. Renaud’s organization takes a radical many-teaching-one approach to community and corporate events that grew out of her experience as a documentary filmmaker, podcast producer, and Knox Fellow at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.

Check out our roundup of Instagram highlights from the event and follow #idgiants for more from the conference and our past events. 

A very special thanks to our sponsors for making Hospitality Giants possible:

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