An expected feature in many cities, hotels and attractions, many gift shops today are predictable, selling the same items with nothing unique or special. Some hotels across the world have set to redefine what it means to be a gift shop, bringing gift shops to the next level by incorporating local communities and the influence of the region into each product.
The Fife Arms, Scotland
With an emphasis on highlighting local artisans and makers, The Fife Arms not only has a physical shop but also features an online shop for guests wanting to browse its products at their own leisure. Playing an integral part in the creative ecology of the Scottish Highlands, the hotel recently commissioned a collection of bespoke seasonal products from Aberdeenshire-based artisans.
Helen Jackson, a basket-maker in Aberdeenshire, makes unique products sold on site and online. Araminta Campbell, a weaver, created the custom tweed and tartan seen in the hotel’s interior, on staff uniforms and in retail products. Her works include cashmere blankets, picnic baskets and dog coats. Handwoven in her own studio, her textiles incorporate local materials, expert craftmanship and traditional skills.
In addition to ready-to-wear items like handwoven kaftans and home goods like lamps and pillows, the UXUA DAS collection also features an entire furniture collection with made-to-order items. Its most popular item in the United States is a three-legged handmade lounge chair made of the reclaimed Brazilian hardwood braúninha.
After opening May 2, Charlotte & Co. is already making waves through its celebration of Irish artisans. Providing visitors with a place to pick up an authentic, Irish-made item, the boutique in Dromoland Castle features a collection of Irish contemporary designs. From chunky, hand-knit Colin Burke sweaters to homewares by KOPPER KEATEN made with reclaimed copper, steel and brass, each product blends various aspects of Ireland. Other products found in the boutique include handmade perfumes made in and inspired by The Burren National Park from Burren Perfumery and freeform architectural modeling kits from ARCKIT.
While only an in-person store at the moment, Charlotte & Co. will soon go online and ship internationally by June.
andBeyond Vira Vira, Chile
Filled with locally made items, andBeyond Vira Vira features items only made by local artisans. This shop includes products like handmade ceramics and blankets, as well as wall hangings made by a local Mapuche weaver. The shop’s most popular item is a footstool that looks like a sheep. All of the money made in the gift shop goes right back into the communities to support local artisans.
Without visiting, it’d be easy to throw Chicago into any number of categories. Everyone thinks they know Chicago; after all, it’s the third-largest city in America, the most prestigious foodie city in the country, the city of jazz, a comedian’s playground, an architect’s dream, a writer’s paradise. The list goes on. Only when walking the streets themselves do you realize there’s nothing categorical about the Windy City, especially as it continues to evolve.
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The best 5-star hotels wholly personify their location, transforming a vacation into a fully immersive experience. This can be said about many of the ultra-chic, small-scale boutique luxury hotels in Paris built into gorgeous, architecturally significant former homes or apartment buildings. While these fashionable gems embody the fantasy Paris sojourn, InterContinental Paris Le Grand Hotel & Spa can as well, even as it houses 458 suites and rooms. It’s worth noting there are also marked advantages to its size (as a stellar spot for destination weddings and business conferences) and central location in the 9th arrondissment.
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Following the recent unveiling of Hotel Genevieve’s website and booking engine, the Louisville property officially announced it opens for bookings starting May 3. As Bunkhouse Hotels Group’s first hotel in Kentucky, this new hotel will feature an all-day, ground-floor restaurant and rooftop bar and lounge.
On game day, Super Bowl host cities stand to gain almost as much as the teams competing on the field, if not more. The game can mean hundreds of millions of dollars in the days leading up to, during and immediately after the game, but it can also have an economic impact that lasts for years.
Nashville’s once-modest skyline continues to evolve as its luxury market grows. Lavish hotel properties are added to the landscape while acclaimed chefs stake claim in the robust culinary scene and premier cultural offerings round out the city’s repertoire.
If you enjoy cruising, you’re not alone. According to the Cruise Lines International Association, in 2019 the global cruise industry welcomed nearly 30 million passengers. During that time the industry created jobs for 1.8 million people worldwide and contributed more than $154 billion to the global economy. Now that cruising is back to pre-pandemic operations, the seafaring future looks bright for cruise lines: CLIA is expecting a full recovery by the end of 2023 ... and even an increase of 12 percent over 2019 numbers in 2024.