How do you create a powerful experience that leaves a mark on your customers? It's an important question that drives large brands and companies to seminar after seminar about experiential marketing and purchasing. Sometimes they get it right and sometimes, despite substantial financial investment, they don't. Which is why we love it when we stumbled on a small, independent that has nailed it. In the crowded market of luxury/boutique travel emerges Pretty Beach House, an exclusive food-lovers Hamptons-esque private beach house resort just outside of Sydney that takes the concept of 'weekend' getaway to a new level.
The resort is made up of three private pavilions; relaxed, non-pretencious and homely beach villas nestled discreetly into a landscape full of hundreds of old gum trees which stand there like living art sculptures. A sense of peace and quiet descends upon you as soon as you arrive, ushering you into instant relaxation-mode. The villas interiors are luxurious but not over the top and feature raw, natural materials which blend in with the more 'designer' elements. Privacy is paramount which is why, we guess, each villa also has its own private swimming pool. There are no TVs in the villas, just a Bose Soundock with iPod and wireless internet (for online-junkies) so there's nothing else to do but slide from day bed to pool and back again in a haze of sedation, facilitated by attentive staff who materialise at your every whim.
The setting may be beautiful but the real thrill begins when it's time to eat. Renowned Sydney chef Steve Manfredi is in charge of the kitchen and largely responsible for the best part of the trip, exporting sophisticated, city fine dining into this laid-back environment. Manfredi often serves guests himself. If anything, the trip to Pretty Beach House is worth it just for this. Where else can you experience one of Sydney's top chefs cooking just for you and a tiny handful of others?
Aside from sleeping (in extraordinary beds, we must note), lazing, eating and drinking, you can wander down to Tallow Beach for a swim and a dose of dolphin watching. Or if you're in search of a slice of adventure you hop into the Pretty Beach House boat or take out a helicopter ride over the area.
For more information check out the site prettybeachhouse.com.au. Mention The Cool Hunter to receive a free upgrade to the tree house villa. - Bill Tikos
Engines, interactive displays, Porsche memorabilia and 80 cars – including prototypes and icons like the 911, all polished to a mirror-sheen – are parked on two floors of pristine, white galleries.
The collection includes a 550 Spyder – the model James Dean was driving when he died in a collision with a Studebaker in 1955.
Other models, like the 917 type Hollywood star Steve McQueen made famous in "Le Mans" and the 928 version Tom Cruise's character in "Risky Business" used to elude trouble, are parked bumper-to-bumper under dazzling spotlights.
Three dramatic concrete pillars support the museum building, designed by the Viennese architecture firm Delugan Meissl, which seems to float above its industrial surroundings.
A handcrafted aluminum recreation of the very first Porsche, a Type 64 'VW Aerocoupe,' shines in the center of the first floor.
Prototypes on display include a 928 model almost long enough for four doors, a 1989 "Panamericana" with odd, frog-like curves and the darling of the museum staff: the 1992 Boxster prototype that won Best in Show at the 1993 Detroit Auto Show.
hopes to lure 200,000 visitors a year to the museum – competition for
the rival Mercedes museum, located a half-hour away in Untertuerkheim,
a Stuttgart suburb. (more visuals over at Autoblog )
For years now we've been hitting the pub with our mates - ordering pint upon pint of beer - and although many of us have a preference for a local brew or a dark malt or an amber, plenty of us have been quite happy ordering the old fallback, a green-necked Heine - and almost everywhere we go, from the smallest desert roadside watering holes to the cosmopolitan lounges and clubs, we can almost be certain Heineken will be available.
So how does a brand, which is recognised worldwide, reengage its consumers and reinvent its story? The US-based BRC Imagination Arts, one of the world's leaders in experiential marketing, has developed the New Heineken Experience - an interactive journey through the history of the brand and the brewing process. The experience is housed in the former Heineken Brewery in Amsterdam.
Visitors to the restored brewery push their senses to the extreme as they see, smell, touch and taste everything that goes into the production - brewing and bottling Heineken beer. A special effects ride allows visitors to immerse themselves into the entire process from conception to completion with interactive exhibits as well as interpretive graphics. With the New Heineken Experience, the company hopes to develop renewed, enduring and personal connections with those of us who have always loved Heineken. - Andrew J Wiener
Following the hugely successful launch of the consulting arm of the site, The Cool Hunter Platinum, the team is excited to announce our newest venture, The Cool Hunter Design, a graphic design studio. For more information contact [email protected]
This one’s for all you bike enthusiasts — or those of you who maybe don’t know much about the ins and outs of motorcycles, but share a passion for fascinating imagery and maybe even dream every once in awhile about speeding relentlessly down the highway on two wheels.
Australia-based designer, Chris Hunter compiles a daily dose of cool bike images on bikeexif.com.
From BMW airheads to Goldwing bobbers, Hunter pulls together the most interesting biker photographs from around the world. Bike EFIX is the place to see all the best bespoke, custom and even vintage motorcycles for all you design-obsessed bike fan out there.
And Hunter, who has a particular liking for the Italian dream — the Moto Guzzi — is on the right track for attracting those who appreciate new and classic design on two wheels. - Andrew J Wiener
Design's love affair with bold colour inches one step further with the application of graphic art into everything from tables to chairs, bookshelves and even yachts. Cappellini gave Adam Goodrum's 'Stitch' chair the colour treatment with blocks or red, blue, white and black applied to the segments of the aluminium folding chair. Designer Enzo Berti recasts the humble bookshelf as a canvas for graphic prints with his Bar Code Street shelves. London based artist Anna James, who transforms pieces of 20th century furniture into contemporary art works, applied a clean graphic to her Genoa table. And of course who can forget Jeff Koon's 'art' yacht, released last year, which is still wowing onlookers on the Mediterranean. - Laura Demasi
Casa Monte na Comporta in Grândola, Portugal is a house that sits in its surroundings as if it had always been there yet it also manages to look completely fresh, cool, new and spectacular.
The house’s undulating shape echoes the gently sloping sand dunes, and its hard and angular surface planes contrast beautifully with the rounded shapes of the surrounding trees.
It has a bunker-like feel but it really does not look like a bomb-shelter because the exterior is broken into smaller sections with varying materials. The sky, the trees and the water in the pool provide all the color. Tactile texture is everywhere, inside and out. Light and shadow become the main players. The entire dwelling exudes organic calm.
Although it seems so, this house was not built into existing dunes. The exact opposite happened. Luis Pereira Miguel and team at Lisbon-based Pereira Miguel Arquitectos, built the dunes so that they could situate the house under them.
Pereira Miguel is a multi-disciplinary firm — architecture and interiors, commercial and residential — that works with various collaborators in Portugal and around the world. The seamless conversation between nature and house, surroundings and building is a theme visible in many of the firm’s projects but none as distinctively as in the Dune House.
The two crescent-shaped Barchan dunes that the architects created hide the house under a road. Eventually, it will look like the sand, the house and the wind have coexisted here forever. In a hundred years, it may look like some secret hub of notorious infiltrators or perhaps it we look more like a dwelling of friendly earthlings. Already the house shows a delicious hint of ancient cave and that aspect is going to get better and better after years of wind and weather action.
If you were able to look at the footprint of the house from the sky (and you are not, because it is partly under the sand), you’d realize that it consists of four slightly angled ”arms,“ almost like a wonky letter X with each section housing a separate function.
From each section, the view and feel are different from the others. With the constant action of the forces of nature, the view will also shift year by year, season by season, inviting contemplation and creating harmony.
Completed in late 2008, Casa Monte na Comporta in Grândola is, not surprisingly, drawing attention. It will be featured on Portuguese cable television this month and it will most likely be popping up in many design and architecture magazines in the coming months. That someone (other than me) is lucky enough to live in this house is almost too much to bear. - Tuija Seipell
Photography by ultimasreportagens.com