Joey Goei is a rising star of hotel design.
She gained her Master’s degree at the age of 22 in her home country of New Zealand before coming to the UK.
Here she worked with Scott Brownrigg before joining Accor, where she worked as Project Manager on the fabulous Novotel, Canary Wharf.
This project allowed Joey and her team to be experimental in their design approach.
It was one of the first lifestyle hotels within the brand and that allowed her to play a lot with creative design.
Soon after she was approached by GLH where she now works as head of design.
Ironically, her first project was to work alongside her old employers, Scott Brownrigg, who had been appointed to work on the Hard Rock Hotel, on Great Cumberland Place, and had already completed many of the upper floor bedrooms.
Joey came in to work on the ground floor design of the hotel and the third floor (Rock Royalty Level) where there are 16 suites.
GS Magazine (GS) What inspires you?
Joey Goei (JG) It’s what I see when I travel. For example, when I went to Japan I saw how they use technology and AV and that inspired me for the Hard Rock project.
GS At the Hard Rock hotel you’ve introduced “Sound of your Stay” for guests. What is that?
JG It’s an in-room musical experience tailored to guests’ music preferences.
When guests check-in they can select the genres of music they want to hear throughout their stay.
And when they arrive, the music is already playing through their TV system.
As in all the Hard Rock Hotels, guests have the opportunity to download playlists through tracks.®, jam out on the guitar with picks.® and listen to classic vinyl, with wax.®. It’s very popular with guests and it represents what Hard Rock is all about.
GS By the entrance of the hotel you have a large AV screen. What is its main purpose?
JG Well the main entrance to the hotel is off the main street and tucked around the corner.
We wanted to create something that would draw attention, especially when it’s dark.
So we thought that a giant video screen was the thing.
The screen is made from a number of smaller panels so we can show one large video or lots of smaller ones all at once.
It’s very impressive.
GS What do you think defines the Hard Rock Hotel?
JG Well our Hard Rock is very different to all of the other Hard Rock Hotels around the world, because it’s more understated, which is better suited to the London market.
The Hard Rocks in places like Tenerife and Las Vegas could be described as more bold and daring.
GS What features within the hotel are you most pleased with?
JG I like the memorabilia wall on the ground floor.
It’s something that none of us had ever done before and it was really enjoyable to do.
The artwork in the Rock Royalty Suites is also particularly impressive.
We worked with an artist based in Winchester called Kenny Deane.
He finds vintage vinyl records and cuts them into a variety of shapes and images, which are relevant to the songs, and they’re really fun and customisable.
He works from his own workshop at home.
GS What about the art throughout the hotel?
JG Well we had to be sure that the art was in keeping with the Hard Rock ethos, so we consulted with them and worked together to build the look and feel.
We used a company called Iconic Images to source a lot of the imagery and of course we used the Kenny Deane artwork in the suites.
It’s quite interesting because we’ve had a lot of guests asking about his work, so we’re hoping that it’ll help get him more recognition.
GS Are all of the GLH London hotels being refurbished?
JG We’re working through the portfolio, depending on the needs of the building and our guests.
We’re currently working on the launch of Amba Hotel Grosvenor, at Victoria station.
Executive King at The Amba, Grosvenor
There are a number of other exciting projects and upgrades coming across the portfolio, which will be unveiled over the coming year.
GS And will technology play a more dominant role within your hotels?
JG We’re working to bring everything up-to-date and our technology team is developing the infrastructure to enable us to offer new services for our guests.
The developments will help our guests to be more interactive with our services, to order things to their rooms and check in using their phones.
So, yes, technology will be hugely important to all of our hotels and fundamentally we’ll be using it to enhance the guests’ experience.