Some hotels are strictly functional. Some are economical. Some are relaxing. And, some are “aspirational.” Ian Schrager appears to be a master of the last. His hotels are designed to fulfill your aspirational fantasies for a night. His primary market consists of people who cannot have the lifestyle he offers, whether it’s wealth, youth, beauty, or style. But while they are there, they have to act as if they are not aspiring. They wouldn’t want to blow their covers. But, ironically, I don’t think there is anyone there who is the actual object of their aspiration. After all, if you have already achieved those aspirations, what is the point of staying at aspirational hotels? (To confirm that people really do aspire to be like you?) Everyone there is aspiring and thinking that everyone else actually lives the lifestyle the hotel represents. Schrager’s hotels are full of object-causes of desire without the actual object of desire. I guess sometimes we all want to take the blue pill.
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