A hotel designed to resemble a Ferrari? The Keating in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, which opened last year, was designed by Pininfarina, purveyors of uber-sexy sports cars like the Maserati and the Ferrari. The Keating is the car designer's first venture into the hotel industry, and is billed as a 'chic hotel with European sex appeal and SOHO style placed perfectly in Southern California.'
Like the Ferrari, it comes with lots of gear such as Bang & Olufsen's Beo Vision electronics (plasma TV, CD player, telephone) and Dornbracht bathroom fixtures, as well as Frette linens, a cappuccino machine, high vaulted ceilings, and red/chrome detailing. The 35 stanzas (or guestrooms) have no interior walls, so don't be shocked if you find your shower in the middle of your bedroom. For the relentlessly nocturnal, there's also a subterranean lounge which promises to reveal a VIP list of Southern Californian hipsters.
It's not as odd as a hotel room designed around a helicopter from Top Gun, but, from reviews so far, it doesn't sound exactly cosy. Racy, cool, stylish… all these things, but not a place to head for if you want a good night's sleep. The general consensus seems to be that it's beautiful ('a work of art') but noisy – located as it is slap-bang in the middle of the city's busiest tourist district. So if you're up partying 'til dawn most nights and like the idea of sleeping in a gorgeous Italian sports car, the Keating may be your dream come true. RM