That description of the scenery, real as it was, sounds a bit foo-fooey itselftinged with a bit of ignorance of the life the rest of the world leadsbut that's the way it was...that's the way it is in Laguna. It's a stunning place, where people live in a haze of beauty or outsiders go to vacation away from real life. So, in that context, having the option of staying in a hotel room designed by etnies, Billabong, Glaceau, Lost International, L*Space, Rip Curl Riviera Magazine, Roxy or Quiksilver is something that makes absolute sense for someone hoping to escape from reality.
Most of all, it's interesting to see a skate brand getting the chance to be involved with a project that would have absolutely shunned what it does or its involvement in designing a high-class hotel room twenty years ago. It's not that it's some pinnacle of success. Some people may disagree, but if skateboarding is getting more recognition and a company is doing projects that gain the kind of notoriety that will eventually lead to a growth of the more legit side of skateboarding, where skate videos get better and pros get to go on sick trips, then I'm all for it. Besides, if I made enough money to pay the nightly rates and I wanted to get away, I'd be down to stay in the etnies room in La Casa Del Camino Hotel in Laguna Beach.
The etnies room, designed by etnies Shoes and Studio Cameleon, was decorated with low environmental impact in mind, while incorporating elements of skateboarding and skate shoes. The headboard of the bed is made of old shoe material scraps that etnies uses in the research and design process, when they create footwear. The mirror, just inside the door, has a stack of skateboard wheels of different sizes, durometers, brands and colors in a vertical panel. There is an art piece incorporating a photo of a famous Malibu pool taken by Gil Le Bon de LaPointe and art from Parvez Taj on a recycled plastic material. Videographer Mike Manzoori used trucks to
paint a clear path of skateboard trucks on the ceiling, leading into the bathroom, where the sink is shaped like the iconic skate pool in Chicken's backyard. The room comes with one of the Skate Study House skate chairs created by Sole Technology (etnies, éS, Emerica and Altamont) owner Pierre Andre Senizergues and designer Gil Le Bon de LaPointe and the TVs play etnies skate vids while the iPod music list that comes with the room includes music from skate videos. Every guest gets a free etnies hat with their stay and the option of four skateboards at the free skateboard mini bar hanging on the wall.
Also, the rooms are energy efficient, using 82% less energy, and incorporate a flushing system that conserves 30% of potable water on average. The materials in the room are all eco-friendly and/or recycled and anyone staying in the etnies room for the first year is contributing a portion of their room rate to etnies' charity of choiceGlobal Green, USA.
While there is an element of puzzlement that comes along with this sort of collaboration, if you skate or don't skate, but like indulgingly campy hotel rooms, the etnies room is actually a pretty rad representation of some of skate history and a worthwhile addition to the beauty of Laguna Beach. The whole team put in a lot of work to make it quite representative of some of skateboarding's influences and history. Plus, the view from the room is amazing.
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