Volvo joins Tablet to create a new getaway, the latest in a string of partnerships looking to create branded experiences
Last month, Kafi Freitag, a columnist and life coach based in Zurich, got into a Volvo V90 Cross Country at Ostersund Airport and sped through the bleak mountain wilderness of northern Sweden. Arriving in the ski resort town of Are, she followed a snow-shovelled driveway to a dark-stained log cabin. Settling into her white-walled surroundings decorated with Danish modern chairs and sheepskins, she lit candles, poured herself a bowl of muesli, settled into a chair by the floor-to-ceiling window and started Instagramming.
The pop-up Get Away Lodge was a joint venture between Volvo and Tablet, a booking engine for “experiential hotels” based in New York. Designers hired by Volvo renovated the cabin and Tablet made it available on its website for six (sold-out) weeks in late winter. For a nightly rate of $550, guests such as Freitag got free use of the all-wheel-drive V90, which Volvo is currently rolling out in Europe.
That, Freitag says, went a long way toward creating brand loyalty “not only to Volvo but to Sweden. Driving around in that rough climate for three days made me really appreciate the clean, minimalist design.”
We’ve seen fashion and hospitality brands partnering up for nigh on two decades now. Armani and Versace have teamed up with developers across the Middle East and Asia; Bulgari and Marriott collaborate on gleaming spaces from Paris to Tokyo. Karl Lagerfeld is planning a new hotel in Macau with Dutch hotelier Brandmark Collective. And Thierry Mugler recently announced a partnership with architecture consultancy +Cassia that should net a 600-room hotel in Saudi Arabia. These make perfect sense – fashion designers earn more from brand extensions such as fragrance and sunglasses than the clothes themselves. And hotels are just another extension.
“We’ve been partnering with fashion brands for years, because they understand hospitality, like clothing, is more than just a commodity,” says Laurent Vernhes, Tablet’s co-founder and chief executive officer. “They’re both huge industries, they’re both necessary and they both drive innovation.”
Get Away Lodge
But Get Away Lodge, though undeniably fashionable, is one of a slew of new hotel collaborations outside…