A couple of years shy of its centenary, Paris’ Le Bristol hotel is making its web3 debut with the launch of Le Bristol Unlocked, 11 exclusive NFTs (the number corresponds to the hotel’s 11 signature suites) which will unlock money-can’t-buy experiences in the real world.
While the exact nature of said experiences remain under wraps, they revolve around “gastronomy, service and hospitality — things that even the guests of the hotel cannot do and have never been done before,” says head of global marketing and e-commerce Thomas Matteï who spearheaded the project.
“We love to disrupt and to bring Le Bristol where it is least expected; to drive such a classical hotel into web3,” he said, adding that it was imperative, not to simply follow a trend and generate hype but to be authentic to the storied Oetker Collection Masterpiece Hotel’s DNA. “To do what we do best and what we are known for — the service, the excellence and the French savoir faire.”
He collaborated with metav.rs to realize the project. The French web3 start-up which raised $3 million in seed funding last year is a content management platform that powers web3 initiatives for brands and retailers.
Alongside other groundbreaking SaaS suites such as Mintouge, it was one of the first cohort of the Outlier Ventures x Farfetch Dream Assembly Base Camp accelerator program.
Further shoring up the venture’s legitimacy in the space, Matteï thoroughly embraced the tenets central to the web3 ethos with help from the metav.rs team — “adopting web3’s codes and mechanisms,” he said. Concurrent to the drop on April 15, Le Bristol will begin to accept cryptocurrency as payment for both accommodation and at its bar and restaurant.
Ownership of Le Bristol Unlocked NFTs also confers membership to Le Bristol’s newly created L’H3ritage Club where real life privileges include anytime access to exclusive secret menus created by the hotel’s Michelin starred chef Eric Frechon plus a secret cocktail menu. Think those password activated menus at Starbucks only somewhat more exclusive.
However, most coveted utility by far is surely weekly access to Le Bristol’s fabled rooftop swimming pool — designed by Professor Pinau, architect behind that infamous yacht belonging Aristotle Onassis.
Said pool is usually reserved for hotel guests — sans exception — says Matteï. “Even the Élysée next door asks us if they can use it but we say no.” The Élysée Palace on rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré is the official residence of French President Emmanuel Macron.
Le Bristol has its origins as the private residence of French nobleman Julles de Castellane and takes its name from Bishop Frederick Hervey, 4th Earl of Bristol, himself an early adopter of luxury travel in the 18th Century. During the 1920s it became destination du jour for Paris’ beau monde and was frequented by Coco Chanel, Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian, Elsa Schiaparelli, Cristóbal Balenciaga and Salvador Dali.
Earlier this year, citizenM became the first hotel group to purchase land in the Sandbox metaverse, writes Hospitality Design, with the goal to build a virtual hotel financed by tokens exchangeable for real-life benefits. The Sandbox site will serve both as a digital presence as well as a showcase for NFT artwork. Sales will help finance an IRL hotel with location determined by votes from its NFT community. “The metaverse is a further acceleration of a dynamic that’s been emerging for years, in which our digital and real lives blur,” said citizenM’s chief marketing officer Robin Chadha.“It’s our responsibility to meet our guests where they are.”
Given the experience driven nature of the hotel industry — whether luxury or more mainstream — and the fact that the metaverse is essentially a more immersive evolution of the internet, such partnerships make sense.
For its own part, the Oetker Collection first dipped its toe into the metaverse in July when it partnered with fashion gaming app Drest founded by former editor of British Harper’s Bazaar Lucy Yeomans. Players competed in photo challenges, composing avatar looks from a selection of luxury fashion brands using Collection hotels from Le Bristol to Eden Rock St Barths as backdrops.
Le Bristol invites interested parties to register here prior to the April 14 release. Candidates will be entered into a draw with NFTs assigned via a blind drop. Each costs in the region of $15,000.
This is just the first step says Matteï. “We see the potential of going deeper into the web3, with further partnerships with other like-minded brands. Stay tuned for the future.”