Stoli Hotel Captures the Essence of Today’s Cocktail Culture
Some hotels are grand, like the Ritz. Some are historic, like the Taj Mahal. But there’s one that just seemed to pop up out of nowhere—the funky, fun and totally on-brand Stoli Hotel, a marketing experience that captured the authenticity and heritage of this Russian vodka and made it relevant to young, hip connoisseurs of today’s cocktail culture. And just like today’s luxury hotels, the Stoli Hotel was first-class all the way.
“No expense was spared,” says Amanda Turnbull, vp-account service at Legacy Marketing Partners, which developed and executed the concept. “You have to put so much thought and budget into every single detail that goes into the set. We wanted everyone to feel like a VIP from the minute they walked through the door with the VIP check-in process, the concierge and top-level amenities at the spa.”
Stoli Hotel popped up for a month in Los Angeles last May, Chicago in October, Miami this past January and New York City in May, taking up temporary residence in large warehouse spaces, empty retail locations and expansive lofts. It moves in July to San Francisco, but though it pops up from place to place, the look and message remains the same: “Stoli is a brand of today, it understands you and is part of your life,” says Craig Johnson, brand director at Stolichnaya. “It gives you great moments.”
That great moment began as a hotel-style bellman greeted guests at the door. After checking in at the reception desk, they were welcomed by servers with cocktails. “There was lots of staff to make people feel like they were being taken care of,” says Scott Melanson, account director.
Throughout the night, guests at the invitation-only events sampled Stoli cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while celebrity djs pumped up the volume. A spa offered manicures, pedicures and massages. Special events with magazine partners, live bands and fashion shows added pizzazz. “These weren’t cookie cutter nights, and that is another thing that I think is very important about these pop-up shops and having an extended stay,” says Johnson. “You can have a multi-faceted approach that allows you to reach diverse audiences.”
Four private flavor rooms served as special reserved areas for celebrities and other VIPs. Each room mimicked an actual hotel room, complete with suite furnishings and a bed. The design reflected each Stoli flavor—Bluberi, which had a futuristic feel; Ohranj, a classic appeal; Vanil, which had a more naturalistic flavor; and Razberi, with a voyeuristic theme. A sophisticated Elit Suite was the place to be for private samplings of the ultra-premium Stoli Elit. But without a doubt, the focal point of the evening was the huge red bar inspired by the Hotel Moskva icon depicted on the Stoli bottle label. Nostrovia!