Welcome to your new cultural epicenter.
When you travel, you seek cultural institutions that satiate your cultural curiosities.
That’s why we are bringing interesting, emerging talents to the forefront, individuals who we believe are shifting something within today’s cultural landscape.
This is a destination that brings our Culture Lives Here ethos to life.
Culture is an intriguing, exciting manifestation of art, music, fashion, design, food, drink…creativity. We crave its energy and seek the connections it inspires. Culture impacts the way we see the world and the way we engage with each other, and Thompson Hotels curates the best of it in each of its destinations.
20 years ago, Thompson Hotels was founded as more than just a hotel brand – it was an arbiter of culture, curating what was cool and noteworthy within its walls. Today, we are honoring our roots in culture and elevating it even more by supporting creators we believe uphold the standards of what Thompson has always been – an epicenter of culture.
Culture Shifters are both well-known and emerging talents who are shifting culture in today’s generation. The individuals who have been chosen to represent Thompson Hotels as culture shifters have made meaningful impacts on culture through both their work and their personalities.
Meet Our Hero Culture Shifters
Hero Culture Shifter
Arielle Assouline-Lichten is a multifaceted designer working in architectural, interactive, graphic, branding, and product design. In 2016, she founded Slash Objects, an award-winning collection of products and furniture which won Best of NYCxDESIGN in 2018 and the American Design Honors in 2019. Arielle was recently awarded second place on Ellen DeGeneres’ “Ellen’s Next Great Designer” show on HBO Max. For the Culture Lives Here campaign, Arielle’s installation features a large free-form mirror rooted in an onyx cube, an extension of her previous works in which mirrors are central, interactive objects in a space.
Hero Culture Shifter
Charles Harbison is the fashion designer behind the eponymous brand Harbison, a comprehensive collection of womenswear, menswear, and accessories exploring the central themes of ease, modernity, culture, gender, and sustainability. Having dressed a slew of iconic celebrities and brands, from Beyonce, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Ava Duvernay, design-directed contemporary brands like Ungaro in London, Cult Gaia & Nicholas in LA, and collaborated with large-scale businesses around design, culture, and sustainability, such as Banana Republic and Waste Management, Charles continues to build Harbison in Los Angeles, infusing his experience — as well as his fascination with conceptual dualities — into this singular luxury lifestyle design studio. Charles’ textile installation for Culture Lives Here presents 7-foot-tall steel frames with suspended textiles inspired by an early life memory of his mother’s wardrobe.
Hero Culture Shifter
As a founding member of the respected LA Graffiti crews K2S, STN & KGB, DEFER is a well-known graffiti artist who has created “sanctioned” works for exterior facades as well as interior gallery walls. DEFER moves easily between the worlds of street art and contemporary art, painting with a fluid hand style that juxtaposes colorful abstract gestures with his personal typography. Defer’s graffiti installation will result from a live, on-property painting experience upon a raised 10-foot-tall canvas in which he channels inspiration from the people, surroundings and energy on-site in real time.
Meet Our Community Of Local Culture Shifters
DJ Wade Crescent
Thompson Hollywood Culture Shifter
In addition to hosting Culture Lives Here’s brand culture shifters, Thompson Hollywood teamed up with London-born DJ Wade Crescent to specially curate the music at its chic rooftop lounge that mixes South of France culture and modern Southern California ease, Bar Lis. On the forefront of nightlife for over a decade, Crescent curates top local and international talent for Bar Lis’ DJ and live music sets, creating a space that draws people in to make moments of magic together. This is taking place on Tuesdays from 8 p.m. -12 a.m., and Thursdays through Saturdays from 10pm-close since the hotel’s opening in August. Plus, on Tuesday evenings Ryan Cross’s Jazz Collective takes the room for Jazz Night, including weekly special guests (like Lionel Ritchie). For those guests looking to keep the party going, a Bar Lis playlist and a guide of Crescent’s favorite music hot spots around town are available via complimentary QR code in guest rooms.
Thompson Denver Culture Shifter
Thompson Denver is getting in the groove with Scott Hagen, CEO of iconic record player company Victrola. Hagen will be curating a bespoke vinyl selection throughout the forthcoming hotel’s 15 suites and the Victrola Listening Lounge in Reynard Social, featuring music through a Premiere T1 Turntable System. This selection will be available indefinitely upon the property’s grand opening in January 2022. Hagen will also create a “music pairing menu,” complete with songs as courses and desserts for special events in the first-floor restaurant, Chez Maggy by James Beard and Michelin Guide recognized chef Ludo Lefebvre.
Huelani Mei Foglemen
Thompson Buckhead Culture Shifter
Thompson Buckhead (Atlanta, Ga.) is collaborating with local artist Huelani Mei Foglemen of Hue Designs to create a pop-up sculpture exhibition, inspired by its signature Italian American restaurant, Dirty Rascal. Led by James Beard-nominated chef Todd Ginsberg, Dirty Rascal’s symbol – a trouble-making spirit of a fox – will be the inspiration for the artwork. The eight different sculptures throughout the hotel, all in various sizes and poses, are designed to create moments of surprise for guests and celebrate the mischievous spirit of the fox. Foglemen will also be crafting custom, Dirty Rascal-inspired lapel pins for hotel staff, an ice stamp for cocktails, and water bottle charms for VIP guests. The pop-up exhibition will be viewable indefinitely upon the property’s grand opening in December 2021.
Thompson Zihuatanejo Culture Shifter
Thompson Zihuatanejo (Mexico) is taking an important mural to new heights by commissioning Mexican visual artist and illustrator Oscar Torres to create something that conveys the daily life and culture of Zihuatanejo. Drawing inspiration from nature and human beauty, Torres synthesizes pop-style, emotion, and intense color with architectural and cubist touches to create striking works ranging from ceramics to paintings on canvas to digital illustrations. Torres’ mural at the entrance of Thompson Zihuatanejo’s HAO restaurant will unveil on November 20, 2021 to exude the local culture of this beautiful and magical fishing village as well as provide a photo-worthy destination for guests to snap imagery and share their experiences.
Thompson Washington D.C. Culture Shifter
Thompson Washington D.C. is spotlighting Aaron Crist of Hyde Closet, a tech-savvy player in the city’s fashion retail space that links customers with remote stylists to provide highly personalized shopping experiences using rentable inventory from local designers and retailers. The collaboration will launch on December 2, 2021, with a special holiday pop-up complete with a model showcase, stylist appointments, craft cocktails, and curated ready-to-wear looks. Through this collaboration, hotel guests will be able to receive personalized styling and complete outfits on demand via a simple add-on at check-in or by scanning an in-room QR code, to give guests the ability to upgrade their wardrobe, or simply travel lighter. Founded in 2018, Hyde Closet specializes in building complete outfits for impressionable moments like job interviews, big dates, and special events while prioritizing a sustainable business model. The hotel’s collaboration with Hyde Closet will continue indefinitely, with styling sessions starting at $35, “one-offs” at $50 to create one outfit, an “unlimited” plan at $150, and more.
Thompson Austin Culture Shifter
Wellness is on the menu at Thompson Austin (Texas) thanks to the new hotel’s collaboration with Mills Miller and his Austin-based, whole-plant hemp brand MINERAL to offer mindful guests and locals’ access to natural wellness products. Aiding in normalizing the use of hemp for wellness and self-care, Thompson Austin will feature MINERAL’s “SLEEP” sublingual at nighttime and “BALANCE” during the day, within several hotel touchpoints beginning upon the property’s grand opening in January 2022, including: a complimentary turndown cart through February; for sale at a pop-up in the hotel lobby through February, then once quarterly ongoing indefinitely; for sale within guest room honor bars indefinitely ($100/bottle); as a special add-on for groups doing team building indefinitely ($50/person).
DJ Va$htie Kola
Thompson Central Park New York Culture Shifter
Thompson Central Park New York is celebrated its arrival as a brand-new address just steps from Central Park in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, with a fanfare all its own. The hotel tapped NYC-based music video director, filmmaker, artist, designer, DJ Va$htie Kola, also known as Va$htie, to create an original soundtrack inspired by the property’s distinctive energy and vibrancy. The resulting digital playlist is available via QR code displayed in guest rooms, on social media, and in gifts handed out to celebrate the hotel’s exciting opening. The soundtrack is played throughout the property and layered with a video shoot of Va$htie performing in the hotel’s lobby lounge. Debuted upon the property’s opening on November 1, 2021, Va$htie’s soundtrack will continue to be woven into the fabric of Thompson Central Park New York’s identity for the foreseeable future.
Thompson Nashville Culture Shifter
Thompson Nashville (Tenn.) is proving it’s not all cowboy boots when it comes to fashion in the Music City through its collaboration with designer Raja Ratan and his dual concept store Q Clothier/Rye 51, soon to open on the hotel’s first floor. A purveyor of refined custom and casual luxury menswear, Ratan is known for being a premier designer of custom and ready-to-wear clothing. Ratan’s family has been in the tailoring industry for over 50 years, and he has successfully launched two unique brands and 10 locations around the country. Together the property and retailer created a custom Thompson Nashville experience exclusively for hotel guests. Throughout the 3-month campaign which will kick off on November 15, 2021 and run through February 18, 2022, all guests will receive 50% off of a custom-made belt and shirt.
Thompson Savannah Culture Shifter
Since art is the love language of Savannah and a big part of the city’s DNA, Thompson Savannah (Ga.) is exciting art lovers through a creative collaboration with local gallerist, Susan Laney. As the owner of Laney Contemporary, Susan is curating a visual display in the lobby that showcases the best of the city’s art community, and features the work of Benjamin Jones which reflects the connections between past iconography and renewed energy, A graduate of Savannah College of Art & Design with two decades of professional experience, Laney Contemporary regularly represents the talents of Savannah’s dynamic, and often underrepresented contemporary art scene by producing cutting edge activations and compelling exhibits. An extension of her ongoing work, situated in a well-trafficked area of the hotel lobby for guests and visitors to experience free of charge, Laney’s display is on view from November 2021 to January 2022.
The Haiku Guys & Gals
Gild Hall, A Thompson Hotel Culture Shifter
Gild Hall, A Thompson Hotel (New York) teamed up with The Haiku Guys, a Brooklyn-based group of poets who craft personalized haikus on typewriters for coveted events, and now Gild Hall guests. Like a photo booth for the soul, this new residency will give guests the opportunity to tell their curious haiku writer anything they want and go home with a new level of personal travel keepsake in less than 2 minutes. The Haiku Guys are set up in the lobby of Gild Hall once per week from November 8, 2021 through the end of January 2022.
The Cape, A Thompson Hotel Culture Shifter
The Cape, A Thompson Hotel (Cabo San Lucas, Mexico) is making music the local way with The Shamans, a cool, San Jose del Cabo-based band whose members love music as much as they do the surf, and are ready to celebrate the cultural pillars of the region. Lead by Cheo Lindsey, Stosh Lindsey, and Eliot Deutch Buchanan, The Shamans are well-known for composing their own tunes and are setting the tone for a new era of music culture in Cabo by combining the same sense of originality, passion and drive that guides the Thompson Hotels brand. As true pioneers of original music culture in Cabo, look and listen for The Shamans monthly live performances starting November 26, 2021 and continuing into January.
Thompson Seattle Culture Shifter
Thompson Seattle is implementing an artist in residency through their collaboration with creative, colorful, and edgy Seattle-based tattoo artist, Lolli Morlock. This will be taking place in the form of a pop-up in the lobby featuring live tattoos, tattoo design consultations, and a shopping experience with merchandise including signature hotel-inspired temporary tattoos for those not ready to commit to something permanently. Seeking to highlight Seattle’s tattoo culture as an art of its own, Morlock will be hosting the pop-up on November 20-21, 2021 December 10-12, 2021 and January 8-9, 2022 (12 p.m.-8 p.m. daily).
Thompson San Antonio – Riverwalk Culture Shifter
Thompson San Antonio – Riverwalk is awakening guests’ senses with its evolving collaboration with Kevin Elkins, who has been creating luxury fragrances for the home, body and more at Soular Therapy since 1999. Upon the hotel’s opening in February 2021, Elkins began creating unique, emotion-inducing scents specifically curated for each of the property’s different spaces, from “Papyrus” in guestrooms to “Luna Noir” at the rooftop lounge, The Moon’s Daughters. Shining a spotlight on Elkins’ intriguing talent, Thompson San Antonio – Riverwalk is hosting monthly retail pop-up shops where Soular Therapy’s fragrances – including their limited-time custom holiday scent “Santa” inspired by the property at-large – are available on Wednesdays through December 2021.
Thompson Dallas Culture Shifter
Thompson Dallas teamed up with Greece-born, Nigerian singer/songwriter Abraham Alexander to select three promising musical talents for a live music series at its buzzy rooftop lounge, Catbird. An opportunity to curate the best of Dallas’ local music scene and provide them with exposure to guests and locals, the series culminated with a special performance by Alexander and vocal students from Booker T. Washington High School for Performing and Visual Arts on December 19, 2021. Best known for breakthrough hit “Stay” with 5 million streams on Spotify, Alexander was recently on tour with soul singer/songwriter and producer Leon Bridges. A promising rising star nationally, Alexander underscores the hotel’s dedication to musical arts while paying it forward to other local singer/songwriters. With performances that took place on December 2, 9, and 16, 2021, Alexander gave a platform to local musicians Remy Reilly, Joseph M. and Brandon Marcel, respectively.
DJ Dulce Rullán
Thompson Playa Del Carmen Culture Shifter