By Susan O'Neill Posted September 15, 2009, 12:22 PM EDT
TORONTO After seven years hosting V.I.P. lounges and parties at the Cannes and Venice Film Festivals, hospitality brand Nikki Beach has arrived in Toronto with its first pop-up lounge for the Toronto International Film Festival. The company, which operates hotels and resorts in places such as New York, Miami, Marbella, and Marrakech, brought in a team from Nikki Beach destinations around the globe—including DJs and chef Antoine Fouchard from St. Tropez—to host a lounge on the 18th floor of the Park Hyatt for eight of the festival's 10 days.
“The reason why we came to Toronto is because the film festival itself is a traveling show, and we have relationships with our customers that we've established over the course of the last seven years by having our operations in Cannes during the film festival,” said Peter Higney, director of operations for Nikki Beach. “We've also heard over the course of the last three or four years that the Toronto film festival is gaining notoriety internationally, and I think it rivals Cannes to some degree. But what really brought us here was the fact that our customer base comes here, too, and I think they feel at home being at Nikki Beach.”
Eric Omores, the man behind the original Nikki Beach concept, said he wanted the space to have an exclusive feel. “We looked for the best location and we cornered this one and decided to go after it, this is a great site. It's got all the ingredients to be very exclusive,” he said, noting the venue has a capacity for about 200 people. “It's a great environment.”
Rob Dittmer of Three Event Planning & Design handled the decor, which replicates the brand's signature beach club concept. Dittmer and his team installed hardwood flooring in the 2,000-square-foot space, hung white fringe around the venue's ornate chandeliers, and filled the room with white tufted leather furnishings from Furnishings by Corey. White vinyl covers the hotel wallpaper, and flowing white curtains and displays of glossy white bamboo anchored in sand serve to divide the room.
The lounge, which has attracted the likes of Adam Brody, Megan Fox, Drew Barrymore, Mena Suvari, and Edward Norton, is open to the public. The space opens daily at 11 a.m. and hosts press junkets until 5 p.m. Dinner service is offered from 5 p.m. until midnight. The menu includes dishes like asparagus risotto, salmon with lemongrass confit, seared scallops and black truffle, and roasted rack of lamb. The lounge, open until 4 a.m. nightly, continues through Thursday.
Participating sponsors include Diet Coke, Samsung Mobile, Audi, Slava Ultra-Premium Vodka, Benson & Hedges, Marc Jacobs Fragrances, Calvin Klein Fragrances, Evian, and Elle Canada.