Hospitality brand Leven is building a ‘visually fantastical’ virtual hotel in the metaverse, where people from around the world can network. Jenny Southan reports
Leven is a new lifestyle hotel concept that is a joint venture between industry innovators Wellbrook Hospitality, and entrepreneurs Joshua and Ben Senior’s investment vehicle Branco Capital.
The brand’s first hotel, Leven Manchester, is housed in a red brick warehouse on the corner of Chorlton Street and Canal Street, in the heart of the Village neighbourhood. Following an extensive interior and exterior reimagining, it opened in November 2021 as a design-led, 42-room hotel.
Now it is planning to launching its second site – but this time in the metaverse, on a plot of virtual land in Decentraland’s Fashion Estate.
What will it look like? The brand says: “Visually fantastical, the Levenverse [as it will be known] will embrace freedom of design, with the traditional hotel spaces of elevator, lobby, guest room, spa and gardens reimagined, often defying physics and logic.”
The company adds that the Levenverse “will be a place open to all, enabling global networking of likeminded people in an immersive, fun virtual hotel environment”. Editor’s note: In June 2023, these new visuals were unveiled…
It also says that the Levenverse “will be a resource to help make wellness and self care a part of everyday life for users”. Practitioners will share tools and resources to support physical, emotional, social, spiritual and intellectual health, such as virtual fitness classes with personal trainers and guided meditation sessions, linked to real-world classes taking place at Leven.
Set to launch in autumn 2022, the Levenverse will “fully integrate with life at Leven (IRL), with shared values, online and offline events, partnerships and activities, including artist collaborations with names such as Lillie Bernie, who will design NFTs for the Levenverse galley, launched together with an exhibition of physical work at Leven Manchester.
Leven co-founder Joshua Senior, says: “As the metaverse evolves from a sci-fi concept into a reality, every industry disrupted by the digital era will feel its impact. We believe the potential for creative hospitality brands is limitless and in building the Levenverse we will be one of the first lifestyle brands to blaze a digital trail in the early metaverse.
“We have some exciting partners lined up as we connect our real life space with the online, and create a digital amenity space for our customers. We’re excited to push traditional boundaries, bring the Leven brand to new audiences and explore the opportunities the digital future holds.”
The Leven brand already includes retail, with a popular line of merchandise commissioned for the Manchester hotel. In the Levenverse there is scope for elevated e-commerce with brand extension product collaborations, bespoke NFTs and wearables. The brand is currently exploring integrating cryptocurrency payments, enabling Bitcoin payment.