X2

GLOBAL HOTEL DESIGN
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EDITORIAL:
Editor Theresa Dowling
tdowling@wilmington.co.uk
Contributors Sarah Brownlee,
Rebecca Hoh, Monique Nelson,
Johnny Tucker,
Editorial team 020 7566 5789
Art editor Kieran Gardner
Art director Wes Mitchell
Chief sub-editor Francis Pearce
PRODUCTION:
Production manager Dan Gardiner
Production coordinator Jamie Mitchell
Ad setter Joe Pereira
ADVERTISING:
Sales manager Jonny Kilpatrick
020 7324 2386
jkilpatrick@wilmington.co.uk
Sales executive Dexter Boulter
020 7549 2525
dboulter@wilmington.co.uk
GENERAL:
Managing director Colin Bailey-Wood
Publishing director Mike Callison
Group production director
AndrewWatley
Marketing director Chris Ashton
Subscriptions James Moscicki
020 8269 7883
jmoscicki@wilmington.co.uk
The paper used in this magazine is obtained from
manufacturers who operate within internationally
recognised standards. The paper is made from
Elementary Chlorine Free (ECF) pulp, which is
sourced fromsustainable, properly managed
forestation. Printed in England. All rights reserved:
No part of X2 may be reproduced or stored
in a retrieval systemor transmitted in any form,
electronic, mechanical, or photocopying,
without prior written permission of the editor.
©2008. ISSN1756-3887
Cover: The Gramercy Park
Hotel in NewYork, where art
and idiosyncratic design
attract the in crowd. Page 10
FX supports the aims and objectives
of ACID(Anti Copying In Design)
Hotels are the new palaces, the new exotic show homes. In previous times, when
opulence and extravagance were the privilege of the few, flagship palaces were designed
with the best skills of the age to show off progressive interior design. Think of the scale
and wonder of the Palace of Versailles for a seismic experience in the 17th century, or
the Winter Palace in St Petersberg, not to mention our own home-grown Blenheim
Palace and Chatsworth House, each of them a spectacle and a benchmark for superior
interior (and exterior) design.
To be invited was indeed a privilege, and each palace was built to impress, and many
housed entire courts. So guests, visitors, and reviews have always been an important part
of pushing the boundaries of interior design.
Nowadays, hotels attract paying guests who want to experience hotel design in its
own right, not just because they need accommodation.
While the choice was once limited to either the boutique hotel or the corporate
hotel, things have moved on to such an extent that inventive design is widespread. The
bar has been raised. Design inspiration can be from other hotel designers, and we hope
to inspire you with the imaginative and creative projects in this second issue of X2.
I am delighted to present the very best in global design that includes both the
eccentric and the eclectic. As Su Pecha wisely noted in our launch issue, luxury means so
many different things to so many. But you, as designers, have transcended the mundane
and functional, to reach ever more dizzying heights in how interior space is used and
crafted, to give a spectacular display to the new, paying aristocracy. Vive Versailles!
Letter from the editor
WELCOME 07 X2
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X2 CONTENTS 9
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RECEPTION Welcome from the editor
GRAMERCY PARK New York
VITTORIA Florence
GIDLEIGH PARK Dartmoor
PARTICULIER DE MONTMARTRE Paris
JERONIMOS 8 Lisbon
COTSWOLD88 Gloucestershire
DOLDER GRAND Zurich
INDIGO PATAGONIA Puerto Natales
25 HOURS Frankfurt
EYNSHAM HALL Oxfordshire
PARK Navi Mumbai
SAN RANIERI Florence
ADRIANA Hvar
WESTIN AUCKLAND Auckland
JURA LODGE Jura
ANDAZ London
QARYAT AL BERI SHANGRI-LA Abu Dhabi
NEW MAJESTIC Singapore
NEVAI Verbier
DOMINICAN Brussels
ACE Portland
INTERVIEWS:
Mark Plumtree
Marchella De Angelis
James Soane
Jamie Anley
Yasmine Mahmoudieh
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The
New York
Gramercy
GRAMERCY PARK HOTEL REVIEW 10 X2
GRAMERCY PARK HOTEL REVIEW 11 X2
IAN SCHRAGER’S IDIOSYNCRATIC ‘ANTI-DESIGN’
HOTEL HAS BECOME AN INSTANT MANHATTAN ICON.
IT MAY BE HIGH MAINTENANCE BUT THE GRAMERCY
IS ALSO A DESIRABLE MEETING PLACE FOR RICH AND
TRENDY NEW YORKERS LURED BY THE ARTWORKS
INTERIOR DESIGNER: IAN SCHRAGER,
ANDA ANDREI, KIRSTEN BAILEY, JULIAN SCHNABEL
GRAMERCY PARK HOTEL REVIEW 12 X2
T
he Gramercy Park Hotel, on New York’s
Lexington Avenue, looks good for an ‘anti-
design’ hotel. The Gramercy is boutique hotel
pioneer Ian Schrager’s latest offering and his most
personal design-wise. After creating definitive
interior looks that shaped the style of entire
decades - Studio 54 in the 1970s, the Royalton
and Morgans in the 1980s, and the Delano and
Mondrian in the 1990s – this one denounces any
effort to be ‘hip.’ Schrager has created a hotel that
takes influence from a plethora of random times,
objects and attitudes. ‘Nothing can be “underground”
anymore, everything is out there and instantly goes
mainstream,’ Schrager laments. ‘Similarly, you can’t
distinguish yourself with a brand because it’s too
available, its lost its uniqueness and therefore the
meaning behind it. Now, the only way to
distinguish yourself is to be yourself and pursue a
completely personal vision.’ Thus the ethos behind
the Gramercy.
He has collaborated with artists Julian Schnabel,
Anda Andrei and Kirsten Bailey on this project
to create an interior evoking ‘high Bohemia’,
capturing the spirit of the age’s most decadent
times, from modern Rock and Roll to 1920s
madames’ boudoirs. The original hotel actually
opened in 1925 and became a resting place for
many writers, artists and musicians. In homage,
the opening lobby has the appearance of an artist’s
studio or bohemian home with pieces such as the
Moroccan tile floors, the hand tufted rug (which
Schrager first envisaged as a painting) and the
bronze reception desk emblazoned with the hotel’s
logo in red plaster. There are surreal contemporary
pieces of artwork alongside vintage furniture and
fabrics, while reclaimed fumed Cypress wood and
Works by Damien Hirst
and Andy Warhol grace the
walls alongside pieces by
Julian Schnabel, including Picasso
tributes in the lobby and Ruby Bar,
but nothing has a label. Guests
either knowwhat they are looking
at or they don’t. That’s part of the
charmfor Manhattan’s young
socialites who gather there, but
only with a reservation
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GRAMERCY PARK HOTEL REVIEW 15 X2
solid columns of Douglas Fir support the 10m-
high ceiling. All this is a mere backdrop for the
immense hand blown Venetian glass chandelier,
custom made for the hotel by lighting design
specialists Andromeda. This 2.5x1.3m feature
piece is based on a 15th-century Italian design and
made of grey glass, with assorted moonstone and
champagne custom colours.
The hotel has 185 guest rooms, all in jewel tone
colours, with velvet upholstered headboards and
drapery. Each bathroom has mahogany wood
panelled walls, sculpted oversized baths or showers
and imported St Laurent marble counters.
Exotic cocktails are served from both the
candlelit Rose and Jade Bars. The Rose Bar is
rich in colour and material featuring many tones
of red inspired by Raphael. There is a hand carved
stone fireplace from Italy, a bespoke walnut bar,
Dark, seductive and quirky
are words that help define much
of the decor at the Gramercy Park,
which is lit moodily throughout.
The furnishings are specially
commissoned with some pieces
modelled on items froma French
flea market, and even the doors
to the bars were handmade
GRAMERCY PARK HOTEL REVIEW 16 X2
Lighting plays a major role
in the design of the Gramercy
Park, fromthe task lighting in the
rooms and the mood lighting in
the bars, to the award-winning
lighting scheme at Wikaya (left)
by IsometrixLighting+Design
and a 8m-long high back green velvet banquette
from Julian Schnabel, who also contributed to the
range of striking lighting pieces the hotel houses,
such as a ‘saw tooth’ resin cast chandelier
suspended by bronze chains.
The Jade Bar has colour based on the beautiful
Japanese painting, again from Schnabel, which
spans the far wall. Green and black tiles have been
used for the floor, while mirrored sconces with silk
silver shades light up the blue velvet benches with
khaki coloured trims and studded bar stools.
Perfect for sipping a strangely named cocktail and
soaking up the romance of this indulgently put
together hotel and its anti-design attitude. Even
the pool table is bespoke
The eclecticism that marks the hotel’s design,
however, is only hinted at in Wakiya, its Asian
restaurant, which has won awards in its right X2
www.sinclaire.co.uk
Tel: +44(0)1924 468197 e-mail: sales@sinclaire.co.uk
VITTORIA HOTEL REVIEW 18 X2
T
he flamboyant architect and poet Fabio
Novembre aimed to recreate the fervour of
the Renaissance in his 2003 design for the
Una Hotel Vittoria in Florence, and successfully
created both an art hotel and a venue in its own
right. More than simply a place to eat and sleep,
the hotel was to be ‘an evocative journey through
time celebrating the “theatre of life” through a
regenerating and energising atmosphere,’ he insists.
Situated in the historic quarter of San Frediana,
near the Arno, the Vittoria was also intended to
embody the concept of the ‘technological inn’,
where traditional hospitality, design innovations
and hi-tech in the form of Wi-Fi, broadband and
widescreen plasma TVs meet.
The entrance is imbued with an atmosphere of
‘life’ and ‘personality’ through the use a fresh
palette including purple, lilac and white. This is
continued through the corridors, transformed from
USING RENAISSANCE FLORENCE AS HIS MUSE,
FABIO NOVEMBRE HAS CREATED A ‘TECHNOLOGICAL
INN’ THAT OFFERS ART, MODERN CONVENIENCE AND
THE TRADITIONAL HOSPITALITY OF TUSCANY
ARCHITECT AND INTERIOR DESIGNER: FABIO NOVEMBRE
UNA
Vittoria
VITTORIA HOTEL REVIEW 19 X2
Life and personality
characterize the hotel’s
spaces, starting with the
entrance, which is intended
to ‘envelope the guest in a
spiral of colour and fantasy’
Florence
T: 01908 308777 F: 01908 308775 E: sal es@chri st y- carpet s. co. uk www. chri st ycarpet s. com
VITTORIA HOTEL REVIEW 21 X2
Curves and curiosities
are to be found throughout
the hotel, an antidote to the
linearity and predictability of
most mainstreamhotel designs.
Novembre has even manged to
make the corridors exciting
the standard transition spaces into expressive art
galleries. Each of the 84 doors is a portrait of a
Tuscan aristocrat; every painting complete with
frame. Beyond each door lie warm shades and
materials such as mosaics, leather and printed lame,
The mosaic-tile ensuite bathrooms feature
shower/bath combinations or walk-in showers with
rain showerheads. The platform beds are slightly
elevated and come complete with all white linen.
The public areas have been given the appearance
of monstery crypts to create a safe and graceful-
feeling environment. In keeping with this, the
restaurant is designed as a refectory for guests,
where a sleek ‘S’ shaped refectory table takes centre
stage, inviting guests to share and socialise X2
GIDLEIGH PARK HOTEL REVIEW 22 X2
GIDLEIGH PARK HAS GROWN
FROM A SMALL, MICHELIN-
STARRED RESTAURANT
WITH ROOMS INTO AN
ENGLISH COUNTRY HOTEL
THAT SIMPLY OOZES LUXURY
INTERIOR DESIGNER: PLUMTREEMEE
N
early £6m has been ploughed into Gidleigh
Park Hotel in Devon, which has seen it
completely refurbished and extended,
virtually doubling its capacity.
Tudor on the outside and Arts and Crafts on
the inside, Gidleigh was actually built in 1928.
In the past it’s been described as a restaurant with
rooms since it was originally centred around its
two-Michelin-star restaurant with Michael Caines
at the stove. But now it’s very much the full hotel
experience, with an extra 10 rooms, and a spa
suite having been added to the existing 14. Five
of the extra rooms are housed in the former staff
quarters in the loft, while the other five are in a
new extension.
All the new rooms could still be taken up with
diners however, since the makeover has also seen
the restaurant redesigned and doubled in size from
22 to 44 covers. A cellar and wine tasting room
that can be seen through ‘a glass wine wall’ has also
been created from what was an old plant room.
The vision behind the work has come from
Andrew and Christina Brownsword, who bought
the hotel. They are the names behind ABode
Hotels, in which Caines is also a partner and his
restaurants feature in all of the small group’s hotels.
The Brownswords brought in Mark Plumtree,
creative director of Plumtreemee design
consultancy to realise their vision of turning
the restaurant with rooms into a full-blown,
and very English, country hotel.
The key to redesigning and creating new
bedrooms was the bathrooms, according to
Plumtree. He says they wanted to get away
from the classic hotel design of ‘door, corridor
bathroom and bedroom off the same tiny space.
Our solution was more radical as we wanted the
overall space to look bigger, with the romantic
appeal of the bathrooms becoming part of the
space.’ The toilet still gets its room, though,
most will be pleased to hear!
In the five new rooms in the extension, even
more play is made of the bathing space, especially
in the spa suite, which features ‘an enormous
feature bath centrally positioned in such a way
that on entering the room you experience a vista
across the bath, through the balcony and on to the
open river and countryside beyond,’ says Plumtree.
‘A spectacular blue marble called Blue Lapaz
was used as an accent detail to trim the bath.
Reflections of this are picked up in the huge
glass and marble clad walk-in shower. Adjacent to
the shower is a generous steam cabinet and sauna
with a marble warm bench between’ X2
Gidleigh
Park
Dartmoor
Luxurious bathrooms
were key to the redesign at
Gidleigh Park. Plumtreemee
created rooms with vistas
that beg to be wallowed in,
complete with views over
the countryside, but its
radical designs stopped
short of open plan loos
GIDLEIGH PARK HOTEL REVIEW 23 X2
Mark Plumtree set up the Leeds-based architecture and interior
design practice Plumtreemee back in 1989. The company specialises
in hotel and leisure design. Major hotel projects completed to date
include ABode hotels and restaurants in Exeter, Glasgow and
Canterbury, which won the ‘Best International Hotel Design’ FX07
Award. They have also recently finished schemes for the Gidleigh
Park Hotel & Restaurant (featured), the Cotswold Water Park Resort
Hotel & Spa and the Harte & Garter Hotel, Windsor. Many more are
due for completion this year and on into 2009.
You’ve worked mainly on UK-based hotel projects to date.
Would you like to go global?
Currently our workload is UK-based, although in the past we have worked in the Middle
East and Europe. Our design is very transportable, as demonstrated by our recent interiors
and spatial design for the Cotswold Water Park Resort Hotel and Spa, which is being used
by Hotel Summit in June as their preferred global venue. We certainly have the experience
and capabilities to work on a global basis.
Interview with Mark Plumtree
Director of Plumtreemee
European Design Centre
77 Margaret Street
London
W1W 8SY
T 020 7323 3233
E sales@edcplc.co.uk
Wwww.edcplc.co.uk
IMPORTER FOR – MINOTTI,
CASAMILANO, SEGIS, INNO, ORIZZONTI
DEALERS FOR ALL MAJOR BRANDS
Nearest Underground
Oxford Circus
Opening Hours
Mon-Fri 9-6
Sat 10-5
GIDLEIGH PARK HOTEL REVIEW 25 X2
How do you find working at the luxury end of the market?
The luxury end of the market has its own set of challenges unique to each client, which is
always a combination of service and design; therefore it’s important to establish a good
understanding of your client’s needs and who their target market really is. In order to
achieve that luxurious feel, you have to make sure the hotel flows both back of house and
front of house. It has to not only look good and feel right but work in a practical way.
How would you define a luxury hotel experience?
For me, the luxury hotel experience has become quite diverse in its offer from its initiation
as a clearly defined five-star product. Whilst to some extent this remains in force in the
classic ‘international’ styled brand hotels, the niche approach is now being taken by many
to give that feeling of luxury. This luxury feel has translated itself in recent times to the
‘luxury boutique’ look, which is based around four-star boutique properties with luxurious
appeal like Morgan, ABode, Hotel du Vin and a host of other independents that
concentrate on a perceived impression of luxury gained via the appeal of the rooms
and food offered in city centre locations. On the other hand, you have the appeal of the
five-star destination resort style hotels such as Starwood, Four Seasons, Jumeirah and
Shangri-La, which demonstrate a plethora of luxury with their extensive resort-style
facilities in terms of location, standards of service, offer and design.
I would define Dubai as a classic example of where to go in the world to see a large
collection of luxury hotels all competing with each other to define what particular element
of luxury rules.
When were you first approached by the ABode hotel group?
We designed top chef Michael Caines’ first restaurant in Exeter back in March 2000,
which proved highly successful, and having established a good working relationship,
Michael introduced us to his new business partner, the entrepreneur Andrew
Brownsword in early 2005. At the same time we were asked to come up with a new
boutique hotel concept for The Royal Clarence Hotel, Exeter, which became the first
flagship hotel for the ABode Group.
Servants’ quarters
have been converted into
spacious guest rooms as part
of the enlargement of the hotel
(above) and the balcony offers
picturesque views onto the
English countryside (below)
GIDLEIGH PARK HOTEL REVIEW 26 X2
English country house
style remains part of the
appeal of a rural escape
in one of the England’s
most dramatic counties
What should the best kind of hotel design do?
Guest experience is key every time – from the moment you walk through the door and
are greeted by friendly staff on to the basics for an overnight stay: heating and cooling
that works, hot and cold water and (most importantly) a good night’s sleep in a quiet
comfortable room. On waking up you should be well placed to take in and appreciate
either the wow factor or understated elegance of the interior design. Gidleigh Park Hotel
and Restaurant is a good example of this, due to its homey domestic feel. It contains
understated yet sumptuous bedroom and bathroom design, all individual and utilising
luxurious finishes and natural materials not because they are expensive but because they
are appropriate due to their durability and longevity. This results in a timeless look that
transcends fashion fads.
Is the idea to make each ABode hotel different, or do you stick to the same
themes and schemes?
Each ABode hotel is designed on an individual basis that reflects the character of the
building and the locality it is based in. However, the concurrent theme, as always, is
understated with elegant contemporary spaces to meet, dine and sleep.
What have you learnt about the hotel industry through your work?
I guess it’s that getting the basics right is so important. We cut our teeth a long time ago
working on basic bedroom and public area design for the likes of Hilton, Marriott, Holiday
Inn and Corus and Regal Hotels and since that time we have travelled and experienced
many hotels and their facilities in order to research and appreciate what’s really happening
in the industry. It’s the annoying things that really stand out, like the light switch that you
have to search for on entering a room, the chair that does not fit under the dressing table,
air controls that require an understanding of computer science in order to operate them!
That kind of thing.
What have been your most enjoyable projects so far?
Abode Canterbury because we picked up a 2007 FX Award for it, otherwise we
haven’t really got one. As perfectionists we are always looking to evolve our ideas on
into the next project!
What would be your ideal hotel project and where would it be?
An exclusive spa-based retreat hotel, which would be located in the mountains, forest,
desert or by the sea. It would have to be remote and blend in with the surroundings thus
becoming the ultimate tranquil escape from the stress and bustle of modern society.
Can you pinpoint any forthcoming trends in hotel design?
Continued evolution of the overall guest experience via a more individual design
approach; increased sophistication of bedroom and bathroom design that cover the basics,
as previously mentioned. Innovations in lighting technology are extending the boundaries
in terms of what we can achieve with ambient and task lighting, with increasingly energy
efficient results. I also predict more niche food and beverage offers and stress-busting mini
spas and spa rooms (as at Gidleigh Park), all aimed at enhancing the guest experience.
SPECIALLY COMMISSIONED ARTISTS AND DESIGNERS
CREATE FIVE DIFFERENT ‘UNIVERSES’, RECALLING THE
SPIRIT OF MONTMARTRE’S BOHEMIAN PAST
INTERIOR DESIGNERS: MARTINE ABALLÉA, PIERRE FICHEFEUX,
NATACHA LESUEUR, PHILIPPE MAYAUX
HOTEL PARTICULIER HOTEL REVIEW 28 X2
Hotel
Paris
HOTEL PARTICULIER HOTEL REVIEW 29 X2
Particulier
HOTEL PARTICULIER HOTEL REVIEW 30 X2
T
he recent addition of a peaceful Directoire style
townhouse hotel to the ancient Parisian district
of Montmartre has injected a touch of artistic
luxury into a town whose historic status protects it
from much development. Montmartre has been a
favourite area of artists for more than two centuries,
fans include Pissarro, Renoir and Picasso.
Project masterminds and hotel owners Morgane
Rousseau and Frédéric Comtet commissioned
a series of well-known architects, sculptors, artists
and designers to design five diverse rooms, each
‘a different universe’ with specially printed wall
coverings and en suite bathroom. Rousseau was
responsible for all of the bathrooms (which vary
greatly) and worked closely with each artist in
designing and printing the wallpaper for each suite.
The Vegetable room, by contemporary
artist Martine Aballéa, evokes the sensation of being
in a colourful forest with walls and ceiling covered
by trees dappled in sunlight.
Illustrator and creative director Pierre Fichefeux’s
dramatic, glamorous Tree teams luxurious fabrics with
faint depictions of roosting storks and willowing tree
limbs. Its bathroom has a classical stately feel, and
the mirror, in a gilt frame hung on dark stone tiles,
reflects shelves full of books.
Artist and photographer Natacha Lesueur
designed the Curtain of Hair suite at the top of
the house. Accessed by a spiral staircase, the
space is divided into two sleeping and bathing
areas. The first is most spacious, showing off the
roof structure with a freestanding bathtub and
streaming daylight from a large skylight, plus
original thematic work by the artist. The second
has a more conventional bathroom suite open
to both rest areas – neither space has doors. An
imposing pair of eyes looks down on the sleeper.
The hotel is intended to give guests the feeling
of being at home, so ‘in the Tree with Ears suite,
it is possible to record secrets’. In painter Philippe
Mayaux’s Vitrine room, as the name meaning glass
display case suggests, one is encouraged to leave a
personal object on display.
The private living room houses modern classics
including a first edition of Arne Jacobsen’s Egg chair
and a variety of furniture by Le Corbusier. The
hotel guests can purchase these items, sourced by
Mats Haglund, director of decoration for a number
of high fashion boutiques. An inviting dining
room opens out on to a terrace and water fountain,
and is decorated with a mixture of antique and
contemporary furnishings collected by Comtet
and Rousseau, reflective of the house’s style X2
The Vegetable room
(opening image) evokes the
forest, while in the ‘Tree with Ears’
suite (above and right) guests can
record secrets. The private living
room(top) includes pieces of
classic modern furniture, adding
to the hotel’s indivuality
K a t a g a m i
t he a r t of pa t t e r n
Originating in the Nara Period (710-794),
Katagami (Japanese stencils) were first
used for applying designs in dye to
leather goods such as stirrups and
warrior helmets. They later came to be
used for dyeing textiles and made great
advances with the development of the
kimono culture.
Brintons hold one of the world’s largest
private collections of Japanese stencils
and have transformed these beautiful,
hand-crafted pieces into a unique and
inspiring collection of carpets.
For further information please contact us:
T: +44 (0) 1562 635 661
E: solutions@brintons.co.uk
If you wish to discuss your latest project
with our design team, please feel free to
contact our new Design Centre:
1 Sycamore Street
Clerkenwell
London
EC1Y 0SF
T: +44 (0) 207 566 7590
F: +44 (0) 207 566 7599
www.brintons.net/commercial
X
8
JERONIMOS 8 HOTEL REVIEW 32 X2
AN ULTRA-MODERN INTERIOR BRINGS
SHARP CONTRAST TO THIS HOTEL’S
HISTORIC 16TH-CENTURY SETTING
ARCHITECT: CAPINHA LOPES & ASSOCIATES
Jeronimos
Lisbon
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JERONIMOS 8 HOTEL REVIEW 33 X2
suites, have much calmer interiors, with
white walls and muted coloured furnishings
and pale marble bathrooms. Capinha Lopes
has tried to get as much natural light into each
room as possible with the maximum window
space available.
Jeronimos 8, which takes its name from the
monastery that sits across from the hotel, has
become the member of the Design Hotels Group
and is one of only two in Lisbon. It is operated by
Hotéis Alexandre de Almeida, which was founded
in 1917 and has five other hotels, including the
Bussaco Palace – a fairytale building that was
once a royal hunting palace.
Bussaco is also the name of the rare wine that
has been produced for centuries by the Alexandre
de Almeida family, and is the namesake of the bar
and eating area in Jeronimos 8. It too features the
strong palette of red, brown and cream, lit with
concealed lighting in the bright white rectilinear
bar and curvilinear ceiling raft.
The vibrant colours disappear on reaching the
zen-inspired sun deck of pale wood and furniture,
punctuated by growing bamboo X2
Large glass windows
in the hotel’s sandstone facade
give a glimpse into the signature
red, black and white palette of
its interior (bottom). Inside,
the bright colours of the public
areas (left and right) are toned
down for the bedrooms (below)
C
ontrast is a major factor in the design
of Jeronimos 8 in Lisbon. Despite being
in the old town opposite a 16th-century
monastery, the interior is unequivocally modern.
From the sleepy street it sits in, large glass
windows puncture the period sandstone facade,
giving views into the brightly lit lobby and the
public areas and bars’ bright colours – primarily
a signature red playing off against black and
white. In the bedrooms, dark and light tones
contrast with each other.
It is the work of architect Capinha Lopes,
which recently completed a very different
project, the latest Freeport retail park in Lisbon.
The lobby sets the tone for the rest of the
hotel with its full-height windows and doors
opening into a minimal white interior with one
red wall as a backdrop to the wenge-and-onyx
welcome desk. There’s also a lower level seating
area populated by cube chairs and sofas in deep
earth colours.
Bright striped carpets in red, cream and brown
almost guide guests through the corridors. The
bedrooms, of which there are 61 along with four
COTSWOLDS 88 HOTEL REVIEW 34 X2
Perspex ‘nipple lights’
are twinned with ‘slightly
psychedelic’ wallpaper by
Galerie. ‘This had to be a sexy
room,’ says owner/designer
Marchella De Angelis. The
monochrome palette gives
the bar a boudoir feel
COSTWOLDS 88 HOTEL REVIEW 35 X2
C
otswolds88 lifestyle hotel, set in the quiet
village of Painswick, couples a Grade II-listed
18th-century Palladian mansion with a
contemporary, eclectic interior and postcard views
across the Gloucestershire hills. The designer,
Marchella De Angelis, is in the unusual position of
also being the client, setting her own design brief
to transform a site that has been employed as a
hotel for about 60 years.
De Angelis did not make her task an easy one.
Each of the 19 rooms is given its own theme
aimed at encouraging the visitor to relax, forget
about time and indulge. The designer employed
the idea of radionics – a type of alternative healing
based on the transmission of ‘energy’ – to make
design choices regarding the colours used
throughout the hotel.
The late Australian performance artist Leigh
Bowery is celebrated in one of the suites with the
THE IDEA OF HEALING
‘ENERGIES’ INFORMS THE
INTERIOR DESIGN OF THIS
PICTURESQUE 18TH CENTURY
PALLADIAN MANSION SET
IN THE COTSWOLDS
INTERIOR DESIGNER: MARCHELLA DE ANGELIS
88
Cotswolds
Gloucestershire
COTSWOLDS 88 HOTEL REVIEW 36 X2
Marchella De Angelis is the owner and creative force
behind the eclectic Cotswolds88hotel in Painswick,
Gloucestershire. She is an interior designer, working
for a selection of private clients, but has also worked
extensively in the music industry. Cotswolds88 is
Marchella’s first hotel. She is also about to launch a
new home line company – De Angelis & Garner –
along with photographer and ex Haysi Fantayzee
singer Kate Garner.
What made you decide to launch a hotel?
I felt that the UK was a good place to take what I could see brewing in the
area of lifestyle hotels, art hotels and design hotels to another level. I’d
previously travelled to a few obscure conceptual hotels and felt that it was
the right time to launch a hotel in the UK that could progress these ideas
but in a more traditional way. The plan with Cotswolds88 was to create a
hotel with personality. ‘She’ has her own personality, which can be lost on
some people who just don’t get it, but if you do you’ll find it very quirky
and amusing, a bit off the wall but also rather luxurious and organic.
How would you describe the design of Cotswolds88?
I like to describe it as Hermes meets Punk. It is outrageous but also quite
regal. There is a subtle snob value but its also got a streak of anarchy! It
breaks the mould in a lot of respects by its complex mix of eclectic
possessions – but it works.
What was your aim with the design of the hotel?
The prerequisite was to create a place that was practical but beautiful, if
slightly fantastical. It’s surreal and that’s why it provokes and yet calms.
In what way is Cotswolds88hotel different from other hotels?
Hotels are primarily there to serve and this is not really one of those places,
in that the vibe is centred around the, ‘make yourself at home’ ethos. It’s
more comfortable for the hotel and the guests if both parties understand the
concept of trying to deliver and please. Therefore to me, the most important
aspect of a hotel is to capture the essence of what it is trying to offer the
Interview with
Marchella De Angelis
Owner and designer of the
Cotswolds88hotel
use of specially designed, limited edition wallpaper
created by photographer Kate Garner – a little
disconcerting in a room with plain white, rustic
furniture. Another photographic artist, David
Hiscock has produced abstracts of the hotel and
its grounds, which have been implemented as
artwork throughout the building.
During the refurbishment, De Angelis
discovered and restored a number of original
interior features, such as the Cotswolds stone
fireplace in the residents’ lounge.
The compact bar has ‘slightly psychedelic’
wallpaper by Galerie, replacing a green covering,
which the designer says ‘was so bad I can’t even
recall.’ Here three rows of peculiar lights –
‘perspex nipple lights,’ De Angelis says – sourced
in Brussels, are mounted on the wall. ‘This had
to be a sexy room,’ says De Angelis. An almost
One-off works of art such as
David Hiscock’s reception
installation (above) and specially-
created wallpaper celebrating the
the late Australian performance
artist Leigh Bowery (top right). A
1970s haute couture mannequin
poses in the entrance hall (centre).
The building’s grand exterior
(belowright) reflects its Grade-II
listed status
COTSWOLDS 88 HOTEL REVIEW 37 X2
customer. In my case, I feel it has to be based on the essence of ‘chilling and
relaxing.’ And so it makes sense that we have a more ‘chilled out’ customer
in the first place instead of an uptight being.
Furthermore, it seems to be part of the hotel industry’s mission that one
should have a full understanding of everything you’ll experience before
checking in. Part of the allure of Cotswolds88hotel is that you don’t know
what to expect from it. I also believe that people need to be stimulated by
hotel environments and it’s therefore important that they are both
provocative and alluring. Subsequently the music, the lighting levels and
even smells can all contribute to this experience.
How would you describe yourself and what you do?
I’m a frustrated pop star. Oh no, that sounds awful. I was in the music
business for 15 years and was signed to three record companies.
The last band I was in was Confucius Says. As well as writing and
producing music, I’ve always dabbled in design, but it’s not until
the last five years or so that it transformed into a profession for me.
What’s next for you?
To carry on developing the 88 brand and to keep pursuing the art of
developing futuristic lifestyle developments in the way we live, feel and think.
monochrome palette gives the bar a boudoir feel,
with a deep-buttoned leatherette and sandblasted
glass bar, reupholstered, embellished furniture and
accessories adding splashes of bright colour to the
black and white walls.
Reclaimed, repainted and restored items are
featured in both the public and private areas of
the hotel: furniture from the 1940s and 1960s
recovered in new fabric, a 1970s haute couture
mannequin poses in the entrance hall and 19th-
century Parisian theatre seating waits at reception.
These inclusions are ‘part of a museum flavour
that I think is quite humorous,’ says
De Angelis. ‘They also influenced the design
as I had to use collectables and antiquities that
I had already randomly acquired for the
project way before knowing where and what
the project would be like’ X2
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DOLDER GRAND HOTEL REVIEW 39 X2
Dolder
Grand
Zurich
A HEAVYWEIGHT COMBINATION OF ARCHITECT AND
INTERIOR DESIGNER WAS BROUGHT IN TO BREATHE
NEW LIFE INTO A SWISS NATIONAL TREASURE
ARCHITECT: FOSTER + PARTNERS
INTERIOR DESIGNER: UNITED DESIGNERS
throughout the hotel in an attempt to link the
different architectural styles. Instead, the use of
classic, high-grade materials such as beige Dietfurt
Gala limestone from the Jura Mountains, north
of the Alps, and oak and walnut, provide a visual
consistency. The main building remains a testament
to the much-loved old hotel with historical elements
and a few items of new furniture and lighting by
United. The new wings introduce modern qualities.
‘A lot was based around reinterpreting what used
to be there,’ says Bayliss. ‘We tried to listen to what
the building was saying to us.’
Six suites in the main building are listed and
so have been fully restored to their original state,
while the remaining guestrooms and suites are
finished in warm colours and each has a marble
bathroom. Four top suites, ranging from 170m
2
to 400m
2
, are inspired by figures from the arts, all
previous guests at the hotel, and are the height of
luxury. The duplex Maestro Suite, inspired by
A
collaboration between London-based architects
Foster and Partners and interior design
consultancy United Designers is reviving this
popular Zurich hotel, which began life as a fin de
siècle health spa; and the architects are confident that
it will soon become a top ten global hotel.
This is a fusion of architecture from 1899 with
fresh contemporary building. Fosters has restored
the main building, moving the main entrance – the
Steinhalle or stone hall – at the front, and adding
two new wings: the Golf Wing and the Spa Wing.
In these, the suites boast full-height windows and
follow the curvilinear shape of the structure instead
of being confined to sharp angles.
‘We were working on an icon,’ says United
Designers creative director Ian Bayliss. ‘It has to be
understood that the Dolder Grand is important to
the people of Zurich; they call it ‘the Old Lady’.
We had to preserve it and put the majesty and
history back in.’ There is no single theme that runs
The fairytale-like architecture
of this late 18th-century building
(above) is iconic; known by the
people of Zurich as ‘the Old Lady’.
Two newwings and sensitive
restoration have revived the hotel
DOLDER GRAND HOTEL REVIEW 40 X2
distinguished Austrian conductor Herbert von
Karajan, sits at the highest point of the main
building consisting of two bedrooms, a library,
dining room, kitchen and living space. The
original red timberwork of the spire is restored
and the city and surrounding views are easily
enjoyed from the balcony – the highest viewpoint
of the hotel – suggesting the conductor’s position
overlooking both audience and orchestra. The
Carezza Suite, for a sculpture by Alberto Giacometti
has a panoramic terrace around the entire suite.
The two smallest top suites are Masina and
Suite 100, evoking 1950s Italian cinema and the
swinging Sixties respectively; the latter also has a
meeting room for 10.
Travellers resting in one of the 173 rooms and
suites also have the luxury of a new spa designed
by United, with spa specialist Sylvia Sepielli, for
whom this is a European debut X2
While no single theme
runs through the Dolder Grand’s
interior, high-grade materials such
as Dietfurt Gala limestone from
the Jura Mountains, oak and
walnut, provide visual consistency
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INTERIOR DESIGNER: HERNAN JOFRE, ANA IBÁÑEZ AND OLIVIER POTART
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INDIGO PATAGONIA HOTEL REVIEW 42 X2
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INDIGO PATAGONIA HOTEL REVIEW 43 X2
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Design. Dovid Fox
Wood lends simplicity
to the interiors but there is
nothing crude about the
design, which aims to create
a radically diffent feel to the
public and private spaces
within the building
I
t’s a little known fact that Patagonia – an area
of the Andes that straddles both Argentina and
Chile – has a sizeable Welsh speaking
population. But you won’t have to polish up on
you bore das and ddiolchs (good days and thanks
in Welsh), if you visit the new Hotel Spa Indigo,
because it’s a truly international venture between
a Chilean, a Spaniard and a Frenchman.
This hotel, about 45 minutes by small propeller
plane from Punta Arenas, in the Chilean part of
Patagonia, is the brainchild of climber Hernan
Jofre with Ana Ibáñez and Olivier Potart, and
designed by up-and-coming Chilean architect
Sebastian Irarrazaval,
The six-storey hotel, which has 29 rooms
including six suites, sits on the sea front of Puerto
Natales, with dramatic views out to Fiordo Ultimo
Esperanza (Lost Hope Fjord) inhabited by black
swans and sea lions, and the spectacular
Balmaceda glaciers.
Inspired by the open landscape, Irarrazaval
has given the hotel proptionately large windows
throughout. All of the rooms are distributed
around a huge central void that is criss-crossed by
bridges, ramps and staircases that the less
adventurous traveller might find a little daunting
at times. This space is also divided by an
enormous eucalyptus screen. Wood is a key
material in the building along with slate and iron
– all very earthy and in contrast both to its red
metal facade and the simple style of the guest
rooms, which pulls off the trick of combining
minimalist decor and cosiness and have features
such as rolltop baths.
In the public areas, Ana Ibáñez has also added
softer interior decoration elements including
hammocks in the central space and warmly
coloured, yet still grounded soft furnishings.
Two other key areas of the hotel are the
restaurant converted from an older hotel next
door, the and spa. The restaurant which serves
seafood and produce from the pampas, has sparse
decor comprising dark floors, large windows and
plain wood furniture, in an adjoining two-storey
building. The spa is on the top floor and again
has the big picture windows, and if that’s not
enough scenery, guests can try out the view from
three outdoor whirlpool baths X2
INDIGO PATAGONIA HOTEL REVIEW 45 X2
2
5
IN TURN PLAYFUL AND CRYPTIC,
THIS ECLECTIC DESIGN IN THIS
HOTEL OFFERS AN EXPERIENCE
THAT IS BOTH UNFORGETTABLE
AND INCOMPREHENSIBLE
ARCHITECT: ALEXANDER BERNJUS
AND HATHUMAR GISBERTZ
INTERIOR DESIGNER: DELPHINE BUHRO
AND MICHAEL DREHER
Hours
Frankfurt
25 HOURS HOTEL REVIEW 46 X2
I
n the east end of Frankfurt, the 25 Hours hotel
goes against all convention. Each of the 49 guest
rooms is individually designed and themed, and
are all rather bizarre. Architects Alexander Bernjus
and Hathumar Gisbertz have created a new facade
for the building that ushers in guests to the
magenta reception, where penguin-shaped lamps
occupy the tiled floor. The reception desk has a
veneer with a blue back-lit front panel, and
is topped with twin pink table lamps. And this
is only an indicator of things to come.
At check-in, the guest is invited to choose one
of the rooms, designed by artist Delphine Buhro
and sculptor Michael Dreher, according to their
preferred design. This may take some time. Each of
the seven floors has been assigned a colour, which
dictates the palette for walls and floors. There are
some unusual room names and written statements
painted on the walls, such as Russisch Brot, meaning
Russian Bread. This particular room is decorated
red from top to bottom with a tale of the letters A
and B in a corner over the bed. Another room along
the red corridor has a jigsaw wall-covering and
evokes romance and a little melodrama, with words
on the wall asking ‘Will you ever see Rome again?’
‘Schau mir in die Augen Grosser’ is a playful
room of gingham, patchwork and polka dots,
suggestive of childhood, though the name implies
something quite different, translated by a reliable
German source as something along the lines
of ‘Here’s looking at you, kid.’ Other, child-like
elements appear elsewhere: Sesame Street character
textiles in ‘1000 Mad Things’, and sheep
ornaments, as in the room ‘Stop the Thief.’ Less
peculiar rooms, like ‘More than 1,000 words,’ have
more neutral colour schemes or straight forward
themes like a casino with the paradoxical name,
‘The Right Mistake’.
Throughout the hotel, contemporary furniture
is mixed with kitsch accessories. The meeting room,
at the back of the building, can be rearranged as
a lounge and features conference equipment and
assorted chairs, each draped with a lacy doily. The
lounge has its own street door and terrace, and is
calmer than the Goldman restaurant and bar, which
is open to the public. The restaurant is as eclectic
as the guest rooms; mirroring the reception with
small floor tiles and bright walls, filigree screens,
maps and tables such as the long communal table
in the centre that invites guests to dine together X2
25 HOURS HOTEL REVIEW 47 X2
A tale of the letters A and B
is the main feature of the
‘Russisch Brot’ room(top), one of
49 individually designed rooms.
The Goldman Restaurant (left)
and the lobby (above) are
multifunctional spaces, able to
meet differing requirements
depending on the time of day
EYNSHAM HALL HOTEL REVIEW 48 X2
Eynsham
Hall
Oxford
EYNSHAM HALL HOTEL REVIEW 49 X2
QUIRKY MODERN TOUCHES
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INTO THIS IMPOSING
JACOBEAN-STYLE HALL
INTERIOR DESIGNER: PROJECT ORANGE
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EYNSHAM HALL HOTEL REVIEW 51 X2
Interview with James Soane
Director of Project Orange
James Soane is co-founder, along with Christopher
Ash, of architecture and design practice Project
Orange. Their first ever building, 266 Glossop Road,
won a RIBA award and its portfolio has since
broadened from residential projects to include
school, retail, restaurant and hotel design. Over the
last few years James has overseen the design of
several high-profile hotels including Eynsham Hall
and the Park Hotel in Navi Mumbai, India.
What was your first hotel project?
Our first Project Orange hotel was Myhotel Chelsea. It had been recently
renovated by the previous owners and had a conservatory complete with
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen mural on the outside wall. Sadly, the style was
so conservative we had to rework everything. That said, the structure,
wiring and kitchens were all fine. The challenge was basically to create
the second Myhotel within a very tight budget. Our response was to make
S
et within 12ha of gardens and parkland
and 20 minutes from the centre of Oxford
is Eynsham Hall, which has just undergone
a major interior redesign by London design
consultancy Project Orange.
There’s been a house here for nearly 300 years,
starting with a four-storey Georgian building,
which passed through many hands before being
bought in 1866 by one James Mason. His son,
apparently with a great deal of input from his wife,
Lady Evelyn Mason, then grabbed the bull by the
horns and completely rebuilt it at the turn of the
last century. The result is this imposing Jacobean-
style hall – ‘a residence for entertaining on a grand
scale’. And it’s still doing that to this day, in the
hands of the Mason family, although the guests
are now paying for the privilege. There are 43
rooms in the main building and a further 101 in
buildings which were added in the Eighties, along
with the conference facilities.
Project Orange was initially brought in to look
at the main building’s bar area, which was used as
a test-bed to see how the historic building could
be redesigned and modernised while taking
advantage of its character.
‘Originally the room for the Mason family’s
collection of firearms, the new bar, now known as
The Gunroom, fuses old with new, with a touch
of art deco glamour,’ says Project Orange director
Christopher Ash. ‘The original oak panelling has
been carefully restored and against the warm oak
finish you can now find traditional Chesterfield
sofas and classic tub chairs upholstered in canary
yellow leather and pop art-inspired fabrics. The
bar counter is an island of decadent black glass and
Carefully restored oak panelling
sits alongside quirky modern furniture,
‘with a touch of art deco glamour’
EYNSHAM HALL HOTEL REVIEW 52 X2
How does hotel design compare to other areas of commercial
design – is there more room for creativity?
Like all areas of design, there is so much scope for improvement. We
all look at the latest ‘design’ hotels – but go into any major city and
count on two hands the number of C-list hotels with sticky carpets,
a themed bar and tropical bedspreads. I think the big challenge now
is in the two-star market. In the end, all decisions can be design-led
– it’s just that you need the right people in empowered positions to
make those decisions. I also think that so many of the chain hotels
are obsessed with their brand – which is ironic as this is their
blueprint for standing still.
Does your approach to global hotel schemes differ to that
for UK projects?
We approach all projects with the same starting point – we are looking
for a story to tell. For us, each project is informed by its location,
the people we work with and ideas we are interested in exploring.
The design development is something of a collage where you compose
a vision by synthesising all the strands into something you hope is
a few key connections between public spaces and then to introduce
a completely different palette of materials and colours. It was completed
in 2003 and has been a great success.
How has hotel design progressed in the last 10 years?
Overall, the public is much more switched on about design. They realise
that every hotel delivers an individual experience and that choosing the
right hotel, be it for business or pleasure, will enhance their visit. Ten years
ago there was a lot of gadgetry in the room and people did not seem to
mind. Now there is a sense that technology should be much more subtly
integrated into design – I call it ‘crafted-technology’. Also the big theatrical
set pieces of the past 10 years are what shoulder pads were to outfits in
the 1980s: great at the time but definitely over.
What is your idea of a luxury hotel?
For me, luxury is simplicity in an ideal location – probably a garden of some
sort. Last year I stayed at the Rajvilas hotel in Jaipur, India, which I think
takes a lot of beating. That said, I think that there are other times when
a simple white room with just a clean bed is the answer.
polished chrome, sitting in the gigantic leaded bay
window overlooking the grounds. The impressively
high ceilings have even helped to find a home
for some of the estate’s vast collection of antlers.’
The bar area proved a success and Project Orange
got the green light to look at the rest. ‘Following
the completion of The Gunroom, we turned their
attention to the guest bedrooms; all greatly in need
of refurbishment,’ adds Ash. ‘With no two bedrooms
alike on the first floor of the hall and with a series of
very tight bedroom layouts on the second floor, we
were presented with a very difficult design challenge.
The first floor deluxe bedroom with a dramatic
bay window and a rather fabulous original marble
fireplace has been brought back to life with a
mixture of old-fashioned luxury and quirky modern
highlights; a traditional Knoll two-seater sofa is
upholstered in a vibrant, flock fabric and simple white,
panelled wardrobe doors with a naughty lime green
lining. Previously a tired meeting room, a luxurious,
black marble bathroom has been installed to the rear
of the bed, creating an elegant backdrop.’ X2
Impressively high ceilings
have helped house
the estate’s imposing
collection of antlers (below)
Mumbai
PARK NAVI MUMBAI
HOTEL REVIEW 53 X2
more than the sum of the parts. What is more interesting when working
abroad is the possibility of tapping into local crafts. In Morocco
we really enjoyed working with tile manufacturers, while in India we
have just designed some very complicated sandstone carving. These
elements really add to the sense of place.
Do you enjoy designing hotels for the luxury end of the market, and
how do you define luxury these days?
Luxury really does seem to be the word of the moment; yes and no.
I enjoy the flexibility of being able to consider so many options,
but there is a huge onus in designing something that is both cutting
edge and timeless. Hotel design is now being seen as almost akin
to fashion; the difference is that a hotel will be there for many years,
but by its nature fashions will change. Thus it is important that the
architectural statement is strong and lasting, while other softer
elements can tap into the immediate zeitgeist. Perhaps luxury now
equals integrity – and the invisible meshing of design, service and
deliverables. I hate that word pampering – it represents everything
that is wrong about society today!
EAST MEETS WEST IN MUMBAI’S LATEST
‘URBAN RETREAT’, WHICH FUSES
TRADITIONAL INDIAN PATTERNS
WITH CLEAN MODERNIST LINES
INTERIOR DESIGNER: APEEJAY PROJECTS, PROJECT ORANGE
The Park Navi Mumbai, a luxury resort set
in Navi Mumbai, Mumbai’s satellite city, is the sixth
hotel of the The Park Hotel group. The urban retreat
is situated in the developing district of CBD Belapur
and boasts stunning views of the surrounding
landscape. The 80–room hotel places a strong
emphasis on contemporary design within
its private and public spaces, providing guests an
elegant setting for both business and pleasure.
The building was left abandoned and incomplete
for 20 years. Through the work of Project Orange
and Apeejay Projects, influenced by modernist
design, the hotel has an open plan approach,
connecting all parts of the hotel to create a vibrant
living environment.
The brilliant white exterior reflects the glistening
sun, creating dark shadows across the deep recesses.
The landscape gardens house only white flowers to
Geometric patterned relief
plasterwork characterises the
walls of the reception area (above)
Park
Hotel
PARK NAVI MUMBAI HOTEL REVIEW 54 X2
What are the biggest challenges facing hotel designers today?
All designers have an increasing responsibility to the environment. I am
absolutely convinced that in 25 years fromnowwe will not have the choices
we have today – they just won’t be available. This was really brought home to
me when specifying a marble – the quarry reported that it had run out... that is
it. The design community needs to work to ensure that it is so deeply rooted
within the process that you are not always aware of it as an issue. In addition,
wouldn’t it be great if we could have a simple hand held controller that worked
the TV, the DVDetc. One day....
Does your inspiration come from travelling a great deal?
Inspiration is something you need both to research and discover. By research
I mean reading and appreciating ideas and theories. By discovery I mean
looking at the world – this could be an exotic trip abroad or just noticing the
way the sun falls through the leaves of a tree. The question then is howto
interpret these fragments into an overall framework. On a more practical level
I think the digital camera revolution means that you can collect images so
easily then put themtogether when you get back home. I always think that no
matter howcomplex or sophisticated an idea is, you should be able to explain
the essence of it in a fewsentences.
offer a cool and refreshing retreat. Inside, the
Park reception takes up a white palette, with a
geometric, patterned relief plaster along the walls
and the desk, where small seating alcoves are cut
into the material.
The hotel restaurant, Zest, allows guests to
enjoy the classic views of the terrace through full
height glass windows at any hour. One wall is
tiled with an abstract version of a traditional
Indian pattern and overlooks the circular bar,
which has a brown Italian marble counter top.
The signature poolside space, Aqua, features
a huge abstract glass mosaic pattern in blues,
greys and oranges, projecting a backdrop for the
dramatic black elliptical pool. Guests can enjoy
sitting out, eating and drinking on the timber
deck, with views of the luxury landscape framed
by the huge circular windows along the boundary
wall. Arranged around an enclosed atrium, the
hotel features 10 studio rooms, 41 deluxe pool-
view and hill-view rooms, 14 luxury garden-view
rooms, 14 studio suites and a presidential suite,
all finished with elegant decor
and modern facilities.
Generously proportioned with high ceilings,
each room is decorated in a classic neutral palate
lifted by flashes of bright colour in the soft
furnishings. The interiors fuse Eastern and
Westenr influences, mixing traditional Indian
patterns and textures with clean lines and
modern shapes. This is shown through the
natural bamboo floors and teak and tan leather
furniture. Central to the room is the bed, which
hovers over the ground on a slatted wooden base.
The bathrooms are spacious with large showers
and pristine white tiles X2
PARK HOTEL MUMBAI HOTEL REVIEW 55 X2
What is the best, most luxurious, hotel experience you’ve ever had?
The very first time I stayed at the Park Hyatt hotel in Tokyo was utterly
memorable. We had had meetings solidly for days and moved from our
corporate hotel at the end of the day to this one. I went for a swim in the
horizon pool on the 44th floor then had dinner in the New York Grill on the
52nd floor. I drank the best vodka martini I have ever tasted. Shame we
had to check out at 6am though.
Can you name any favourite projects?
I am not sure about the word favourite – but I have just come back from
Bangalore where we have finished the I-bar in the Park Hotel. It’s great and
an enormous amount of effort has gone into creating this little space. Every
single item in the room is bespoke down to the furniture. Now that it is
done we will be concentrating on our next hotel project in St Petersburg,
which will open this summer. This has been a real challenge, and I very
much look forward to being involved in the opening.
Have you worked on any new build hotels?
We have not yet had the chance to design a brand new hotel building,
though the project in Mumbai was barely a concrete frame when we
started. The Fitzwilliam Hotel in Belfast is a new building as was the
majority of the Farnham Estate hotel, and in both cases we worked with the
local architects as a team. We are working on phase two of our Chiswick
hotel, which is a new wing so that is a start. However we very much look
forward to being able to design our own homegrown hotel!
What are the challenges of working on existing properties (are
some of them listed buildings too)?
Always the problem of an existing building is that you never quite know
what it is you are dealing with. There are never any up-to-date drawings
and even a survey does not reveal all of the surprises in store. In the end,
you have to be ready to make some changes if required. The main
challenge is to ensure that the mechanical and electrical installation has
been thought through spatially. It sounds obvious, but so often the design
is threatened by a pipe that suddenly appears!
Can you tell us about any hotel projects that are in the pipeline?
Apart from St Petersburg we are working on Eynsham Hall in Oxfordshire,
which promises to be a very elegant and glamorous retreat. The actual
building and the grounds are magnificent.
A huge abstract mosaic
is featured next to the black
elliptical pool, with views
of the landscape framed by
the large circular windows
along the boundary wall
(far left, top and bottom)
Sumptuous patterned fabrics
(left) contrast the modernist, clean
lines of the public spaces (below)
Relax...
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or visit www.westminsterteak.co.uk
Exceptional furniture for the garden and conservatory
X2 SAN RANIERI HOTEL REVIEW 57
Ranieri
San
Pisa
ARCHITECT/POET SIMONE MICHELI HAS
CREATED A ‘CAPSULE’ AWAY FROM DAILY
LIFE, USING LIGHT, SHAPE AND TEXTURE
ARCHITECT AND INTERIOR DESIGNER: SIMONE MICHELI
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SAN RANIERI X2 HOTEL REVIEW 58
S
an (Saint) Ranieri of Pisa started life as a
wandering minstrel. Before he swapped his
instruments for God, he was a young rebel
without a cause - other than his music, all night
partying and sleeping all day. Things he no doubt
would have loved to do in his namesake hotel,
designed by the self-professed architectural hero,
Simone Micheli.
Micheli’s whole concept for the hotel was to
evoke the feeling of stepping into a capsule away
from the traveller’s current space and time. He has
created a soft marshmallow-like world that bears
little relation to the city outside its walls.
The journey begins with the organic curved wall
that surrounds the stainless steel reception desk,
which is a wave of white, varnished plaster over a
cement, metal mesh and resin form. Every space in
the hotel seems large and expansive, maybe because
of the simple shapes in the interior or maybe because
of the reflective or soft surfaces Micheli has used.
White chiffon veils, for instance, hang from floor to
ceiling to the left of the entrance, separating it from
the restaurant serving Tuscan dishes that use
ingredients sourced only from local farms. The
cement floor adds to the feeling of being enveloped,
which is completed by the false ceiling made of
milk-coloured glass. Amorphous sofas are dotted
around for travellers to sit on before they make their
way upstairs. Micheli designed many of the furniture
pieces for the project himself through collaboration
with Italian manufacturers.
Once ascending the black corridor, each bedroom
door is laminated with digital prints of historical
images supplied by local artists from Pisa. Sleep
would have come easily for San Ranieri here, in the
minimally styled bedrooms with black walls and
white voluminous beds. The look becomes slightly
slicker, with ceilings and floors lined with black
polished wood. A curved oblong mirror (which is
also becoming something of a Micheli signature
touch) provides the room with light by means
of a concealed fluorescent lighting inset. The
monochrome palette extends to the bathrooms,
which feature charcoal coloured marble tiling.
Visitors can also stay in the Noir suites, which, as the
name suggests, also have a black polished interior.
Additionally, the hotel houses two conference
halls. The first, entitled the sky-auditorium, has an
unexpected sturdier, classic feel provided mainly by
the teak flooring. The second takes visitors back to
the feeling of a non-descript, endless space that
Micheli has so meticulously created throughout the
rest of the hotel, perfect for the nomadic lifestyle of
a wandering minstrel, saintly or otherwise X2
X2 SAN RANIERI HOTEL REVIEW 59
Monochrome or colour?
Reflective and diaphonous
surfaces help to create
an ethereal atmosphere,
emphasising the hotel’s
role as a place apart
ADRIANA HOTEL REVIEW 60 X2
A NEW LUXURY HOTEL
GRACES THE WATERFONT ON
THE CROATIAN ISLAND OF
HVAR, WHERE ARTFUL
SIMPLICITY PROVIDES A
RELAXING CONTRAST TO SEA,
SAND AND SCENERY
ARCHITECT AND INTERIOR DESIGNER:
JESTICO + WHILES
Adriana
Hvar
Hotel
ADRIANA HOTEL REVIEW 61 X2
ADRIANA HOTEL REVIEW 62 X2
C
roatia has its first addition to The Leading
Small Hotels of the World group in the
shape of the Adriana Hvar Marina Hotel.
Modern minimalism specialist architect Jestico
and Whiles was brought in to create the interiors
for the four-star hotel on the Hvar waterfront
promenade, for Suncani Hvar Hotels.
The 50 guest rooms and nine suites are laid
out over five storeys. The lobby and reception
are on the ground floor along with a restaurant
and lobby bar, which spills out on to the
promenade. The rooftop terrace has a heated,
indoor/outdoor seawater pool and a blue-lit
bar and lounge area called the Skybar that
features a 15m-long bar as well as a split-level
dance floor and a restaurant complete with
terrace. It’s looking to make itself the key bar
and nightclub for Hvar.
J+W’s hotel work encompasses the likes of
the Malmaison chain and the award-winning
One Aldwych in London. For this project,
the practice took its design cues from the
A 15m-long ‘Skybar’
is a key feature (opening image),
along with the outdoor terrace,
which offers stunning views
across Hvar (top), and an
indoor/outdoor seawater pool
(middle). The ultra-modern
bedrooms (left) use a deliberately
limited palette of colours
‘sophisticated simplicity of the architecture’ with
its elegant sandstone facade and grid of bedroom
windows, and carried that into the interiors.
The bedrooms are ultra-modern and J+W
chose a very limited palette of colours to turn
the rooms into a refuge away from sightseeing
and the sea and bright sun. It married this to a
very graphic approach to the use of art in the
rooms, again in a minimal selection of colours
or, often, simply black and white.
Hvar itself is a small island just off the coast
of Croatia, which saw its first hotel development
back in 1899 when it became particularly
popular with Austrians. Bringing it bang up to
date is this major refurbishment project by
Suncani Hvar, in a newly formed partnership
with the Orco Property Group. It operates eight
hotels on the island, all of which are being
upgraded, and is also creating a new ‘economical
accommodation’ venue, Bodul.
It should be set to cash in nicely, with the
New York Times having just voted Hvar one of
the top 12 destinations for 2008 X2
WESTIN AUCKLAND X2 HOTEL REVIEW 64
SITUATED IN A PRESTIGIOUS WATERSIDE
DEVELOPMENT, THE WESTIN AUCKLAND
CELEBRATES NEW ZEALAND’S
MAORI HERITAGE WITH CARVINGS
AND CARPETS THAT CAREFULLY
COMPLEMENT ITS MODERN STYLING.
INTERIOR DESIGNER: MARTIN HUGHES INTERIOR ARCHITECTS,
SKYRING DESIGN
Westin
Lighter
Quay
Auckland
X2 WESTIN AUCKLAND HOTEL REVIEW 65
The Designers Institute Award
in 2007 went to the luxury
five-star hotel in Lighter Quay,
which was formally opened by
NewZealand’s Prime Minister
WESTIN AUCKLAND X2 HOTEL REVIEW 66
B
ordered on two sides by water and two
marinas as it looks out over the stunning
Viaduct Harbour, the new-build five-star
Westin Auckland hotel welcomes visitors and their
yachts. Two private docks belonging to the hotel
permit yachtsmen to sail up and dock at the
pontoon at the waterfront bar and restaurant.
Stewart Harris of Martin Hughes Architecture
Interiors carried out the main hotel design, with
a plan to make the hotel a calming sanctuary in
the city centre. However, he is not responsible
for the design of the 172 guestrooms, as the brief
from the operator was simply, ‘do not decorate.’
The layout of the hotel was originally governed
by the condition of the site and Feng Shui,
Chinese geomancy. Other elements including the
library, conference room and dining areas were
decided on to create a layout that allows easy
movement through all areas.
The general feel or theme here is ‘Natural New
Zealand,’ says Harris, with a conscious effort made
not to play up to stereotypes or pastiches of the
culture, particularly Maori influence, which
Harris feels is often used as ‘tokenism.’ Part of
his application of Maori design at the Westin
Auckland employs the skills of local carvers who
produced an assortment of impressive wooden
sculptures seen in the public areas of the hotel.
There is a distinct connection to the exterior
environment via water features, such as the large
pond in the lobby littered with small rocks
and backed by a wall of falling water. With
these pieces the designer aimed to reflect the
nature of New Zealand in the atmosphere and
colour of each space without forming a great
contrast to the waterway outside.
Specialist bar and restaurant designer
Tom Skyring was asked to create interiors for
the Q Restaurant and bar, The Office Bar and the
basement nightclub, The Late Club. Q restaurant
cannot be missed thanks to Skyring’s striking
Mexican onyx marble slabs imported from Italy.
X2 WESTIN AUCKLAND HOTEL REVIEW 67
The stone is backlit throughout, providing
powerful, glowing illumination in the evenings.
The restaurant serves three meals a day, enjoys a
large fireplace and opens out to the Viaduct. The
Office bar, just behind the hotel library, is darker
but comfortable, furnished with leather chairs
and circular banquettes.
In the tranquil areas of the lounge and library,
the local emphasis is seen through hand-woven
carpets of New Zealand patterns, natural stone and
timber, and grass papers, though there is a break in
the use of Italian furnishings.
Guests can also relax in the spa, steam room
and sauna, or race remote-controlled yachts X2
Light and textures:
Stewart Harris of Martin Hughes
Interior Architects was responsible
for the design in the public areas,
spa and guest rooms, while Tom
Skyring created the look of the
hotel’s waterfront restaurant, Q.
X2 JURA LODGE HOTEL REVIEW 69
NOT ONLY IS THE ISLAND OF
JURA ‘UNGETATABLE’, IN THE
WORDS OF GEORGE ORWELL,
BUT THE LODGE IS ALSO
ABOUT AS FAR FROM BEING A
MAINSTREAM LUXURY HOTEL
AS IT’S POSSIBLE TO GET
INTERIOR DESIGNER: BAMBI SLOAN
Jura
Lodge
The Hebrides
JURA LODGE X2 HOTEL REVIEW 70
O
n a Scottish island that’s home to 5,000
deer, it is perhaps fitting that the designer
behind the newly opened Isle of Jura
Lodge should be called Bambi.
This is not your typical hotel. In fact, it’s not
really a hotel, it’s a five-bedroomed lodge, linked to
the key industry on the 54km
2
Hebridean island –
Jura Whisky. The lodge is the former head distillers
house and sits above the distillery, the main focus
of life on Jura which also boasts one shop, one pub
and a bank (that visits once a week!).
Run by the Isle of Jura Distillery, the lodge is
naturally a haven for the whisky lover, but it’s also
bound to be a draw for anyone who likes to get
right away from it all and has a penchant for
interiors with an eclectic edge. According
French/American designer Bambi Sloan, she
strove to create an ‘unashamedly romantic vision
of a Scottish island beach house, with the spirit
of a family home’.
If you’re looking for a design touchstone
however, you’re probably better off thinking
London’s highly accessorised Trois Garcons
restaurant rather than damp kilts drying by the
peat fired Aga. Elements include a collection of
sharks’ jaws mounted on retro wallpaper and a
lamp made from a stuffed deer’s foot.
Her overarching design requirement was that
there should be ‘no plastic’. She then went on to
source period and new pieces from all over the
world, including a fridge that started life in a
Brazilian cafe, in order to create an antidote to
the ‘horror of anonymous luxury hotels’.
As well as the whisky, the island also has strong
literary connections – George Orwell wrote here
just after the Second World War. In a letter he
describes why he chose this ‘extremely ungetatable’
island: ‘I want to write another book which is
impossible unless I can get six month’s quiet.’
He did get his slice of tranquility and the result
was 1984.
And that literary tradition is being carried on at
the Lodge with a ‘writer’s retreat’ residence
programme for local and international authors.
Perhaps surprisingly, the first author to take up
residence was the singularly urban Will Self, who
confesses to being a lover of both the Hebrides
and George Orwell X2
A retreat. But not from luxury.
Bambi Sloan set out to create the
‘the spirit of a family home’.
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ANDAZ HOTEL REVIEW 72
HYATT LAUNCHES THE FIRST OF
ITS ‘CASUAL LUXURY’ HOTEL
BRAND IN THE CITY’S FORMER
GREAT EASTERN HOTEL
INTERIOR DESIGNER:
WILSDON DESIGN ASSOCIATES
Andaz
London
Hotel
N
estling next to east London’s historic
Liverpool Street Station, the former
Great Eastern Hotel – overhauled by
Sir Terence Conran in the Nineties – has been
transformed again and relaunched as Andaz.
It’s the first of many. Operated by Hyatt
Hotels & Resorts, this is the global launch of a
new brand that aims to ‘fuse a five-star offering
with a boutique, design-driven product’. Each
destination of the hotel brand will have a role
to play in affecting its overall design. In London,
the elegance of the original high-Victorian, age-
of-railways style remains, complete with stained-
glass ceilings and columns. And there are plenty
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ANDAZ HOTEL REVIEW 73 X2
ANDAZ HOTEL REVIEW 74 X2
of modern features working alongside the period
elements, including a dramatic staircase around
the central atrium, which spirals upwards,
Guggenheim-like above what’s being called the
‘living room’ – the lobby. The living room doesn’t
have a check-in or concierge desk, but plenty of
staff on hand instead – who, incidently, don’t have
any titles or ranks.
The local design flavour also extends into the
artworks that are being bought to adorn the walls
and are being curated by East End art collective
Exhibit K. Other links to the area include iPod
playlists in rooms which, if not quite from the
butcher, baker and candlestick maker, are from
the locale’s modern day equivalent, the banker,
the hairdresser and the fashion designer. What’s
more, under the auspices of ‘Eastern Thinking’,
high-profile locals such as designer Barber
Osgerby, light sculptor Jason Bruge and design
agency Mother have provided ‘relevant quotes’
for specific areas of the hotel: a project curated
by Hoxton-based creatives JAM.
Looking at the wider picture, Hyatt Hotels &
Resorts says the Andaz brand has been developed
in response to what it sees as a need for luxury
hotels that are ‘fresh and uncomplicated’ and
big on personal service – the brand in a nutshell
is about ‘casual luxury’.
‘Andaz was the result of extensive research,
which told us that both travelers and developers
Jamie Anley is a co-founder of leading creative group JAM,
established in 1995 by Anley, Astrid Zala and Mathieu Paillard.
JAM worked alongside Shine Communications to curate the Eastern
Thinking exhibition (formed by a series of scattered quotations)
at the Andaz hotel, Liverpool Street, which opened last year.
How did you get involved in the Eastern Thinking Project?
We were approached by the Andaz’s PR agency, Shine
Communications, to work on the concept development, design
and implementation of this design-based project.
What was the idea behind the exhibition?
The idea was to amplify the philosophy of Andaz in an experiential way. Its philosophy
is rooted in creating a friendly enjoyable and localised atmosphere connecting the guests
with the community that exists in the surrounding area. So the plan was to bring a cultural
resonance to the hotel experience and build bridges with the inventiveness and creativity
of the people of east London.
Interview with Jamie Anley
Co-founder of JAM
‘Casual and relaxed’
was the principle guiding the
interior design of this newhotel
brand (opening image), and in
areas such as the foyer, modern
features work alongside period
elements (right). Asense of place
is evoked by ‘relevant quotes’
authored by high-profile
locals and placed in various
parts of the hotel (below)
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ANDAZ HOTEL REVIEW 77 X2
the project, the ambition of the client and the relationship between
the people involved.
What are your favourite aspects of the exhibition?
The quotes play a wonderful role in engaging the guests with the architecture.
They change your experience of scale, materials and light as you journey through
the space. They also provide surprise and anticipation.
How did you decide which artists and designers to approach?
This was initially dictated by the individual’s proximity to the hotel. We wanted all
the participants to live or work within 3km of the hotel. We then looked for a
diversity of creative protagonists practising their art in different disciplines.
What would your ideal hotel experience be?
I would like to live in one! I would like the back door to lead into wild, untamed
nature with forest, ocean and waterfalls and the front door to spill out into the
heart of an urban, cosmopolitan city.
Have you worked on hotel design/installations before?
No. Although we have designed bars, restaurants, concept stores and brand
experience spaces, this was our first venture into the hotel industry.
What is your idea of a ‘luxury’ hotel?
I think a luxury hotel needs to have a point of difference. It needs to engage your
imagination and surpass expectations. The meaning of luxury has evolved from
simply comfort and quality to stimulation and inspiration.
How do the installations fit in with the overall design of the hotel?
Firstly, the location of the quotes was informed by the content and meaning of the
quote itself. Each quote has been designed to jive with the materials, details and space,
which shape its context.
Are you keen to work on more hotel design projects?
We consider every project that people approach us with. Our decision on
whether or not to work on projects is informed by the purpose and vision for
are looking for a high quality, boutique-inspired
hotel experience that is casual and relaxed, yet
characterised by consistently great service,’ said
Mark Hoplamazian, president and chief executive
officer of Global Hyatt Corporation. ‘Andaz is an
eco-conscious brand, with an authentic and stylish
product reflective of local culture and a service
model that is highly personal and uncomplicated.’
A destination restaurant Andaz Studio,
together with a cocktail bar, has also been created,
complete with theatrical open kitchen and it’s
own separate entrance. This is in addition to
four other restaurants in the hotel ranging from
sushi, through fine dining and bistro experiences
to the traditional British pub X2
Clean and uncomplicated
design characterises most of
the hotel’s interior (left and top),
while individuality is provided
by installations, the location of
which is ‘informed by the content
of the quote itself’ (above)
TRADITIONAL ARAB ARCHITECTURE
MEETS LAVISH CONTEMPORARY DESIGN
IN THIS LUXURIOUS HOTEL COMPLEX.
WITH NO EXPENSES SPARED, THE RESULT
IS A TRULY SENSATIONAL EXPERIENCE
ARCHITECT: NORTHPOINT
INTERIOR DESIGNER: WILSON ASSOCIATES
Shangri-La
Abu Dhabi
Hotel
Qaryat Al Beri
QARYAT AL BERI HOTEL REVIEW 78 X2
QARYAT AL BERI HOTEL REVIEW 79 X2
QARYAT AL BERI HOTEL REVIEW 81 X2
T
he latest addition to the Shangri-La
hotel empire has a strong sense of place.
The luxurious leisure complex of Qaryat Al
Beri is the first of its kind to be built in Abu Dhabi.
The hotel interiors mimic Arab architecture
with arches, extensive lattice-work and arabesque
fittings and furniture that are fused together with
contemporary design and architecture.
There are two main components to this
huge development in the capital of the United
Arab Emirates: the hotel itself, which has 214
rooms including five suites, all of which have
balconies overlooking the sea; and the Shangri-La
Residence, which offers 161 serviced apartments
ranging in size from studio to four-bedroom
units. The five-star hotel also has seven four-
or six-bedroom villas on the site and all of these,
as well as the apartments, demonstrate the same
commitment to lavish design.
South African architect Northpoint designed
the hotel. Set up 21 years ago, the practice has
a reputation for designing large-scale mixed-use
developments, especially in the UAE and Egypt.
The interiors are designed by Wilson Associates.
Founded in 1971, the company has blossomed
under the president and CEO Trisha Wilson. It
now has uncompromised experience in the industry
having designed more than a million guestrooms,
and has picked up 20 of the prestigious American
Hotel and Motel Association’s Gold Key Awards,
for excellence in hotel design.
As well as its sea views, the hotel also overlooks
the grand mosque of Abu Dhabi and is set in
8.5ha, owned by the investment group, Al Jaber.
Picture perfect: the hotel
features extensive recreational
facilities including five outdoor
swimming pools and poolside
dining. Part of the hotel overlooks
the grand mosque of Abu Dhabi
QARYAT AL BERI HOTEL REVIEW 82 X2
In order to make the hotel a destination in
its own right, there is an eclectic shopping centre
at the heart of the development. The area is
designed to reflect the traditional Arab marketplace,
or souk. As well as the numerous waterfront
restaurants, there are four main eateries inside the
hotel – headed up by the signature Chinese-cuisine
restaurant, Shang. Space simply isn’t an issue here.
There is a ballroom and five meeting and conference
rooms also within the grounds of the hotel.
This is the 54th hotel being operated by the
Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
Group, which currently has 45 projects under
development in places as far ranging as the
UK and China X2
Spoilt for choice
Guest are offred
a variety of dining
rooms, all of which are
designed and exquisitely
detailed fusing traditional
Arab architecture with
contemporary design
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NEW MAJESTIC X2 HOTEL REVIEW 84
T
hink Singapore and you think thrusting,
modern city of towering buildings, but you
don’t necessarily expect to find a predominantly
design-conscious hotel experience there. Well there
is one: New Majestic.
Housed in a former store in the Chinatown area,
the hotel has held on to its key period features from
the 1920s and 1930s, while surrounding them with
thoroughly modern design. Owner and creator Loh
Lik Peng, who also has the hotel 1929 in Singapore,
wants this hotel to become ‘a beacon in the “new
Asia” genre of hotels, where history is blended with
modernity and international design with local
inspiration – a cutting edge product of our time.’
He entrusted DP Architects and Colin Seah at
the Ministry of Design consultancy with turning the
New
Singapore
Majestic
A RADICAL REFURBISHMENT IN
A CONSERVATION AREA SEES
CONTEMPORARY ART FROM RISING
SINGAPOREAN ARTISTS GIVE EACH
GUESTROOM ITS OWN CHARACTER,
BUT THE HOTEL’S DESIGN ENABLES IT
TO RETAIN STRONG LINKS WTH ITS
TRADITIONAL SHOP HOUSE HERITAGE
ARCHITECT: DP ARCHITECTS
INTERIOR DESIGN: MINISTRY OF DESIGN, COLIN SEAH
X2 NEW MAJESTIC HOTEL REVIEW 85
dream into a reality. It also involved nine emerging
local artists from Asian Art Options, creating work
that integrated with the hotel and is unique to it.
There are 30 bedrooms, including suites with
private gardens and attic-style loft rooms with 6m-
high ceilings. The rooms are individually designed,
but have been grouped into four main types: The
Mirror Room, with a continuous ribbon of mirrors
flowing round the room; The Hanging Bed Room,
with an unusual take on the four poster bed;
The Aquarium Room, where a glass encased bath
becomes the focus of the room and The Loft Room,
which draws on the heritage of ‘the classic
Singaporean shophouse’.
On top of this are five rooms, ‘personalised’ by
figures from Singapore’s creative community,
including: fashion designer Wykidd Song who
‘transforms the rigid square lines of the room into
a modern fluid swirl of a space’; film director
Glen Goei who has been inspired by fellow director
Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern) and graphic
designer Theseus Chan, whose plywood room
redefines ‘living in a box’!
The scene is set for guests as they enter the
lobby, which highlights the mix of old and new
that the designers have tried to achieve. The
traditional lobby is done out in minimal style
with a white glass-sided sweeping staircase,
mixed with large ceiling fans that revolve slowly
and evocatively. This theme continues in the
Majestic restaurant, which is a modern take
on the traditional Chinese restaurant in the area X2
Singapore’s modernity
and increasing design confidence
is shown in the use of space
and the avoidance of a bland
international style of interior
NEVAÏ X2 HOTEL REVIEW 86
YASMINE MAHMOUDIEH WAS EASILY PERSUADED TO
TAKE ON THE DESIGN OF A HOTEL IN HER FAVOURITE
SKIING RESORT BUT SHE WAS DETERMINED TO STRAY
FROMTHE NORMAL ROUTE TO COOL, MINIMALISM
ARCHITECT AND INTERIOR DESIGNER: YASMINE MAHMOUDIEH
Nevaï
Hotel
Switzerland
X2 NEVAÏ HOTEL REVIEW 87
X2 NEVAÏ HOTEL REVIEW 89
T
he Nevaï is a four-star boutique hotel with
visual references to its Alpine surroundings.
Experienced hotel designer, Yasmine
Mahmoudieh says part of the reason that she took
on the interior design of the hotel was because
Verbier is her personal choice of ski resort.
On walls, balconies and furniture are icicle motifs
combined with warmth of colour and materials.
‘[It is] a very colourful scheme to make it lively and
also very comfortable,’ says Mahmoudieh. ‘I didn’t
want it to be a minimalist place, because when you
go skiing you really want to have a nice comfortable
area to sit in.’ The client has lived in Verbier for
many years and didn’t want just another Alpine
hotel or chalet for his former three-star hotel. The
lobby welcomes guests with a video installation
projecting the Swiss Alps’ changing seasons.
A four foot-long exposed fireplace dominates
the hotel bar, warming a sunken seating area with
wooden sofas and a lowered ceiling with an orange
glowing shadow gap. A step up and a short walk take
you across the tiled white floor towards the bar, with
an ice crystal front reflecting sleek white swivel stools
before it and high-backed red seats to the side. The
bar is adjacent to the Farm Club, an exclusive haunt
Chilling out in the warm
is the essence of
Mahmoudieh’s interior
design which includes
ice crystal motifs
and misty lighting
Yasmine Mahmoudieh was born in Hamburg, Germany. She studied
art history in Florence, architecture in Geneva, and interior design and
architecture at two Californian universities. In the year following the
award of a BAin architecture and interior design fromthe University
of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1985, Mahmoudieh founded
Mahmoudieh Design, which nowhas offices in Berlin, London,
Hamburg, Barcelona and Dubai. Projects to date include the
Millennium Shopping Centre in Budapest, the Massachusetts
Museum of Contemporary Art, and most recently the Nevaï hotel in
Verbier. She has also developed concepts for a five-star hotel in Dubai and the first class
cabin interior of the Airbus A380. Mahmoudieh currently guest lectures at prominent
design institutions including UCLA, the Architectural Association and Cornell University.
When you started in 1986, was your intention to be a hotel designer?
When I first started out in Los Angeles, hotels were very traditional and there was no
exciting design at all. It was my aim to challenge the very traditional way that hotels were
designed. But it was very difficult at the beginning to move things, so I was always doing
other things – designs for office buildings, shopping centres.
Interview with Yasmine Mahmoudieh
Designer of the Nevaï Hotel
NEVAÏ X2 HOTEL REVIEW 90
How has your style developed in that time?
I’ve always been looking to the future, but I never lost the eye for the human being – I
mean the tenant or user. It was not only the futuristic idea, which I do have, but also
combining new ideas of living and traveling. Also considering that at the end of all design
whoever uses the hotel has to be very comfortable and at ease. It’s about challenge, about
inspiration. Hotel guests don’t just want to find the common thing; they’re much more
spoiled today, because there are so many buildings they can look at. It’s not so easy to
satisfy the customer anymore.
How do you feel hotel design has progressed since then?
Tremendously: I remember I was lecturing in New York at the International Hotel
Investment Conference, about 10 years ago, and everybody from the big chains was
saying ‘This is just a fad and it will disappear. Nobody will care about design,’ and I told
them, ‘This is just the beginning – you’ll see.’
Did you decide to make your concept for the Airbus A380 a luxury interior based
on your extended hotel experience?
Part of Airbus’ interest in my company was my extensive knowledge of hotel design. I
think it’s the idea to accommodate the guest and make the guest feel comfortable. On a
plane you are a guest for a time, and you spend up to 18 hours in the new Airbus – there’s
often full of celebrities and the chalet crowd.
The restaurant is designed in an open plan,
so that guests can be closer to the cooking process,
which also features full height windows and
a heated outdoor terrace facing the mountains
and the ice crystals motif emerges again on mirrored
surfaces. Pendant lights like droplets and large
circular shades provide soft illumination over
the tables and the restaurant lounge off the main
room is an area where guests can curl up on the
suede seating that borders the room.
The two spacious penthouses each offer a private
entrance, living room with fireplace and stunning
mountain views from a secluded terrace with a
private whirlpool. The 33 guestrooms provide a
light environment with injections of rich colours in
soft furnishings against pale or neutral walls and
timber floors. A Turkish hammam, pool and sauna
complete the relaxing atmosphere in the spa, which
opens on to the terrace allowing guests to lounge
and order from the bar post-treatment.
Mahmoudieh explains that she enjoys projects
where she is able to create an interior ‘in a place
I know and would use and re-use myself ’ X2
Accent colours and lighting
lend the schme visual warmth
X2 NEVAÏ HOTEL REVIEW 91
a lot of analogy between the two. But I think on the other hand, you really have to think
very differently about completely different requirements – every square inch is very
important to the lightness of material. When I was in the competition with some well
known English, American and French designers, I was very surprised that so many made it
like a lounge – very trendy but heavy material and heavy furniture without the forethought
that everything has to be aerodynamic and every kilo of weight is more fuel expenditure.
It’s far beyond what I did in hotels.
What is the difference between four-star and five-star hotel design?
A five-star hotel is the ultimate in luxury that you would expect, where obviously there’s a
different budget. It’s about quality of materials, it’s about more space. Four-star doesn’t
usually give you this luxury, especially in city centres. But the most important is the
product itself: if it’s a four-star you try to make the most out of it. I did an exhibition called
‘five plus sensotel’ where I created a hotel – five-star –for all of the five senses. To that
extreme, what I did in my exhibition, I can only do it in a five-star hotel because it would
cost too much to do it in four-star, but I can still take things out of it. I’m bringing out a
scent machine that you can use in hotels, where you can change the pads like you change
an espresso machine, so you can change the scent in your room.
In Verbier we will have it in the suites for the first time ever.
What makes you continue to do hotel projects?
I like to travel myself. A lot. I like to use them myself; so a hotel is the nicest project for me
because when I finish I can go back, I can enjoy myself, so that’s a very intriguing part to
designing hotels. I think that must be part of the reason why so many designers now want
to design hotels who have never designed hotels before.
What do you think about people who have never designed hotels before?
It’s difficult: a hotel has to be a very functional place; it’s almost like a little city. You have
the conference room which is like an office building, you have the rooms which are like
private homes or apartments, you have the restaurants which are like outside restaurants,
you have the bar – but it’s all in a limited amount of space, so you don’t have the largeness
of having a building for each part. And so you have to think about the logistics, about
services – you know that all the people who serve you have to have a different route in the
hotel than the people who enjoy the hotel. I’ve seen so many mistakes by non-hotel
architects or designers because they have no understanding of how it all melds together.
From an operational standpoint, it’s so important that you have knowledge of how it all
works because you can have the most beautiful hotel and it’s still not working.
What is the future of hotel design?
You will see more and more hotels that are integrated and mixed-use projects, and you’ll
have to think not only about the hotel but of the other synergies that can arise within the
building like offices or shopping centres – how it’s going to influence that, what’s going
to change. You can see already that the pressure on all big chains has increased drastically
to change their identity; it’s a lot about branding. I think hotels have far less identity than
companies have. If you look at all the great brands in the world, but you compare the great
hotel brands in the world like Ritz Carlton or Four Seasons, there’s not that identity to
convince you they all look different. So there’s not really a structure to create a very strong
brand out of it and I think hotel design will be a lot more about branding; you can see that
now in fashion hotels.
Is there a project you would like to do in the near future?
I’m working on a project that I’d like to realise in Bodrum, Turkey. This is a master plan
where I would be the master planner, architect and designer and there’s also the cultural
component to it. I’ve developed the concept and now we are waiting for the final approval
from the shareholders. It will be the most exciting project, to work almost on a city itself
where I can control the aesthetics in many ways, many areas, not just to be isolated within
a big complex but to be able to write the code for a whole little ‘city.’
Whirlpool with scenery:
Taking in a viewof the
snowline while the steam
and bubbles rise aound you
must be among the most
luxurious forms of relaxation
The
Brussels
X2 THE DOMINICAN HOTEL REVIEW 93
Dominican
H
oping to stand out in a city dominated by
Eurocrat orientated hotels, The Dominican,
in Brussels, has opted for cutting-edge
contemporary design while also nodding in the
direction of a 15th-century Dominican Abbey that
once stood on the same spot.
The 150-room Carlton Hotel is a member of
Design Hotels and so firmly aimed at a design-
conscious lifestyle clientele. The history comes
through in the shape of high ceilings, large gothic-
style arches, monasterial corridors and even a bit
of piped-in Gregorian chant. It also plays with the
cloister idea, being set around an inner courtyard
with all of the rooms facing into the space.
The original facade has been retained by Belgian
architect Lens Ass and you enter the building
through huge, ornate glass and steel doors that also
draw on the city’s decorative architectural tradition.
The interior has been created by award-winning
Dutch design duo, Colin Finnegan and Gerard
Glintmeijer, of FG Stijl. In 2005 they picked up
the Prix-Villegiature Paris award for Best Interior
STANDING ON THE SITE OF A 15-TH CENTURY ABBEY, THE
DOMINICAN DRAWS ON A HERITAGE THAT MARRIES
THE GOTHIC AND BELGIAN ARCHITECTURAL TRADITIONS
ARCHITECT: LENS ASS
INTERIOR DESIGNER: FG STIJL
In chanting distance
of the national opera house
and Brussels’ Grande Place,
The Dominican is also
a convenient meeting
place for Eurocrats
W
W
W
.
D
E
S
I
G
N
H
O
T
E
L
S
.
C
O
M
THE DOMINICAN X2 HOTEL REVIEW 94
Design in Europe. They’ve strived to create a
feeling of ‘dramatic intimacy’, while also, they say,
trying not to make it look like a hotel. Modern
design features include the use of ‘luxurious
textiles’ and quality materials such as Belgian stone
and wood floors dominate the public areas, while
thick carpet has been used in the individually
designed rooms, to emphasise a sense of ‘comfort’.
As well as facing into the inner courtyard, the
rooms have also been designed with a double
aspect, so that they also look out over La Monnaie,
the national opera house. The hotel is slap bang in
the middle of the historic heart of Brussels, just off
one of the city’s biggest draws, the Grand Place.
Eating and drinking is concentrated in
The Grand Lounge, which is right next to the
inner courtyard, and can open into that area in
warm weather. There’s also a lounge bar with
grandiose windows and soaring ceiling heights.
For further rest and relaxation there’s also a gym
complete with sauna and Turkish steam bath.
And, finally, this being Brussels and the heart
of Euro government, the hotel could not ignore
the conference and meeting facilities side of the
business, with naturally lit spaces that can cater for
anything from parties of 10 to 250 X2
Modern design habits
have been adopted at
The Dominican, where
deceptively simple styling
is underpinned with the
use of luxury materials
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I N T E R N A T I O N A L
Member
45 Cressex Enterprise Centre, Lincoln Road,
High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire HP12 3RL
Oregan origins:
The interior design is full
of clues and tributes
to Portland and is heritage
frommilitary canvass used
for upholstery to specially
woven blankets that
make reference to the
city’s famous elk statue
ACE HOTEL X2 HOTEL REVIEW 96
ACE HOTEL HOTEL REVIEW 97 X2
THE ACE HOTEL CELEBRATES ITS LOCATION
AND 20TH-CENTURY DESIGN. BUT IT OWES
MUCH OF ITS CHARACTER TO AN ODD MIX
OF FOUND OBJECTS AND LEGISLATION ON
DISABILITY AND ACCESS IN WHICH STREET
ART AND MILITARY SURPLUS PLAY A ROLE
INTERIOR DESIGNER: ATELIER ACE
P
icking up the pieces, Ace Hotel group
regenerated an entire Oregon city block into a
79-room hotel, with almost entirely found
objects. The building, formerly the Clyde Hotel, was
built in 1912 and has been transformed by designer,
Atelier Ace, coupling vintage and cool interior
designs, that connect the hotel to its roots.
Historical restrictions and ADA (Americans with
Disability Act) policy, insisted that the lobby tiling
and wood panels should remain throughout the
hotel, The strict regulations proved a bonus for the
environment, and provided a classic finished product.
Ace Hotel, made wide use of army canvass in the
decor, reminding visitors of the military history of
the city. Upholstered on stools and as fabric on the
headboards, the material was sourced from a nearby
army surplus store and was came mainly from West
German army ponchos from the 1960s and 1970s.
Each bedroom has its own features. Custom
murals painted by local street artists and
skateboarders are just some of the extraordinary
designs that are part of a guest’s’ experience.
Artist Brent Wick designed one of the walls in
Room 415, with a large black and white cat image.
Brent’s wish was to make his cat, Larry, famous and
has incorporated his personal work into the design,
making the hotel a home-grown project. Another
room has an entire stream of lyrics to the
Leonard Cohen song Suzanne, which is the
owner’s favourite piece of music. The murals have
a ground of Yolo paints, which contain no volatile
organic compounds or chemicals.
The existing structure comprised pairs of rooms
each connected by a rectangular bathroom with a
toilet and claw-foot bath. The new structure has
joined two sleeping spaces together and provided
separate en-suites for standard rooms, giving privacy
to guests at the hotel.
Each bed was crafted by Columbia Wood
Products using pure bond birch ply, and blankets
were woven by Pendleton Woollen Mill, a trademark
of Portland for over 100 years. The blankets feature
an image of the city’s famous elk statue and lay on
top of the Mascioni cotton sheets and organic latex
mattresses from Suite Sleep. The organic materials
flow through the hotel as the carpet is made from
organic New Zealand wool. Rooms, which don’t
have carpet have the original hardwood flooring.
A variety of objects were found throughout
the regeneration. A lengthy tree trunk from a
friend’s garden serves as a side table; wingback
chairs were found in junkshops, and vintage
lamps and second hand tables were restored
and covered in leather. Reclaimed or crafted
pieces by local craftsmen and companies is
apparent throughout the hotel. The only piece
bought on sale from the home décor chain,
Anthropologie, is the Amelie sofa in Room 415.
Complete with its large windows and high
ceilings, the Ace Hotel captures much that is
characteristic of the early 20th century X2
Ace
Hotel
Portland
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