Inspirational Interiors: The best hotel design
Hotelier's guide to the latest hotel openings & new restaurants
MEKONG, ANANTARA Dubai THE PALM RESORT & SPA
Dine in a rickshaw at Anantara’s first Dubai property
Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa recently launched its signature Thai restaurant, Mekong. The restaurant is the second Mekong outlet at an Anantara property — the original outlet is located in Anantara Xishuangbanna, China — and the first in the region.
Mekong’s colourful design lends an authentic South-East Asian feel to the restaurant. Guests are first greeted by a fountain featuring the Chang Noi (baby elephant), which is believed in Thailand to be a good luck charm.
The eye-catching interiors were designed by Stickman Tribe, with the aim of being as bold and original as possible. Executive assistant manager of F&B Graeme Ure comments: “We were very focused on bringing something very unique towards an Asian perspective ... everything that is in the restaurant has been sourced directly from Thailand.”
The 144 seat-restaurant is full of peculiar design features, including a cascading array of warm toned traditional Thai umbrellas, which adorn the walls of the private dining area, and rickshaw seating made from Thai rickshaws modified by the designers.
Cutlery: Renarte LLC | Linen: Greenline (FZC) | Appliances: Scotsman | Pots and pans: Yue Po Engineering Co.Ltd | Woks: Chan Chi Kee
SHUIQI SPA & FITNESS CENTRE, ATLANTIS THE PALM, DUBAI
Try out the latest fitness equipment at Dubai resort
Following its recent renovation, Atlantis the Palm’s Shuiqi Spa & Fitness Centre features a brand new look. The fitness centre was completely re-designed by Dubai-based Tao, using natural materials like wood and stone, while the various training areas were upgraded with the latest Technogym equipment.
As visitors arrive, they are welcomed by a space that incorporates various objects, shapes, lights and textures, with a focal point that starts from the back-lit flooring design all the way to the end of the feature wall. The ‘Wellness’ area of the centre features the Artis range, which comprises a complete cardio line including treadmill, elliptical, vario, bike, and recline, as well as strength pieces and functional stations, and is the first of its kind in Dubai.
Two dedicated zones are split into a training space called Omnia, as well as a Kinesis zone, which uses six functional machines to target the body’s kinetic chains rather than individual muscles, arranged back to back in a circuit format. The remaining zones cover cardio, strength, flexibility, and free weights machines.
Flooring: Pavigym | Interior design: Tao | Contractor: Architeriors | Equipment: Technogym | Lockers: Kit Lock
THAI, THE RITZ-CARLTON BAHRAIN HOTEL & SPA
Traditional Thai food in a chic lounge setting
Designed by MasMardi Architects, Thai is part of the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain’s recent F&B overhaul, and features classic but playful pieces grouped together seemingly haphazardly in a mix of colours ranging from blue, grey and red, to white and beige tones.
The bar is located behind an enormous replica of a suphanahong, the royal barge used during processions in Thailand. “The Thai staff feel really proud to be working here, and they are also treating it with respect. On certain days, before the lounge opened, they did their offerings, and also Songkran and Loi Krathong and other festivals. We also have the Thai embassy coming here,” explains restaurant manager Norman Lentsch.
With its waterfront location and views of the Manama skyline, the restaurant has been popular among non-resort guests during the evenings, when the restaurant welcomes them. “This is the only outlet in Bahrain which has a setting that is a bit more relaxing and cosy at night, with a view of the Manama skyline — this is a selling factor for a lot of guests coming and returning,” says Lentsch.
Tableware: Juane de Chrome | Furniture: Moroso | Design: Mas Mardi Architects | Appliances: Bonnet | Blenders: Blendtec | Knives: Victorinox
CAFE PALMIER, LE ROYAL MERIDIEN ABU DHABI
Changing the face of all-day dining
Cafe Palmier at Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi hopes to redefine the concept of all-day dining restaurants at hotels. The restaurant, which was previously called L’Opera, was unveiled with a brand new look. Gone are the dull brown couches and heavy furniture.
Instead, the restaurant, designed by LW Design, features floor to ceiling windows, marble countertops, an open kitchen, bright, airy furnishing, and can accommodate up to 170 guests.
Explaining the new look, deputy general manager Daniel Van Der Heijden says: “The design, the colours, the tables, the chairs ... I would say it’s all very modern, almost cutting edge, but at the same time it’s so cleverly designed because it’s so comfortable. It’s had a lived-in feeling since the very first day.”
The restaurant’s open kitchen serves as the focal point, and according to Van Der Heijden, has become quite a topic of discussion with many dishes served à la minute. He says the team also spent a great deal of time focusing on every aspect of the restaurant, from the music, to the furniture, to table accessories and kitchen equipment.
Furniture and lighting: Aati Contractors| Plants: Design Unlimited | Cutlery: 1765 Gemini Pots: Rak Restofair
ROYAL SUITE, ST. REGIS SAADIYAT ISLAND RESORT, ABU DHABI
Live like royalty in the UAE’s largest hotel suite
St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort recently introduced its Royal Suite, which is one of the largest in the UAE, measuring an impressive 2100m² and occupying the top two floors of the resort’s west wing.
Designed by UAE-based Enigma Design, the luxurious suite features four bedrooms, a living room, a 12-seater dining room, a mini cinema, games room with a billiard table, a terrace with a bar and outdoor swimming pool, all for an AED 130,000 (US $35,393) per night price tag.
Spanning the entire lower floor, the master bedroom comes with a private balcony with ocean views. Other features include a spacious ocean-facing bathroom with a walk-in double shower and bathtub, an expansive walk-in closet and dressing area, a spa room and sauna.
All bathrooms in the suite include bespoke amenities, alongside the St. Regis brand’s signature Remède bath products, while guests are looked after by their own personal butler.
FURNITURE AND FIXTURES: IM INTERIOR DECORATION LLC | AV SYSTEM: GENESIS INTEGRATION | LIGHTING: BCL BUSINESS communications | DESIGNER: ENIGMA DESIGN
OBEROI SPA, THE OBEROI DUBAI
24-hour wellness for clients on the go
The new Oberoi Dubai in Business Bay is one of the first hotels in the city to offer a 24-hour spa.
The spa features seven treatment rooms, each with natural light and its own locker room and steam shower to offer maximum privacy to clients. One of the rooms is a double treatment suite, allowing for added flexibility for guests.
Outside, the spa features a dedicated yoga deck where wellness instructor Priyanka Chowdhury, a Yoga Olympics world champion for India, offers one-hour complimentary yoga sessions each day as well as tailored packages. The gym is also open 24-hours and Chowdhury says approval is being awaited to open the pool around-the-clock too.
The 24-hour concept poses several operational challenges, but Chowdhury says EIH Limited chairman P.R.S. Oberoi believes that guests at the business leisure hotel would “want to relax and use the spa”. The concept is already successful in Delhi, India, and so far, The Oberoi, Dubai has seen good take-up from male business travellers in the early hours of the morning.
LIGHTING: STUDIO LUMEN STEAM | FURNITURE: AL REYAMI | DECK LOUNGERS: CASUALIFE | TREATMENT BEDS & EQUIPMENT: BEAUTY LEADERS STEAM SHOWERS: LIFE SOLUTION | PLANTS: PLANTERS