A round up of the inviting shortlist in the hotels and other overnight accommodation category
Waldorf Astoria Kuwait – LW Design
Set in the prestigious Avenues Mall in Kuwait, complete with over 1,000 shops, an amusement park and state-of-the-art cinema, cafes, the Waldorf Astoria hotel caters for business travellers, tourists and large family groups alike.
The interiors feature an impressive sculptural staircase and decorative screens in the atrium which link the spaces and activate the public areas with the guest room corridors. The signature Waldorf Astoria feature clock grounds the lobby.
Contrasting materials add glamour and luxe to the spaces while inviting grouped seating areas and nooks soften the hard finishes and add life to the public areas. Artwork creates drama and a talking point whilst leading you through the spaces. Connectivity throughout the hotel is crucial to create an element of discovery as you journey through it.
Bab Al Shams – LW Design
LW was commissioned to reinvent Bab Al Shams, a landmark destination, into a contemporary and glamorous desert resort. The heritage building hadn’t been renovated for almost two decades, so there were many surprises and unexpected challenges to consider.
The eclectic and contemporary Arabic theme creatively maintains much of its original heritage. The interiors blend contemporary Arabic elements and sustainable heritage. Early on in the concept phase, the design team made special effort to preserve and re-purpose key furniture pieces, iconic artwork and accessories into the new design, adding to the resort’s overall sustainable value and heritage.
Keeping with the Bab Al Shams sustainability concept, LW has re-used and upcycled existing pieces, including the iconic coat hangers that have been re-lacquered to complement the new colour scheme. Carefully hand-picked items in each room add quirky modernity while respecting its heritage.
Mandarin Oriental Palace Lucerne – Jestico + Whiles
Built at the turn of the century by eccentric Swiss hotelier Franz Josef Bucher, this hotel on the shore of Switzerland’s Lake Lucerne the designers have prepared the hotel for another century of service. Reopened as Mandarin Oriental’s latest luxury hotel Jestico + Whiles sensitively reimagined the vision of Franz Josef Bucher.
Interiors remix the faded Art Deco grandeur of the original with fresh bold ideas, featuring four distinctively designed restaurants and bars, 136 unique guestrooms, and a new spa hand-carved from Tuscan stone.
Following the principle that the most sustainable building is the one that already exists, the restoration of the historic hotel avoids unnecessary waste and preserves the landmark for a new generation. Decorative features have been faithfully restored, including scagliola columns, chequerboard marble flooring and stucco-adorned walls.
The hotel’s original colour palette, inspired by Bucher’s travels across the Mediterranean, has emerged from beneath layers of past alterations. Earthy terracottas, rich greens and chalk whites are incorporated into the newly renovated interiors, as palm and lily motifs nod to the stylised botanicals of the Art Deco era.
InterContinental Hotel Sydney – Woods Bagot
This 5-star hotel offers its guests uninterrupted views to the Royal Botanic Gardens and Sydney Harbour. Within the hotel complex are the State Heritage Listed former Treasury buildings which are commended for being an outstanding example of Sydney’s colonial architecture.
Designers have preserved the historic fabric of the building, unifying this with contemporary materials and details. The new Intercontinental Sydney draws from the grandeur of the past whilst introducing materials, details and furnishings synonymous with the relaxed Australian lifestyle.
Interiors are inspired by rich red brick, warm sandstone and black and white courtyard tiles. Reinterpreted by utilising timber wall linings and joinery emanating residential warmth, sandstone and black and white tiles with contemporary scale and proportion and patternation.
The ground floor planning was reimagined to enhance the guest arrival experience. The heart of the hotel, the Cortile, bathed in natural sunlight, is immersed in greenery referencing both the original outdoor space and its proximity to the Royal Botanic Gardens. Here a contemporary bar is situated with furniture nestled amongst the botanics and historic arches, forming a welcome retreat for both locals and international guests to enjoy.
Intercity Hotel – Vermilion Zhou Design Group
Intercity Hotel’s interiors follow a less is more aesthetic, as proposed by the German modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Elegant, practical and refined, guest rooms are arranged in zones for washing, rest, entertainment and work. An emphasis on comfort means the design focuses on every detail to provide guests with a good rest experience.
While Intercity Hotel is aimed at business travellers, the designers have insured the space is sensual and calm. After simplifying and removing unnecessary distractions the hotel offers every business traveller rest and peace of mind.
DHAWA Jinan Daming Lake – Vantree Design
The concept of the hotel lobby and the lobby bar at Jinan Daming Lake originates from the love story between Xia Yuhe and the Emperor Qianlong. Imagery from the story is combined with exclusive colours from the Jinan opera, arranged with glass umbrellas and mirrored lotus leaves, presenting an intense decorative effect and atmosphere. The all-day dining restaurant on the second floor is inspired by the luggage of the Jiangyou Business Gang.
Local elements have been integrated into the space organically through a combination of modern techniques, and the reinterpretation of the lively traditional Jinan street market. The inspiration for the rooftop bar comes from the bustling ancient wine shop.