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Jean-Michel Gathy

IN RENDERS: Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
IN RENDERS: Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi

Legendary designer Jean-Michel Gathy infused a contemporary and traditional aesthetic in Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi, which is sheltered inside the city’s latest landmark building…

Soaring above Tokyo with panoramic views of the Imperial Palace, Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi is poised to reach a new height of luxury in its design statement with Japanese traditions melded seamlessly with a modern European aesthetic.

The 193-key luxury hotel is the design brainchild of Jean-Michel Gathy, legendary principal designer at the award-winning hospitality and design consultancy firm Denniston.

On the top six floors of the new 39-storey tower plus two additional floors (Ground Floor and 3rd Floor) adjacent to the Imperial Palace–the capital’s literal and figurative heart, Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi will be a restful haven for travellers delivering a new level of luxury experiences at the city’s latest sky-high social scene. The hotel will feature 193 well-appointed guestrooms and suites, a prestigious spa sanctuary and a 20-metre pool on the highest floor as well as four distinct F&B concepts.

“The cultural diversity of the country has drawn me to create a contemporary expression of the traditional values for this project.” – Jean-Michel Gathy

Orange entrance to the hotel

Image credit: Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi

Gathy skillfully presents authentic Japanese elements throughout the design in respecting Japan’s culture, traditions and heritage, while incorporating the finest elements and absolute DNA of Four Seasons. “The cultural diversity of the country has drawn me to create a contemporary expression of the traditional values for this project without arrogance or a sense of overbearing,” the designer commented. We aim to ignite the feeling of a home away from home with an inviting, warm and welcoming atmosphere in the most dynamic city.”

Reflecting the vibrancy of Tokyo, a traditional Japanese red-orange lacquer box featuring solid timber panels acts as the frame to the hotel entrance at the busiest district of Tokyo. Gathy has created an experience of sensory excitement from which travellers will discover the city’s intriguing blend of ancient and hypermodern.

To replicate the Japanese aesthetic, Gathy has personally curated a defining art collection to celebrate the distinctive craftsmanship and artistry, which embodies the traditional foundations of the country. Distinct examples can be found in the combination of the Japanese floral art Ikebana, hanging natural fibre/fabric artwork and the timber panel featured at the entrance to awaken the overriding strength of connection between east and west.

Board the lift to the reception lobby on the 39th-floor where an extraordinary view is revealed through a glass curtain wall fronted by a rock installation on a shallow pond. “To truly respect the tradition and interpret the tranquility of Japan, the water feature serves as a buffer area to deflect guests’ eyeballs as it may be considered as discourteous to look straight down into the Imperial Palace.” shares Gathy who leads his team to plan scrupulously and strike a balance between the pursuit of aesthetics and the preservation of culture and respect for traditions. The six-metre high ceiling and cosy nooks and crannies provide capacious space for the reception, while the colour theme of gold and black delivers a subtle and warm welcoming atmosphere to Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi.

Render of minimalist reception overlooking city of Tokyo

Image credit: Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi

The links between contemporary West and the traditions of Japan have contributed to the reception area where guests can discover the hidden details before experiencing the dynamism of Tokyo. In response to the Four Seasons’ core value of “East meets West”, the Japanese calligraphy with the meaning of “season” is harmoniously blended in a typical European pendant chandelier and ingeniously displayed on the bottom part of the dome. The Japanese Zen garden subtly sculpted and reflected on a 3-dimensional wall by the artist Pongsatat Uaiklan (Dong) sits behind an elegant Italian cat-leg cabinet decorated with Japanese blocks.

Distinct Japanese touches immerse guests in the local landscape, the flowing and multidimensional design can be found throughout the 193 guestrooms at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi. Blending the art to the room flawlessly, Gathy appointed the Japanese award-winning photographer Namiko Kitaura to capture the bespoke fabric artwork displayed as the backdrop in each guestroom.

A very minimalist guestroom

Image credit: Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi

All rooms and suites are tailored for intimacy with an innovative open-plan layout. The sophisticated Japanese aesthetic flows through the interiors which are illuminated by natural light during the day and with bespoke modern light fixtures to reflect the after-dark glamour of Tokyo.

a modern suite overlooking Tokyo

Image credit: Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi

Celebrating an authentic wedding in the heart of Tokyo at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi, the ballroom and the function rooms adjacent to the chapel promise magical settings for every moment of celebrations. 

Natural light and elegant décor at the chapel invoke an ambience of romance and peace with distinctive European touches. Incorporating private rooms for the bride and officiant, and offering seamless connectivity to the Ballroom Foyer, Grand Ballroom and each of the smaller function rooms, the Chapel can host not only the ceremony but all other types of wedding events, from intimate family brunches to gala receptions.

Image credit: Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi

The Grand Ballroom’s windows draw natural light into the spacious interior. The chandeliers and cascading lights without concrete shapes echo the beauty of nature and evoke the contemporary transition of Japanese culture. Gathy shares his vision for the project: “Inspired by the hotel name, Four Seasons, we are trying to reflect the essence of traditional literature and poetry – flow of the Seasons.”

Gathy applies his deft touch to create a serene sanctuary for THE SPA at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi with the selection of a gentle and relaxing colour tone. The massive 3D natural fibre or fabric art installations in the spa lobby and pool area billow and sweep outward as if caught in a gust of wind, which offer a sanctuary of tranquility amidst bustling Tokyo for a journey of rejuvenation, relaxation and the pursuit of wellbeing.

A minimalist spa inside the hotel

Image credit: Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi

Gathy proudly leads his team to interpret the luxury brand DNA of Four Seasons with great respect to the culture and tradition of the country while celebrating the cutting-edge creativity and contemporary design ethos of Tokyo as a dynamic city. Gathy continues his innovative design inspiration which draws upon aspects of the country’s rich culture to the brand and his previous completion – Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Phraya River will also open on October 1 2020.

Main image credit: Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi

In (Lockdown) Conversation With: Design legend Jean-Michel Gathy

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In (Lockdown) Conversation With: Design legend Jean-Michel Gathy

If the renders on the boards are anything to go by, Jean-Michel Gathy, who is widely considered as one of the industry’s finest, has embarked on one of his most ambitious hospitality projects to date, to design Amaala Island. Editor Hamish Kilburn learns more…

There is not a hotel designer or architect alive today who has not heard of the name Jean-Michel Gathy, and for good reason. The creative mastermind, who doesn’t just design but more reinvents hotel experiences, has been repainting the backdrop of luxury for what is coming up to three decades.

Not shy of his ambition – he once stated that he wanted to be the first person to design a hotel on the moon – Gathy’s approach to a project is all-encompassing, allowing him to further push (and at times break through) conventional barriers.

Arrival experience, luxury

Image credit: Capella Sanya, designed by Jean-Michel Gathy/Denniston

His latest project, Amaala Island will be an ultra luxury resort destination spanning three sites, a first for the region of Saudi Arabia. Designed to evolve and elevate the very best in travel, the island is an ultra-luxury destination that focuses on curating transformative personal journeys inspired by arts, wellness and the purity of the Red Sea.

To find out more about the project, and in homage to the designer’s award-winning career, I managed to speak to the architect/designer.

Hamish Kilburn: Jean-Michel, how will the ultra-luxe Amaala Island – aka the “Diamond of the Red Sea” – challenge conventional island developments?

Jean-Michel Gathy: The development of ‘The Island’ will be an immersive and interactive art-inspired jewel. Its lifestyle components, its landscaping, the museums, and art installations together with the art community will transform this island into the “Diamond of the Red Sea”. It will feature many different venues for permanent installations or temporary exhibitions and artistic performances. The graphic layout of its spine will be distinctive from the air and will be recognised internationally as an iconic landmark. The project features all elements programmed and reflects the areas, numbers and facilities. This is truly unique, nothing like it has ever been planned before.

“It’s not a matter of a specific place; it is the fact that when you travel, your mind is continually challenged by the happenings around you.” – Jean-Michel Gathy

HK: How does your approach differ when designing a destination from you’re designing a hotel?

JMG: Constant travel is a huge part of the job. It allows me to observe and to be constantly inquisitive about my surroundings. Travelling builds a subconscious library of ideas, which are expressed in my work and helps my ideas remain innovative and fresh. It’s not a matter of a specific place; it is the fact that when you travel, your mind is continually challenged by the happenings around you. It’s not about where you travel, either – what counts is that you explore. No matter where you are, every country has something new to offer in terms of inspiration.

Luxury spa area that frames unspoilt view through rustic blinds

Image credit: Image credit: The Chedi Muscat, Oman, designed by Jean-Michel Gathy/Denniston

HK: What have been some of your design highlights in your career?

JMG: Perhaps the one for which I am most renowned is the overwater hammocks or ‘basking nets’, which I initiated in the Maldives at the One&Only Reethi Rah in 2000. Until then, you would find balustrades around the terraces of villas. I decided to alter that – if anyone was going to fall off the terrace, they could fall on to the nets. And I put scatter cushions on them.

Image credit: One&Only Reethi Rah Maldives, designed by Jean-Michel Gathy/Denniston

Today, just about every hotel uses this idea. Another pioneering step was turning standalone tents for safari-style camps into a commodity. The accommodation at these hotels used to be basic but this started to change after I designed luxurious tents for the Amanwana in 1990. I am also known for my oversized, dramatic swimming pools such as the one on the roof of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

Large, oversized swimming pool

Image credit: The Setai Miami, designed by Jean-Michel Gathy/Denniston

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

HK: What has been the most demanding request you have received from a client to date?

JMG: I guess I take every client that I work with as a challenge more than a demanding request.

HK: Where’s next on your travel bucket list?

JMG: I would love to travel to Iceland to see its rugged landscapes, glaciers, rough seas, hot springs and volcanoes. I’d also like to visit the south of Chile and the peninsula of Kamchatka in Russia, which has extraordinary wildlife and endless forests.

HK: What’s your biggest indulgence when travelling?

JMG: Collecting art – I like to collect and invest in local artwork whilst on my travels.

HK: What lesson would you teach to your younger self?

JMG: The pathway to success is never easy, it takes hard work, dedication and passion.

HK: If you could design a hotel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

JMG: I’d love to design a hotel in Antarctica. There’s an ice hotel in Sweden, but that’s only open four months a year, so I want to do one that permanently remains ice.

HK: What’s been your favourite year on the international design scene?

JMG: To be honest, every year working with my team at Denniston has been and is special to me.

HK: What’s one item you cannot travel without?

JMG: I travel light, but I always ensure I have a cashmere scarf for the plane, and a sweater (I’m a big cashmere fan). I also travel with my camera, a Canon EOS 5D Mark III.

“The hotels where you arrive and lay on the beach and do nothing have progressively disappeared.” – Jean-Michel Gathy.

HK: How is the perception of luxury changing – and how is this evolving the way in which you create spaces in the luxury arena?

JMG: Before, hotels were just a place where you go and relax. Today, guests are connected: they want spas, they want food and beverage, they want activities, they want things to do. The hotels where you arrive and lay on the beach and do nothing have progressively disappeared, because life is such that people have become more and more active. I think luxury property clients are now asking for more than simply great rooms. They want retail facilities, a cinema, an extraordinary spa, award-winning F&B offerings and outdoor activities all integrated into the hotel.

“In terms of reliability, price strategy, and brand positioning, Toyota is a fantastic commercial car – but I prefer a Bentley.” – Jean-Michel Gathy.

HK: What’s the value of having designers and architects in your practice?

JMG: There are many good architects, but we have a specific niche. I’m going to compare us to branding: thousands of people buy Toyotas, but few people buy Bentleys. I believe that we are more Bentley than Toyota. This doesn’t mean that a Toyota is not a good car. In terms of reliability, price strategy, and brand positioning, Toyota is a fantastic commercial car – but I prefer a Bentley. Designers are the same; many prefer commercial projects and properties, because their interest is financial. They just want to make money, which means they’re not romantic about their projects. Then you have other designers, which is where I belong, who are more interested in the success of the project, the excitement of the journey of designing a hotel, and having the pride of making something fantastic, even though you earn less money.

Restaurant overlooking ocean in the Maldives

Image credit: One&Only Maldives, designed by Jean-Michel Gathy/Denniston

HK: Has the way in which you source inspiration changed over the years?

JMG: I’m someone who designs from the heart so my style is one that’s charismatic. It’s not an ego trip like the architects who design for themselves. I design elements that are a composition of dramatic effect; I create large and dramatic space, in opposition to intimate areas, so the space is always dynamic. Secondly, I design for the sensation you get out of it. I want every space in the hotel to be comfortable and for my clients to come back and say, I like this space. Sometimes they don’t know why they like it, but if they walk in and feel good, I know I’ve succeeded.

And succeeded Gathy has in widening the path of innovative hotel experiences in far-flung destinations around the world. While his past hotel projects have firmly etched his name into the architecture, design and luxury hospitality history books, his latest ideas and concepts that are currently on the boards highlight Gathy and Denniston’s ambitions. Inspired by his worldly perspective of design and architecture, I believe that Gathy’s aspiration is yet to peak as he continues to think big with the future landscape of luxury international hotel design patiently waiting in his sketchbook for its cue to emerge.

Main image credit: Jean-Michel Gathy/Denniston

IN PICTURES: Jean-Michel Gathy’s plans for Amaala Island, Saudi Arabia

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
IN PICTURES: Jean-Michel Gathy’s plans for Amaala Island, Saudi Arabia

Design and architecture studio Denniston’s Jean-Michel Gathy has been announced as the master planner of the ultra luxe AMAALA Island in Saudi Arabia…

Denniston’s internationally multi-award-winning architect, Jean-Michel Gathy, has released the first rendering showing what Ultra Luxe Amaala Island will look like.

Designed to evolve and elevate the very best in travel, AMAALA, located along Saudi Arabia’s northwest coast, is an ultra-luxury destination that focuses on curating transformative personal journeys inspired by arts, wellness and the purity of the Red Sea.

Rendering of 'The Palace', which will be situated on The Island

Image caption: A rendering of ‘The Palace’, which will be situated on The Island

Set in the Prince Mohammed bin Salman Nature Reserve across three unique communities, the 3,800-square kilometres (1,460-square miles) year-round destination will include 2,500 hotel keys and more than 800 residential villas, apartments and estate homes, alongside 200 high-end retail establishments, fine dining, wellness and recreation.

“This is truly unique, nothing like it has ever been planned before.” – Jean-Michel Gathy

“The Island development will be an immersive and interactive art-inspired jewel,” explained Gathy. “Its lifestyle components, its landscaping, the museums, and art installations together with the art community will transform this island into the ‘Diamond of the Red Sea’. It will feature many different venues for permanent installations or temporary exhibitions and artistic performances. The graphic layout of its spine will be distinctive from the air and will be recognised internationally as an iconic landmark. The project features all elements programmed and reflects the areas, numbers and facilities. This is truly unique, nothing like it has ever been planned before.”

Image caption: A rendering showing the open-air design scheme of a 'seven-star' hotel room

Image caption: A rendering showing the open-air design scheme of a ‘seven-star’ hotel room

Representing one of AMAALA’s trio of communities – Triple Bay, Coastal Development and The Island – ‘The Island’ will be the tranquil home of an exclusive art community, and an Arabic botanical garden filled with sculptural pieces. The new destination will house masterpieces across four key design elements: a contemporary art museum and academy, a Riviera-lifestyle artists’ colony, immersive artistic experiences, and art and sculpture co-creation opportunities.

The active community of The Island will be anchored by an artists’ village of working studios, artisanal shops, galleries, plus exhibition and performance facilities hosting a year-round calendar of immersive, and transformative works, representing the pillar of arts and culture. Fully aligned with Saudi Arabia’s ambitions for the future, the development of AMAALA is being rolled out across three key phases, with completion of the destination aimed for ahead of the realisation of Saudi Vision 2030.

AMAALA carves a unique positioning within the global hospitality portfolio, catering to select travellers looking for innovative experiential escapes,” said Chief Executive Officer of AMAALA, Nicholas Naples. “Our ambition is to create personalised experiences, catering to the individual needs of each guest. Entrenched in the philosophies of art, wellness, and inspired by the purity of the Red Sea, we are excited to be working alongside Jean-Michel Gathy and Denniston to bring to life our vision for The Island. It is here where our guests will embark on a transformational journey and feed the soul through arts and cultural offerings, with opportunities for philanthropic art co-creation.”

In addition to the The Island, Triple Bay will offer a fully holistic wellness retreat, state-of-the-art diagnostic medical facilities and authentic treatments designed to feature the local environment. Triple Bay will also be home to a fully integrated sports and entertainment community.

Elsewhere, The Coastal Development is set to become the defining hub of contemporary art in the Middle East, playing host to a dynamic programme of exciting events from the global arts and cultural calendar.

All image credits: Denniston/AMAALA

Capella Sanya luxury resort to open during 4Q18 on Hainan Island

1024 683 Katy Phillips

Design process to be led by Jean-Michel Gathy and Bill Bensley.

Capella Hotel Group and Chinese developer China Gezhouba Group Real Estate have confirmed the opening of Capella Sanya in the last quarter of 2018.

Located along the coastline of Blessed Bay on Hainan Island, Capella Sanya will be a new luxury landmark offering 190 rooms, suites and villas across 13.8 hectres of tropical coastline.

Offering panoramic views of the South China Sea, Capella Sanya is a collaborative art piece by two designers: Jean-Michel Gathy and Bill Bensley. Inspired by a Chinese trader’s adventures along The Silk Road, Capella says the resort will encapsulate the rich culture and heritage of ethnic communities along what is an historic trade route.

Accommodation choices include executive suites, 2- to 4-bedroom villas and a Presidential Suite within the Manor House, as well as five low-rise Mansions.


There’s also some interesting backstory: The legend of Blessed Bay dates back to about 600 years ago, when a group of Persian traders arrived in China. On their way home, they were pounded by typhoon at sea. The survivors floated to an unknown bay, where they rallied their way home and made a good fortune eventually. In honor of their experience, they named the bay “Blessed Bay” (Tufu Bay in Chinese).

“We are grateful for the opportunity to introduce the Capella Experience to China’s leading resort destination. Capella Sanya will exemplify the winning attributes of the world’s fifth best hotel brand, as voted by readers of Travel + Leisure,” said Nicholas M. Clayton, Chief Executive Officer of Capella Hotel Group.

“Capella Sanya will be the new benchmark for China’s luxury beach resorts. Our pursuit of excellence in real estate development is complemented by Capella Hotel Group’s expertise in creating exceptional guest experiences,” said Mr. He Jingang, Chairman of China Gezhouba Real Estate.

Jean-Michel Gathy shares the most important part of design

815 601 Daniel Fountain

World-famous architect Jean-Michel Gathy has revealed what he values most when designing a space; colour.

Gathy’s signature designs have inspired many leading architectural works, which are showcased in a list of some of the most recognised hotels and resorts including the One&Only Reethi Rah, Cheval Blanc Randheli; Maldives, St. Regis Lhasa; Tibet, Viceroy Snowmass; Aspen Colorado, Park Hyatt Sanya Sunny Bay; Sanya, The Chedi Andermatt; Switzerland, Aman Canal Grande; Venice, Amanwana; Moyo Island Indonesia and Aman Summer Palace; Beijing, Amanyara; Turks & Caicos, and The Setai in Miami, Florida.

Born in Belgium, Gathy founded Denniston in 1983, an architecture firm with a specific niche market, where he specialises in the creation of innovative designs for up-market hotels and other establishments in the industry. Thanks to its forward thinking architecture, design and technology applications in a constant state of evolution, DENNISTON has been able to retain its position as the market leader and a reference point for all designers in the industry.

With a career that has spanned almost four decades, Gathy shares his top five reasons why utilising colour is an important element when designing a space.

  • Colour Creates Mood: When it comes to selecting the colour palette for a space, Gathy stresses that colour is a very powerful element that can set the tone for a room. “Colour has an immediate effect on mood—the ability to calm or invigorate—and creates energy and depth of field,” says Gathy. “It’s a powerful thing, and used intelligently, it can be a beacon for inspiration.”
  • Say No to Monotone: Gathy advises that one should steer clear of tonal colour palettes as they don’t add enough excitement.  “Too much tone on tone is quite boring. The colours you choose do not always have to match, but should rather complement one another,” adds Gathy.
  • Messaging is Everything: Colour can send a strong message to guests and Gathy suggests taking the intention behind the colour palette in your home very seriously. “Colour has an immediate and enormous effect on the atmosphere. If you enter a dark home, your mood instantly changes,” says Gathy. Choosing colour schemes that carry the message you want to convey in your home will ensure that guests inherently understand your personality and overall aesthetic.
  • Proportion is Key: Bold colours and patterns are great to use, but in moderation. Gathy advises that colour proportion must be appropriate to the palette and pleasant to the eye. “Be careful not to over-mix patterns, otherwise they’ll start to compete with each other. Offset patterns with neutral breaks to create balance so the eye isn’t challenged. For example, if you have busy, multi-coloured pillows, opt for a more streamlined geometrical rug in black and white or tones of beige. Grounding the room with neutrals means you can add colourful highlights in the way of pillows, throw blankets, and rugs,” advises Gathy.
  • Cohesive Connection: Adhering to unique themes in each room can work well, but it’s important to maintain a sense of continuity throughout suggests Gathy. “The beauty of decorating a home is that each room can look and feel distinctive, so you can use a different colour scheme in every space if you choose. The trick is to create cohesiveness by choosing complementary colours where rooms connect,” says Gathy.
Mandarin Oriental Bali

Mandarin Oriental real estate project taking shape in Bali

1000 569 Daniel Fountain

Construction is underway on the first 22 units sold at The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Bali, a remarkable real estate offering taking shape on a naturally accommodating clifftop where the group’s inaugural hotel in Bali is also in development.

Set within the confines of budding Bukit Pandawa Resort & Golf on Bali’s southernmost tip, The Residences will eventually comprise 91 standalone villas conceptualized by acclaimed international architect Jean-Michel Gathy, who took inspiration from a traditional Balinese farming technique in imagining the layout.

“The topography lends itself beautifully to a series of tiers that is really reminiscent of the terraced rice paddies you see all around Bali,” said the lead designer at Kuala Lumpur-based Denniston Architects, which has conceived many of the world’s most exclusive resorts built in the past 25 years. “So even from the villas at the very back of the complex, you have these unobstructed, 180-degree views of the ocean.”

To enhance the views for all residents and their guests, each villa will possess a flat roof dressed with an array of exotic grasses, shrubs and palm trees, a design flourish that also serves to create a seamless connection with the surrounding environment. Homage has been paid as well to the spirit of Balinese architecture, in that no villa will exceed the height of a typical coconut tree, no matter how many rooms it has.

Mandarin Oriental Bali“This is not London or Singapore or anywhere else,” said Gathy, a Belgian who has spent 35 years in Asia. “It’s Bali. We took that into account every step of the way. But we didn’t go overboard. And that’s an important distinction to make. Because sometimes designers go too far in that respect.

“I like to use the analogy of chocolate. When I have my coffee, I have it with one piece of chocolate. I don’t have it with 100 pieces. That would make me sick. It’s too much.”

Restraint has also been applied indoors, where Gathy and Indonesian interior design guru Jasin Tedjasukmana of Kiat Architects have collaborated on a style they describe as “simple elegance.”

Tasteful amounts of understated local artwork, comfortable pieces of furniture, discreet water features and low-profile, high-tech features are blended in harmonious fashion. Even the line between inside and outside is deftly blurred, thanks largely to windows that extend from floor to ceiling and glass doors that retract, such as the one between the living room and the infinity pool.

Mandarin Oriental Bali“These homes are the ultimate expression of luxury living,” said Djie Tjian An, president/director of PT Bali Ragawisata, Bukit Pandawa Resort & Golf’s developer. “I’ve been here for more than three decades, and I can tell you Bali has never had anything like this.”

In addition to being part of an elite club, owners at The Residences will have access to a 2-kilometre stretch of private white sand beach and all the facilities and services associated with Mandarin Oriental, Bali. When finished in mid-2018, the 88-room hotel will include an 88-metre-long swimming pool along the edge of the clifftop, a private beach club steps from the ocean, a cantilevered gourmet restaurant, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and a 1,725-square-metre spa with eight treatment rooms.

Together, the Mandarin Oriental hotel and residences will occupy approximately 5 percent of the 150-hectare piece of property that makes up Bukit Pandawa Resort & Golf, which Gathy masterplanned and that will eventually include another super-luxury hotel designed by him, a Waldorf Astoria and a Swissotel.

The link between them all is Bukit Pandawa Golf & Country Club, an 18-hole, par-3 championship-calibre golf course that opened in October 2016 as the first course of its kind in Southeast Asia.

“The routing is magnificent and the concept is brilliant,” said Gathy. “You don’t need four or five hours. You just need two.”

Blueprints also call for a 2.2-kilometre “eco trail” that runs across the cliffside and leads to three sacred Hindu temples and a new amphitheatre where traditional cultural performances are conducted on a nightly basis. Villas at The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Bali mostly range from one to five bedrooms, but floorplans for the four largest residences could be altered to allow for more bedrooms.

moresidencesbali.com