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  • Hotel Design: Westin Abu Dhabi

    Daniel Fountain
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    Nestled in the grounds of the Abu Dhabi Golf Club, the Westin Abu Dhabi Hotel is a luxury destination resort and focal point of a community that has been built in and around the sprawling fairways and greens of this championship course. Owned by Abu Dhabi-based development company, Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), the interiors were designed by the international hospitality design firm Gettys. The concept for the whole resort was that of creating an oasis. TDIC wanted this property to feel like a departure from some of the newer urbanized resorts in the city.

    The exterior of the building is clad with rough, chiselled limestone that wraps an extensive amount of the façade. The designers continued this natural element into the interiors, creating a lobby of dynamic proportions where stone is complimented by bronze and metal screen partitions. Unexpectedly undulating and angled ceiling design also relates back to the organic nature of the property’s architecture.

    The designers kept the lobby décor to a minimum, focusing on a simple palette. From the top of the grand staircase, crafted from hand-awled reclaimed wood and seeded glass balustrade panels, guests can look through 45 foot tall floor-to-ceiling windows out to the golf course, creating an intimacy with the greenery of the fairways, essentially creating a massive picture window.

    To create this dramatic arrival experience, different materials and lighting were combined that referred to the ancient history of the region. The back wall of the front and concierge desks features translucent slices of petrified wood suspended behind the embossed bronze desks. The complex circular striations of the wood fossils provide a striking visual experience as well as adding an additional layer of texture and colour.

    As the hotel has several grand spaces the guestroom experience was designed to act as a form of departure from public area activity. They viewed the guest journey as a series of crafted experiences starting from departing “real life” at the hotel arrival and walking through the grandeur of the public areas to the more intimate guestroom corridors culminating in the guest rooms and suites. These corridors compress the journey to each guest’s room in terms of scale, lighting and materials which become saturated, deeply toned and restful.

    Upon entering the guestroom, visitors find themselves in rooms that are light and bright with high ceilings and wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows looking out to the golf course. All guestrooms and suites have golf course views’ so scenery is the primary focus. The team then layered different textures and tonality to create a restful guestroom experience. The resulting palette combined caramel, honey, cream and walnut, with sea blue and sunset orange accents. The overall detailing incorporated stone, custom styled wool carpeting, several complimentary wood species, and rich bronze appointments.

    Guest baths feature tile surrounds made from a natural horn mosaic that infused luxury and craftsmanship into the guest bath experience. The artisanal tiles pick up on local colours of medjool date, raffia, and coconut complimented by a vanity washstand with a hand hammered nickel finish; thus giving a classic washstand look but with a modern twist.

    Continued on page two…

    Daniel Fountain / 30.05.2012

    Editor, Hotel Designs

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