31 Oct 2019 • Seoul
Openings: Hospitality hotspots in Santa Monica, Shenzhen, South Africa and beyond
Kelly Wearstler’s interiors for Proper continue to charm up the hotel scene in California and Napa Valley finds its way to Shenzhen. A Campari-branded bar and Covent Garden restaurant bring Italian flavour to Vienna and London. And, in Seoul, designers took to the pages of Greek mythology books for a hip hair salon. Read on to discover more cross-cultural hospitality spaces worth your attention this month.
SANTA MONICA: SANTA MONICA PROPER HOTEL
There are 271 guest rooms, a sprawling gym and spa, beach-inspired bar, restaurant, rooftop deck and pool, and various meeting spaces at Santa Monica Proper Hotel, ‘the first high-end lifestyle hotel to open [in the California city] in two decades’, according to Proper Hospitality’s parent company, The Kor Group. Kelly Wearstler-designed interiors and localized touches from artists in the community nod to the heritage of the location, a restored 1928 Spanish Colonial Revival building.
Chris Shao Studio
The 1,000 sq-m interiors of fine-dining restaurant Ensue are heavily influenced by the landscapes of California’s Napa Valley – designer Shao imagined the region at twilight, and was driven by the aesthetic ideals of wabi-sabi (a Japanese philosophy encouraging the embrace of transience and imperfection). Multiple private dining rooms, an intimate bar and a speakeasy-like room refer to the ‘fertile nature’ of the environs of Shenzhen, according to Shao.
MOSCOW: CAFÉ POLET
Julien Albertini and Alina Pimkina of NYC-based design group Asthetíque conceived the space for Moscow’s Café Polet, inspired by nearby historic aviation site Khodynka Field. The duo describe the interiors as similar to a ‘1960s-era airport lounge’ or the ‘cabin of an outer-space shuttle with an Art Deco twist’ – with ‘a fantastical and atmospheric flair’. High ceilings, bold shiny surfaces, silver curtains and concrete panels are offset by delicate custom furnishings from the studio and lush greenery.
MADRID: ROOM MATE ALBA
Room Mate Alba marks the Spanish hospitality chain’s fifth opening in Madrid: the last was built over 12 years ago, and the next will follow at the end of this year. Featuring 80 rooms, the hotel is in a 17th-century building, part of the city’s Letras neighbourhood. Interior designer Lorenzo Castillo’s work for Alba was informed by aesthetics rooted in various cultures such as those of Turkey, China, India and Arabia. He credits the style of the gentlemen’s lounge in the Madrid Royal Palace – destroyed during the Spanish Civil War – as a reference point.
LONDON: VYTA COVENT GARDEN
Vyta’s Covent Garden restaurant and bar – which can be found in the east tower of the famed London market – is the first spot outside of Italy to open from the hospitality brand. Eclecticism and experimentation are the two main ingredients of the robustly coloured space, explains head designer Daniela Colli, and its interiors draw on Italy’s architectural culture in the sixties. Two terraces – one intimate, the other larger – offer Londoners and visitors unique open-air experiences.
VIENNA: BAR CAMPARI
Matteo Thun & Partners
Milanese architecture and design studio Matteo Thun & Partners brings Italian cocktail culture to Vienna via two-storey Bar Campari. Early 20th-century graphics designed by Fortunato Depero for the Campari brand adorn the main space, complemented by poly-wood parquet floors; wood-panelled, brass-detailed bar counters; and a lively mix of custom furnishings by Cassina Custom Interiors. A mosaic wall highlights the integrated shop. Special events can be held on the first floor, where there is a discreet gathering area.
Location Seitzergasse 6, 1010 Vienna, Austria
GREATER KRUGER NATIONAL PARK: THE FARMSTEAD AT ROYAL MALEWANE
The Royal Portfolio
Not many hotels get to have the distinction of calling one of Africa’s largest game reserves home. Such is the case with The Farmstead at Royal Malewane from South African hotel collection The Royal Portfolio, whose roster includes Cape Town’s The Silo Hotel. A safari lodge with three luxury suites and a three-and-a-half bedroom villa, it was designed by The Royal Portfolio owner-and-founder Liz Biden. Interiors decorated with contemporary African artworks, antique fixtures and comfortable furnishings welcome visitors in, but time spent outdoors – specifically on custom-made hanging daybeds – is also encouraged.
Cocktail bar Peaches is on the second storey of a three-level hospitality project in Melbourne. Nearly everything in the Pierce Widera-designed space is swathed in the fruity colour it’s named for: suspended circular pendants hung from a pink ceiling represent ripe peaches; the walls are painted a matching hue; and semi-private booths, underlined with LED lighting, are upholstered in textured blush fabric. Lush Philodendron leaves balance out the peachy interiors, with selected furnishings and fixtures taking on the same botanical green.
AMSTERDAM: HOTEL THE CRAFTSMEN
It took a year of extensive renovations to get 14-room Hotel The Craftsmen to final form. After being owned by a single family for a century, the central 17th-century Amsterdam site switched hands to another: the local Zandbergen family worked with artist Stef van der Bijl, project developer Kentie & Partners and contractor Braam-Minnesma to complete the project. Each room in the hotel – which comprises three historical properties on the Singel canal – is unique.
Location Singel 83, 1012 VE Amsterdam.
SEOUL: JUNO HAIR
Top global haircare brand Juno Hair celebrates its 37th anniversary this year. To honour the milestone, the company briefed South Korean Studio Goodo to complete a flagship salon in Seoul. Because the space functions as a place for ‘transformation into a goddess’, each floor takes on motifs from Greek mythology, like the temple arch. Simple textures were used and decorative elements were excluded as much as possible, though decadence is hinted at with bold furniture and gold detailing.
This Openings piece is part of a series of Frameweb posts dedicated to showcasing new retail and hospitality destinations. Check out past Openings here, and keep an eye out for future highlights.