Shangri-La: A sense of place

Posted under Interviews & Features, News.
by Sophia Soltani | Published 3 years ago

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Shangri-La Dubai has embarked on a complete overhaul of its 302 guest rooms and public areas to create a new “sense of place” in the city. Gerhard Hecker, general manager, Shangri-La Dubai tells Hotel News ME why the no-expenses spared AED 70 million refurb is set to invigorate Dubai’s city explorers.   lobby-lounge-copy

Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai has embarked on a journey of transformation in an exciting AED 70 million renovation across its 302 guest rooms and public areas – including the hotel’s impressive, atrium-style lobby, lobby lounge and Dunes Café. The remodeling is set to be reflective of a contemporary haven of elegance that blends modern Arabia with Shangri-La’s legendary hospitality in the heart of Dubai. As the renovation takes shape, the property has continued its operations as the landmark hotel prepares to feature an entirely revived visitor experience for business travellers and city explorers – reimagined by international interior designers, Hirsch Bedner Associates. Guest wellbeing and relaxation is an essential quality of the Shangri-La experience, which is why the guest rooms are being reappointed with both style and comfort in mind. Combining the warmth of Asian-influenced wooden fixtures and fittings with white, blush and pastel blue soft furnishings, the rooms have been designed to provide a calming, contemporary retreat.
horizon-guestroom-2Summing up the costly renovation, Gerhard Hecker, general manager, Shangri-La Dubai explains: “The hotel’s Lobby Lounge has been extended as part of the renovation, which has not only created more space, but it has also made the restaurant much more private from the rest of the lobby area, so the spaces are more distinguished than before. Steel and gold chandeliers are suspended from the lobby’s ceiling to cast a low, ambient glow across the Lobby Lounge, enhancing the intimacy of the space.” As a city based hotel, Hecker insists that glamour and relaxation elements are key to the new project’s core elements, “the rooms have been given a much more elevated feel in terms of colour and style. Guest wellbeing and relaxation is an essential quality of the Shangri-La experience, which is why the guest rooms are being reappointed with both style and comfort in mind.”

With lighting just as important as textures and tones, he adds: “A glamorous chandelier in the entrance of each room throws light in all directions, which is reflected from the mirrored walls, providing a distinct sense of space. Combining the warmth of Asian-influenced wooden fixtures and fittings with white, blush and pastel blue soft furnishings, the rooms will provide a calming, contemporary retreat at the end of a busy day.”
With Shangri-La Hotel Dubai branded as a 5-star, modern oasis, Hecker insists that the new design elements have been strategically formulated to ensure that “guests can mix work and pleasure seamlessly” with the new designs across all renovated areas implemented to position Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai as a “contemporary and sophisticated haven of elegance” in one of Dubai’s bustling areas.  Hecker describes the new lobby as “surrounded by sweeping curves, clean lines, contemporary art and warming neutral tones. Flashes of gold and ruby red details reflect the jewels of traditional Arabian souks.” He adds that the entire public space has been designed to reflect all dining experiences.

“Guests can step across the plush hand-tufted carpets before sinking into a luxuriously embroidered armchair for our finest Asian-inspired afternoon tea.”

Meaningful motifs
A masterpiece by artist Imad Bechara
showcases an eclectic collection of books in different languages containing many stories. It is a symbol of the stories amassed throughout the hotel’s 13 years so far, and forms an inspiring backdrop for more stories and memories to made and told for years to come. Bechara also commissioned many of its art pieces when the hotel first launched.

Flashes of gold and ruby red detailing reflect the jewels of traditional Arabian souks, featured throughout the Lobby Lounge furnishings.

Wave chandelier in the elevator landing area is designed by HBA and bespoke chandelier designers, Lasvit. It was designed to reflect the waves of the Arabian Sea and constructed in a way to ensure that light is reflected in all directions, casting creative lighting effects around it. The glass is hand blown, bohemian crystal glass in three hues: clear and gold, clear and Champagne, and clear, soda and opal. It weighs 700kg and is held together by 39 fixing points suspended in the ceiling and 48 LED lights. Its design blends industrial design and elegant style.

Blue tiger’s eye stone on the walls near the elevators give a luxurious feel to the welcome area. A semi-precious stone, it is believed to be a very soothing stone that reduces stress and increases calm. The walls feature small pieces of the stone, which have been hand-pieced together to form a subtle, yet striking texture. This semi-precious stone will also feature on the table-tops in Lobby Lounge.









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