Waldorf Astoria Kuwait – CID Magazine
Commercial Interior Design Magazine
WHY THE WALDORF ASTORIA KUWAIT IS AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE OF LOCAL INFLUENCE IN HOTEL DESIGN TRENDS
Texture & colour inside Waldorf Astoria Kuwait by Jacqueline Craft, a senior designer at LW.
Hotel design is all about creating a holistic and memorable experience for the guests, ensuring their visit is unforgettable and seamless. A home away from home. The experience should start at the entrance and continue throughout the public spaces into the various facilities and the guestrooms. Every component of the design needs to be carefully curated and considered and have a purpose which guests experience and can enjoy. This has always been a fundamental aspect of hotel design but the guest experience is increasingly becoming more significant and now shapes the identity of a hotel. Below is a look at the current trends in the hospitality industry.
Telling a story helps create a strong theme and identity for a hotel and allows guests to travel through the various spaces experiencing different chapters of the narrative. They embark on a journey of discovery often not realising they are being immersed into the local culture through subtle references in artwork, finishes, pieces of furniture etc. Waldorf Astoria Kuwait is one such project which built its story around its surroundings. The location of the fascinating Failaka Island, in close proximity to Kuwait City, is home to the legend of Icarus. Icarus represents the guests’ cravings for escapism, the need to avoid the monotonous. The interior has been elegantly designed to reflect the cultural history of Kuwait with more traditional accents with a Middle Eastern flare.
Working with texture has always been and will always be a great tool when developing a hotels scheme adding tactile elements and contrasting finishes adds life and personality to a space. We are now seeing a greater focus on mixing and layering different textures and finishes. The Waldorf Astoria has achieved this through the mix of warm timbers, decorative metal screens, bold accent fabrics and intricately detailed rugs to bring in colour all helping to add interest, sophistication, and character to the areas.
The Psychology of Colour
Colour will stir emotions in a person no matter where they are from and which dialect they speak. Currently, natural and organic materials and cool neutral colours with touches of warmer tones are in trend. Think highly decorative beautiful stones mixed with natural timber finishes, lush woven fabrics, metal accents and touches of greenery adding pop and life to the space. Soft feminine colour palettes and organic decorative patterns are being used. Intricate and beautiful details between finishes and often a less are more approach is desired. Allowing for the carefully selected colours and materials to be seen and enjoyed.
More Personalised Design & Experience
Many of the big signature branded hotels have always had a signature design approach often with particular design principles and standards. We are seeing a lot more freedom in creating individual elements to the design that help properties stand apart and a boutique approach. Gone are the days are walking into one of the hotel’s chains in one location which is the same as the other. Brands still have signature elements but the operators encourage creativity and interpretation by the designer. The iconic Waldorf Astoria clock is an example of this. A clock is a gathering place and focal point of the Waldorf Astoria lobby. The clock in Kuwait has been developed and inspired by the importance of the solar system of the Islamic World. It was a more personalised design that was modelled around the Arab nomads’ study of the sky and navigation.
Taking the story digitally. As digital transformation has changed the way guests experience a hotel and use the various spaces. A hotel stay can now be more tailored to a guest’s specific needs and requests. Information can be stored meaning a return guest doesn’t waste time providing the same information time and time again.
About The Author
As well as Waldorf Astoria Kuwait LW projects that the designer has lent her skills to include Okku, Dubai UAE; The Terrace, Ritz Carlton DIFC, Dubai and the design-driven hotel Zabeel House, also in Dubai.