Bangkok and Singapore based BLINK Design Group claims to have dialed up the design drama with its latest Chinese project, the Rosewood Clearwater Bay on the resort island of Hainan.
Rosewood, established in 1979, is a distinctive collection of highly individual, luxurious, residential-style hotels inspired by the culture, history and geography of each locale. Rosewood Clearwater Bay is part of an Asian growth spurt by the brand which will be joined by Rosewood hotels in Guangzhou, Phuket, Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Bali and Jakarta by 2017.
The stunning environment and spectacular vistas at Rosewood Clearwater Bay on Hainan Island are designed to be seamlessly integrated into the resort’s concept.
BLINK senior creative director and founder Clint Nagata said BLINK’s goal in tackling the design of Rosewood Clearwater Bay – currently under construction and due to open in 2016 – was to stay true to the pristine Hainan Island setting by creating a sequence of dramatic build-ups and reveals.
“It was about creating an element of surprise through the design that let the spectacular views and landscape stand out even more,” Nagata said. “We strove to make the resort a natural extension of the sea and beach, and this was achieved through the strategically placed bodies of water. When viewed from eye level, the waters form an infinite extension that merges with the ocean, creating the illusion of floating on an infinite sea.”
Nagata said the use of high walls and long corridors also narrows the view, while moving between courtyards heightens the suspense. The guest is rewarded by dramatic, expansive views of the ocean and different, unexpected spaces at the end of each corridor, he added.
BLINK’s Bangkok-based Head of Design, Ong-Art Ngamnarongkij, the lead designer on the project, said a stand-alone ‘specialty restaurant ‘ on the beach took a different design direction – encouraging a more casual kind of luxury that’s confidently understated, laid-back to the point where guests can dine in comfort in their designer flip-flops.
“Here, we have taken some of the angles and roof lines and use of bamboo from local traditions and given them a twist,” Ong-Art said. “We have also taken the immersion experience one step further, offering guests the option to sit in a sunken dining area surrounded by bodies of water while they gaze across endless ocean views.”
Ong-Art said he had just returned from Hainan Island where some minor ‘tweaks’ to the design were requested by the owners. In terms of materials and inspirations, Ong-Art said BLINK’s deep-dive approach involving extensive research into the locale and its design history, culture and vernacular had been important.
“We have decided to use a lot of Chinese light grey granite that looks very luxurious. The design is like a series of stacked boxes and this wraps it all up like a jewel box. It’s honed, very smooth, but a matte finish. Then we emphasize certain features like the swimming pool that sits on top of the lobby with a ceramic tile in a zig-zag effect, which is lit up at night and will be quite spectacular. Overall it’s a fairly neutral architectural language. A simple massing, brought to life with articulation and shading. Space and choice of materials are where the luxury resides.”
Other BLINK projects under construction in China include Doubletree by Hilton, Benxi, a 500 key property set to open in the famed hot spring resort in 2015, Renaissance & Courtyard by Marriott Resort, Hailing, Qianshen Spa & Hotel, Hefei, and Sheraton Resort Beijing.