HBA combined Mediterranean style with Arabic influences for the first St. Regis Hotel in the Middle East, St. Regis Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi.
The 380-room hotel located on the beach of Saadiyat is a key feature of the island, which is currently being transformed into a new cultural center of the Arabian world. Others in development are Louvre and Guggenheim Museums, as well as a performing arts center and concert hall, and New York University campus.
For St. Regis Saadiyat Island, HBA took inspiration from the surroundings to create a contemporary Mediterranean interior design with Arabic influences, enhanced by local products and elements.
A stone floor reminiscent of sand was used throughout. Lighter woods with a wide grain and a natural finish are also featured. Considered the most distinguishable feature is the view upon entering the property, with the entire back wall of the lobby made of frameless glass overlooking the sea.
Natural materials create a palette of pale gold, cream and darker tones of slates and marbles at the Iridium Spa.
St. Regis Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi
Meanwhile, The St. Regis Nation Towers uses a glass and steel landmark of two skyscrapers of 268 and 233 meters linked by the world’s highest sky bridge. The St. Regis Nation Towers occupies the top floors of the smaller tower with 228 guestrooms and 55 suites, including one on the connecting bridge.
HBA, which delivered interior architecture, created an imaginary historical starting point: an Art Deco past. HBA then re-envisioned that imagined past, modernizing it for a 21st Century city. The lobby is an example of this new Arabian Deco, with the entry featuring large fluted columns, a nod to classical Deco, soaring up the atrium. A railing on the staircase and mezzanine is patterned in Arabesque lace metal. Chandeliers are inspired by Arabian lanterns. The result is a fusion of intricate Arabian art with the clean geometry of Art Deco.
The St. Regis Bar pays homage to Bedouin influences with murals themed after traditional desert horserace and the Bedouin Deco intimacy of a grand tent. A Champagne Bar is without walls, and features pink marble tops. The centerpiece is a chandelier made of hundreds of luminous bubbles.
Fine dining restaurant Villa Tuscana is also a reinvention of a mythical Arabian Deco past, designed as a century-old Tuscan estate with terraces, vaulted ceilings, tall arched windows of small glass panes, frescoes and exposed beams.
The ballroom has gold accenting floating over a custom carpet of gold and crystal chandelier designed after a bouquet of desert roses.
Guestrooms are Deco showpieces – from over-scaled crown molding to bed posts and subtle swooping patterns in gold carpeting. At the foot of the beds are antique trunks in leather and bronze, topped with tasseled pillows. Guestroom baths feature walls, floors and ceilings in white stone mosaic.
HBA has been increasingly active in the Middle East since opening a dedicated new office in Dubai in 2000. High-end projects have also included Taj Palace Dubai, Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anatara, Ritz Carlton Dubai and Amethyst Lounge Beirut.
The St. Regis Abu Dhabi at the Nation Towers