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2015 Gold Key Awards: Best Suite

(December 2015) posted on Mon Feb 01, 2016

Three wow-inducing spaces nab honors at the 35th annual competition for excellence in hospitality design.


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Winner: Bentley Suite at The St. Regis
Istanbul

Bentley Suite
Bentley Suite at The St. Regis, Istanbul. Photo: Courtesy of Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

Designers: Bentley Motors: Crewe, Cheshire, England; Starwood Hotels and Resorts, White Plains, NY; Wimberly Interiors, New York

The brief: Use the uber-luxe vibe, color palette and materials from a Bentley automobile as the jumping-off point for a suite with enough slick lines to make 007 feel right at home. Don’t forget the unexpected fun touches.



Bentley 
Bentley Suite at The St. Regis, Istanbul. Photo: Courtesy of Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

The inside scoop: “We wanted the suite to evoke the whole experience of driving a Bentley,” says Liana Hawes Young, creative director, Wimberly Interiors. That meant taking the curvy shapes of the interior and exterior of a Bentley Continental as the basis of the suite’s architecture from floor to ceiling. Lights in the bathroom look like headlights. The darkly cool palette pays tribute to the subdued luxe of the car’s interior. But a modern approach to theming means looking beyond the obvious. The sinuous lighting installation in the ceiling was inspired by the Adenauer Forest section of the Nuremberg Racetrack in Germany— where Bentleys are test driven.

Genius time: Using clever, functional elements to drive home the design statement. Just where a driver might expect to find a place to stash a disposable coffee cup or thermos, the team upcycled the concept into a chic niche that houses a handful of Mulsanne Champagne coolers, integrated into the furniture piece itself. And some of those moments invite guests into a lighthearted exploration of the space. The dashboard-inspired wet bar opens to reveal Breitling clocks and a humidor crafted in the Bentley workshop.

The takeaway: Rethink the “how” and “where” of themed elements to take spaces from kitsch to luxe. Seat belts form a polished detail on window treatments. His-and-hers Bentley jewelry boxes make a memorable addition to the guest bathroom.


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