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2016 Gold Key Awards: Best Hotel Upscale

(December 2016) posted on Mon Jan 16, 2017

Designing in context earned a quartet of hotels accolades in the 36th annual competition.


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WINNER: DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Xishuangbanna
Jinghong, China

Doubletree Hilton Xishuangbanna
DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Xishuangbanna. Photo: Weimin Cai/Zhenyu Yuan

DESIGNER: Wanda Hotel Design Institute (Wanda HDI), Beijing



INSPIRATION: Create an authentic, culturally referenced, upscale oasis just a 15-minute drive from Jinghong International Airport and a 10-minute taxi ride to the city’s downtown. Make it a good neighbor in an urban resort setting that includes the Wanda Plaza, Dai Theater, Dai Ethnicity Park at Wanda Jing Street and numerous shops and restaurants. Incorporate traditional touches taken from the architecture of the indigenous Dai people—such as a pitched roof combined with wooden beams—but keep the overall aesthetic tone relevant to modern travelers. Express all that in a 412-room resort that needs be both kid friendly and business savvy.

IDEATION: Subtle theming can transform multitasking spaces a dynamic whole rather than a kit of parts. Elements of Dai culture are the visual glue that binds together the property’s multi-functional mission statement. The motifs on the beams and lamps in the lobby signify auspiciousness, peace and happiness. A handcrafted wall fashioned from a wood carving is displayed above a coarse, stone-textured floor to suggest “a delicate wilderness,” says Jeff Ning, senior vice-president, Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties Co. Ltd. and design team leader. “Features like these simultaneously create the resort’s festive atmosphere and demonstrate the brand’s high design standards. They also bring continuity the DoubleTree’s broad range of facilities: function rooms, a children’s playground, Chinese and Western restaurants, an outdoor pool and an abundance of recreational spaces. Guests can enjoy the laid-back atmosphere and excellent service whether for business or pleasure, but always in the context of a unique experience.”

Doubletree Hilton Xishuangbanna
DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Xishuangbanna. Photo: Weimin Cai/Zhenyu Yuan


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