W Dubai – a design exploration
BLINK Design Group, a multi-disciplinary agency with offices in Bangkok, Singapore, Shanghai and Tokyo and projects worldwide, are obsessed with exploration.
As it states on their website: “We are explorers.
“Our travels, the people we meet, the cultures and landscapes we immerse in, serve as rich inspiration.
“We explore ideas with a restless desire to take us beyond the expected, unearth the unique and inspire those around us to think bolder.
“Every journey we take is different, influenced by experiences shared with each client. They all arrive at meaningful, respectful and memorable spaces that touch both people and place.”
When creating the design story for the new W Hotel W Dubai Miina Seyahi located in the heart of Al Mina al Sevahi, they soon focused on the legendary ‘Port of Travellers’ district of Jumeirah Beach, home to Dubai International Marine Club and its 300-berth marina – the modern yet bohemian hotel is inspired by traditional Dhow boats, the romance of travel and the ancient Arabic storytelling tradition of Al-Halqa.
Once a thriving hub of the copper trade, where Al-Halqa storytellers would weave their yarns to circles of spellbound travellers, the Port of Travellers has been BLINK’s overarching inspiration for the hotel, together with the graceful swooping shape of the traditional Dhow boats.
The 31-storey eclectic yet retro property houses 291 guest rooms and 27 opulent suites, a spectacular lobby facing the marina, an infinity pool and lavish BAR-B spa, four meeting rooms and a selection of innovative dining concepts.
An utterly unique creation, at W Dubai – Mina Seyahi ancient tales will be given new life through its guests.
BLINK’s founder and creative partner, Clint Nagata, explains: “Dubai transformed quickly from an ancient outpost into an ultra-modern city and one of the most famous travel destinations.
“Despite this rapid modernisation, the thread of history is kept alive down the generations through the traditions of storytelling, one of the most sublime and respected forms of art that run through Arabian culture.”
He adds that the project had proved an eye-opener in terms of what was possible within the vivid brand universe of W Hotels: “Hints to the Arabic tradition and craftsmanship are peppered across the hotel, from treasure-chest-like bedside tables to white leather bed headboards – with ribs and shapes inspired by Dhows – fabrics with motifs drawn from local calligraphy and lights that resemble the Arabian Nights’ ancient lanterns.
“The suites have been envisioned as a place to gather with friends for pre-dinner drinks or casual meetings. The bedrooms have a luxurious seating area, with a tilted minibar in brass and dark blue lacquer, a social space where drinks can be served and a perfect place for lazy grazing”.
“The element of surprise extends to the walk-in closets, closed with billowing curtains in a gradient of sunset colours, echoing the hues of the bay.
“We play with the idea of the secrets behind the veil.
“The storytelling theme extends to the bathrooms via a calligraphy theme, with bold black and white colours to echo ink and paper.
“The bathrooms also feature a seating area, encouraging long bathing rituals, and conversation” says Nagata.
Rarely turning to the same designer twice W Hotels have been a driving force in redefining hospitality for over two decades, breaking the norms of traditional luxury wherever the iconic W sign lands.
With nearly 60 hotels around the globe, the detail-driven design, iconic Whatever/Whenever service and buzzing, signature Living Rooms create an experience that is often imitated but rarely matched.