While the architectural footprint of the building was very straightforward with a rectangular zoning of areas and functions, the designers believed there was a need to add a twist in the layout to create an initial spark of interest. By introducing an angle in the interiors of the 152 rooms and other areas, they created an unexpected and dynamic re-alignment of the spaces.
Visitors to the hotel would first be met with a full view of the vibrant lobby lounge and cafe. The appeal of the brightly coloured and hip lounge café seating is further enhanced by the serene backdrop of the pool. The bold Omani patterns in the hand tufted wool carpets that cover the floor further add to the strong visual statement. The café wall is lined with laminated glass panels with an etched Arabic pattern. Tucked away to the side, the reception pods are dressed in immaculate white Thasos marble and set against a themed background. A diamond shaped pattern has been etched into the front faces of the white counters adding a subtle sense of detail. The visitor’s attention might stray to the adjacent wall which is completely covered in text and illustrations from an interesting excerpt from the adventures of Sinbad.
Diametrically opposite the reception is the waiting lounge and business centre, affording the visitor unhindered access to convenient business services. Striking accents of fuchsia and fig green set against tones of light grey and white catch the eye and give the space a strikingly youthful and contemporary vibe. The monochromatic wallpaper carries the Sinbad storyline forward depicting scene with large eagles in mid-flight carrying their rock like eggs.
A central spine connects the conference rooms with the reception counters and the rest of the hotel. Clad in a warm grey porcelain tile, the path cuts straight through the tilted geometry of the plan and is easily distinguishable.
The series of angled light slits in the ceiling create a sense of movement and almost ushers one deeper into the hotel past the Lift lobby and into the All-day dining restaurant. Keeping with the strong angles, the white marble floor extends obliquely into the space. The restaurant has been laid out with Eames chairs in white ABS plastic shells and alternating black and green seats. Iconic light fixtures have been thrown into the minimalist space laying an emphasis on the food staging area.
The restrooms at the Mercure Hotel too have been designed to reflect the quirky nature of the hotel. The walls and floors are stark white with the only accents being hot pink coloured frames around the mirrors and oversized photographic prints on the walls.
Approached like a boutique hotel room, the guestroom design is almost whimsical in its expression. The standard rooms feature a hand drawn wallpaper that spans the party wall above the headboard. Here too, the lively combination of fuchsia and green in the furnishings blend with the subtle Arabic patterns to create a lasting impression. The tone on tone pattern on the curtain fabric and the bed throw are reminiscent of those found on the Omani headdress. FF&E selections were made with a deliberate attempt to not over-decorate. White makes up a large proportion of the colour palette and as a result the rooms read as refreshingly airy and clutter free. The feather grey coloured Axminster carpet was designed with a refined striated pattern. Natural oiled Oak veneer has been used on the joinery and brings warmth to the colour palette. The bedframes have been made in black electroplated steel and are flanked by a stainless-steel reading lamps on either side.
The en-suite bathroom features a custom designed vanity counter. The vivid black pattern printed on glass makes a bold design statement and perfectly complements the matt white of the porcelain floor tiles.