Palm’s One&Only design inspired by 14th century Moorish palace
LEADING Dubai-based hospitality design team Wa International has scooped a top award for one of its most successful design projects to date, at the 2012 International Hotel Awards in London, UK, recently.
Competing on a global level with hotel properties from more than 73 countries worldwide, Wa International’s work on One&Only The Palm Dubai collected the International Award for Best Hotel.
Wa International was propelled to compete on the world stage after its success at the hotly contested Arabian Hotel Awards in November. Judged against entries from the entire Middle East and Africa region, Wa International was awarded the Highly Commended for Best Hotel Interior award, and the highly regarded 5 Stars for Best Hotel, which led the company to gain entry into the global awards and compete at the highest level.
Evolving from the long-established International Property Awards, the International Hotel Awards are a well-respected accolade, which reward industry professionals in the fields of hotel interiors, marketing, construction, design and architecture. With a judging panel of 20 hospitality experts from globally renowned firms, entries are first judged at a regional level before the top scoring winners go forward to be re-judged internationally.
“To be recognised for our work on an international level is such a great honour,” said Claire Craig, design director of Wa International, “and to be competing against so many top hotel properties on the global stage indicates just how tough the competition has been.”
With other award-winning hospitality projects in its enviable portfolio like The Address Downtown Dubai, The Address brand’s signature property, Wa International’s reputation in the market for creating original and unique destinations is second to none.
Working under the philosophy of creating truly distinctive interiors that are sensitive to the location and architecture of each building, these values were applied through every stage of the design process on the One&Only The Palm project.
Helen Skea, associate at Wa International, who collected the award in London, on behalf of the team, explained how this philosophy was put into practice. “Architecturally, the hotel has taken its influence from Alhambra, a 14th century Moorish palace in Granada, Spain. Our inspiration for the interiors also reflects this style and period, while simplifying the traditional interior detailing somewhat, to create pure architectural forms with clean lines and contemporary finishes.”
And more than a year since it opened its doors to guests, the One&Only The Palm Dubai has firmly established itself as one of the world’s most desirable destinations. “We were asked to create a luxurious destination retreat to cater for the world’s rich and famous and that is precisely what One&Only The Palm has become,” added Helen.
Wa International combines extensive international experience with dynamic creativity and an appreciation of local aesthetics, materials and conditions. The company has built an enviable portfolio of esteemed clients and diverse projects, and its studio continues to create some of the world’s finest interiors in the hospitality sector.