The architectural delight that is the Sheraton Deira has for the last 11 years graced the right bank of Dubai creek side with its 224 well-appointed guest rooms and suites, providing easy access to the city’s busy residential and commercial districts. But time has a way of wearing thin. And this property is now jumping onto the renovation bandwagon in order to restore its interiors in keeping with its modern equivalents springing up all over the city. In total 180 of the classic rooms are to receive a major facelift. In tandem with WA International, this refurbishment is to be undertaken in three phases.
“The first phase commenced last July in which 60 rooms went under cover, while the second and third phase is expected to begin around the second quarter of this year. The third phase being the last should be completed by end October 2008,” says Jennifer Amaana Fobler, executive administration assistant, Sheraton.
The bathrooms, which are to be completely redesigned, will wear a modern look. And the latest fixtures in taps/standing showers heads, vanity counter, bathtubs, audio speakers and lightings, magnifying mirror, hand-held hair dryer are to be installed in the spacious bathrooms while ceramic tiles on the walls and granite flooring will complete the look. The bathware products are supplied by Sanipex UAE.
The guest rooms will be painted in a soft pastel shade of cream, and endowed with a writing table and chair, side tables, a coffee table, sofa’s, TV cabinet, table lamps, flat screen 32-inch LG HDTV and an Onity Elsafe for keeping valuables. The furniture has been sourced from Marley Furniture Company.
The refurbishment will include extensive FF&E (furniture, fixture, and equipment) work in which couches and chairs within F&B outlets will all be changed along with the Club Lounge and lobby.
“When complete, the property will be restored to its original glory and guests will welcome the refreshing change in the theme and ambience of this well-championed property,” says Josef Sorger, general manager, Sheraton. “Our owners, the Mohammed Omar Bin Haider Group, too have been very supportive towards the renovation project and understand how important it is to stay abreast in today’s very competitive business of hospitality. They have therefore left no stone unturned in ensuring that the complete look of the hotel is overhauled to keep up with its image,” he says.
Middle East Interiors (MEI) spoke to Claire Craig, design director at WA International, to get some background on the hotel’s facelift.
What was the brief for renovating Sheraton?
In the brief for Sheraton Creek Hotel and Towers, WA International was to refurbish the following areas: Japanese restaurant, new outdoor restaurant and executive lounge.
We recreated spaces that radiate trendy and chic atmospheres. The contemporary and fresh Japanese restaurant incorporates a large sushi counter, two tepenyaki tables and a show-cooking area. This space has a strong contemporary take on traditional Japanese culture, and is depicted through a skillfully crafted black and white chopstick-inspired marble flooring, opulent stacked-glass columns to icicle lighting that cascades over an authentic sushi counter, and two stunning chartreuse-green onyx backlit tepenyaki counters.
The hotel’s old tennis court has now been raised to allow for stunning views of the bustling creek filled with contrasting traditional dhows and lavish yachts. The outdoor restaurant provides a welcoming yet relaxed atmosphere with a la mode oversized seating and vibrant turquoise and azul hues flowing throughout. Immaculate colossal glass panes seamlessly blend the interior with the exterior, complementing the organically inspired motifs that add a coastal allure to a stylish chill-out spot.
The Executive Lounge has been reinvented to exude a warm and inviting ambience; with gentle crčme tones and vibrant red accents this space fuses a modern twist with rich flavour. The venue features an astonishing blend of deep mahogany timber paneling, exquisite light emperador marble flooring, intricate Mashrabiya screens, and an assortment of upholstery ranging from Edelman leathers to Zoffany fabrics. Integrating innovative LCD screens, magazine displays and a variety of seating, this space has been transformed into a haven for any executive.
What were the challenges on this project?
One significant challenge that WA International faced during this refurbishment was elevating the entire tennis court area by 1.2 m to 1.8 m (in some areas) to allow for a view of the creek from the new outdoor restaurant.
It was quite difficult to make the suggested changes and still complement the building’s original architecture. In fact, there were several areas that required level changes to avoid structural beams.
Who provided the FF&E?
There were many suppliers used for the FF&E aspect of the project; Four Frontiers, Valley Forge Fabrics, Matuzzi Sofa, Constantini Pietro Chairs, Robert Allen Fabrics
Can you state the difficulties/challenges of refurbishing in general in the region?
To maintain standards, to accommodate for working hours in a running hotel – ensuring that the refurbishment will not interfere with guests and of course, timely completion of works
What do developers/owners seek when they source a designer to undertake a renovation project?
Today, developers and owners are seeking designers with a reputation of not only good design, but aware of the latest trends internationally. It is absolutely imperative that these designers are able to source finishes and fabrics that are appropriate to the region. Last, but definitely, not least – there is an extreme demand for strong technical support and good site supervision.