7/2/11

DESIGNING PARADISE

For several years of my life, I lived here



I spent, many blissful hours gazing at this...
and this...
and listening to the sound of the warm breeze
as it moved through the palm trees


I enjoyed sliding down the waterfalls into this cool fresh water pool


and spent more hours in these halls of higher learning
my high school
with louvered windows on both sides of the classrooms
that let the trade winds pass through
and a corrugated metal roof
that created a music all its own whenever it rained. 
It's a miracle I graduated at all. . .

the islands spoiled me...
I still can't wear shoes that cover my feet
(when I have to wear shoes, that is - mostly I am still barefoot...)
the sound of a ukelele makes me homesick,
as does the smell of gardenia - 
(like the one that perfumed the night outside my bedroom window)

I could probably live on mangos
fresh sweet pineapple
and icy cold coconut water sipped from its shell
forever...

And I have yet to see sunsets as beautiful
anywhere in the world 
or at least the parts I have visited


A while ago, an old acquaintance asked me to help design accomodations
for a proposed luxury resort hotel she wished to build
on the very group of islands I spent so much time -
although her dream never became a reality,
it made me think of what was important to a guest at a luxury resort
and what part of the islands I would want to showcase

I would want my design to evoke the spirit of the islands -
I would want to showcase the blues of the sea,
the black of the lava,
the graceful palm trees 
and the towering white clouds
the tradewinds and warm ocean,
and warmer rain -

the mass of incredible tropical green everywhere


the scent of plumeria, white ginger, gardenia and coconut.

the warmth of the people with their big smiles,
dark eyes and ebony hair
and their generous fun loving nature

 and the wonderful rythmn of their music and dance.

I would want to help preserve the traditional handicrafts and artifacts 





 


but how to do all that
without it looking too obvious,
like a bad theme park?

In researching this project,
I found a lot of 'resorts' that missed the mark
and I'm not trying to be mean here,
(I'm definitely not posting where these so called luxury resorts are )
but I'm pretty sure we can do a little better than this...

this is not a luxury resort....

great location - but I doubt you could build these any closer together
privacy is a luxury and a necessity at a high end resort...

okay, overkill on the lava rock
there is so much going on here -
kind of makes my head hurt a little
the outside shower -
well its nice to have one to rinse off salt and sand before you go into your room,
but it better not be the ONLY shower - yikes~!
and really bad design and color choices...


 
luxury is not primitive
(this is tropical, yes - but 5-Star - NOPE)

reminds me of Disneyland's Tiki Room..
a little 'theme park' for me

 
So, you ask....
what would I do differently?
 If you are going to pay the big bucks for a 5-Star accomodation,
 it should include a few key elements:
1. A View and somewhere wonderful to enjoy it

(and this is why we come, my friends)

2.  Thoughtful room design, taking into consideration the comfort and needs of guests

2.  A beautiful, inviting and comfortable bed
the focal point of the room

3. Air circulation - for the times when the tradewinds are still -
and louvered doors and windows for when they are not...
(with screens please...)

 4. Mosquito and pest control
no explanation needed on the insect control

5.  Privacy and Security
closeable, lockable, secure

6.  Luxury ensuite accomodations
with ocean and pools - do we also need a soaking tub?  (I would personally be a prune.... )
would a nice walk-in shower with invigorating jets do just as well?
what do you think?

7.  Ambiance/Romance
the islands are pure romance - add to the ambiance with lighting
fresh white linens, scented flowers, island music....
heaven!


8. Beautiful decor
(and here's where it really gets fun..... but that's another post)



WHAT DID YOU MISS?

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