Thursday, 6 October 2011

Nanette Cameron Interior Design Tour - Crown Metropol

Director of leading Melbourne architect firm Bates Smart - Jeffery Copolov is not only an awarded interior designer but also a very generous man with his time.

During the 2 hour guided tour this week, myself and the NZ Interior Design Tour group were given amazing access to every key area of the huge commercial interior project consisting of 658 guest rooms.
This large hotel, the newest of the Crown Casino complex, from the outside seems like any other large hotel, but inside is quite a different experience.

In fact this project can be best described as a `boutique hotel' which has been achieved through clever design and details throughout.

We started the grand tour in the foyer of the hotel where the detail begins with a beautiful blue stone floor flowing from the outside pavement in using a diamond pattern.
As we step out of the elevator on the 28th floor the design starts to reveal itself with   custom designed carpets, textured wallpapers and beautiful artworks adorning each surface.
Level 28 itself showcases not only the best view in the property but the unique s-shape of the building maximising the outlook. Screens have been inserted into the large bar and restaurant space to create lovely positive and negative spaces throughout, each with their own identity.
The boutique feel becomes apparent with the custom carpets flowing throughout each space changing colour as you enter each zone, feature bookcases showcase a collection of colour matched classics and low and comfortable seating of different shapes and sizes is placed to maximise both views and conversation.
It is difficult to make such a large hotel space feel boutique, but this space certainly has achieved it. 
We next head into the leisure zones of the day spa and pool areas where the beauty of this design seems to reach even greater heights.
The first feature which strikes you in the pool area is the amazing oversized feature lights which accentuate the ceiling height of this space.
The pool itself is of course beautiful, covered on 3 sides with floor to ceiling glass and a solid ceiling, enabling use all year round.
As we walk toward the first of 3 different guest rooms, the hallway reveals a clever use of lighting, led lighting behind a patterned grate throws shadows and interest onto the ceiling, as well as tree like art installations around unexpected and often forgotten corners creating interest in a space which is often dull.
The best room in the hotel is The Apartment, a huge space featuring a large living and dining room, entrance hall, kitchen, walk in wardrobe, plunge bath and amazing views.
The interior has been designed to feel more like a home away from home than a hotel room, with lots of personal touches throughout.
Priced between $2,500 and $5,000 per night this room is available for exclusive guests who clearly have alot of disposable income.
There are a cluster of rooms connected by a private staircase straight to the spa in the hotel also which allows guests to come and go without needing to integrate with the rest of the hotel which is a nice feature.
What I found most interesting during this tour was understanding the process the design firm goes through to finalise a design for a project of this scale. A prototype of each room is created and reviewed by up to 50 different people to ensure it functions to the highest standard. Imagine having 50 clients all with feedback which you need to incorporate into the design...nightmare.
I will never look at a hotel in the same way again and am definitely going to book in to stay at this one very soon.

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