Hospitality interior design is a growing market in the GCC region, in fact, Saudi Arabia has one of the largest hotel developments in the world; Jabal Omar, Makkah.
During my short visit to KSA last weekend, I was overwhelmed by the number of hotels in Makkah. It is always a challenge for a global hotel chain to maintain a constant image and design philosophy throughout different regions and within different cultures, it is also essential to incorporate certain heritage features from the city into the design of any interior space.
Hilton Suites Makkah is a great example of how contemporary design can be seamlessly intertwined with a flavour of the old city of Makkah. This hotel is split into two towers overlooking the Kaaba and Holy Haram. The Mashrabya is a key architectural element for the hotel which creates a great contrast to the external structure of the building.
It is often recommended to use a neutral colour palette as a base when designing for the hospitality industry, this ensures that the internal design of the hotel remains appealing to a range of different cultures and backgrounds. The interior design of the Hilton Suites Makkah is focused around a distinctive colour scheme which is inspired from the five distinctive prayer times throughout the day; sunrise, noon, late afternoon, sunset and night-time.
On the left side of the building is the Mashrabya which is overlooking the Holy Haram. This creates a great lighting effect during sunset.
The lighting has been individually selected for each room in order to highlight and complement the interior details.
Geometrical shapes of traditional Islamic architecture has been incorporated into this room to achieve a contemporary yet apt design scheme.
Rooms are planned to ensure a comfortable interior space with a neutral colour palette and just a splash of colour to add warmth and contrast to the room, patterned carpet has been used on the floor with more neutral colours on the walls.
The most important tip to achieve a successful design project in hospitality is to understand the culture, needs and expectation of the clients.
Hilton Suites Makkah [Online Images]. Available from: http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/saudi-arabia/hilton-suites-makkah-MAKSUHI/about/index.html [Accessed 02/03/15].