Openings: ease back into hospitality spaces with these venues from Kyoto to Kazakhstan
Finally: there are new openings to look forward to. After months of hospitality venues being at a stand-still, it’s encouraging to see restaurants, hotels, cafes and bars in service again. Business is not as usual, of course. Those who have already emerged from lockdown to enjoy their first food-and-drink outing know this. And leisure travel will be more domestic than ever this year, meaning that venues will be lacking in traffic from tourists. The industry has a long way to go to repair itself. Still, this time proves a great opportunity to get better acquainted with and support local hospitality spots. Sometimes the best interiors are right under your nose.
From Ace Hotel Group’s new Kyoto destination to a neighbourhood bar in Amsterdam by Studio Modijefsky to a Roar-designed Dubai restaurant, here are new hospitality openings worth checking out (or putting on a to-see list for your future self!).
KYOTO: ACE HOTEL KYOTO
Kengo Kuma and Commune Design
Ace Hotel Kyoto – featured in Frame 134 – is the first hotel in Asia from the popular brand, a collaboration between the group, Kengo Kuma and long-time Ace partner Commune Design. The 213-room space, half historic structure and half new build, invited its first guests on 11 June, unveiled for a soft opening. ‘We’ve wanted to build a hotel in Japan since the beginning of Ace,’ says Ace Hotel Group president Brad Wilson. ‘Opening in Kyoto, a city long revered for its rich creative culture, abundance of art and craft and attention to beauty in the details, makes it all the more special.’ The stay is also home to Japan’s first Stumptown coffee, and has three restaurants spearheaded by award-winning chefs.
Alexander & Co
A bar and 220-seat Italian restaurant, Glorietta was designed ‘shape a corporate precinct in North Sydney into a lively eating, dining and entertainment destination’, according to the creatives at Alexander & Co. The team combined an earthy palette, organic materials and a vaulted rattan ceiling ‘cloudscape’ to transform the existing space, cold and commercial, into a warm, intimate venue. A range of floor treatments and five different seating options create clear, inviting visual zones within the interior.
TOKYO: SORANO HOTEL
Wellbeing is at the heart of Tokyo urban development Green Springs, built in front of the city’s Showa Kinen Park. Situated within, the just-opened Sorano Hotel – designed by Curiosity – shares this ethos. There are 81 rooms in the hotel, each over 52 m2. ‘The hotel offers a new style of travel called the “wellbeing short trip” that allows guests to leave their busy lives behind,’ explains a spokesperson for the hotel. Only 30 minutes from the capital’s Shinjuku centre, Sorano has a spa, hot springs and exercise facilities, in addition to a contemporary hospitality programme and a sweeping 60-m infinity pool.
ALMATY, KAZAKHSTAN: DIJON
Local architecture firm Lenz Architects has designed a bold restaurant in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest metropolis. French-dining venue Dijon, dominated by pink structural elements, can seat up to 50 guests at 159 m2. White walls and concrete surfaces are in balance with marble tabletops and spherical lighting fixtures. Minimalist pieces by American artist David Cantu adorn the bright, open space.
DUBAI: MEZZA HOUSE
Pallavi Dean and her team at Roar have brought the interiors of Dubai restaurant Mezza House into a new age. ‘I have been a fan of Mezza House since it opened in the early 2000s,’ says Dean. ‘We wanted our design narrative to tell the story of this iconic Downtown restaurant and retain its legacy, yet reimagine it for the next decade.’ The client wished to ‘redefine what a contemporary Levantine restaurant should look and feel like’. To achieve a space that reflected that, Roar took inspiration from the landscapes of the Yarmouk River Valley – a ‘magically diverse ecosystem’ positioned on the border of Syria and Jordan – utilizing natural hues and materials.
The Dutch capital’s 119-year-old Café Bos has been renovated and rebranded as Bonnie, led by design studio Studio Modijefsky and hospitality group Drie Wijzen uit Oost. Nearby the city’s landmark Vondelpark, Bonnie’s 147-m2 interiors are a nod to the bistro bar’s former life, with old-fashioned wood, mirrors, neon lights and classic tiles. Three distinct areas – a main bar, back bar and souterrain floor – are located at different levels. A curated art collection, including contemporary sketches and paintings from the previous owners, was installed to give Bonnie a unique atmosphere.
SHENZHEN: ONEJEE HOTEL
New Shenzhen boutique hotel OneJee Hotel is a sprawling 6,000-m2 space. The reception lobby is defined by impressive bespoke ‘cloud’ installations, which cover the whole ceiling emanate subtle light and give off shadow effects. This ambience carries throughout the whole interior, which was devised by Panorama Design Group to create a ‘peaceful stay’ for guests. Corridors and guestrooms are clad in light grey walls and sky-blue patterned carpeting, with minimalistic furnishings and fixtures in the sleeping areas and washrooms alike.
Read about more new hospitality spaces here.