Owner: Marriott International
Hotel operator: W Hotels Worldwide
Architecture: Jean Nouvel
Interior design: dwp | design worldwide partnership
Furnishings: Bene, Cappellini, Cassina, Geberit, Hansgrohe, Kenneth Cobonpue Nakkash Gallery, Kohler, Moroso, Roche Bobois, Saniplex, Vondom
Lobby, the Soundwave installation: Lasvit
AWAY Spa The Big Drop: Sans Souci lighting sculpture
Photo credits: courtesy of dwp and Marriott International
The Palm is the very new W Escape, an exuberant outcropping of the brand W Hotels Worldwide of the Marriott International Group, designed by Jean Nouvel and dwp. Incredible views and exceptional services that go well beyond full optional thanks to captivating design that pays homage to the evolution of one of the world’s most dynamic cities, seamlessly mixing the organic freedom of nature with the more rational lines of skyscrapers. From the iconic sign with its W shaped to resemble the bed of a dried-up desert river, to the golden cocoon clad in palm fronds and multicolored ceramics that welcomes guests at the entrance, to the infinite enamel segments with that decorate the wall of the reception area with irregular forms.
Entering the hall, a five-story lobby rises with its thick walls, featuring colored frames of different sizes to suggest Arabian architecture and the urban landscape in ongoing evolution, while handmade carpets add softness to the stone floors, alluding to the rugged geography of the Gulf Coast. The breathtaking entrance is completed by the “Soundwave,” a towering presence composed of 640 pieces of glass depicting a W-shaped sound wave and programmed to convert the beats played by the DJs of the nearby W Lounge into a game of lights and colors. The lounge is a tribute to the city’s taste for opulence, with many modular geometric parts that imitate the raw, natural form of gold, connected to the nearby VIP Lounge by means of a 13.5-meter long sofa in tenuous earth tones. In the game of continuing references, forms and colors suggest those of a mountain chain in the desert, skyscrapers of the past.
In the 350 rooms and in the large Wow Suites the details contribute to update the design narrative; a hypnotic approach with curved walls decorated by mosaics to sparkle like the lights and colors of the sea across the various hours of the day, with bright furnishings and graphic motifs to underline the playful intent. Relaxing, social and surreal are the terms that apply to the Away Spa. Ten treatment rooms, a Turkish bath, a sauna, experiential showers, a hammam and a suite for couples, designed to entice guests to explore richly clad serpentine spaces. Underwater perspectives where iridescent ‘shells’ reflect the sunlight penetrating from the water’s surface, amidst muffled sounds, airy echoes, spaces for socializing in a simultaneously entertaining and relaxing atmosphere.
There are also a cutting-edge fitness facility, multiple swimming pools inserted in an undulated arrangement in the center of the Escape to form the iconic WET® Deck experience, the Pop cuisine of Torno Subito helmed by Massimo Bottura – where the optical floors, the neon signs, the furnishings ranging from Gio Ponti to Paola Lenti and the vintage details convey scenarios of the Riviera Romagnola in the 1960s – and the modern spirit of Japanese cuisine with Korean influences of Akira Back.