After recently meeting Nobu owners Robert De Niro, Nobu Matsuhisa and Meir Teper in Ibiza Hotel Spec editor, Can Faik, was kindly invited to take a look at the latest Nobu opening: Nobu Marbella...
Exclusively for grown-ups, this luxury five-star hotel is bringing the style and sophistication of the global Nobu brand to the ‘Golden Mile’ of Marbella.
Nobu Hotel Marbella is Nobu Hotels’ second hotel in Spain; following the successful launch of sister property, Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay.
The architecture and interior design at the owners’ new Nobu property in Marbella blends the Andalusian classical identity with the constructive shapes of the ’60s: a result of the work carried out by the renowned interior designer Jean Pierre Martel of M&P Archidesign Consulting studio based locally in Marbella.
I was fortunate enough to catch up with Jean Pierre while visiting the property, who informed me of the vast amount of work that was taken by his team in designing and creating this beautiful 81-room property.
The Nobu Lounge is a quirky, eclectic space with an international feel. It features Andrew Martin furniture, Elitis wall coverings, mid-century vintage objects, and original artwork and posters.
The lounge is an inviting space, which encourages guests to relax, among other reasons owing to the materials, which have been used in its construction. This is the case of the Legacy natural oakwood floor tile from L’Antic Colonial, which shows the design pieces that interior designer Jean Pierre Martel was collecting on each of his trips when sourcing materials for this project.
The rooms and suites at Nobu Hotel Marbella are designed with a minimalist approach whilst maximising space and quality.Thanks to a natural colour palette, the hotel rooms and suites offer a private yet contemporary space for relaxation, comfort and inspiration. The elegant interiors with their open-plan design house sleek furnishings, soft colours and minimalist art work, while the suites include an open-plan living space, king-sized bed and expansive luxury marble bathroom. From white-on-white artworks, natural oak, and white venous Carrara, to the taupe palette, whitewashed walls, and Corian washbasin blocks – everything is designed and made in Spain, including the quality products that have been used throughout the bathroom, from rain fall showers and bathtubs, that are supplied by leading company Porcelanosa.
RESTAURANT AND BAR
The Nobu restaurant and lounge offers a real culinary journey through the senses. The interior design transports the diner to a kind of modernised Japanese canteen, where wood and warm atmosphere plays a leading role.The restaurant space features a floor-to-ceiling glass wine display cooler at both ends, an open kitchen and recycled beam ceiling. Solid Java modulated teak occupies most walls, whilst the furniture is elegantly simple and comfortable.
The Nobu Pool is a stylish space, surrounded by typically Spanish whitewashed buildings and Roman rooftops with wood decking and Bali green natural stone. The gazebo is an East meets West fusion.
Born from the shared vision of an acclaimed American actor, celebrated movie producer and globally esteemed professional chef, Can Faik met with the Nobu owners to discuss the brand’s direction...
What does Nobu Hotels have to do to stay one step ahead of the competition?
Well, it always starts with the location. We choose a place that feels right for our restaurant first, then we think about what we can create there. We believe that design is really important as a way to communicate a feeling. That’s why we invest when we need to.
Have you noticed any design trends when opening a hotel in a certain country or do you look at the location as a starting point?
One of the key things when opening a hotel is location, location, location, with food and beverage being the focal point of each property. Every Nobu hotel has to have a Nobu restaurant, which will supply room service and special events, and as we have restaurants across five continents, we are aiming to do the same with Nobu Hotels.
How important is hotel design when launching a new Nobu hotel?
Regarding our projects in Ibiza and Marbella, we have really tried to respect the ethos of the Nobu brand while trying to fit into the local market and embrace the local colours and materials. We have very much tried to make it that when you wake up in the hotel you know exactly where you are; so you can be in New York where everything is kind of geared to feel your surroundings and blends in with the scenery, and with the natural habitat of the hotel – especially here in Ibiza where there is a very strong earthy vibe with an important emphasis on local products.
Do you look at the location first before deciding on which hotel designer to work with?
Yes we do. We work a lot with David Rockwell out of New York, who designed our first restaurant. Nobu has always said good design is very important when you dine in our restaurants, so we try to do the same with our hotels.
Is the Middle East an area you’re considering for a Nobu Hotel opening?
Yes for sure, at this time we are looking at a property in downtown Dubai, and we are almost ready to open Riyadh and Tel-Aviv to follow,
How do you juggle your time with two very different careers?
Well I’m not there on a day-to-day basis, and I’m for sure not in the kitchen with Nobu, as I’m working on a movie right now, which I need to fly out for at the weekend. We have our CEO Trevor Horwell and COO Struan Mckenzie who take care of Nobu Hotels, as they are two great hoteliers.
What’s next for Nobu Hotels?
We have a new property in Barbuda to come, it’s early stages, and if all goes to plan we will open in 2020 and incorporate our first Nobu Beach Club.