Another shining example of meticulous service and exquisite design
Raffles One Shenzhen Bay, is an iconic tower that reflects the pace of growth and modernisation of Shenzhen and stands proud as a new beacon in opulent living. The hotel, which features 168 spacious guestrooms and suites, occupies the top floors of an 80-storey tower in the One Shenzhen Bay development in the city’s Nanshan district.
Internationally acclaimed Manhattan-based architect Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates was responsible for the architecture of Raffles Shenzhen, while Dubai’s LW Design team, headed up by Pia Sen, was tasked with creating a contemporary interior that pays respect to the Chinese culture in which it is set. Evident throughout is the connection between the spectacular views over the bay and the design. Everywhere you look, the panoramas dominate. “We were challenged to work around the views,” says Pia, “we wanted to integrate them into the design rather than block them out.”
Visitors are transported from the double volume ground floor entrance straight up to the Sky Lobby on the 34th floor. Here, the majesty of the Pearl River Delta and the rich décor blend seamlessly with the feeling of coming home. Materials used to create the look include warm timber, decadent marble and metal details, paired with softer accents.
On the Banqueting Floor, recessed high ceilings cleverly disguise lighting that sets a perfect scene for the flexible event spaces. From distinguished meeting rooms to the grandiose ballroom, each area reflects meticulous standards. A mix of materials engages the eye, creating texture and warmth. Here too, elements of contemporary China remind visitors of the hotel’s location.
The 168 rooms and suites, inclusive of a 465sqm Presidential Suite, are accessed by corridors that showcase interesting artefacts. Once inside the rooms, the interiors are based on neutral shades, with pops of nature-inspired colour featured in the rugs, cushions and quilts. The eye is drawn to the silkscreen wall panels that adorn the walls. Again, traditional cultural elements are introduced through select furniture pieces, and the distinctive Raffles ‘library’ is present in every room. The Presidential Suite, the height of welcoming luxury, is decorated with warm amber shades complemented by rich metals and plush fabrics.
Setting a new standard for spas within the Raffles group, the design of this multi-purpose space is breathtaking. The spa is divided into distinct zones for quiet and active pursuits, defined by changes to the colour scheme from dark to lighter. Warm bronze tones, herringbone patterned oak floors and varying wall coverings work together to make a homely environment, albeit a very opulent one. Watermark rugs, candles and soft cushions in lucky shades of green support the residential feel. “The spa has an unusual, unexpected ambience of a luxury home. A place to truly immerse in relaxation,” Pia explained when describing level 33. The spa includes a reception area; six treatment rooms; changing rooms complete with saunas and steam rooms; a gym and a magnificent indoor infinity pool that looks out over the bay.
Raffles One Shenzhen Bay, operates four in-house F&B outlets. On the ground floor, a cake shop has been designed as a light, bright replica of a bespoke jewellery store, down to the glass display cases and amethyst-inspired lights.
Further up, on level 34, the Lobby leads into a 500sqm all-day dining restaurant that follows a gentle Chinese theme. Here, a black lacquered door with a duck egg blue shagreen inset creates an impressive entrance. Patterned white marble, inset handmade rugs and light timber planks adorn the floors of the venue where guests dine seated in sofas or comfortable chairs along the expansive window wall. Food counters are placed along the opposite wall to create an organic flow, whilst light bronze metal screens create the illusion of semi-privacy.
In the Japanese signature restaurant, the contemporary design uses dark materials, such as black marble floors and walls, black timber screens and rose-gold toned metal work. Black marble counters run along the show kitchen wall, which is clad in rose-gold toned metal with an embossed cherry blossom motif. Along the window wall, guests are seated on black benches upholstered in a luxurious rust velvet, influenced by Japanese autumnal maple leaves. Floor to ceiling Sake display units, built in the style of Japanese Chidori toys, create a semi-private tasting room.
“The real emphasis throughout this project was to create an ambience which reflects everything a guest would wish for in their home, whilst adding the conveniences that a hotel brings and being able to draw on the surrounding beauty gave us a clear direction from the start.” Pia says, in conclusion.
The guest experience promises to be nothing short of spectacular. From the choice of exceptional dining options to the spa that will rejuvenate the weariest traveller, the generously appointed rooms to the welcoming arrival space, this hotel will undoubtedly make the bucket list of many.