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Published on : Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Bathed in natural light and kissed by fresh breezes, the new Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca spills down a hillside toward the sea, with wide terraces and floor-to-ceiling windows affording sweeping ocean views in the heart of Morocco’s busiest city. Inside, Four Seasons has collaborated with several of the world’s top designers to create an inviting environment, reflective of this storied destination and the very definition of luxury hospitality today.
“At Four Seasons, our design approach continues to evolve as we provide the luxurious comfort, technology and flexibility our guests want,” says General Manager Olivier Thomas. “Four Seasons is more than a hotel – it’s a place where people come to work, play, meet and explore. We set the stage, and then customise the experience of each guest who walks through our doors; we believe that personalisation is the true essence of modern luxury.”
The all new Foster + Partners-designed building features interiors by G.A Design, with signature restaurant design by EDG. A vibrant gathering place for locals as well as international visitors, the 186-room Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca also encompasses three restaurants and bars, a lavish spa, a resort-like pool oasis, and expansive event spaces.
Intimately scaled, it’s also a showcase for original works commissioned from contemporary artists by art consultant Marta García-Fajardo. Artists included renowned Moroccan ceramicist Myriam Mourabit, whose designs include intricately beaded vases created especially for Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca. Additional decorative pieces include ceramic murals by Spain’s Terra Lume studio in the Hotel’s courtyard and spa, and a mural in Bleu restaurant by Canadian studio Moss & Lam, which has designed original pieces for Four Seasonshotels around the world. Paintings and prints by Carlos Regalado, Diego Vallejo, Luisa Valdés, Igone Urquiza, Gaby Selby and Fátima Conesa are on display throughout the Hotel’s public spaces and guest rooms.
Spotlight: Interiors by G.A Design
Entering Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca through a lavish antique brass Moroccan door, guests will find traditional motifs and craftsmanship set against clean, modern spaces throughout the Hotel. In the reception area, a terrace tempts with its ocean views before guests walk along layered rugs through corridors of Spanish oak panels and polished plaster walls. The theme continues into guest rooms with the additions of rich stone, brass and porcelain design elements.
“The initial inspiration was to create a unique Hotel with a real sense of place – dramatic contrasts between light and dark, pattern and texture, and local artisan details and engineered forms that give rise to contemporary interiors united by the distinctive architecture,” says David Clixby, lead designer and Senior Associate at G.A Design. “The Hotel evokes a journey through the souk, bringing quality and surprise to guests as they explore the spaces.”
Four Seasons guest rooms and suites are personal sanctuaries that are as much about form and function as beautiful interiors. In addition to the latest technologies, lighting is key – as much natural light as possible during the day, transitioning to flexible lighting in the evening that is easily adapted for work or relaxation, and ultimately, a good night’s rest. At the heart of the room is the new, fully customisable Four Seasons Bed, dressed in luxurious, all-white linens. In suites, colour accents are provided by Zellige tiles, and in the spectacular Royal Suite, a doublesided fireplace warms the spacious living area as well as the expansive terrace.
When it’s time to meet or celebrate, a series of dramatic crystal chandeliers and enormous perforated Moroccan lanterns illuminate the Atlantic Ballroom’s embroidered fabric panels. Full height carved timber doors create the feeling of being in a grand room in a modern Moroccan palace.
The play between light and dark, pattern and texture continues in Le Spa with a soothing natural palette of cedar wood, warm locally-quarried stone and shimmering gold accents inspired by Morocco’s famous argan oil.
At Mint, the Hotel’s tea lounge, G.A Design’s themes take a particularly luxurious turn in intimate seating areas surrounded by carved plaster walls and accented by Bedouin-style bench seating, embroidered cushions from Fez, and Berber carpets from Marrakech. Immense brass lanterns glow through perforations in the classic style, and ocean waves provide the soundscape. Ceramic pieces by Myriam Mourabit are displayed alongside traditional artefacts from the souks in the pastry and lobby areas.
Spotlight: Bleu Restaurant by EDG
“As a vibrant economic hub and port city, Casablanca is steeped in history yet very much future oriented. Our design for Bleu evokes this essence in a distinct and modern way while capturing the imagination of travellers, locals and foodies of all persuasions,” says Jennifer Johanson, CEO and President of EDG. “It was a unique opportunity for us to work with Four Seasons on this signature experience.”
Conceived as a destination for in-house guests and locals alike, the Hotel’s signature restaurant is the modern Mediterranean brasserie Bleu. A key design element arose directly from the restaurant’s concept: an elliptical open cooking station where chefs prepare the freshest seafood to order over a charcoal grill. Additional crudo and other culinary stations are arrayed like sculptures in a space defined by curves inspired by the ocean waves seen through its floor to ceiling windows and glass-walled terrace.
The coastal theme begins with Moss & Lam’s mural of ceramic mussel shells along an arching wall leading into Bleu, and continues through flowing sculptural forms reminiscent of sea shells, coves and waves. The colour palette is bright, with white plaster pairing with the endless blue sky and ocean outside. The sensuous, organic lines are in direct contrast to the building’s crisp elegance, welcoming guests into a lively dining experience. Playful accents found at local bazaars add Moroccan textures, while traditional rugs with contemporary patterns warm white marble floors. Banquette seating is convivial, with cosy brown leather upholstery encouraging relaxed meals with friends, colleagues and family.
The effect is energetic – the perfect setting for interaction between the culinary team led by Executive ChefThierry Papillier and their guests. With wide terraces and fresh ocean breezes beckoning, diners are encouraged to move around indoors and out.
Tags: Four Seasons