Hilton Wenchang has arrived at Hainan’s crowded coastline with an understated grandeur. Christie Lee writes.
Top Image: Lobby, Hilton Wenchang
The scenic island of Hainan may possess abundant resorts, but the recently-opened Hilton Wenchang impresses with a combination of rustic charm and understated opulence.
Given carte blanche for this project, HBA designed the space by referencing Hainan’s natural landscape and local craftsmanship. For one, there are plenty of vantage points for grand vistas, perfect for tourists looking to escape views of high-rises.
Anchored by a magnificent chandelier, the lobby is the centrepiece of the vast 432-room property. Vaulted ceilings and exposed beams draw the eye upwards while natural sunlight pours in through floor-to-ceiling doors. Lantern-inspired lighting designs imbue the place with a sense of serenity by night. One end of the grand hall dramatically opens up to sweeping views of the South China Sea and surrounding forests.
Public spaces are dominated by shades of dark wood with hints of red and gold, conveying understated luxury. The rustic rattan used stands as a reminder of the island’s abundant natural resources.
A departure from the public spaces, the rooms, according to lead designer Darrell Long, are “deliberately airy, neutral and bright.” Organic patterns adorn headboards and floor coverings, while the walls are covered in earthy tones. The neutral and subtle hues are juxtaposed by dramatic dividers featuring intricate laser-cut patterns.
HaiTian, the hotel restaurant serving fresh seafood and Wenchang specialities, portrays formalistic aesthetics. Lining both sides of the hall, the booth seating areas enjoy sweeping views of the surrounding landscape. Bigger groups may opt for the tables at the centre of the restaurant.
A more casual aesthetic was opted for Bocca. The open kitchen houses a traditional wood burning pizza oven, and pops of red brighten up an otherwise muted palette. The wooden theme extends to the hotel’s third eatery, OPEN, where the counter is offset by light wall panelling and flooring, with furnishing done up in neutral colours.