BLINK Design has transplanted and reformed renowned luxury Singaporean hotel the Raffles to a surprising new setting – a 38-villa resort on a Maldives atoll.
October 15th, 2019
The Raffles brand has ventured to the Maldives, opening the Raffles Maldives Meradhoo resort on Gaafu Alifu Atoll with a design by BLINK.
BLINK has cleverly taken the original Raffles hotel’s iconic colonial opulence and tropical design touches and revamped them in tune with a new seaside setting in the Maldives.
Colour is a key component of how this was achieved. “To deliver an exquisite balance between long-standing traditions and a unique design sensibility, BLINK selected colours associated with Raffles and motifs influenced by the island,” the designers say.
Fully embracing barefoot luxury, BLINK’s design of the villas and handful of restaurants blurs the boundaries between the guest spaces and the serene tropical environment. Pathways connecting various public spaces are built over the azure waters. Hidden along the footpath to the Raffles Spa, private seating areas were handcrafted from birch wood and dark rattan.
With an eye to sustainability, bamboo has been used throughout, including for the creation of a dramatic white bamboo ceiling in the spa. Furniture in the public areas and villas was custom designed and can be used inside or outside. Throughout the resort, louvered windows in the same blue-grey shade as the Indian Ocean blur the distinction between inside and outside.
BLINK carefully selected materials and colour schemes to anchor the resort in its Singaporean roots. Some teak and dark oak furnishings are polished – as in the iconic Singapore hotel – and others are left raw in reference to the new island home. These are complemented by rattan and straw accents in fitting with the Raffles’ colonial opulence.
The colour palette is informed by shades of navy, sand and grey-blue. In another nod to Raffles’ distinct colonial style, striped monsoon blinds and louvered doors and windows can be found throughout the public and private spaces.
In the villas, soaring seven-metre ceilings with exposed beams allow light to flood into the rooms. A number of opulent features give guests an experience of staying in a tropical colonial mansion. The vast windows are all fitted with easily retractable wooden blinds. Super-king-size four-poster beds with white canopies sit atop solid dark wood platforms. Bathrooms are each fitted with a sunken tub backed with white, grey and black marble.
Throughout, seaside motifs, patterns, textures, and materials give a sophisticated nod to the beach location. Sea coral lamps custom-crafted by BLINK with figures of starfish, sea urchins and turtle shells were made in ecologically friendly resin. Coral patterns mingle with the classic Raffles stripes in the upholstery and one of the restaurants features a unique seashell terrazzo bar countertop.
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