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2016 Gold Key Awards: Best Hotel Luxury

(December 2016) posted on Wed Jan 11, 2017

Two ultra-luxe, ultra-local hotel projects in Chengdu and New York receive high marks for excellence in hospitality design.

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WINNER: Wanda Reign Hotel Chengdu

Wanda Reign Hotel Chengdu
Wanda Reign Hotel Chengdu. Photo: Weimin Cai

DESIGNER: Wanda Hotel Design Institute (Wanda HDI), Beijing

INSPIRATION: Take the process of fusing luxe and local in hotel design to a whole new level. “This hotel acts as a cultural carrier, recording and presenting the most exceptional aspects of life in Chengdu,” says Jeff Ning, senior vice president, Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties and leader of the design team at Wanda HDI. “It could even be called a museum-style hotel, since it seeks to fully document the city and its charms.”

Wanda Reign Hotel Chengdu 
Wanda Reign Hotel Chengdu. Photo: Weimin Cai

IDEATION: The design team said it purposefully sought to break away from the convention within much of the Chinese hotel industry of churning out copies of Western design styles. “Local elements blend seamlessly with traditional craftsmanship and art to emerge as a unique tribute to the union of Chinese and Western cultures in a luxurious setting,” says Ning.

INNOVATION: A lobby that doubles as a time machine. “Guests entering the sky lobby on the hotel’s 41st floor can walk across that space and encounter large French windows that offer a jaw-dropping view of the surrounding city in all its vitality,” says Ning. “But when they look back into the space, they see a giant jade hand-carved mural depicting the city’s landscape as it was long ago. As a result, the lobby acts as if it is a time capsule, in which occupants find themselves peering through both sides of a looking glass—it’s truly a unique experience.”

Wanda Reign Hotel Chengdu
Wanda Reign Hotel Chengdu. Photo: Weimin Cai

INTEL: Consistency counts. The designers carried out this property’s luxe/local theme with such tenacity that it also won Best Guest Room Luxury (see page 48) and was a finalist in two other categories: Best Lobby Luxury (page 32) and Best Suite (page 52).


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