Operated by Marriott International, the Le Meridien Xiamen is located in the heart of Xiamen city yet it is nestled amid lush greenery up on a plateau top. With its surroundings, the 300 room hotel is more akin to a hilltop resort with tranquillity and nature as its unique features.
The interiors of the hotel were completed in 2010 by VIA Studio with numerous awards conferred by industry watchdogs and tourism agencies since then. As such, in 2019, VIA Studio was re-invited by the owner to systematically upgrade all the interiors starting appropriately with the All Day Dining.
The new design concept naturally gravitated to assimilate the hotel’s valuable matured asset – its prolific exterior landscaping. This is tempered by the Le Meridien branding of a touch of French flavour with a sense of culture, chic and discovery. Spatial articulation, materiality in colour and texture and the design language became the main ingredients that galvanised the design concept with delightful details as flavour enhancers. Yet maintaining an ambience of a five star dining destination complimenting its quality service and gastronomic offerings.
Clear and well defined by design are the circulation hierarchy, orientation cues and variety of seating that beckons every heats desires. From multi generation families, business and casual groups, starry-eyed couples, VIPs, introverts, extroverts etc all alike will find sensitively designed seat niches of their liking. Cuisine choices and display are enticingly presented by differently configured open kitchen ‘island’ counter stations which are separated by small landscaped ‘courtyards’.
The lighting scheme for day and night dining are orchestrated to create entirely different moods. Wall scones, uplighters on to the timber ceiling panels and internal courtyards, barrisol sky lighting, cove lighting and adjacent outdoor landscaping lighting take on a more dramatic mode in welcoming evening diners.
Finally, conscious inclusion of playful details and artwork give a literal enhancement to the various aspects of the design concept much like creative plating on delectable dishes. These include:
- Live spices on trays forming part of the perforated boundary with the hotel’s reception lobby.
- Abstract bougainvillea sculpture and motifs which is an ode to nature and Xiamen’s state flower.
- Stone veins and diminishing patterns recalling cartographic lines highlighting the Le Meridien branding right down to door handles that are shaped by the map of Paris.
- Hints of the French and classical heritage of the Le Meridien brand through inspiration from Parisian café culture.
- Internal gardens and bird sculptures that further bring integration with the lush outdoor landscaping.
In all, guests, operator and owner welcomed the redesign with satisfaction like that coming from a splendid and novel meal.