By Laurel Tuohy
Oct 7, 2020
THOUGH TRAVEL HAS BEEN MINIMIZED, things have been far from sleepy on the creative front for some of the region’s newer luxury hotels. Keeping wanderlust levels high throughout the pandemic period, a fresh wave of collaborations sees a flourish of covetous trinkets, wondrous wearables and more.
The coming-soon Capella Hanoi, which is itself a Bill Bensely–designed masterpiece, is a trove of artsy finds. In this opera-themed hotel, each guestroom pays tribute to a different artist, designer, theater or opera singer, each muse featuring in original paintings by St. Kitts-based fine artist Kate Spencer. These characters’ stories continue on Spencer’s tableware collection for the hotel, which speaks to Capella’s quirkier side. “The first glimpse of a table setting is very important,” says Spencer. “It kick-starts your enthusiasm for dinner.” Guests will soon be sipping from tea cups featuring Coco Chanel, and finishing their soup to find the Phantom of the Opera peering up from the bottom of the bowl.
Another Bensley-adjacent collab comes in the form of fine jungle-inspired jewelry. Australian jeweler Kate McCoy has created a limited-run collection of pieces in partnership with Cambodia’s Shinta Mani Wild, an idea she says came while she was a guest at the camp. “I had the pleasure of going on patrol with Wildlife Alliance rangers through Cardamom National Park,” she says. “They have incredible tracking skills for animals and loggers—they are fearless!” Her experience trekking through the deep, luscious greens and golds of the Cambodian jungle helped inspire the colors of the range, reflected in diamonds, tourmaline, demantoid garnet and 18-karat gold. A portion of the proceeds from sales will be donated to Wildlife Alliance, Shinta Mani’s partner foundation—shop the range at naturestreasury.com.au.
Over at Pullman Maldives Maamutaa, there’s a graffiti artist on the loose. German artist Claudia Walde, also known as MadC, recently added her energetic, color-saturated street art–style murals to the bar, dive center, spa, and even on the buggies that whiz guests around the island. According to the resort’s interior designer and villa architect Isabelle Miaja, MadC was given free reign to interpret the Maldives in her own style, with the result reflecting the unfiltered hues of its waters and tropical plants. Why graffiti? “It brings a fresh new take on art in the Maldives,” Miaja says.
Keeping us all resort-ready even in the megalopolis of Bangkok, the soon-to-open Kimpton Maa-Lai is set to launch with robe-forward flair. Fantastical Bangkok fashion house Tube Gallery teamed up with Siem Reap-based Belgian painter Christian Develter to create their own 16-piece line of resort wear, of which a bespoke kimono-esque bathrobe will drape from the shoulders of hotel guests. The rest of the collection, a pop art–referencing line of swim trunks and dramatic, flowing caftans emblazoned with Develter originals, will be available from September at Tube Gallery’s Bangkok flagship, on their website and at selected resort gift shops. If we can’t travel at least we can look the part.