a monthly round-up of the world's best interiors and design stories
Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort, Bonnet Creek, USA
Friday 09 Nov 2012
Ponce de Leon's legend lives on in the design of this four-and-a-half star resort.
The inspiration for the design of this 350,000-square-foot, four-and-a-half star project is loosely based off of the legend of Juan Ponce De Leon's quest for the Fountain of Youth.
To incorporate the adventurous feel of the explorer's voyage while creating a four-star, upscale resort, elements of modern materials were intermingled with the traditional Spanish-Mediterranean architecture of the building's interior and exterior.
The design challenge was to keep the story fresh and clear to the guests, while offering modern-day luxuries, creating a multi-layered aesthetic experience. Subtle aspects of the story are woven throughout the hotel's lavish spaces and details: The lobby showcases an oversized compass rose facing true north - a nod to the explorer's navigational tools, made present with the use of contemporary, metallic stone tiles. The hotel bar pays homage to the year Ponce de Leon purportedly discovered the Fountain of Youth.
Artwork throughout the property utilizes a contemporary medium layered over navigational map lines to tie the subject matter into "the journey". Those map lines can also be found in the guest corridor carpet, featuring traditional medallions in current colours: a playful, sophisticated pattern. A striking addition to the space is the two-story mural of the Commissioning Queen, a traditional portrait of Queen Elizabeth the first that's been blown up in scale creating a true "wow" moment for guests.
The interior of the hotel's fine dining restaurant presents a formal dining room of an aesthetic possibly found on the Commissioning Queen's ship, replete with wood-beam ceilings and hammered coppered walls. In an elegant contrast, the restaurant showcases a modern-day display kitchen. Modern resort amenities include the luxury spa and fitness centre, three-meal family restaurant, barista, pool-area restaurant and bar, poolside cabanas, and outdoor fire pit, pre-function space and a ballroom.