Tuesday 09 Dec 2014
Conceived by New York hospitality veterans Yvan Cussigh and Jean-Marc Houmard, Tribal Hotel is located in the old colonial Unesco-protected city of Granada and opened to great acclaim in May this year.
Cussigh and Houmard wanted to offer an interesting yet affordable design experience within an intimate and personalised surrounding. To do this they used simple and inexpensive materials juxtaposed in eclectic and unconventional ways, creating an experience that feels more like staying at a friend's well curated home than in some generic hotel.
The project was conceived and designed entirely by the hotel owners; the new building added in at the back of the property, the remodeling of the original structure, each individual piece of furniture, the lamps and tiles, every single decorative object. The general décor was inspired by their travels around the world, from Turkey and Morocco to Thailand and Cambodia to Ghana and India.
All the furniture was painstakingly designed and then sourced out and hand-crafted by artisans from Granada and its surrounding areas. The metal and rope chairs in the rooms were inspired by mid-century modern design and forged by the local blacksmith using a traditional fire pit; the pottery pieces such as the hanging lamps, sconces and candle holders were hand-turned and baked in a wood-fired oven by a potter in the countryside near the Laguna de Apoyo.
Wooden tables and lounge chairs were cut from entire tree trunks in a lumberyard in the hamlet of Nandaime while the tables on the terraces were woven from dried plantain leaves from a nearby plantation. The tiles in the lobby were custom hand-made one by one in the local tile shop after a design inspired by an old Parisian private residence, while the ones in the rooms were derived from a motif found in rugs on the island of Lamu, Kenya.
Art pieces were collected from friends of the owners, such as Argentinean painter Gonzalo Papantonakis who did the large painting in the lobby and New York photographer Wanda Acosta, who worked on modernising the large print of Velazquez' Infanta.
The resulting hotel is a unique and interesting mix of world-inspired design combined with traditional colonial crafts from Nicaragua, and a touch of mid-century modern sensibility.