The Grand Hyatt Kuwait, a contemporary hotel in the Al Zahra district, is connected to the 360 Mall, a mixed-use development offering business and leisure travellers numerous diversions. Global architecture, planning, and design practice CallisonRTKL designed the hotel to coordinate visually and physcially with the existing mall and a new expansion, which includes luxury shopping, indoor and outdoor tennis stadiums, and a grand arena.
Noted for its work on Italy’s W Rome and Rosewood Little Dix Bay in the British Virgin Islands, Meyer Davis was tapped to bring to life the hotel’s interiors (excluding the restaurants), taking inspiration from the country’s culture and history as a trade port for several centuries.
Meyer Davis and CallisonRTKL worked together to extend the design of the mall to the hotel via flooring, stonework, and patterns. The designers were also inspired by traditional Islamic motifs for the rugs, wood-flooring patterns and screens, and diaphanous textiles reminiscent of a ship’s sails.
The hotel’s art collection is on display from the moment of arrival. Across from the entry is a four-metre-high bronze equine head by British sculptor Nic Fiddian-Green, displayed on a black marble pedestal designed by Meyer Davis. The spacious lobby’s white drapery and white walls create a neutral backdrop for four commissioned works by Ali Al Mimar, well-known for his classical paintings of Arabian horses, another element of Middle Eastern culture.
To create a residential feel, Meyer Davis custom designed the lobby’s furniture: oversized cream couches, rounded club chairs, low-slung armchairs and high-backed leather statement chairs, accented with red ottomans and toss cushions. Guests can enjoy fresh-made mocktails and afternoon tea below two eye-catching installations in the lobby’s Saheel Lounge: a double-storey motorized dark-blue mobile by Xavier Veilhan and a “drop” sculpture by Santiago Villanueva. The lobby’s curved staircase leads to the meeting and events floor.
The 302 rooms (including 21 with private garden terraces) have layers of white and cream textiles with Meyer Davis–designed furniture, custom-patterned parquet flooring, walk-in closets, and unbeatable views of the city skyline. All millwork was commissioned locally.
The swirling abstract art above the headboard is by Tracie Cheng, a Taiwanese American artist who refers to her work as dreamscapes. The simply dressed bed rests upon a custom cream rug bordered with shades of blue and illuminated by a pair of bedside pendant lights. Lounge chairs and ottomans are from the William Gray collection for Stellar Works. The white marble bathrooms feature a rain shower, open storage, and some rooms include a freestanding tub.
The hotel’s Noor Spa features a channel of water in the floor between the elevator and the spa, where it divides the women and men’s entrances. Rounded walls are covered in strips of warm Indonesian teak and lead to the sleek indoor pool deck and the contemplative outdoor courtyard, a lush expanse of tropical plants, water features, and lounge chairs. Spa guests can indulge in gym, sauna, steam, and jacuzzi before or after a treatment.
Dining options include a variety of flavours and styles. Designed by Autoban, ‘Stambul, which focuses on Ottoman fare, is decorated in shades of green with patterned ceramic tile, screens, marble, and a terrace with ironwork chairs, velvet cushions, and small trees.
AB Concept conceived Mei LI and Liberté, the latter a modern brasserie showcasing French cuisine and art deco style with a bold use of turquoise, brass, rattan, and glass. With a pan-Asian dinner menu, Mei Li offers an opulent environment with contemporary glass ball chandeliers, gold lanterns, Asian art, red- and blue-velvet seating, floral wallpaper, abstract-patterned screens, and the pièce de résistance, a nature-inspired transparent wall cascading over a semiprivate dining table.
Photography by Anthony Parkinson.