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Four Seasons Hotel Macau, Cotai Strip

Hirsch bedner blends Portugese and Chinese cultures to create the new Cotai landmark

Leading international interior design firm HBA/Hirsch Bedner Associates, which is renowned as the creative force behind many of the region’s leading luxury hotels and resorts, has unveiled its latest project with the opening of the new Four Seasons Hotel Macau, Cotai Strip. The new mixed-use lifestyle and entertainment complex features hotel, serviced apartments, high-end shopping mall, a boutique-sized casino, fine dining and other entertainment options.

Inspired by the ancient Portuguese history of Macau and the predominant Chinese culture in the enclave, HBA has blended distinctive design influences from both to create a stunning new hotel. The hotel is a jewel amidst Asia’s Las Vegas, as the Cotai Strip has become known. It offers a retreat from the bustling action going on at the nearby Cotai Strip CotaiExpo and The Venetian Macau Resort Hotel, home to the largest casino in the world. “The new Four Seasons Hotel is a showstopper which encapsulates the rich culture and history of Macau like no other hotel in the enclave,” said Tracie Co, an Associate from HBA’s Hong Kong office.

Drawing influence from an old Colonial Portuguese house, the hotel has features throughout that evoke as sense of a grand residence. “The lobby lounge was designed to function like the living room of a Colonial Portuguese house, complete with a fireplace, Portuguese lanterns, ceiling fans and bamboo floor,” said Co. “The Chinese lacquer screens date back to the 18th century and demonstrate China’s influence on trade and design.”

Six oversized Portuguese-inspired custom-made lanterns are 1.8 meter in height and convey original craftsmanship and artistry, through their texture and details. A carpet inspired by an original Portuguese 15th Century arraiolos (needle-point tapestry rug) found in a Lisbon museum, serves as a focal point in the large rotunda, which is framed by two grand staircases that meet in the center of the lobby and lead to the second level ballroom and entertainment space. “We mixed historic furniture, art, Chinese decorative textiles and European grandeur throughout the property to evoke a subtle but classic sense of place, whether in the guestrooms or the public spaces,” said Paulo Dias who worked with Co on the project.

Inspired by the beautiful, ornate colonial architecture that makes Macau so distinct, HBA utilized a residential approach in the design of the interiors that blend seamlessly with the building’s architectural style. The back wall of the reception desk, for example, is framed by a replica of 18th century traditional Portuguese blue and white tiles.

Textiles and etchings of the city streets akin to those found in the ancient markets of Macau were hung in the guestrooms and a Ming Dynasty style console and carpets added to the classic look. As a colorful and visual contrast to the warm but neutral pallet and white limestone walls in the lobby, decorative art pieces include a framed 17th Century Portuguese textile with original embroidery and several Coromandel screens, designed in China for the European market.

The design team spent considerable time researching the Macanese culture and Portuguese architectural influences as well as combing through local markets and antique shops. One of their finds includes a stunning Bamboo Chinese 19th Century console, which they placed prominently in the public space corridor. “Just like a person collects one of kind antiques for their home we also wanted to choose pieces that added to the authenticity of our design,” said Dias. “The public flow space features little corners of surprise, for example the framed 17th century Portuguese textile or the collection of Beijing glass vases”.

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