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Online Exclusive – Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman

Aug 1, 2014

The recently redesigned guestrooms and suites at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman now tie in contemporary luxury with the resort’s famed traditional elegance. Designed by New York-based D’Aquino Monaco, the refreshed look aims to appeal to a younger demographic while embracing the island’s past and environment.


“We drew from different sophisticated vocabularies that can live together and can be found in all styles, both contemporary and historical,” explains designer Carl D’Aquino. Inspired by the island’s history as a British colony, the team worked within the resort’s architectural heritage to bring a modern appeal. “Design elements possessing historical and modern values share a bond that resonates, regardless of age,” he adds.


 While some of the furniture has traditional lines, the team revamped the look with updated proportions and colors. Craft and handwork—particularly wood carvers, fabric weavers, and embroidery—add a glamorous touch. “We referenced Grand Cayman’s natural environment in the palette, drawing from its iridescence and phosphorescent sea and the dramatic hues of the Cayman sky,” describes D’Aquino. The soft blue guestroom walls evoke the sky and sea, while the wall-to-wall carpeting has a textured sand tone with light silk highlights. In the Ritz-Carlton suite, a rosy pink palette recalls the sunset.


With touches like green silk curtains to match the local silver-thatched palm fronds, the rooms bring in the island with understated features. “Our approach was to create a guestroom interior with a strong concept, which is detailed to compliment each element of the room,” says D’Aquino. Echoing marine life, custom hardware pulls are set with faux string ray patterning.


The island’s coral reefs became inspiration, including in dyed and framed coral pieces, imprints of starfish and shells, and lights adorned with coral. “Calmness is brought to this luxurious setting through subtle tones and textures, allowing the focus to move to the softness of the surfaces and forms of the furniture,” D’Aquino explains. The team also drew from the caperberry flower—a white and lavender blossom indigenous to the island—for the upholstered headboard wall screens.


“These screen walls are our way of celebrating the bed,” says D’Aquino. For the king beds, these full width oak screens are upholstered in shimmering fabric and embroidered with a caperberry flower pattern in an enlarged modern scale. Queen-sized beds are backed by sand cast porcelain tiles, which are made of casts of shells from Seven Mile Beach, where the property is located. A bench at the foot of the bed completes the composition.


In line with the serene setting, the design team disguised the room’s televisions as functional art pieces, with sliding oak louvered panels. The panels can close to conceal the television, revealing a faux ammonite mounted in front of a mirror. “In a tropical getaway destination, we offer you the ability to hide the intrusion of technology at will,” says D’Aquino. “Our goal was to achieve a calm, timeless feeling to the room—just what you would want at the beach.”


hdtalks: the interviews

During HD Expo 2014, Hospitality Design’s Michael Adams sat down with HBA’s Michael Bedner to talk about his half-century in the hospitality design industry. View the video.



Produced by: Emerald Expositions
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