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Online Exclusive - Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman

Aug 6, 2013

By Erinn Waldo; photography courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman

With the Seven Mile Beach in the background of the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, the design team of Atlanta-based Johnson Studio already had obvious inspiration for the renovation of the hotel’s multiple F&B venues. But the challenge was not only breathing new life into the spaces, but also making sure they blended in with the rest of the resort. “[The owner] wanted us to create spaces that were more contemporary and fresh,” says Anna McGrady White, a designer at the Johnson Studio. “Once we started the design process, we found changes to the floorplans could make them more functional for guests and staff as well.”


The new layout of Seven restaurant takes first impressions into account. “We relocated the front door of the space in order to create a better sense of arrival,” says White. Undergoing more changes than all the spaces, Seven’s small corner bar was demolished and replaced with a large peninsula bar⎯⎯which doubles as a buffet for morning breakfast. Two wine cabinets flank a live-edge wood table for a semi-private dining space in the center of the room, and the wine area and the bar help create different zones and allow the space to be flexible morning to night.


“Materials throughout were influenced by the beautiful beaches of Grand Cayman,” says White. “The wood floor is reminiscent of driftwood, and the bartop is a unique shell, glass, and concrete terrazzo that suggests shell-filled sand.”


Set right off of the lobby towards the center of the resort, the Silver Palm lounge takes cues from the Cayman Islands’ national tree⎯⎯the silver thatch palm⎯⎯both in namesake and palette, but it lacks Seven’s oceanfront view. “Silver Palm is bright and fresh, perfect for welcoming guests to the resort,” says White. Standing out against the white walls and neutral furniture, a bold rug pops with plum, spring green, and orange hues in an overscaled abstract floral. “It was important to create a ‘wow’ moment when guests walked in, since the ocean was not there to do so.”

                                                                                  Silver Palm Lounge

Adjacent to Silver Palm, the renewed Ritz Bar required only minor touchups. “Updating so many spaces at once and wanting each of them to have a dramatic before and after made us think of creative ways to stretch the funds,” says White. That meant the existing wood paneled walls and bar remained unchanged for a masculine contrast to Silver Palm, and designers refreshed the seating area by simply rearranging the cocktail tables and lounge chairs in a central area.

                                                                                          Ritz Bar

The same solution was used for Taikun Lounge: “We set out to update this sushi restaurant with a more social seating plan,” says White. Previously facing the wall, the traditional sushi bar was replaced by a counter-height communal. The color palette joined the existing millwork with punches of red and citron.

                                                                                      Taikun Lounge

“While the spaces are a definite departure from the look of the rest of the hotel, the neutral wall colors and mix of materials help blend the old and new,” says White, adding that the remaining public areas will follow suit with a renovation slated for next year.

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.



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