The black monochromatic scheme of the port-cochere introduces guests to a moment of anticipation of the journey that is about to begin as guests approach the entrance. Truly exploring the monochromatic nature of the black night, the organic ceiling designs captivate the night sky and stars, twisting the notion of starting the journey of from true urban setting into the world of the search for El Dorado.
From the moment guests arrive in the lobby, the story telling of the “Search for El Dorado” begins with an installation inspired by Garcia Marquez’s novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude” with amber-hued bronze and resin butterflies dangling, in front of falling water, constantly glittering for the entire stretch of the gold tiled wall. Tying in the psychedelic characteristics of the mystical journey, are reception desks that resemble oversized drops of molten gold. The ceiling is fully dressed with mirrors, immediately relieving the space of the low ceiling conditions, and picking up on the gold accents off the reflections.
Continuing through the unexpected journey, one can find themselves in black tunnel with low ceilings, exaggerating the compression, but pleasantly greeted by geometric architectural tile pattern enveloping the space with splash of gold and warm colors, inviting guests to gather around the rugs, directly inspired by the traditional Wayuu textiles.
The brief moment through the black tunnel leads guests into a space of relief, opening up to high ceilings and a predominantly brighter space, introducing gold strings defining semi-private seating groups, composing the entire living room of pods, individually ‘wrapped’ by the Colombia’s native calla lily petals. Weaving in the story of the “Search for El Dorado” with Colombia’s local artist (Vertigo Graffiti), the entire back wall of the space explodes with a colorful depiction of El Ray Dorado and his wife, as they dressed up for the ultimate ceremony.
Chef Emiliano Rabia Cottil’s farm-to-table Market Restaurant is inspired by the calla lily flower, re-imagined through a different filter. The ‘leaves’ of calla lily flower form intimate pods for dining and conversation, allowing the restaurant’s minimal white and chartreuse tones worked in with natural wood and penny tile flooring, to act as a perfect backdrop of the organic nature throughout the space.
The radial recessed lighting is interrupted by a warm centerpiece showcasing the restaurant’s top notch selections, meanwhile anchoring the space. Just behind the ever present centerpiece is a semi private dining area separated by a garage door, to accommodate the continuous curve to form the prominent wall of the private dining space. The interior walls of the private dining space weave a local artist’s works, giving the room a closer tie to the Colombian creative scene.
W Hotels are generally known to stray away from natural materials, however, the Market Restaurant was given an exception to truly celebrate the locality of the Colombian palette, with a more serene overall tone to allow the dining experience to focus on the freshness of the food, giving the eye a break from the expected warm orange and brown tones in a dining hall.
In tune with today’s popular ‘speakeasy’ scene, an exclusive (invite only) bar is intimately positioned towards the private dining room of the hotel’s restaurant, leaving guests wondering why certain individuals are being drawn to a compressed corridor, that not only tapers from the ceiling, but from the walls as well. This sense of anticipation is further evoked through the fragmented tinted mirrors on the ceiling, which is directly reflected on the floor pattern, accented by bronze inlay with black stone.
Adding to the challenging existing conditions of the asymmetrical corner space, is a large column in the midst of the festivities, which was cleverly transformed into a 360 degrees seating zone adorned with button tufted, black crushed leather. Wall surfaces are cloaked with luxurious French pleated lace grazed textures, allowing the search for El Dorado to be a more intimate portion of the journey. The bar and table surfaces are finished off with polished bronze edges, catching the glimmer of the subtle gold sparkles through the space.
Spa Pool Description:
The spa pool represents the experience of Lake Guatavita, where the new tribal ruler was crowned and embellished with precious jewels, stones and other offerings. The cool, muted gray stone composing the pool surroundings, contrasted by the gold tiled pool and the soft lights that glow radiant colors, highlight the euphoric experience of being cleansed in luxurious precious elements.
Continuing the story of the search for El Dorado, the standard rooms begin the official crowning ceremony of the new king. The pod-style area around the bed is first accented by the extended fabric of the headboard wrapping the ceiling in synthetic weaves of black and white geometric patterns native to the Colombian culture. The hints of gold sparkled through the rooms create a contrast with a luxurious sparkle, as gold pillow accents and sleek bronze framed mirrors acts as precious jewels and stones being thrown into the lake as sacrifices. The brown rug underneath the bed captures this moment in time mimicking the ripple effect with an organic approach, enhanced by the under lit bed.
Arriving at the end of the Search for El Dorado, the Presidential Suite is where the celebration amongst the dignitaries occurs, as an extension of the Living Room in the public spaces, indicated by the gold strings in various lengths hugging the intimate, yet spacious seating area. Complimenting the commemoration of the pinnacle, the glazed black metallic ceramic tile surrounds the suite, subtly depicting reoccurring abstract flower and butterfly motifs throughout the hotel. Following the idea of form following function, a drop ceiling over the foosball table is introduced, mirroring the black lacquer, seamlessly connecting the foosball table, wall, and drop ceiling, with one architectural gesture. The bronze twisted divider between the living room and kitchen is acts as a pop against the neighboring foosball table.
Continuing the bold color palette of black, white, gold, and warm accents, the presidential bedroom is introduced with an abstract floral motif truly celebrating the enchanting moments of being hailed El Dorado, basking the extended headboard in colorful motifs, reflecting each aspect of the journey. The presidential bathroom is fully cloaked with gold from floor to ceiling, majestically celebrating the true presence of El Dorado.