and Innovative Restaurants and Bars
Hotel Asia PacificBy Steve Shellum
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts is set to unveil plans for 11 new and innovative restaurants and bars over the next 12 months, with many additional concepts under development.
The group plans to create vibrant restaurants that will heighten the guest experience as part of the US$130 million renovation programme announced earlier this year. New concepts are also being designed for the company’s new hotels in Dubai, Oman and China.
“Today, restaurants are theatre. They are backdrops for the guest experience,” says group F&B director, Jean Michel Offe. “Our guests have told us they want restaurants that offer an exciting ambience and great food, and this is what we’re creating for them.”
Renowned international designers working on the restaurant concepts include: New York-based Adam D. Tihany; Charles Robertson, of Hong Kong-based Leese Robertson Freeman Designers; Bilkey Llinas, of West Palm Beach; Singapore’s Wong Chui Man; Paul Hsu of Hong Kong-based Elite Concepts; and Tokyo’s Super Potato.
A number of recent openings give a glimpse of what lies ahead at other hotels in the group, including: Coast at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort in Kota Kinabalu; cafe TOO at the Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong; and Restaurant Lafite and Zipangu at the Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.
Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
The haute-French Restaurant Lafite, which reopened in April, features a striking design by Adam D. Tihany, who is acclaimed for designing such restaurants as Le Cirque 2000 in New York and Aureole in Las Vegas. The decor, which “balances modernist simplicity with rich extravagance”, features an entrance paved with dark polished marble accented by pin-strip lighting and a floor-to-ceiling glass wine display.
A dedicated wine-tasting room offers a selection of vintage and young wines, as well as rare Chateau Lafite vintages.
The focal point is the main circular dining room, which is concealed by curtains of ivory gold fabric. Dramatic structural glass beads cascade from the ceiling and the ambience is enahced by diffuse designer lighting and chandeliers.
Meanwhile, the hip Japanese design firm Super Potato has transformed the hotel’s traditional Japanese restaurant, Nadaman, into a modern Tokyo-style brasserie, Zipangu. According to the company, the restaurant, which also opened in April, is like no other Japanese restaurant in Southeast Asia.
It features a floor-to-ceiling glass-enclosed wine and sake cellar and a separate wine and cigar area featuring live piano and jazz music. Glass is featured predominately, creating an expansive sense of space, while stone and water gardens at the entrance and inside the restaurant inspire a Zen-like feeling of calm and peace.
Besides serving sushi, yakitori and other Japanese specialities, it also offers private kotatsu dining rooms and open-seating and individual sushi, grill and kappou counters.
Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Nature is the focus of Coast, which opened in February. The design “brings the beauty of the coast indoors”, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the sea and gardens. The 160-seat restaurant’s interior design, created by Singapore-based Wong Chiu Man, is simple and airy, with a seven-metre roof and central raised bar with mother-of-pearl backdrop.
“The main drama happens at night when modern,
two-metre-long chandeliers made of fibre-optic tubes shimmer like phosphorescent
jellyfish floating in the air,” says Joffe.
Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong
The idea behind Super Potato’s design of cafe TOO, which opened in October, is “all the kitchen’s a stage”. The high-energy, 252-seat restaurant blends organic earth tones and textures with modern white oak furniture and dramatic lighting.
The expansive room is jazzed up with stainless-steel accents and glass walls displaying ochre, mustard, and cinnamon-coloured grains, herbs and spices. But the main attractions are the seven open kitchens, where clay pots, cast-iron woks and bamboo are juxtaposed with stainless steel pots, pans and graters. Adding to the ambience are the staff, all sharply attired in bright, modish Chinese-style uniforms.
Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore
The Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore’s sky-high restaurant, BLU, lives up to its name with blue table lamps designed by Philippe Starck, blue waves of light dancing on the barrel-shaped ceiling and a floor twinkling with fibre-optic blue stars.
The hotel’s signature restaurant, which features California cuisine and a 500-label wine list, opened in January 2000 as part of the property’s extensive S$95 million (US$53 million) renovation.
BLU’s decor is complemented by original artwork, including large glass murals by the renowned artist Danny Lane and a series of paintings by the Singaporean artist Peggy Leong.
Shangri-La’s New Concepts 2002 and Beyond
Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
Adam D. Tihany is designing the Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur’s new international cafe restaurant, which opens in August, replacing the former Coffee Garden. It will cater to all-day dining with a “three-in-one” concept that includes a trendsetting coffee shop. It will feature Italian, Malay, Indian and Chinese open kitchens and will offer fresh seafood from two large fish tanks. There will also be an a-la-carte dining area where chefs will pluck herbs from an in-house herb garden. A garden terrace will also be converted into an open-air dining area.
Makati Shangri-La, Manila
The hotel’s signature restaurant, Cheval Blanc, is being transformed into a “smart-casual” two-storey venue serving “contemporary” cuisine. It reopens in September.
The designers will inject bold colours into the predominatly white scheme by painting a striking garden landscape across the high ceiling, with the main dining room spotlighted by crystal chandeliers and flowing silk curtains. The lounge area will feature plush Philippe Starck-type furniture and offer separate gallery seating. The bar, topped by glass covering rows of roses, will be accented by a concave steel mirror.
Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel, Hong Kong
The lively Tapas Bar, scheduled to open in October, will feature a large selection of New World wines to complement antipasti, mezze, ethnic breads and tapas. Wines available by the glass will be on display in a custom-built Eurocave wine wall, while frosted glass shelves will feature arrangements of food and drinks. The open kitchen will have a glass wall facing the lobby below.
Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza, Taipei
The Atrium Cafe is scheduled to open in December, with a design that mixes Chinese art and decor with contemporary furnishings. It will offer guests a “dynamic visual experience:, with an open kitchen, live food stations and small stand-alone units serving ethnic and Western food.
Other restaurant projects include: the redesign of the Coffee Garden restaurants at the Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok, the Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong, the China World Hotel, Beijing, the Makati Shangri-La Hotel, Manila and the Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort, Penang.
Renovation will also take place at Shang Palace restaurants at the Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong and the Makati Shangri-La, Manila.
Innovative outlets are also being designed for the group’s new hotel projects, including the high-profile Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai, which will be the group’s first hotel in the Gulf region. It is scheduled to open in March 2003.
Hotel Asia Pacific
15B Casey Building
38 Lok Ku Road
Tel: +852 2882-7352
Fax: +852 2882-2461
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|Simon Cooper, a 30-year Veteran Hotelier, Named President and COO of Ritz-Carlton / Jan 2001|
|Shangri-La CEO Giovanni Angelini Spending US$130 million to Move the Chain to the Top of the Ladder / April 2002|