Experience the luxury residential aesthetic of design talent Joyce Wang in her new modern guest rooms and suites for The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
Interior designer Joyce Wang
If form really does follow function, there is no space more demanding than the modern-day luxury hotel room. It is expected to conform to a myriad of competing requirements, from practical standards to the essential wow elements that create a unique sense of place.
For Hong Kong-based interior designer Joyce Wang, who was tasked with refurbishing The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong's guest rooms and suites to mark the hotel’s 10th anniversary this year, the key to the challenge lay in translating the level of attention usually dedicated to luxury leather items such as handbags and shoes into a highly efficient guest-room design concept.
Although aged only 32, Wang has several renowned hospitality projects already under her belt. In 2010, she redesigned The Hollywood Roosevelt’s Cabana rooms, while in the four years since she set up her eponymous studio in Hong Kong, she has consistently delivered a series of extraordinary interiors, from the avant-garde retro-military-inspired Ammo restaurant and bar at Asia Society Hong Kong Center to the contemporary Chinese dining haven of Mott 32, which won her the World Interior of the Year award in 2014.
The details of the custom-designed furniture serve to delight the guest during their stay
For her designs at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, Wang says she was given full creative freedom to rethink the modern hotel experience. Her response was to introduce a thoroughly sophisticated residential aesthetic, adding seductively rich materials and textures for a sumptuous touch.
Wang’s signature L600 suite
‘The hardware may be residential but the software is certainly wow and aspirational,’ says Wang. She refers to the ‘pantries’ suspended on brass rods, and the crystal vitrine, a ‘jewellery box’ that holds edible treats from the hotel’s executive chef Richard Ekkebus. They serve as backdrops ‘to act out an intimate moment such as making a cocktail’. And when something is beautiful, continues Wang, ‘you want to touch it, open it, or see what’s behind it.’
The lobby of The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
Wang’s exceptional eye for detail and sense of refined style with flashes of flamboyance bring a timeless quality to the rooms. For instance, the extraordinarily luxurious rugs are based on watercolours painted by Wang’s cousin, the talented, Manhattan-based artist Christina Wang. The addition of an intriguing metallic yarn to the rug gives a fascinating new dimension to the sensual, exotic crocodile, lizard, ostrich and shagreen patterns which are otherwise associated with luxury leather accessories. ‘The patterns were interpreted into distinctive hand-tufted rugs in the guest rooms where guests can experience them quite literally under their feet!’ says Wang.
The headboard design for the new suites
The guest bed is also a world away from the usual hotel standard, its curvaceous form topped with a padded leather headboard outlined in a chic timber trim that evokes a bespoke boudoir-like quality. Lighting, too, hints at a luxurious residential ambience, with bedside tables illuminated by a retro-style glass-rod sconce.
‘These details serve to delight the guest during their stay,’ says Wang of her custom-designed furniture. Her philosophy similarly applies to the decoration. The dining room table features an elegant crackled gesso finish – a nod to the delicate and intricate pattern on the bark of a tree – while hand-painted silk wallcoverings showcase an oversized, moiré wood-grain pattern that subtly references a sense of retreat.
The suite’s lounge area and the crystal vitrine
According to the designer, the introduction of these natural elements in an understated, subtle way is essential given the distinctive urban context that the hotel is in. ‘The hotel’s location within the core of Hong Kong’s most exclusive shopping district attracts a discerning traveller,’ Wang explains, ‘and thus the design had to accommodate a particularly high level of privacy, comfort and hospitality.’ Mission accomplished.