Draw Link Group was tasked with interior design for the 220-key, four-star Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, which is located in the coastal city of Sousse, Tunisia. A modern, Mediterranean style was selected for the hotel’s interiors, in keeping with its sea-front location, as the design company’s CEO, Daousser Chennoufi, explains.
“A marine atmosphere was developed in many ways, such as through the use of decorative objects, furniture, materials, and colours. Authenticity was also incorporated in the hotel’s interior design, through the use of local touches,” he says.
Indeed, the Radisson Blu Resort & Spa strives to blend authenticity with innovation. Located within walking distance of Sousse’s historic district, which boasts bustling promenades, colourful markets, ancient catacombs, and a large collection of mosaics at its Archeological Museum, the new resort caters to both leisure and business travellers.
The property offers 224 spacious guest rooms, four meeting rooms, a ballroom, an executive lounge, two outdoor swimming pools, a gym, and a wellness spa. The guest rooms benefit from balconies with stunning sea or city views.
Throughout the hotel’s lobby, lounge, bar, and all-day dining outlet, as well as the ballroom and function rooms, and guest rooms and suites, the key consideration for the project was to achieve the perfect balance of contemporary Mediterranean interior design styles, local influences, and international standards.
“The design reflects the vision of the project – a modern Mediterranean design aligned with the standards [of the property’s] international operator, Radisson Blu,” says Chennoufi.
Creating the right relaxing and luxurious atmosphere in the hotel’s spa was also a high priority, he adds. “While designing the spa, we considered three important components: the operational [functionality] of the design, the interior design of the spa itself, and its technical aspects.
“The spa design was inspired by authentic Mediterranean design and culture, and we used natural materials, which have calming and soothing effects on spa users. A perfect combination of elements such as wood, stone, and marble [were used].”
No project is ever without its challenges, and the two complications that Draw Link faced on this project revolved around the tight deadline, and the property’s beach access.
“Challenges are part of our day-to-day routine. In this specific hotel project, the first was the timeframe in which the development had to be delivered, as the client was aiming to launch the hotel during the summer period, which we did not advise, in order not to compromise on the quality of the work,” Chennoufi says.
“The second, more challenging [element] was the access to the beach. The hotel faces the sea, but the guests have to cross a road to reach the beach, so our team came up with a nice concept – to make an underground tunnel for the safety and security of the guests. This was realised, and has added value to the project.”
Looking to the future of hospitality interior design, Chennoufi explains the trends and design directions that he anticipates for 2018. The most interesting of these will be personalisation, he says.
“The newest, most interesting design direction in hospitality interiors for next year will continue to be creating a unique, personalised, and exceptional experience for each guest by designing different concept strategies in order to meet the expectations of all clients,” he states.
“Secondly, we will see more and more projects supporting energy [conservation] and sustainability, and more eco-friendly practices,” he continues.
“I believe that, as well adopting a room evolution because of the competition [within the hotel and hotel apartment segment], hotels are considering designing in ways that allow [the guests] to feel at home, with all the facilities available in the room, from a kitchenette to a living room.”
Finally, he says, the advancement of high-tech design tools will continue to drive Draw Link Group’s design work within the hospitality sector.
“We have 3D design, which is definitely an evolution in the design world, and it will continue to be so. [In addition], the automation design system has become a must, especially in the five-star hotel projects.
Drawlink has recently expanded its services into Greece, with plans to expand further into the European market. The design firm has also completed a number of projects in the region including the new Ibis hotel in Dubai, the art-focused Intercontinental Hotel, and a new theatre-inspired boutique hotel in Sharjah, UAE.