Interior designer Saar Zafrir unveils his latest hotel project, Provocateur Berlin.
The recently-opened Provocateur Berlin pays homage to 1920’s Parisian glamour with sensual and intricate interiors designed by Saar Zafrir, an Amsterdam-based interior designer, specialising in hospitality design.
The property is the city’s first hotel, bar, and restaurant located in the upscale Charlottenburg neighbourhood. The Design Hotels member is Gekko Group’s first Berlin property and the standard bearer of “provocative luxury” in the German capital.
“The original brief was to create a luxury hotel, but with a passionate touch,” says Zafrir. “The hospitality experience is driven by an ethos of passion and a flair for the creativity, exuberance and joie de vivre of the epoch marked by legends such as Edith Piaf and Oscar Wilde. The original elevator lift, from the year 1912, accentuates the ground floor, transporting guests to their rooms and to another era,” comments Zafrir.
Zafrir’s playful burlesque inspiration for the property began over a weekend getaway in Paris, laying the groundwork for a revolution in the Berlin hospitality scene with the design of Provocateur Berlin.
The designer was drawn to discovering the secret and hidden spots of Paris by midnight – some beautiful, some dark, but all sharing the common pull of passion and desire. The aesthetics and music of Paris and the cabaret-era in Berlin led Zafrir to the realisation that Provocateur Berlin should be shocking and unexpected.
From the reception area to the adjacent Golden Phoenix bar and restaurant and Champagne garden, which is envisioned as a private French backyard, Zafrir has managed to successfully translate this concept, creating interiors that feel warm and welcoming, but with quite a strong provocative edge.
The Provocateur bar and restaurant, where chef Duc Ngo brings alive his vision of Franco-Chinese culinary creations, lies at the heart of the property, located directly in the centre.
The dark colour palette and natural materials chosen for the walls and flooring create an intimate and cosy atmosphere. Multi-sensory décor is complemented by red velvet chairs and loungers, along with old rugs and subtle lighting throughout.
Each of the property’s 58 rooms has its own “mysterious and romantic cosy corner”, according to Zafrir. All rooms feature dark natural stone in the bathroom, custom-made lighting, dark blue or red velvet fabrics, and black and white photography adorning the walls.
The signature of each room is the “provocateur mode”, which allows guests to set the mood and drift to a different world at the push of a button, as the room’s lights dim and seductive tunes begin to play.
Zafrir’s use of soft and sensual textures with colour palettes of red and blue, give the hotel a warm feel that teases guests’ senses. A provocative experience for the “stay up all night, sleep all day” crowd.
“The chosen colours are full of passion and the velvet interior materials have a soft, sensuous touch, as light as a feather,” he says.
As Zafrir’s design mantra goes: “Creativity is intelligence having fun.”