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Bohemian Beauty

The Kessler Collection is set to debut its second property in North Carolina with the opening of Grand Bohemian Hotel Charlotte this August. We caught up with Creative Director Diana Kessler about some of the inspirations behind the bohemian property that blends music, architecture and art

What served as your inspiration for this project? Bringing the history of Argentina with present-day energy and bohemian flair, this property features curated works of Argentina and European art surrounded by luxurious accommodations and amenities.

The restaurant (Mico) was inspired by a satellite view of Argentina using rich tones of yellow and arctic blue with hints of magenta, while the library millwork detailing at the restaurant-bar is influenced by the beautiful libraries in Argentina. The ballroom/pre-function design and details are inspired by the Paz Palace Mansion in Buenos Aires.

The jewel-like tones of the guestroom corridors featuring custom-designed Axminster carpet illustrate an endless design of a tango dancer’s skirt among the sky while touches of amber and gold crystals adorn the gold leaf chandeliers. The guestroom features custom-designed furniture, carpet, drapery and lighting offering a splash of color throughout, creating a bold and dramatic ambiance. The embossed, teal-toned leather headboard with antiqued brass nail heads and the gray-washed European oak desk with hide drawer fronts are a nod to Argentina’s leather industry. The color palette of the guestroom carpet was inspired by the lilac colors of the Jacaranda tree and the drapes were inspired by the iron gates of the Paz Palace. The guestroom design illustrates a playful combination of vibrancy and the sophistication that captures the spirit of Argentina and the property’s Bohemian vibe.

What makes the property a unique addition to the Kessler Collection? Architecturally inspired by the historic Vienna Secession, elegant and timeless lines merge classical design and ornate detailing with a refined aesthetic and exquisite contemporary touches. The lobby’s traditional architectural details with gold leaf touches are juxtaposed with a sleek and modern front desk constructed of super high polished stainless steel with a faceted pattern that flows to the Panda White marble flooring cut into the same faceted shapes. Rich, velvet drapery adds both romance and a dramatic flair to the space while both the bronze sculptures and The Bohemian Garden add an additional element of refinement.

Can you speak about Kessler’s design approach? How does the property embody signature Kessler Collection design elements? Our hotels are buildings designed to be a timeless contribution to a city’s architecture and design. They add to their location by combining architecture, art and sculpture in both the exterior and interior applications. The Grand Bohemian Hotel Charlotte celebrates creativity and inspires the soul. Interior elements include a handcrafted Murano glass chandelier and large-scale works of original art. Rich woods, champagne brass detailing, fine fabrics and crystals exemplify the understated luxury throughout the restaurant (Mico). A collection of mannequins carved from the finest Italian marble greet guests at the pre-function display cabinets along with marble eggs. Beautiful custom Murano glass chandeliers that complement the colors of the custom-designed Axminster carpet, silver leaf cove ceilings and elaborate paneling round out the details on the meeting room level.

Like the Argentinian tango, the rooftop lounge (Búho Bar) is passionate, vibrant and playful featuring a seductive color palette of framboise, purple, red and black with artful touches of gold leaf and chrome accents capturing a refined richness that enchants and excites. The interior seating area is subtlety separated by sleek floor-to-ceiling glass and chrome wine displays and beautiful drapery.

How does the hotel’s design pay tribute to Charlotte’s culture and history? Charlotte is a booming business city and banking empire. The hotel restaurant, Mico, takes a playful spin on “monkey business” and provides a venue for locals and travelers to unwind, enjoy the bar, lounge and open kitchen restaurant.

Adjacent to the outdoor seating at Mico is The Bohemian Garden, a unique amenity for a downtown hotel. It features a green space served by an outdoor bar, allowing guests and local patrons a place to enjoy lunch or a cocktail outdoors in a beautiful, manicured garden.

The sixth-floor event deck, the Queen Terrace, is a tribute to Charlotte being named the Queen City, which is also the location of the custom tryptic mural with the skyline of Uptown Charlotte as the backdrop.

Last but not least, Charlotte is known as a cultural and arts center and is another inspiration for locating our Grand Bohemian here.

Can you detail the hotel’s art collection? How does art contribute to the hotel’s design? Featured works include commissioned paintings by Argentinian and other international artists adorning the public places and guestrooms. The art collection is truly unique to this and each Kessler Collection hotel with its vast array of unique works of art. Art is truly the hotel’s DNA.

Some of the highlights include an original oil painting in the lobby that is a modern interpretation of Lady Godiva by Argentinian artist Andrea Carreras. The lobby, restaurant and rooftop bar feature custom mural art with gold leaf by Orlando artist Sarah Pelfrey of Artisan Inc. The restaurant also features two custom murals by Back to the Wall from New Zealand and Flavor Paper from NYC. The sixth-floor outdoor terrace (Queen Terrace) features a 10 ft. x 50 ft. building mural designed as a tryptic by Atlanta artist Niki Zarrabi. Guests will even find custom guestroom nightstands with art by Chilean artist Pablo Santibañez Servat.