CONCEPT: Owners Hong Leong Group Singapore, parent to Millennium Hotels and Resorts and Millennium and Copthorne Hotels Plc, and its subsidiary, CDL Hotels, wanted to play to the sophistication of the international clientele that frequents this Times Square district property and infuse its 650 rooms with Asian concepts and Art Deco touches reflecting its Manhattan location as well as its original design (as the Hotel Macklowe), which basically remained unaltered for 15 years. “They were looking to create a unique look for the U.S. market as well as try to define themselves as an international player,” said Paul Taylor, president of Stonehill & Taylor Architects, P.C.
“Their motto is ‘Styles that vary. Standards that don’t.’ They wanted something that was going to be unique for New York and this building,” added S&T vice president Christina Francavillese.
Embracing a subtle “East Meets West” approach, the design firm created a model room in Brooklyn, NY, then had it shipped to Singapore so the factory could copy it exactly. One challenge was wrangling costs. For example, the detailed case goods were originally going to be fabricated in Canada. A portion of the order was done in that country; however, a significant amount was fabricated in Singapore. “The case goods probably represented about 25% of the value of the room,” said Taylor. “We ended up cutting the price by 30% to 40% by getting it from Asia.”
Stonehill & Taylor created more space in the room by moving the bed off-center. The European-Japanese style platform bed was designed to incorporate etched glass with a Chinese cloud motif in the headboard with swivel lamps mounted left and right. In a nod toward New York, a writing desk and club chair are crafted in a “light” Art Deco style. Photography taken by Taylor accents the walls, while marble vanities with Deco-style fixtures highlight the bathrooms.
As for its overall appeal to guests, Taylor said: “We really wanted to create a sense of high quality, but different…We like it to feel somewhat residential in a sense of you’re not coming to a New York hotel room, you’re coming to your ‘studio’ on Times Square.”