The restaurants and bars of a hotel are typically the most popular venues for relaxing and socializing. Owing to their appeal as an inspirational environment and popular meeting point, hotel restaurants remain a favored choice for grand celebrations, intimate occasions and business meetings.
Jean-Michel is responsible for the creation of The Setai Grill at The Setai Miami, The Dining Room and Tea House at Park Hyatt Sunny Bay Sanya, The Wine & Cigar Library at The Chedi Andermatt in Switzerland, le 1947 at The Cheval Blanc Randheli, Maldives, Tapasake Japanese restaurant at One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives and the Piano Nobile at Aman Venice amongst many hotel designs.
One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives (pictured at top)
Surrounded by the crystal blue waters of the Indian Ocean, set on one of the largest islands in North Malé Atoll, Jean-Michel Gathy was tasked with ensuring Reethi Rah live up to its namesake, ‘Beautiful Island’ in Dhivehi in 2005. Suspended over water, Tapasake is a cool, sophisticated, one of a kind Japanese restaurant. Gathy has created different seating areas within one restaurant: including the terrace, with its long, communal table, a simple granite slab overlooking the lagoon; the granite and mirror-polished stainless steel Sushi Bar, lit by hanging candles; two over-water pavilions with round tables for six guests and the Chef’s Table for parties of 12; as well as tables in the centre of the restaurant.
Tapasake is a gloriously stylish showcase of glass, stone and stainless steel, with its black terrazzo floor, oyster-grey mother of pearl tables with whalebone-effect legs – and captivating views of the ocean for every diner. Sake pots, high glass vases with Ikebana arrangements on the bar, bamboo in large pots, and Japanese lamps all add to the atmosphere.
The overall design is more urban than ethnic, although the main hall has a locally thatched roof. The kitchen is glass-fronted, with a black tiled interior. This creates a mysterious and dramatic statement, because unlike white tiles, black tiles do not show a reflection.
“The feeling I’d like people to take away with them as they leave Reethi Rah is fulfillment in every sense: aesthetically, because they have just spent time in one of the world’s beautiful places, and spiritually, because they have had the most marvelous, refreshing, fun time,” comments Jean-Michel Gathy. “My designs for Reethi Rah reflect this – I would say that they are a contemporized vision of tropical architecture, they are sleek, with a touch of Zen – but they are also playful.”
The Chedi Andermatt, Switzerland
Motivated by the location and the destination experience, Jean-Michel balances honored heritage and unrivalled design vision with awe-inspiring nature at The Chedi Andermatt; all sustainably designed and executed, using locally sourced materials and expertise. A tribute to traditional Swiss architecture, whilst at the same time elevating the concept, the ruggedly luxurious mountain hotel is cosy yet chic, comfortable yet classy. The Chedi Andermatt has a wide range of indoor and outdoor food and beverage options including The Restaurant, an all-day dining eatery, The Japanese Restaurant, The Bar and Living Room, The Lobby, The Courtyard, The Pool, The Chalet, The Club House and the Wine and Cigar Library. Surrounded by a world wide selection of high-end wines, The Wine and Cigar Library is adorned with a fine collection of books about Switzerland. The lounge features lofty ceilings, rich earthy hues and layered, tactile soft-furnishings. An intimate space, The Cigar Library features a walk-in humidor, the space seats up to twelve around the roaring fireplace and confers a truly elegant residential vibe.
The Cheval Blanc Randheli, Maldives
Elegant, refined and designed for island barefoot living, Cheval Blanc Randheli was built on the island of Randheli in the Maldives. Chosen for its spectacular environment, lush vegetation and secluded turquoise lagoon, Jean-Michel has crafted a highly intimate ‘Maison’ in the true sense of the word, inspired by a private residence. The signature fine dining restaurant, le 1947 derives its name from the most prestigious vintage of Chateau Cheval Blanc and provides the perfect stage for the culinary art of Chef Yannick Alleno. Leading to the restaurant, is an experiential vermilion shaded hallway, paying tribute to French cuisine, the space is interpreted with delicacy and creativity in a Maldivian setting. In a refined decor opening onto a lush tropical garden, the reflecting illuminated palm trees, and garden is the ideal venue for guests looking to make a pause or prolong their fine tasting experience. The sensual enveloping décor opens the core of the kitchen into the dining room. Sleek and intimate, le 1947 centers around a striking perforated Corian sphere, guests will also have the opportunity to experience a behind-the-scenes invitation to discover the chef’s secrets.
Arriving via the weaving waters of Venice’s Grand Canal, guests are welcomed into the regal world of the 16th century Palazzo Papadopoli, in which the hotel is housed; a world where the allure and romance of the city entwines with signature Aman-style at the hands of Jean-Michel Gathy. The Piano Nobile is the largest living area of the palazzo and open to non-residents. It houses the Ballroom – an impressive venue for large events – and the Yellow Room and Red Room. Italy's renowned Michelin-star chef Davide Oldani mentors the Aman kitchen team, led by executive chef Akio Fujita. Plied by gondolas and vaporetti (water buses), the Grand Canal is the city’s main thoroughfare. The piano nobile’s balcony allows guests to witness the full spectrum of the canal’s maritime activities. The Bar provides a cozy setting with canal views. The Red Dining Room and the Yellow Dining Room lie adjacent to the Ballroom and serve Italian and Asian cuisines. They offer views over the resort’s Canal Garden and the Grand Canal respectively. The Yellow Dining Room features a magnificent fireplace and a ceiling painted by renowned 19th-century artist Cesare Rotta. In addition to the Bar, the games room known as Stanza del Tiepolo and the Library are other venues in which to relax and socialize.
The Setai, Miami
Surpassing the staged décor style that has been the main theme of boutique hotels in South Beach, Jean-Michel Gathy has created an environment that is truly distinctive and luxurious infused with an oriental style design motif. The Setai Miami is set in a calming and serene oasis on South Beach. Design Art Deco fusion, the overall concept of The Setai, is a philosophy that combines the architectural history of South Beach and its cultural diversity with the international Art Deco movement, particularly its influence in Asia.
Exhibiting some of the best restaurant designs in Miami, The Setai features four restaurants including Jaya, an Asian influenced cuisine, The Setai Grill, a modern prime steakhouse, The Bar & Courtyard, and the Ocean Grill, the poolside restaurant. The Setai Grill is tucked discretely behind a maze of public spaces by the iconic poolscape. The ambience is dark yet inviting, with hard wood floors and earth tones. Led by Executive Chef Mathias Gervais, the restaurant sources top-shelf ingredients from around the world, presenting an "East meets West" interpretation of a modern prime steakhouse featuring Asian-inspired specialty dishes.
Park Hyatt Sunny Bay Sanya - The Dining Room & Tea House
The Dining Room
Opened in February 2015, Park Hyatt Sanya Sunny Bay is designed to resemble a private mansion by the sea, the sophisticated, elegant interiors are residential in style with a subtle Chinese sensibility. The Park Hyatt Sanya Sunny Bay offers eight main Food & Beverage venues including the Dining Room, Cellar, Pool House, Pool Bar, Bath House, Library, Terrace and Tea House, all of which follow the concept of rooms within a large residence. Designed as a residential-style dining space, The Dining Room, translates as Yue Ting in Chinese. The restaurant has a home style ambience with breath-taking views of the South China Sea, featuring indoor and outdoor seating. With a 10-meter high ceiling, the warm color palette creates a relaxed atmosphere suitable for both fine and casual dining.
Specializing in dim sum and Cantonese cuisine, the Tea House is housed in a traditional Chinese-style building topped with ceramic-roof tiles. The venue offers an impressive, light-filled space, featuring a mezzanine floor and a 9-metre high ceiling strung with myriad birdcages. Inspired by natural wooden tones and traditional Chinese elements, the Tea House offers a diverse selection of premium teas.
Visit denniston.com.my for more information on Denniston Architects or Principal Designer Jean-Michel Gathy.