Vida goes timeless

Symmetry and scale ... key design features of Vida Creek Harbour.

As the first hotel to open in the new iconic Dubai Creek Harbour master development, the Vida Creek Harbour boasts a timeless design that aims to set the tone for the future.

Taking its inspiration from the adjacent marina, the new Vida Creek Harbour is an elegant yet relaxed property with the characteristic simplicity that defines the Vida brand.

According to Jacinda Raniolo, interior design director at lead consultant Godwin Austen Johnson (GAJ), it was important to incorporate specific elements from another Vida property in Dubai – Vida Downtown – into the design to maintain a strong and consistent brand identity yet at the same time ensure the hotel kept its own character and connection to its surroundings. 

 “Key design influences, taken from the marina lifestyle, borrowed details from the high-end yachts moored outside,” explains Raniolo. “Texture-rich textiles and soft leather are combined with sleek, curved wood with accent elements in brushed bronze.”

The light colour palette is a base for the marina-influenced turquoise hues.

The light colour palette is a base for the marina-influenced turquoise hues.

“The strongest design elements in this project are symmetry and scale. The ample spaces have been meticulously planned to deliver a finished product that is visually integrated,” she says. 

The hotel, which opened last September, is spacious with accents of vertical items and a base palette layered with subtle taupe fabrics, leather furniture and oak throughout to create a clean and elegant feel.

“The idea was to maintain a simple light colour palette that would be the base for the key accent tones of the marina-influenced turquoise hues,” Raniolo points out.

A key feature of the hotel’s public space is the interaction between the lobby lounge and the exterior courtyard with tall windows that open fully to connect with the unparalleled views of the Dubai skyline,” she adds.

The large entrance and lobby lounge have been designed as an open and welcoming area for guests to spend time socialising, eating or working alone. It was, therefore, crucial to convey spaces that are visually integrated yet suitable for many different activities.

Vida Creek Harbour ... timeless design.

Vida Creek Harbour ... timeless design.

“The starting point was to incorporate high vertical louvres that create symmetry and provide a visual glimpse of the lobby lounge and the courtyard beyond. This strong feature element, along with the bespoke large-size Flow [T] chandelier by Wonderglass, creates a visual focal point,” Raniolo explains.

The space interacts with a Grab & Go bar and a communal table offering a social space in which to work and connect. The lounge was designed with various styles of seating arrangements catering to this relaxed atmosphere.

Maximising the courtyard space so that it could be used all year round presented a design challenge, Raniolo points out. “The area is a highly prominent one due to the stunning views it offers and, as extension of the lobby lounge, it had to comfortable and elegant.  The area requires cooling during the summer but also needs to offer a cosy, intimate feel through the winter months,” she elaborates.

Chiller units have been cleverly concealed within the landscaping, and bioethanol fire pits have been located within the lounge areas for when the weather turns cooler.  The design team worked closely with outdoor brand Kettal to provide a quality product that related to the marina theme. As with the common theme running through the hotel, the colour palette of this outdoor area is made up of the turquoise hues that feature strongly in the interiors through accents, textiles and artwork. 

Vida Creek Harbour ... spacious, with accents of vertical items.

Vida Creek Harbour ... spacious, with accents of vertical items.

The hotel comprises 286 keys featuring deluxe rooms, premier suites and an exclusive executive suite with a prominent private terrace.  The marina theme – but with a grounded feel – has been taken to the rooms which incorporate an interesting feature of a curved panel that divides the room from the bath area, offering the perception of a larger space when opened and a more intimate space when closed.

A number of nautical-like elements such as carved timber panelling, stitching details on leather upholstered furniture and bronze accents in lighting features provide an understated elegance.

A wellness centre with modern gym, yoga room and swimming pool as well as a number of meeting rooms and a restaurant spread over two floors to complete the hotel facilities.

GAJ is one of the largest and longest-established UK architectural and design practices in the UAE. Throughout its 30-year history, the company has created some of the UAE’s iconic buildings.

An award-winning and multi-disciplinary architecture, interior design, specialist lighting and mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) practice, GAJ has particular expertise in hotel and hospitality, residential and commercial, education, sport and leisure design. 

The company, which has a wide range of built and ongoing projects across the Middle East and North Afria, employs more than 150 employees at its Dubai headquarters with offices also in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and the UK.