Award-winning hospitality design firm, BLINK Design Group found inspiration in the ‘Khaleef’, a rare phenomenon that makes the desert bloom for a few short months in Oman, in developing its winning concept for the interior design of the new Alila Salalah.
BLINK Design Group Founder and Senior Creative Director, Clint Nagata.
BLINK founder and creative director Clint Nagata said he was delighted to expand BLINK’s reach into the Middle East for the first time, and also to have the opportunity to work with Alila Hotels, which was ‘an ideal brand fit’ for BLINK.
“Alila is a brand that understands the relevance of the destination and is built on great design. These are values we hold dear at BLINK and so we are on the same page from the start,” Mr Nagata said.
The Alila Salalah win is the latest in a series of important new hotel projects scooped by BLINK in recent months, following on the heels of being awarded the Regent Jakarta and the Six Senses Bali.
Alila Salalah is located in Oman’s coastal town of the same name in Dhofar governate in southwestern Oman. Salalah is known for its unique micro-environment due to its fierce tropical monsoons, or the ‘Khaleef’ in local argot, and guests will have easy access to both the Hajjar Mountains and the beaches of nearby Mirbat.
Slated to launch in the second half of 2016, Alila Salalah is envisioned as a unique ecologically sensitive luxury destination resort, comprising 100 suites, 25 villas, fine dining restaurants and a Spa Alila wellness centre.
The resort will distinguish itself by its contemporary Dhofari architecture and by offering unique ways to discover the destination and engage in the local culture and traditions of the Dhofar region.
Mr Nagata said the challenge had been to bring the Dhofari influence into the hotel while highlighting the extraordinary natural beauty of the region.
“Salalah is the only place besides Yemen on the Arabic Peninsula to experience a true monsoon season,” he said. “It’s called the Khaleef and it lasts from July to September. During that time, the desert drinks deeply from the torrential rains, and the brown landscape is transformed to the lushest green.”
Salalah is one of a few places with the region that has such a climatic condition. Our interiors are subtlety inspired by the colors and patterns of the tropical plants. These design touches will help to further distinguish our project from our competition.
“We are using clean lines, a continuity of finishes and neutral colours to create a relaxing feel throughout the resort,” Mr Nagata said. “We juxtapose a neutral palette with bold splashes of colour inspired by the local environment.”
Salalah, the second largest city in Oman, continues to develop in stature as one of the Middle East’s major destinations for international and local tourists. The increased investment and development of infrastructure that includes the new international airport scheduled to open fully in April 2015 and the expansion of the Port of Salalah.