Rising above the bustling commercial district of Johor Bahru, Amari sets new standards in hospitality and brings a touch of Thai hospitality to Malaysia.

The Amari Johor Bahru is an engaging and contemporary venue, creative in design and study, from the moment the guest enters the ground floor drop off lobby right through to level 7 main lobby and reception, it is clear that a slice of Thailand has arrived in Malaysia.

As the first Amari in Malaysia, subtle touches of Thai design, where the Amari chain originates from, leaves the guest in no doubt as to the hospitality and service, guest experience and luxury that awaits them.”

With the lobby being the first chapter in the story of everyone’s hotel experience, on entering the main lobby on level 7, a cool tranquillity is derived, from marble floors and walls to discreet lighting, the colonial shutters forming the backdrop to the deli and restaurant, all play their part in creating the WOW factor any lobby should portray. Exiting the lifts on arrival, a large screen, based on the design of handmade Thai paper artwork greets guests, circular forms mixed with integrated pendant lights that create depth and edge to engage into modern trends of young visionary environment. Simple yet functional custom seats are scattered throughout the area, upholstered with bursts of colour. The reception desks sit proudly at the axis of all areas to this floor, designed from an aesthetic, functional and design point of view, they reside in front of an oversized, exploded art piece that draws upon the entrance screen as its inspiration, depicting the famous Thai elephant and flora. The ceiling depicts Malaysian architecture, slatted timbers, and grille works, painted pure white for the contemporary, fresh touch. As hotel designs evolved, the idea of the lobby solely being a place for guests to check in has changed dramatically, current hotel trends now expanding the lobby to change from the traditional setup, Amari is no exception. From the lobby guests, can access the spa, restaurant, function areas, bar, and deli, all centred around the reception area, allowing the café(bakery), lounge and meeting places to play a larger role in the social areas whilst also providing common places for guests to relax, organize, meet, greet, eat or do work-related tasks. This also means the lobby is activated all day, not just check-in and check-out as in more traditional hotels, bringing life to the heart of the hotel.

The restaurant ‘AMAYA’ through the use of natural materials, matures with age, scarred wooden beams, window shutters and traditional screens add to the street scene that is AMAYA, with each unique to the food the station it is serving and where the techniques are approached by the designers and chefs to create memories and dishes, locally sourced and foraged ingredients. The Asian street food is taken to the next level, where even lighting is country/cuisine specific, allowing an interface between culture and local experiences, with food served from Malaysia, China, Thailand, and India to name a few, honest flavours in unique settings. From the flooring, a mix of encaustic tile, timber and ceramic tiles, to the range of furniture and fabrics, guests can dine in the restaurant on several occasions and have different experiences each time. Even the ceiling has carved panels and lit boxes to finish off the experience. Colours, rhythm and textures, are the true heart of the Amari brand.

Putting the bounce back into your step and a smile on your face, a quote from the brand design guidelines sums up Breeze spa, where adding the concept’s sense of place and brand identity to the sense of well-being, allows for a design that creates a functional collection of spaces that enhance the spa’s treatment program and above all, the guest experience. The design provides a fun, sophisticated colourful place to relax, rejuvenate and be ready to take on the world after your treatment.

As the guest travels through the spa, the signature floral mosaic is adapted to suit authentic adaptations and experiences of local culture, incorporated to define the sense of place and bring a touch of the oriental garden inside. Sculptural pieces inspired by local artists reside throughout the spa, with furniture custom designed to suit.

The guestrooms at Amari create a distinctive presence, whilst providing a sense of place. Inspired by the city and its surroundings, the carpet is a custom art form of the local typography, graphically developed from the terrain in an abstract form that gives contrast to the lighter tone finishes of the walls. The bedhead wall with contemporary panelling details is inset with a custom canvas print interpreting the fresh winds blowing into the mountain landscapes around the area, bringing fresh life to the hotel and guests’ well-being. To introduce a touch of Thai flavour, ornaments, small carvings details are applied on the timber panel nightstand, the same contemporary details adorn the glass on the shower glass wall facing the bedroom area. A sliding panel at bathroom wall allows natural daylight, but privacy if wanted it closed. A fine selection of furniture and fabrics in rich Thai tones blends into the overall design scheme to give an edge to high modern and luxury hotel design.

Project: Amari Hotel
Location: Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Design Studio: FBEYE International
Photo Credits: Masano Kawana Photography
Website: f-b-eye.com