HYATT REGENCY ADDIS ABABA
The Hyatt Regency Addis Ababa is a multi-faceted concept with inspiration taken from nature, in particular the excess of 900 bird species found in Ethiopia. The hotel offers luxury with a design firmly rooted in history, nature and the people of Ethiopia.
Wildlife, and in particular the more than 900 species of bird life, fascinated the design team at WA International when bringing the Hyatt Regency Addis Ababa to life. Bird colours and characteristic feather markings are transcended conceptually into the interiors in a subtle and sophisticated
approach. The striking blue feathers of the Turaco national bird, also endemic to Ethiopia, became the feature colour in the public areas and the inspiration of the blue glass bird chandeliers, bird nest chandeliers and the ballroom crystal bird feather chandeliers. Further reference to the national flower, the lily, also inspired the back painted glass panels in the guest rooms.
Located just 15 minutes from Bole international airport, the hotel is situated off Meskel Square, the epicenter of the city, which is steeped in culture and history. This 5-star luxury hotel offers 188 rooms, including the Regency Suite and Royal Suites, plus an all-day dining and speciality restaurant, bar, wellness centre and state-of-the-art fitness centre. In addition, there is an outdoor heated infinity edged swimming pool set in a lush landscaped expansive courtyard.
The main restaurant is a burst of colours from Ethiopian spices, tapping into the olfactory senses, whilst the walls are adorned with elegantly-placed woven ‘sefed’ traditional woven plates. The client, who had a personal interest in supporting and empowering local communities, sourced all original public area artwork.
The brief was to create a 5-star luxury hotel with modern amenities, contemporary design with a sense of location and Ethiopian pride. The hotel caters primarily to the delegates of the African Union and other diplomatic summits, but as the city attracts other international business and tourism, it became apparent that a 5-star hospitality project in the capital was needed.
Design features include artworks by local artists, reflective of Ethiopia, whilst upholstery fabrics take their inspiration from typical Tibeb fabrics and embroidery of traditional Ethiopian attire. Glass and metal chandeliers in the lobby lounge reference birds’ nests while the blue glass bird chandeliers in the reception are each made of 100 individual blue glass birds representing the Turaco, the national bird of Ethiopia, this ties back into the projects concept. Furthermore, beaded Ethiopian jewellery, indigenous body painting adornment and traditional fabrics are woven into the concept andreflect in the interiors providing the guest with a unique experience. In drawing inspiration from nature, wildlife and the indigenous people of Ethiopia, conceptually, this gives the interiors a sense of place without being literal. The spaces reflect a sophistication and elegance.
Guestrooms have a neutral colour palette, inspired by the national flower, the lily, with certain rooms inspired by the Ethiopian guinea fowl, with its beautifully speckled, spotted and striped feathers. The feather patterns transcend into the design as black and white detail photographs and are hung as artworks. Local Tibeb fabric patterns also play their part as artworks, carpet designs, accent cushions and throws, while in some rooms the carpet is essentially a Google map of Addis Ababa. The Junior and Executive Suites boast an accent colour of ochre red, and brown timbers add warmth to the interiors. Mirror frames were inspired by Ethiopian jewellery, and the adornment of white ash body paint seen in the indigenous tribes is reinterpreted and reflected in the table and wall lights. In the bathrooms, white sanitaryware is offset by grey timber cabinets and pedestals.
The interiors feature the layered textures of metal, wood and marble, creating a depth to the space. There is a reflection of Ethiopian pride throughout the interiors, none as quirky as perhaps the metal works madeof cut outs of the Ethiopian alphabet. Upholstered furniture is contemporary with clean lines and an accent colour of blue is speckled throughout. On entry, guests are greeted by back-lit onyx reception desks which are offset against a grey patterned back wall, whilst timber-clad columns add warmth. Chandeliers, wall lights and the rugs are inspired by Ethiopian flora, while the drapery is a modern interpretation of the traditional Tibeb patterned fabrics as commonly seen in the traditional clothing. Columns mimic coffee trees which lead you into the bar that celebrates the sensory journey of an Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony. A sense of elegance and reference to location offers guests a memorable experience.
The hotel’s meeting and event capacity covers 1700 square metres of flexible and contemporary space. The ballroom at Hyatt Regency is located on the ground floor and covers 468 square meters. Adjacent to the ballroom are two meeting rooms with adjoining pre-function areas leading onto an open-air terrace of the main hotel courtyard. All meeting and event space is equipped with state-of-the-art technical equipment and integrated audiovisual equipment.