Interior design inspiration can come from anywhere. I recently vacationed at the Hotel Riu Palace located in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica. The contemporary design and sophisticated decor is quite unusual for a tropical resort, but I was pleasantly surprised. This resort was built in late 2012; it was only a few months old when we visited. The service and food were excellent also, but for the purposes of this article, I am only discussing the interior design.
Right next door to the Riu Palace is the Riu Guanacaste, the older, more traditionally-decorated sister resort owned by the same company. In comparison to the Guanacaste, the Palace is much more swank and modern (it’s also more expensive, but worth it in my opinion).
As we met fellow vacationers, the topic of “so what do you think of this resort?” would eventually come up in conversation. Interestingly, some people were turned off by the modern decor. They expressed that it “didn’t feel like a resort” or that it seems “cold and detached.” Other vacationers (including myself) absolutely loved it. Times like this remind me that all clients do not have the same taste. That is why I show my Atlanta interior design clients many different photos during the initial design consultation, to get an idea of what style they naturally prefer. Often times people can’t express in words why they do or don’t like the way a space is decorated. Communicating with visuals helps tremendously.
Some elements of design that caught my attention at the Hotel Riu Palace were:
- Bold color – lavenders, oranges, reds, turquoise. Each restaurant, bar, lobby has a different color scheme.
- Contrasting textures – for example, wood paneling in conjunction with lots of glass and stainless steel.
- Contrasting lines – smooth curves and geometric shapes contrast well with straight lines to create a visually stimulating atmosphere.
- Rhythm and repetition – you can feel the movement in the room with the flowy, oversized wall reliefs. Shapes are repeated in an artful way.
- Clean and minimal – the groundskeepers were constantly mopping, scrubbing, and dusting to keep the place spotless. It’s amazing how simply keeping your space clean improves the look of the interior design!
More photos of the resort interior:
Do you know your preferred design style? How does traditional vs. contemporary design make you feel?