HBA, one of the leading global hospitality design firms, created a brand defining design for the new luxury hospitality nameplate. The hotel marks the first Swisstouches property in China bringing contemporary Swiss style to the city of Xi’an.
HBA’s inspiration for the property was the Swisstouches brand concept. They were required to implement what the brand would mean to visiting guests by encompassing many iconic Swiss elements into the design. HBA’s use of modern architectural elements, furnishings and materials helped to create a chic and luxurious environment that even the most discerning guests would appreciate.
Xi’an is an ancient, inland Chinese city with a history stretching back more than 3,000 years. The city is an important industrial and cultural hub in inner China with abundant tourist attractions including the renowned Terracotta Warriors of Emperor Qin. In 2010 alone, some 50 million international, domestic and business travelers visited Xi’an making it the ideal location to open the first flagship Swisstouches property in China.
To begin the design process, HBA traveled to Switzerland to research and learn Swiss contemporary design elements. The knowledge they gathered inspired them to conceptualize a concept and design aesthetic that would be unique to Xi’an. HBA successfully integrated traditional Swiss elements into contemporary design and this is the first time that such a unique, modern and focal driven hotel has been designed outside of a modern city in China
From the moment of entry, guests are taken to an innovative, contemporary and luxurious space. The expansive floor and rectangular columns are clad in white stone and custom blue rugs define seating areas. A pod replaces the traditional, long wooden reception desk with a stone and glass piece. The staircase itself is open, as if suspended by steel cables. It leads to the mezzanine, where the ceiling makes a bold statement. Parallel stainless steel panels of varying widths are striped with red light, representing Switzerland.
The 318 Swisstouches guestrooms are clean and precise. The uniform light gray wood tone of the walls increases the sense of space. The custom carpet becomes a piece of art itself, its intricate design of red lines carry forward the theme created in the mezzanine ceiling.
The two-story Swisstouches Spa is simple, chic and highly sophisticated, including several private rooms and a variety of hot and cold dip pools in addition to the usual functions of a pool area. Similar to spas in Switzerland, the atmosphere is very mineral finished with a variety of textured beige and gray stone. The main pool is a sleek black rectangle, while the hot and cold circular dip pools are brilliant turquoise.
Food and Beverage
There are several food and beverage outlets, all carrying the themes of unexpected Swiss touches. Perhaps the most dramatic is the Chinese restaurant, the Lord’s Home. Here traditional Chinese dishes are served in the atmosphere of a stately Swiss home, complete with many different rooms, including a study, a parlor, and a butler’s room.
The Swisstouches Café, for all day dining, features a wall of European beers and wines. The Noodle Bar serves more than 150 different types of noodles, at a long, clean white counter surrounding a light, stone rectangular preparation area.
A bar is located on the top floor of the hotel. This impressive double volume space features massive-scale wall art installations in bold splashes of red, drawing out red elements in the custom carpet.
+ All images courtesy HBA