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UAE: Wilson Associates, hospitality design firm, has received two Gold Key Awards for excellence in hospitality design at the 31st annual International Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Gold Key breakfast ceremony in New York.

The firm received the grand prize for best hotel design and best lobby/reception for its design of the Armani Hotel, Dubai.

The International Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Show occupies pride of place as one of the largest hospitality sector-related trade shows in the US.

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A number of seminars, workshops, guest speakers and special events are organised during the event, with the Gold Key Awards and the Hospitality Ball being two of the highlights of the show.

The awards recognise the best hospitality properties built or renovated within the past 18 months in 24 countries. Wilson’s projects were selected from more than 150 submissions. Judging was based on aesthetic appeal, practicality and functionality of design.

“Wilson Associates is proud to remain at the forefront of hospitality design. We are thrilled and humbled to be honoured alongside the other talented, accomplished interior design firms,” said Trisha Wilson, CEO, Wilson Associates.

“Working with style icon Giorgio Armani on his hospitality debut was an unforgettable collaboration. His hotel resides inside the world’s tallest buildings, the 829.84 m (2,723 feet) Burj Khalifa, and has 10 levels of minimalist opulence.”

Countries and territories represented among the 150 submissions were Australia, Bahamas, Canada, China, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Namibia, Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Rwanda, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and US.

Wilson Associates and Armani collaborated on the design of the public spaces, food and beverage outlets, 160 guest rooms and suites, including the 144 short-stay apartments.

The lobby’s height is dramatised by a tubular arch construction that illuminates the sinuous lines of the Burj’s three-lobed plan.

The guestrooms reveal a calming tone, as Armani’s home furnishing line, Armani Casa, is seen throughout as part of the hotel’s fabrics and furnishings. Each restaurant, lounge and café adheres to the Armani aesthetic. According to Cedric Jaccard, executive design director, Wilson Associates, Armani has designed an entire lifestyle portfolio from apparel to dining and lodging.

“It was only natural that his first hospitality project, namely the Armani Hotel Dubai, would exude that same sense of highly-tailored luxury,” he said.

“Deep browns and beiges, metallics and polished granites, colours taken from his runway collection, worked together to create contemporary, imperial spaces that were not only complimentary of Dubai’s modern cityscape, but also livable and energising.”

Armani’s second hospitality venture in Milan, built within a palazzo at Via Manzoni 31, opened last month. Again, a collaboration with Wilson Associates, the design reiterates his commitment to the combination of elegance and simplicity. The building itself even defines Armani style, created in the shape of an “A”.

Wilson Associates was founded in 1971 and has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Shanghai and India.

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