7 Rooms, Pools and Lobbies You Have to See to Believe

From a bar inspired by a Wes Anderson film to a lobby with a horse-and-carriage drop-off, these spaces at Four Seasons hotels and resorts around the world are must-sees.

by Lenise Willis

At Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait the spa, pool and fitness area was designed to exude a sense of place and tranquillity.

If you’ve seen one Four Seasons hotel or resort, you haven’t seen them all. Each of our more than 100 properties reflects its own sense of place, innovation and style.

Through our international collection of awe-inspiring lobbies, dynamic restaurants and bars, re-energizing fitness and spa facilities, impressive event spaces, and perfectly appointed rooms, Four Seasons wows with design.

Here, marvel at some of our latest creative spaces, then get a behind-the-scenes look at the design process.

A pool and spa that reflect tranquillity

At Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at Burj Alshaya, which is set to open in early 2017, the design for the pool, spa and fitness section was driven by the theme of peacefulness mixed with a specific sense of place. The glowing lanterns create a warm reflection in the pool, and archways and alcoves create semiprivate, intimate lounging areas for guests.

“We’re upgrading fitness areas with light, air and volume. In spas, dimmer lighting and quiet spaces are really conducive to relaxation,” says Dana Kalczak, Vice President of Interior Design at Four Seasons.

This design by Yabu Pushelberg features an oasis, grotto aspect for a calming and inviting aura. “The Hotel was designed with a refined, well-travelled and culturally informed guest in mind and has a distinct connection to place in its design elements,” says co-founder Glenn Pushelberg.

Celebrating eccentricity at the bar

Lead designer Meyer Davis used eclectic groupings of materials and furniture to create excitement in almost every vignette of Bar Margot.
Will Meyer, of design company Meyer Davis, says, “Ford asked if his idea of basing the design on the character of Margot Tenenbaum in The Royal Tenenbaums was crazy, and I said, ‘I think it’s so crazy that it’s the best idea I’ve ever heard.’”

It was the independent child prodigy Margot Tenenbaum, from the 2001 U.S. film The Royal Tenenbaums, that inspired the renovated bar at Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta. Bar Margot celebrates interesting people, individualism and eccentricity.

“The way you make a place ‘happening’ is with a strong sense of narrative and of place,” says Will Meyer, partner of Meyer Davis, which co-led the renovation with Chef Ford Fry.

Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta

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Dining under glass

The barrier between indoors and outdoors is broken down in this restaurant and tapas bar, which features a lush atrium courtyard and a retractable glass ceiling that instantly transforms it into an al fresco dining experience.

Neighbourhood chic meets rustic nature in the design of the eatery Castanyoles, at Four Seasons Hotel Bogotá Casa Medina. The Spanish restaurant and tapas bar, designed by local Saul Sasson, is decorated with warm colours, Spanish tiles and modern furnishings, all underneath a stunning glass atrium roof.

The restaurant – named for the traditional handheld percussion instruments also known as castanets – was designed to reflect the way people dine today.

“Food and drink bring us together,” says Luis Argote, General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel Casa Medina Bogota. “In Castanyoles, we’ve created a beautiful place that invites guests to share the pleasure of delicious Spanish cuisine and drinks with one another.”

Four Seasons Hotel Casa Medina Bogota

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Seaside sanctuaries

These spacious guest rooms, designed by TAL Studio, exude seaside luxury by incorporating an open-air design for expansive views of the nearby ocean.
Large outdoor ocean terraces provide guests with a spacious living area that is conducive to relaxing and reconnecting with nature.

At Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas, slated to open in 2018, it was the nearby ocean that fuelled the design team’s creativity for livable luxury. The guest rooms incorporate oversized relaxation areas that seamlessly flow onto outdoor ocean terraces.

We call our guest rooms ‘sanctuaries,’” Kalczak says. “It’s about welcoming guests and giving them the best night’s rest they’ve ever had.

TAL Studio designed the guest rooms. “Four Seasons guests value artistry, craft, authenticity, cultural context and sincere hospitality that is truly anticipatory of their needs, and these values inform our design,” says Todd-Avery Lenahan, founder.

Modernizing history in the lobby

The lobby at Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest was imagined by Richmond Intl., and features this often-photographed chandelier.

Long ago the entrance of Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest included a horse-and-carriage drop-off. During renovations, the design team, led by Richmond Intl., enclosed the drop-off to expand the lobby – a true labour of love.

“An upcoming renovation will add flexibility for events,” says Fiona Thompson, principal.

Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest

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Meeting rooms that drive productivity

Designed by LTW Designworks, the meeting spaces at Four Seasons Seoul channel the prestige of Four Seasons, coupled with a sense of place.

Given the purpose of a meeting room, it’s important that the design is motivating and invigorating. At Four Seasons Hotel Seoul, LTW Designworks followed through. The meeting and event spaces were designed to “encourage productivity and pleasure,” Kalczak says.

The cosy sitting area and plush sofas evoke a residential feel. “Korean architecture is always conscious of the delicate relationship between a place and its environment, and strives for a harmonious interplay,” says Su Seam Teo, an LTW partner.

Four Seasons Hotel Seoul

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Passing the test for the future

With at least four new openings in 2017 alone, in vastly different settings around the globe, the future of design is always top of mind for the Four Seasons Design & Construction team, led by Dana Kalczak. The team doesn’t set out to imprint a single style across them all, but rather provide what she calls a “guiding essence.”

That’s why Four Seasons recently created a new Research and Discovery Studio at its headquarters in Toronto.

The studio is a dynamic workspace – including a full-size modular room made of cardboard and a fully functional bar – where the team and its chosen designers consider, test and problem-solve everything from utensils to staff uniforms to bed frames.

Kalczak’s department also helps properties assemble design dream teams, drawing on strong relationships with internationally renowned figures.

“If you pick the right designer, it’s like finding the right marriage partner,” she says. “It all works, and it comes to life beautifully.”