Marcel Wanders says Mondrian Doha hotel is "a place of fantasy"
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Mondrian Doha hotel is "a place of fantasy" says Marcel Wanders

Dutch designer Marcel Wanders describes the eccentric and theatrical spaces he created for the Mondrian Doha hotel, in this movie Dezeen produced for the AHEAD hospitality awards.

The Mondrian Doha hotel opened in October 2017 in the city's West Bay Lagoon neighbourhood. Designed by local firm South West Architecture for the hospitality company SBE, the five-star hotel is shortlisted in the Event Spaces category at the upcoming AHEAD MEA 2018 awards.

Mondrian Doha hotel by South West Architecture with interiors by Marcel Wanders
Mondrian Doha is a 270-room hotel in the city's West Bay Lagoon neighbourhood

Wanders' Amsterdam-based studio created the interiors for the 270-room hotel, which features a number of grand, extravagant spaces in his distinctive maximalist style.

"The whole hotel is a place of fantasy and surprise," Wanders says in the movie, which Dezeen filmed for AHEAD in London. "It's really a space that is made for theatre."

Mondrian Doha hotel by South West Architecture with interiors by Marcel Wanders
The interiors of the Mondrian Doha hotel are designed by Marcel Wanders

The hotel features a large atrium and lobby space filled with giant white lamps and a black helical staircase that has a balustrade with an ornate cut-out pattern, which extends up over four floors.

The tea room features illuminated white trees and chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, while the swimming-pool is covered by a floral-patterned stained-glass dome.

Other notable spaces include a 2,000-square-metre, 18-metre-high ballroom, while every room in the hotel enjoys a view over the nearby lagoon.

Mondrian Doha hotel by South West Architecture with interiors by Marcel Wanders
The swimming pool area at the Mondrian Doha hotel is covered by a stained-glass dome

The Mondrian Doha is the second Mondrian hotel Wanders has designed, following the Mondrian South Beach in Miami, which opened in December 2008.

Wanders says his team took design elements that were successful in the original Miami hotel and combined them with references to the hotel's local context.

Mondrian Doha hotel by South West Architecture with interiors by Marcel Wanders
The Mondrian Doha hotel features a 2,000-square-metre ballrom

"Doha is a very different place with a different culture," Wanders explains.

"We revisited quite a few of the important icons that we made for Miami and we put them to work again in Doha. For the rest, of course, there is a lot of local inspiration."

Mondrian Doha hotel by South West Architecture with interiors by Marcel Wanders
The shisha lounge at the Mondrian Doha features hundreds of colourful lanterns suspended from the ceiling

Wanders created a shisha lounge that is almost entirely black and white, but features hundreds of colourful glass lanterns suspended from the ceiling.

"Normally you see these lights in shisha places, but we have so many it's crazy," Wanders says, explaining that his aim was to create a hotel that foreign travellers would enjoy, but which would also become a destination for locals.

"We wanted to make a hotel that, while being new, feels very authentic," he says.

"At the end, it's not only a destination for people that fly to Doha, but it's a place that is really visited by local people."

Mondrian Doha hotel by South West Architecture with interiors by Marcel Wanders
Dutch designer Marcel Wanders describes the Mondrian Doha hotel as "a place of fantasy"

The Mondrian Doha hotel is up against a number of other five-star hotels in the Event Spaces category at the upcoming AHEAD MEA 2018 awards, including the Four Seasons in Kuwait and the Bulgari Resort in Dubai.

Tickets for the awards ceremony, which takes place at The Meydan Hotel in Dubai on 14 November 2018, are still available. Dezeen readers can use the sale code LASTCHANCE to buy discounted tickets from the AHEAD website.

This movie was filmed by Dezeen in London for AHEAD. All images used in the movie and this story are courtesy of Marcel Wanders.