ABU DHABI // A hotel under construction along the south west end of the Corniche will put a twist on the concept of a room with a view.
With its distinctive 45-degree architectural curl and iconic pearl-shaped top, the landmark tower of the Regent Emirates Pearl Hotel has been designed to ensure each of the 377 rooms and 60 serviced apartments gets a unique outlook.
The five-star beachside resort was inspired by the sand, sun and sea and will reflect the environment from which it will rise, says Dennis Lems Architects Associates, the Austrian architecture firm behind the design.
"We started with the classic hotel concept and added a new twist to it, literally," said Thomas Mayrhofer, the senior project architect for the hotel. "The origin was to transform the classic hotel concept into a new shape and putting the view as the central design premise."
Situated opposite Emirates Palace Hotel, the 47-storey building faces the bay of Khor Al Bateen on one side and is due to open to guests at the end of next year.
As well as the view, visitors will be able to dine in a floating "water lily" alongside the glittering waters of the Gulf, stay in elegant rooms that each come with a private balcony, get pampered in the luxury spa, or lounge on the private beach.
"Abu Dhabi has its own beautiful, natural islands. We wanted people to be able to see that," Mr Mayrhofer said. "We really want to focus on this site, and it's about dealing with the sun and the sand. We wanted to maximise the views and the hotel's special orientation."
The Emirates Pearl was initially conceived in 2005 and is a joint project of the Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) and the Atlas Group, a UAE-based telecommunications firm.
One of the priorities for the team creating the building's design was ensuring that the hotel was "dynamic, elegant and smart", Mr Mayrhofer said.
"We knew our client was expecting a five-star hotel for this region," the architect said. "With the twist, we evoke the notion of 'balance in contradiction' between rest and motion, tension and relaxation, rise and descent. We wanted to push this concept into contemporary and modern times."
The appearance of the 240-metre tower will differ depending on the viewer's angle and the time of day, a quality that Mr Mayrhofer said will help the hotel stand out among famous neighbours Etihad Towers and Nation Towers. The Regent Emirates Pearl will boast conference space, a business centre and meeting rooms, along with a ballroom, gym and spa.
An upscale presidential suite will also be available and will include access to a private helipad, located on the rooftop pearl feature. The private beachfront features an exclusive beach club, and the hotel will offer access to indoor and outdoor pools. Eight restaurants and cafes will operate in the hotel, including the Pier Restaurant, where visitors can enjoy the "glow of lights on the seabed" as they dine in a floating water lily.
The hotel's interiors were designed by the London-based interior design company MKV Design.
"What inspired the interior design was mainly the location and the building itself," said Maria Vafiadis, the founder and managing director of MKV Design.
Elements inspired by the seaside and the UAE's rich pearling heritage are reflected in the design of the rooms, which integrate themes including light, sun, greenery and water, Ms Vafiadis said.
"Our interiors are a modern interpretation of the traditional Arabic culture," she said.
So far, 90 per cent of the basements and 15 storeys of the tower footprint have been constructed. The Dh870 million (US$237.7m) project is on schedule and a soft opening is expected in the last quarter of 2012.
"I can guarantee you it will be done on time," said Zeljko Grgurev, the senior project director for Atlas Group.