Bill Bensley and Gensler partner to create St. Regis resort 'paradise' in Malaysia
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Bill Bensley and Gensler partner to create St. Regis resort 'paradise' in Malaysia

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Bangkok-based interior designer Bill Bensley, UK hospitality designers G.A. Design and international architects Gensler are among the creators of the latest property opened by hotel brand St Regis: a luxury resort in Malaysia’s UNESCO-protected archipelago Langkawi.

The St. Regis Langkawi Resort, which opens today (6 April), is the first new high-end resort in the 99-island chain in a decade. It is owned by Indonesia’s Rajawali Property Group.

The concept of the design has been described by St. Regis as “paradise found and refined” and blends “the style and energy of a European mansion” with Middle Eastern finishes. A six-storey building – inspired by a nearby palace – sits on a 600 metre stretch of white sand beach overlooking a natural 100,000sq m (1,000sq ft) private lagoon that integrates with the Andaman Sea.

“The design team sought to provide a resort to strengthen Langkawi’s position in the luxury tourist market,” said Tom Lindblom, principal architect at Gensler. “Our compelling architectural vision defines the entire resort experience as a journey of discovery – of sanctuary, of vistas, of wellness, of cuisine, of fresh water and of salt water."

The resort also features four overwater villas and 85 suites, including 20 private pool suites with cabanas. Indoor spaces are matched with the outdoors, with a light colour scheme inspired by the island’s shimmering corals, emerald green sea, and verdant jungles, along with “bold, precious metallic accents and local artwork that underscore the island’s rich heritage and natural surroundings.”

The resort’s Iridium Spa has eight treatment rooms, with water cascading on the windows, and surrounds a central sunlit water court.

Other facilities include a St. Regis Bar, a wine cellar, an Athletic Club fitness centre, a ballroom, a signature greenhouse-inspired L'Orangerie restaurant and an Asian-influenced destination restaurant called Kayuputi.

Describing the latter, Bensley – who recently designed a luxury tent and villa encampment hidden in the jungles of Laos – said: "At Kayuputi, everyone immediately feels welcome, like you would at someone's destination beach house on the water, where there's something magical and effervescent in the air, as if there's always a fabulous party happening or waiting to happen."

The St. Regis brand is part of the Starwood portfolio. The parent company is set to merge with Marriott after a rival bid led by Anbang Insurance Group was withdrawn recently/a> as “a result of market considerations.” The merger will create the world’s largest hotel company.

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Bangkok-based interior designer Bill Bensley, UK hospitality designers G.A. Design and international architects Gensler are among the creators of the latest property opened by hotel brand St Regis: a luxury resort in Malaysia’s UNESCO-protected archipelago Langkawi.
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