Wellington's boutique Museum Art Hotel is channelling Coco Chanel as it undergoes a $2 million refurbishment under the eye of CGM+Foster architects.
Built in 1987, the Museum Art Hotel was moved across the road to its present location at 90 Cable St in 1993. There have been a few furnishing updates over the years - drapes, carpet - but otherwise this is the first major overhaul for the hotel.
Museum Art Hotel owner Chris Parkin has been working with Angela Foster of CGM+Foster, who has been involved with the hotel design-wise for the last six years.
Parkin says while a few quality fittings have been retained, everything else has been fair game. What was the height of fashion in the 80s hasn't necessarily translated well to the 21st century. He describes the hotel's previous decor as "1987 five-star".
The renovation will see 68 rooms totally recreated with lush gold and mirror interiors, paired with the use of rich wall art. Gold curtains complement the chocolate and gold European carpeting.
Bathrooms retain their classic marble features and large porcelain tubs, while the floors boast a charcoal grey stone tile.
Quirky designer lamps and espresso machines also tie in with the overall look.
The goal has been to bring the rooms into line with the rest of the hotel, Parkin says, maintaining a consistent look from lobby to lift to room. Previously, they didn't quite match with the rest of the art design decor.
"Everyone we've showed it to has been really positive," he says.
The new decor is "slightly off the wall" according to Parkin, and certainly not the kind of style you'd see in a chain like the Holiday Inn or Accor. "It's designed to provoke. Most people will like it, some will hate it." Either way, it'll give the customer base – primarily business, with more of a tourist influx over the summer – something to talk about.
"It’s all part of our desire to continue offering our guests an inspiring point of differentiation from the traditional hotel."
The renovation commenced in December and will be completed in batches by mid 2014.