JOI-Design has recently renovated the public areas of the Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvédère, one of Switzerland’s most celebrated Grand Hotels. The transformation reaffirms the property’s reputation as an acclaimed mountain resort by enhancing its elegant historical features whilst introducing modern comforts.
Originally built in 1875 in a Belle Époque style, the Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvédère is located in Davos, a municipality in the Swiss Alps renowned not only for its winter sports but also, during warmer months, as an outstanding holiday destination for outdoor activities where hiking, biking and ski trails meander through dense forests and wild romantic valleys that offer breath-taking mountain vistas. This untamed natural environment clearly shapes local life and was a major influence upon JOI-Design’s concept for the stylish refurbishment of the hotel’s public spaces.
Along with regional references, the design was also inspired by nostalgic notions of exclusive Grand Hotels. Fine details, such as the dark, fishbone-patterned veneer in the joinery of the front desk suggest the craftsmanship of past eras.
Redesigned spaces blend the traditional charm of an established grand dame with the first class amenities of a modern building, so guests can retreat to the luxurious comfort of the hotel to recount their adventures after a day skiing or hiking. The public areas are expansive yet configured to accommodate all guest scenarios, whether a lone traveller, a couple, or a group of family and friends.
Flowing seamlessly from one to another, the lounge, café, and bar areas were envisioned as a harmonious sanctuary underlined by a subtle palette and intimate nooks with supremely comfortable furnishings throughout. The designers took their cues from the earthy tones and verdant landscape of the mountain ranges. In the lounge, the interiors emphasise original features while instilling a renewed and contemporary feel. Here, as well as in the café, original mouldings on the ceilings and walls were retained and refreshed with a crisp white finish that highlights their elegant ornate detailing.
Bespoke carpeting designed with large scrolled motifs on a strié background recalls the hues of the rich Alpine soil; this is offset by a lighter-toned ellipse which sweeps throughout the space to draw attention to the piano in its centre, used to entertain guests each evening. Inset flush within the unembellished “divider” walls, espresso toned bookshelves made from local pine form a clean simplicity that balances the intricacy of the ceiling and floors. Newspapers hung on pegs recall the traditional Viennese coffee houses and create an impression of a cosy library where guests feel encouraged to communicate, whether as a relaxed conversation, checking emails or even writing an old-fashioned postcard. Above the piano, a vibrant moss-green chandelier made from hand-blown Murano glass punctuates the space’s calmness with a bright ‘pop!’ of colour that enlivens the atmosphere.
By day spaces are flooded with sunlight through tall windows displaying the glorious alpine scenery beyond. Sumptuous and inviting, furnishings encourage guests to linger into the night. Generous chocolate-velvet chesterfield sofas and cocooning wingback armchairs have been given a modern twist that effortlessly balances classical elegance with contemporary comfort, while occasional tables fashioned from burnished metal tops and tinted glass bases add a further note of refinement. A coveted spot relaxing in front of one of the original stately fireplaces is guaranteed to warm both the feet and the soul.
The café, with its tailored herringbone and leather upholstery dining chairs and richly toned tables, is a bright, informal space to enjoy small meals and light snacks in stylish surroundings. Floor-to-ceiling glass screens digitally imprinted with a filigree pattern provide a degree of separation while maintaining a clear connection to the adjacent lounge. Again, eye-catching green chandeliers add joie de vivre to the scene.
Located between the lounge and café, the bar has been designed as a place for guests to gather, make new friends, and share stories about their adventures. Colourful ambient lighting sets the mood as day unfolds into evening; contemporary barstools line-up around an illuminated counter to signal that it is the place to meet for a ‘sundowner’ after a thrilling day in the mountains.