Part three of the hotel focus includes two Italian hotels: an ‘eco-sustainable hospitality’ project in Milan and a mountainside hotel in the Lepontine Alps
Words by Toby Maxwell
Hotel La Vetta, San Domenico
Architects Altrostudio and Steven Mufatti, along with the designer Marco Bedognetti, have collaborated to design the interiors of Hotel La Vetta in San Domenico, a ski resort located in the heart of the Lepontine Alps in Italy. The hotel was created by interior contractor Concreta within a structure built to relate to the surrounding environment, and is formed of three different building volumes that lie on the natural slope and fit into the mountain landscape.
The hotel has 77 rooms – including standard, superior, deluxe, junior suite and two suites. The room designs rely heavily on local natural materials, such as exposed stone and barked wood logs, used for the covering of some wall corners and original dividing panels, as well as fabrics that refer to wool in various forms.
Mufatti says: ‘The wonderful light that flows into the interiors through the large windows allowed us to shape a concept in which wood is the main material. The wall coverings, made of vertical oak staves of varying sizes, blend in with the furnishings, the wardrobes, and the bathroom doors, and give the perception of a refined and contemporary space in absolute harmony with the surroundings.’
The client asked to make the common areas available to the hotel guests comfortable, places where they could stay all day if necessary in case of bad weather. This led to the creation of the fireplace room, the reading room and a TV room with big screen, sofa and theatrical curtains for private projections.
In the cigar room and lounge bar, the design concept is rich in different materials, including waxed iron and the sinuous curtains on the bar counter in bronzed metal fabric. The strong presence of metal is balanced by original dividers in birch wood with its light trunk, and by special lamps to emphasise the effect. The Cigar Room features a cedar covering, with wooden panelling and warm furnishings.
‘The three buildings that house the rooms rest on a single platform that host the common areas,’ explains Mufatti. ‘The heart of this platform is a “stube” [room] entirely covered with recycled larch, as with many of the internal doors and decorations, tables and benches. All around the stube the other spaces, also covered in wood and natural stone, are enhanced by a lighting project that we wanted to be particularly accurate, developed for Concreta in partnership with [lighting firm] Artemide. The aim was to create a hotel capable of offering its guests comfortable and valuable hospitality, while respecting the harmony of the senses and scents that mountains always give us.’
A highlight of the two suites is a bathroom co-designed with bathroom manufacturer Gessi, featuring a shower area with a focus on well-being, creating a small ‘private spa’ in which special glass openings on the walls covered in mosaic allow perspective glimpses into the room.
concretasrl.com | hotellavetta.it
E.C.HO Hotel, Milan
The hotel’s 143 rooms come at a cost of €13m
The Starhotels Group’s E.C.HO in Milan offers ‘ecosustainable hospitality’ created by interior designer Andrea Auletta. Nine months of work and an investment of over €13m led to the construction of the hotel, which has 143 rooms, of which 13 are suites and junior suites.
The entrance hall is furnished with original stone-shaped pouffes, covered with eco-label fabrics, that alternate with tables made with scented, FSC-certificated cedar trunks. Large sofas act as alcoves and are framed in a virtual, imaginative garden, with cushions in the colours of nature that complete the furnishings and give a sense of relaxation. The conservatory, meanwhile, acts as a low-energy greenhouse, with walls made of glass with high insulating capacity. The ceilings feature large suspension lamps in iron and fibreglass.
In the reception, a backlit ceiling simulates the hours of the day, following the natural rhythms of light by offering a vision of sunrise, twilight and night. The heart and soul of the hotel is a large wall that runs through the centre, from the lobby to the restaurant, with it eventually seeming to ‘disappear’ into a more natural and open space. Natural colours are used throughout, with various shades of green and a few touches of brown, to offer a soft, visual balance. The Orto Green Food & Mood Restaurant is scenic and bright, and surrounded by large windows and two backlit walls, which reproduce a lush green corner with fruit, flowers and vegetables. The large windows are shielded by brise-soleils that become decorative elements thanks to the laser-cut metal birds on the sunshade slats.
Large and functional, with high-tech at its core, the hotel’s congress centre is made up of five meeting rooms for a total capacity of 240 people. One of these, the Elements room on the ground floor and flooded with natural light, can be transformed into a private dining room. The other four – Water, Fire, Air, Earth – are on the lower floor and connect to the outdoor area via a marble staircase. From the lobby you can reach those four meeting rooms through a large helical staircase in dark stone, crossed by a cut of light, as if the wall had been illuminated by a flash in the dark.