Press > Rosewood Little Dix Bay’s Much-Longed-For Rebirth

Rosewood Little Dix Bay’s Much-Longed-For Rebirth

Homepage, Design, Projects, Sustainability, Luxury

Rebirth of Rosewood Little Dix Bay


Looking for an idyllic tropical hideaway, a resort steeped in legendary history yet exuberantly refreshed and reimagined? In the celebrated annals of luxurious, nature-loving Caribbean retreats that brim with who’s-who lore, the British Virgin Islands is home to iconic Rosewood Little Dix Bay, newly reopened on Virgin Gorda this month after a four-year, at times tumultuous, closure. Secluded on 500 acres with a half-mile, powdery white sand beach, landmark Rosewood Little Dix Bay will undoubtedly be the happy talk of the turquoise sea during 2020 and beyond.
Founded more than a half-century ago by businessman and ardent conservationist Laurance Rockefeller (grandson of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller), Little Dix Bay sparkled as an eco-conscious haven, a gem of his RockResorts properties, which were embraced by environment-attentive, well-heeled, privacy-preferring travelers, such as Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip and Prince Charles, as well as film stars and financial titans. Little Dix Bay changed ownership in 1993, joining Rosewood Hotel Group. In 2016, a planned renovation commenced. But a few months before its reopening, Rosewood Little Dix Bay’s future dramatically shifted. Fueled by nearly 200 mile-per-hour winds, Hurricane Irma, in 2017, centered its Category 5 eye directly over the property—devastating it and much of the neighboring community. The catastrophic result required a total rethink, a major and deep-breath rebuilding.
Rosewood Little Dix Bay’s much-longed-for rebirth this month feels like a baptism of sorts, a recognition of commitment and fortitude, realized hopes and dreams. It deserves a resounding high-five to everyone who came together—management and the people of Virgin Gorda and the British Virgin Islands—to transform upheaval into uplift. Their can-do spirit is a graceful affirmation of the power of renewal.
Masterful architecture company OBMI and New York-based design team Meyer Davis unfolded the metamorphosis. Eighty all-new guest rooms—one- and two-bedroom suites and villas with unobstructed water views—incorporate the latest modern amenities into an earth-appreciating aesthetic, showcasing natural materials, such as stone and wood, in artistic and fashion-savvy ways. Nodding to Rockefeller’s earlier era, Meyer Davis had fun paying tribute to the jet-set 1960s (with Jacqueline Kennedy as muse) by designing mid-century modern furnishings and integrating artwork and sculptural elements that exude playfulness: retro photographs of women wearing bathing caps; a cabinet of curiosities in the Great Room. Colored in soft earth-and-sea hues, guest rooms feature fantastical outdoor showers; some suites have their own plunge pools. Lushly replanted, floral gardens and palm trees are eye-catching and eye-soothing.
“Little Dix Bay has been such a darling of Caribbean travelers for 56 years,” says managing director Andreas Pade in an exclusive interview. “So from a Rosewood perspective, we are very proud of how we have been able to keep the resort’s identity and character intact, yet give the food and beverage as well as the service experiences a much more sophisticated feel—along with a distinct barefoot luxury approach.”
In addition to Little Dix Bay’s verdant beauty, its architectural and engineering advancements, such as protective shuttering, hurricane-proof windows and hurricane-minded construction, are fortified. “This project has had its share of trials,” continues Pade. “The process has been very long. What personally gives me the most joy is seeing the resort open again—and all the positive reactions from new and legacy guests alike. [To paraphrase Theodore Roosevelt] ‘Nothing easy is ever worthwhile doing.’”






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Press > Revamped Rosewood Little Dix Bay Returning Early 2020

Revamped Rosewood Little Dix Bay Returning Early 2020

Design, Projects, Luxury


One of the Caribbean’s most legendary resorts is making its long-awaited comeback in the first quarter of 2020. The historic Rosewood Little Dix Bay resort on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands is set to relaunch in January, according to a spokesperson for the company.
Rosewood Little Dix Bay, set a spectacular crescent of sand in the southwestern corner of Virgin Gorda, will have a mix of cottages, suites and large villas. Food and beverage concepts will be comprised of the Sugar Mill eatery, the “wholesome slow food”-focused Pavilion; the Rum Room, an open-air rum bar; and The Reef House, offering a farm-to-table culinary experience. And yes, the resort’s renowned Sense, a Rosewood Spa, will return, along with a fitness center with state-of-the-art training equipment. The resort will feature two pools: the Pavilion Pool, set at the edge of the beach, and the spa infinity pool, a tiered ocean-view pool.
It will be a triumphant return for a hotel that has been closed since 2016, when it began a large-scale, multimillion-dollar renovation project lead by . That project came to a halt in 2017, when Hurricane Irma came through the BVI.
Now, the renovation and transformation of the resort, the largest of the property since Rockefeller founded the property more than a half century ago.
Its reopening will reestablish Little Dix Bay as arguably the premier resort in the BVI, joining a luxury portfolio in the archipelago that includes standouts like Guana Island and Scrub Island, among others.

Learn more: Caribbean Journal

Rosewood selected New York-based Meyer Davis Studio Inc. to lead the renovation and oversee the overall design concept for the resort’s refresh. OBMI, a Miami-based architectural firm, was selected as lead architect to manage the new structure of the Beach Grill and the remodel of the resort’s guest rooms and suites. Landscape Contractors and Design (LCD) carried out the design and overall enhancement of the resort’s landscaping, lighting and signage. Learn more about OBMI's vision for Rosewood Little Dix Bay: here.


Press > Hospitality Wellness Expert Panel

Hospitality Wellness Expert Panel

Homepage, Design, People, Tourism, Investment, Luxury


Leaders In Hospitality & Design Share Unique Insights & Outline Key Performance Drivers For Successful Wellness Developments





On October 9, 2019, leading global architecture firm, OBM International (OBMI), hosted a Hospitality Wellness Expert Panel and art exhibition. Rika Lisslö, Hyatt Vice President of Development, Vivianne Garcia-Tunon, Wonder Flower Principal and Founder, Marianne Canero, Alma Community Founder & Executive Director, and Giovanni Medina Marenco, OBMI Associate Senior Designer, participated in the conversation at the Sacred Space Miami. Together, with moderator, K. Denaye Hinds, OBMI Director of Corporate Sustainability, who led the panel, the four experts discussed their insider outlook on health and wellness in the hospitality and real-estate industry, the trends impacting its direction and the crucial elements to consider for successfully designing wellness developments.

The sold-out event gathered over 175 professionals across the hospitality, real estate, design, development and wellness industries to hear diverse perspectives and to be inspired by illustrations of wellness concepts in the elegant venue, The Sacred Space Miami. In line with the panel’s theme, experts advised the audience on the challenges and opportunities to successfully execute wellness offerings in developments, designing for wellness beyond the spa, and the importance of investing in human capital for wellness programs.

Referencing reports from the Global Wellness Institute, the experts relayed the international wellness market grew to $4.2 trillion in 2018, and that wellness-focused tourism is fast outpacing overall tourism growth. The panel also remarked how the hospitality sector has been highly motivated to keep up with today's wellness guest by evolving the scope of programs and developing key partnerships for membership models to deliver elevated and catered wellness activities as an opportunity for the hospitality industry to ensure a return on investment. An example shared was Hyatt’s clever acquisition of the Exhale spa chain.

Vivianne Garcia-Tunon and Giovanni Medina Marenco both remarked on the importance of weaving wellness into the design of the entire property, as well as factoring in space planning and offerings for various demographics of consumers and future generations. Both panelists agreed this all-inclusive approach would help in achieving a socially equitable and viable development.

Rika Lisslö and Marianne Canero remarked on the importance of cultivating the local labor pool and integrating the community into the wellness space when delivering a positive experience for end-users and ensuring a return on investment to stakeholders. Focusing on the wellbeing of your corporation’s employees resounded equally essential as training and educating in the wellness industry, according to panelists.

“When looking for revenue drivers, we must talk about the value proposition and take time to educate the room on how wellness will benefit the end user and the investor,”  noted Rika Lisslö, Hyatt Vice President of Development. “We see wellness the way we look at internet. Without it you’re obsolete. It’s where we are now and we’re baking it into proforma. The client is everyone, and wellness is in the overall experience.”

For more information, contact Marissa Howe: mhowe@obmi.com or (+1) 305-537-7100.


Press > Rosewood Announces OBMI to Design Half Moon Bay Antigua

Rosewood Announces OBMI to Design Half Moon Bay Antigua

Homepage, Design, Projects, Luxury

Rosewood Hotels and Resorts has been tapped by Vancouver-based Replay Destinations to manage the new Rosewood Half Moon Bay Antigua, which is slated to debut in Antigua in 2021.

The OBMI-designed resort will be situated on 132 spectacular oceanfront acres along Half Moon Bay, which is internationally lauded as one of the world’s most spectacular beaches. The former Half Moon Bay Hotel was established in the 1950s and for decades was a sought-after vacation destination and resort playground for the international jet set. The new Rosewood will feature 47 pavilion-style suites, including a three-bedroom presidential suite. Each accommodation will feature breath-taking ocean views and thoughtful amenities finely tuned to the desires of today’s affluent explorer, including private infinity plunge pools, hammocks, open-air baths and showers and live orchid walls in each bathroom.

Boasting a design that reflects the lush locale, the aesthetic borrows from historic Caribbean and architectural pioneers to offer a classic and timeless feel coupled with modern amenities and services.

“With its secluded location and breathtaking beach, Half Moon Bay is one of the world’s most stunning hidden gems and a natural destination for Rosewood’s affluent explorers,” said Sonia Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of Rosewood Hotel Group. “We look forward to integrating Rosewood’s Sense of Place philosophy into Antigua’s incredible natural environment, to create unforgettable experiences for our guests.”

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Press > Regional Hotel Design Builds Relationships with Guests

Regional Hotel Design Builds Relationships with Guests

Homepage, Design, Luxury

Andrés Osorio, OBMI Hospitality Designer, discussed how the designing of properties needs to appeal to experience-driven consumers in the Caribbean, while he shared insights on how regional hotel design can help build relationships with the guest.

Quoted in Hotel News Now, Andrés remarked, "In regional design, you have to be true to your location, have a stable plan to enhance and preserve your environment and connect to your community. There's no way to create great experiences without investing in the community." Speaking to the firm's project in St. George's, the St. Regis Bermuda, Andrés discussed the importance of designing a property that not only fits into, but also integrates with the land, "you have to accommodate the hotel to its place."

The other panelists added their insights on regional hotel design and what it meant for them. Neil Kolton, Director of the Caribbean and Florida resort sales and services for   Interval International  stated, "Each location has pluses and minuses, it's important to know the demographic you are catering to and recognize it."

Speaking at the Caribbean Hotel Investment and Operations Summit in Bermuda, Osorio was joined by nearly 300 hospitality industry executives to discuss opportunities and challenges in the region.

Read more about Contemporary Regional Design at Hotel News Now.

Press > Best Hotels Design Hot List: Royal Mansour

Best Hotels Design Hot List: Royal Mansour

Projects, Luxury

Cocotraie Magazine Features Royal Mansour Architect

As one of the world’s most celebrated architectural firms, OBMI was selected to design the Royal Mansour hotel. OBMI CEO and internationally respected designer, Doug Kulig explains OBMI’s part in the hotel’s design and build.

“The hotel was designed to the highest international standard, with a clear focus of providing the opportunity for guests to realize a true and authentic Moroccan experience. Whilst it was mandated that we use historical references in the design, the systems and technology employed are the latest in state-of-the-art applications. We began the project by studying what were the best and most authentic hospitality experiences in the world. Two were chosen as the ultimate in hospitality and inspiration references. They had stood the test of time and both are considered ‘Palace Cities’, the Alhambra in Spain and Katsura in Japan.”

Royal Mansour was born from Mohammed VI’s dream. The current King of Morocco wanted an absolute balance between the traditional and the opulent. With influences from North African, Spanish, and Portuguese Moroccan traditions, the hotel offers history, comfort, and exclusivity for its high-paying guests.

Edified on an 8-acre site, within the walls of Marrakech’s old city, the hotel is fully enclosed by a 5-meter-high wall, back-to-back with those of the old city, offering a sumptuous refuge for those who seek it.

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