22nd February 2021 | Behind the scenes
There is much to be said for the stabilising powers of a visit to the hotel bar, but not all hotel bars are created equally. Much thought goes into both the physical and narrative design elements, this detailed consideration is the difference between a last-resort-watering-hole and an essential, timeless institution. This month, Curiosity Bites speaks to G.A Designer Robert Balogh-Csapar from G.A’s Budapest office as we take a look behind the scenes at two bars in one hotel – The Ritz-Carlton Berlin.
Fragrances and The Curtain Club were designed by G.A alongside the guestrooms, suites and public areas of The Ritz-Carlton Berlin. Like the rest of the hotel, the interior design of these two bars is a nod to the Roaring Twenties and a celebration of Berlin’s transient nature. They are elegant, opulent and comfortable; perfect for both travellers and locals to partake in the civilizing benefactions of what should be one of a hotel’s most distinguished features, its bar. But with two bars to pick from, it was important to ensure that both felt distinct in their own right.
Lead designer Robert Balogh-Csapar explains that there are many important distinguishing factors between Fragrances and The Curtain Club. To start with, Fragrances offers a more feminine feel. With a dramatic palette of deep reds, dark greys and gold, softened with the addition of warm grey coloured seating, Fragrances is a romantic space.
It is also centred around a unique concept. As the name of the bar suggests, Fragrances allows guests to choose from drinks inspired by perfumes, creating an immersive exploration of the senses which puts the art of cocktail creation at the front of guest experience. A luxurious take on regular mixology that plays with both taste and aroma creating an experience to remember. With a stunning counter front inspired by cut-crystal and framed by red roses and curved velvet furniture, Fragrances is the place to go for drama.
In contrast, the hotel’s lobby bar, The Curtain Club, has a more masculine feel. Draw back the moss green curtains to reveal dark, earthy colours complimented by angular leather armchairs, a metal counter front and hard timber flooring all adding a more rugged touch. The Art Deco influence on The Ritz-Carlton Berlin carries through, but The Curtain Club’s unique selling point is inspired by its bar manager, Arnd Heissen, whose South American warmth transports guests to 1920’s Havana. Live Soul, Jazz and Latin American music are the heart of The Curtain Club experience, performed on a specially built stage, the open plan layout gives large groups of guests the space they need to enjoy and join in.
So which would you choose for a late night drink?