Into the Mystic: Malliouhana Resort Renovation designed by SB Architects

Snapshot: Auberge Resorts, international spa mavens, chose SB Architects of San Francisco to enhance and revamp the Malliouhana, a historic hotel on the Island of Arguilla in the British West Indies. While maintaining most of the original structure, SB deftly pared away those elements that inhibited the fantastic view of the Caribbean, thereby enhancing the connection to the sea.

Standing on a low rise of cliffs steps from the Caribbean Sea, the Malliouhana is a blindingly white beacon of luxury. In their redesign of the hotel, SB Architects took care in preserving many original elements of the structure including the white buildings, red tile roofs, and slim Moorish arches within. Their main goal was removing those architectural elements that separated the guest from the sea by obstructing the million dollar views the location offers. Expansions to the building include an open air restaurant and bar, a topographically tiered swimming pool area, and an enhanced arrival experience that creates an immediate connection between land and sea.

Although the hotel was built in the 1980's, the interior design team from TAL Studio looked further back to the glamorous 50's and 60's - a heyday in the Caribbean for luxury travel - for inspiration. TAL sought to re-imagine the space as a reflection of the island itself, featuring bright pastels, rattan furniture, and even prominently placing in the rooms artworks originally commissioned for the hotel from a local artist who had a fondness for Rousseau's jungle scenes.

While showing great respect for the original institution, SB Architects thoughtfully renovated the Malliouhana to enhance the guest's connection to the sea. By preserving elements central to the historic character of the hotel, adding 5 star elements like an innovative and intimate spa, and opening the space to the natural landscape, SB will help welcome the next generation of discerning travelers to more deeply experience the Caribbean.

Photography courtesy of Malliouhana