Rethymnon, Crete

Set on a sandy beach 13 km long on the Cretan Riviera, minutes from a Venetian harbour, the Creta Palace is a Greek civilisation all of its own, with a luxury hotel, bungalow villages, restaurants, a kids campus and even its own organic farm.

In collaboration with US-based hospitality designers WAT&G Architects, we were asked to create a new, expansive reception space to accommodate group check-ins, an inviting Lobby Lounge and Bar, and to refurbish the busy main restaurant and spa.

Our inspirations were on the hotel’s doorstep: the Mediterranean and Ancient Greece. We developed interior schemes in vibrant coral, peach and cream tones, accented by original furniture in rich metallic gold. Shell and coral motifs recur throughout the furnishings and accessories, and indoor and outdoor spaces such as the lounges, restaurants and terraces all flow and blend seamlessly to heighten the sense of openness, light and freedom.

The hotel’s main restaurant has to work hard, serving three meals a day to hundreds of guests. But, by opening up the inner courtyard to blur the division between interior and exterior, and by creating more intimate dining vignettes with small seating areas, we made dining a more relaxed affair.

© Lynne Hunt London, 2011