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Bill Bensley's sleek design for the JW Marriott Resort in Vietnam

by Daniel Yee on Jun 5, 2017 in Interiors
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A bathroom in the Turquoise Suite combines classical French furnishings with restful shades reflecting the ocean beyond

A bathroom in the Turquoise Suite combines classical French furnishings with restful shades reflecting the ocean beyond

Bill Bensley's designs for the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa have resulted in a property that is as dramatic as its setting

Nestled among verdant slopes and set next to a pristine white-sand beach, JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa instills a sense of French elegant chic into a beautiful tropical setting. Designed by Bangkok-based, Harvard educated Bill Bensley, the property features traditional early 20th-century French colonial architecture and a distinctly stylish decor with contemporary twists.

The lobby is a masterclass in the use of a simple colour palette

The lobby is a masterclass in the use of a simple colour palette

Bensley, who's well known for his innovative hotel and resort designs, themed the property on a fictional Lamarck University, honouring French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, whose ideas were studied by Charles Darwin when forming the theory of evolution. The resort's Rue de Lamarck, connecting its various areas, is reminiscent of its Paris namesake. Along its length, traditional shophouses, built to resemble those in Vietnam's ancient town of Hoi An, form a blend of Chinese, Japanese and Western architectural influences, offering visitors a glimpse of times past.

Bensley decided to separate the large site into different zones, with the 244 guest rooms, suites and villas spread throughout the wings — named as academic departments — giving guests the feeling of being in their own dedicated sections. To make the most of the idyllic views, all rooms and suites face the ocean and have spacious balconies. The ground floor rooms boast private gardens and direct access to the three swimming pools of the resort.

Dogs are a recurring theme throughout the propery, in a nod to the island's native Phu Quoc Ridgeback

Dogs are a recurring theme throughout the propery, in a nod to the island's native Phu Quoc Ridgeback

One of the resort's standout features is the ingenious colour scheme Bensley has employed, a creative mix that might be expected from someone whose background is so rich and varied. Vibrant hues are mixed and matched in stylish and harmonious ways: warm reds, turquoise, blues and greens of the walls, pillars and furnishings complete and contrast with each other, while custom-designed furnishings in dark timber, and geometrically patterned flooring, further enhance the sense of elegance.

This is an excerpt from the “French Evolution" article from the June 2017 issue of Perspective magazine.

To continue reading, get your copy of Perspective.

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