Camille Walala completes Salt of Palmar hotel in Mauritius

Sea blues, sunny yellows and bold monochromatic stripes appear throughout this boutique hotel, designed by artist Camille Walala to complement to the landscape of Mauritius.

The Salt of Palmar hotel occupies a riad-style building on the east coast of the far-flung island. It contains 59 guest suites, a restaurant and a spa, all of which Camille Walala has decked out in tropical hues and graphic prints.

It is the first in a series of Salt-brand hotels that resort group Lux plans to open in the coming months, and will soon be joined by outposts in Turkey and China.

Salt of Palmar hotel, Mauritius, by Camille Walala

The brand’s brief to Walala was to “weave strands of distinctly Mauritian aesthetic into the fabric of the interior” of Salt of Palmar, to encourage guests to form an affinity with the destination.

This led Walala and art director Julia Jomaa, her long-term collaborator, to develop a colour scheme that directly relates to Mauritius, including both its man-made structures and natural terrain.

Salt of Palmar hotel, Mauritius, by Camille Walala

“I was blown away with how many vibrant and bold colours you find around the island,” explained Walala.

“From the emerald green of the plants to the ever-changing colours of the sky, I wanted to marry these warm and natural tones to my signature pop colours.”

Interiors of SALT of Palmar hotel, Mauritius, by Camille Walala

The building’s exterior, which was originally burnt orange, in now a lighter peachy shade, emulating the pastel facades of typical Mauritian homes.

Meanwhile the outdoor daybeds, chairs, and cushions have are upholstered in shades of cobalt blue and turquoise to mimic the hue of the Indian Ocean.

Interiors of SALT of Palmar hotel, Mauritius, by Camille Walala

At several points Walala has also introduced her signature monochromatic graphics, previously seen on projects like her inflatable London Design Festival installation in 2017.

It features on the sunshine-yellow walls of communal lounge areas and parasols by the pool, as well as the tiled underside of water features.

This is echoed by a series of striated partition walls made from thin beams of timber, which can be seen in the hotel’s dining area and bedrooms.

Interiors of SALT of Palmar hotel, Mauritius, by Camille Walala

Walala also called on the help of local creatives that specialise in crafts such as pottery and basket weaving to produce pieces of decor like circular pendant lamps.

“What was different for me this time is the sheer quantity of things to take into consideration when designing; not only do colours and pattern have to complement each other, but fabrics, textures, surfaces, light, functionality and moods are also critically important to consider,” she explained.

Interiors of SALT of Palmar hotel, Mauritius, by Camille Walala

Other large-scale projects that Walala has turned her hand to include a colourful mural on the facade of a 40-metre-high building in Brooklyn and a colourful labyrinth inside London’s Now Gallery.

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