Minimalism vs Maximalism

Two trends are set to dominate hospitality design during 2018:  Minimalism and Maximalism!  Here we bring you two projects which perfectly illustrate the extremes that these trends can be taken to, we begin by showing you the MUJI Hotel followed by the Mondrian Doha.


Tomorrow, January 18th 2018, MUJI HOTEL in Shenzhen will open their doors.  This is a new developed around a MUJI concept: walk as much as you can, wherever you can; eat well; sleep well; stay fit.

The Muji Hotel, is the first hospitality project initiated by the Japanese retailer, which is internationally known for its minimalist products.  It is these products which are specified throughout the hotel creating a hotel which is “anti-gorgeous, anti-cheap concept”.


MUJI’s concept is a clear focus on subtle attention to detail: ‘At MUJI HOTEL, there are neither exorbitantly priced and superfluent services nor dreary guest rooms resulting from the extreme reduction of quality. We have arranged for you both a reasonable price space in which you will sleep well, restoring both mind and body, as well as services that naturally connect you to the locale. For our visitors, every detail, from the texture of the towels to the layout of outlets and switches, to the restaurant menus, helps form the bedrock of a successful trip.’


All trips, whether for business, sightseeing or long-term stays, are supported first and foremost by quality sleep. Ryohin Keikaku have designed a space for exceptional relaxation, providing indirect lighting to release tension and guide guests to a comfortable slumber; coil mattresses with the best firmness for any sleeping position; gently enveloping bath towels, and so on.


The hotel is located close to the heart of the city in the new UpperHills multi-use complex. The reception desk is located on the second floor, with floors four through six holding a total of 79 rooms. A brand new MUJI store on the second and third floors will open simultaneously with the hotel, to help customers experience the world view of MUJI.


At MUJI Diner, hotel guests can enjoy meals featuring freshly prepared nutritious and delicious local foods inspired by home cooking from around the world. A small-scale gym offers running machines, aero-bikes and other workout equipment.  Three conference rooms are available.

Mondrian Doha: Maximalism

As with all Mondrian properties, the design of Mondrian Doha has been tailored to blend with the local environment, whilst remaining true to its Mondrian form. Mondrian Doha is a showcase of contrasting cultures and conventions colliding – always harmoniously. In essence, this is an international hotel that is sensitively rooted in Arabic culture, expressing tradition with a modern point of view. The design depicts Arabia through a modern lens, which in turn mirrors the modern reality of Doha – the Qatari capital that has grown immeasurably over the past few years, transforming itself from a fishing village in to a global visionary capital.

“Here to create an environment o f love, live with passion, and make our most exciting dreams come true.”


Mondrian Doha is the first hotel in the Middle East to be designed by world-renowned Dutch designer and art director Marcel Wanders. Marcel and his team have taken design inspiration from One Thousand and One Nights, a collection of Middle Eastern folk tales. Mondrian Doha will act as the stage for each guest’s unique modern day story.


The lobby space acts as a transition between reality and fantasy, freeing your mind and allowing you to leave everything behind and be present in the moment.  Marcel Wanders’ signatures include golden falcon eggs, flowers and giant columns – a design narrative that is repeated throughout this expansive hotel.

Guests have the opportunity to enjoy an enormous array of experiences and species at Mondrian, including:  Mongolia Bakery where clouds come together to form trees, representing life and wellbeing.  Cut, a contemporary twist on the classic steakhouse conceived by three Michelin star awarded celebrity Iron Chef Wolfgang Puck.   Morimoto Doha, the first restaurant by Michelin Star awarded Chef Morimoto to open in the Middle East. Hudson Tavern, a ‘New York’ Style Tavern offering a wide selection of brews, juicy burgers and a truly vibrant atmosphere.  Walima, authentic Qatari hospitality and cuisine.  Black Orchid, where mirrored walls symbolize “the place to see and to be seen”. An invitation to get lost in the reflection of Doha’s most selective night life experience.  Rise, a pool set above the city’s skyline to elevate your senses to new heights at the boldest sky bar in town.

Which of these dramatically contrasting trends are you most drawn to?  Have you recently launched projects or products which represent these trends?  We would love to hear you opinion, please comment below of tweet us at @DesignInsider1


About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
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