A stay at ultra-luxury resorts is always the stuff of dreams, and one of the leading architects of these dream properties is Jean-Michel Gathy. A Belgian national, Gathy founded the Kuala Lumpur-based design firm Denniston in 1983 and has been helping to redefine and refine the ultra-luxury resort experience ever since.
With a portfolio that reads like the must-stay bucket list of the world’s most discerning jet-setters, highlights include the Four Seasons hotels in Bangkok and Tokyo, One&Only resorts in Montenegro and Dubai, and a staggering 10 Aman resorts, the latest being the much-anticipated first urban Aman in New York, USA.
This groundbreaking project carved out of the fourth to 26th stories of the Crown Building on Fifth Avenue (regarded among the most sought-after real estates in the world) is just another feather in Gathy's cap, who has had a remarkable track history in design by continuously remaining ahead of ever-changing aesthetics.
A Platinum Circle Hospitality Design honouree and a Tatler's Asia Most Influential lister, Gathy speaks exclusively to us about luxury and inspiration.
How did you come to work with Aman?
I had designed a project in the Maldives for a developer at that time when Hans Jenni, the then chief executive of GHM, saw my design. He said: “OMG, this is a design that Adrian Zecha is going to like!”
Adrian Zecha was the chairman at of Aman Resorts at that time, and Jenni introduced me to him and he loved what I had designed and asked me to work on some projects with Aman Resorts. That was how it all started.
How many Aman resorts have you designed, and do you have a favourite or most memorable one and why?
I have designed many Aman resorts but only 10 of them have been built. Sometimes we make proposals or site visits, so I had designed many projects.