Champalimaud Design

Sunseekers holidaying in Japan now have a new destination to visit, and it’s tucked away in the picturesque Okinawa Kaigan Quasi-National Park. Named Halekulani – aptly translated as “house befitting heaven” in Hawaiian – the hotel is a twin of its sister establishment in Waikiki, also created by New York-based studio Champalimaud Design.

Photo: Champalimaud Design

The design features an open-plan layout to bring in the beauty of the surroundings, including communal areas that open out directly onto a magnificent view of the Pacific Ocean. This breathtaking sight is what guests are greeted with when they step into one of the hotel’s two lobbies. Whether it’s the one in the Beachfront Wing or the other in the Sunset Wing, both offer the same expansive panoramic view. The design of the lobby is also a nod to the original Halekulani hotel in Waikiki, with its slatted ceiling, bespoke metal and glass light fixtures, and organic design references.

Photo: Champalimaud Design

The hotel offers three separate dining venues where guests can enjoy a leisurely breakfast or intimate after-dinner cocktail. The all-day dining venue, named House Without a Key, pays tribute to the surrounding landscape with a feature wall whose organic impressions are reminiscent of shells in the sand. Those looking for a more intimate experience can go to Kingdom, the island’s premier steak restaurant, where the atmosphere of the space is decidedly cosier. After dinner, one can enjoy a cocktail overlooking the sea and sunset from Bar Spectra, whose peaked slatted ceiling and travertine walls resemble that of a contemporary villa interior.

Photo: Champalimaud Design

The villas, private suites, and guestrooms are no less luxurious: done in the hotel’s renowned “seven shades of white” tones inspired by the seaside setting. The rooms are framed in white oak flooring and feature bespoke rugs that reference the sandy shores of Okinawa. Other elements have more traditional Japanese influences – the grid pattern of the dresser, for example, was inspired by traditional Japanese shoji screens. Some bathrooms also have full-length windows that offer the experience of a leisurely bath overlooking the Pacific Ocean – possibly one of the most luxurious and Zen experiences in the world. 

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Photos: Champalimaud Design