Cartagena is a tropical delight
If you want to run into the wild away from the madness of the city, then the newly opened Hotel Cartagena located on the 72nd floor of Tower B at the JW Marriott Marquis, Business Bay is your best bet. Cartagena has replaced Morah, a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fusion restaurant that was here earlier. Tropical-inspired interiors and vibrant accessories form the backdrop of this Latin American hub serving everything from Cuba, Puerto Rico to Columbia with the flair of the Caribbean and hints of Asian flavours. Elmar Pichormer, partner at Atelier EPJ who worked on the interiors of the Cartagena highlights the design aspect of this property. Pichormer says: “Cartagena has taken the place of the Middle Eastern restaurant Morah, honestly it wasn’t sufficiently successful. From the design perspective, Morah could have been done in a better way. The lighting was a huge problem because it was very bright with lots of direct light. We had LEDs running along the parameter of the floating roof, and the mullions were white. The issue with that was that one would walk into the restaurant at night and not able to see the views. Considering we on 72nd floor, with stunning 360o panoramic views across the city through floor to- ceiling windows, this should have been our biggest design asset.”
The place was given an upside down makeover and Pichormer and his team made sure that all the design aspects are well taken care of in advance. “We ripped-off the entire lighting out and filled the mullions with dark grey matte foil; this helped us in solving the view part of the night. Now one can see the beautiful views without any reflection or any other confusion. We also worked pulled in the reflective ceiling and it has changed the look and feel of the space altogether. ” The place is decorated with tropical wallpapers and same symmetry is maintained through the premises like the inclusion of the peacockinspired chairs, cushions, and funky table tops.
Alongside the amazing views, the interiors depict the harmony of the jungle life with funky, vibrant décor, plush green foliage, raisin monkeys, and parrot figurines carefully placed all across the hotel. “The floor was white earlier, we stained it dark brown to give a dramatic feel. One of the biggest challenges was to fill up vast open space with the staircase in the middle of it which takes the guests to the other level of the Cartagena. So we added the beautiful mural painting by the South African artist carefully lit by customed-designed spotlights hidden under the foliage. Another trick to give cosy and comfortable vibe, we introduced the Bohemian shutters,” adds Pichormer.
Cartagena is headed by chef Geunsung Park. For quick bite, chilli prawn nachos and crispy coconut calamari would make for a good start. Those who cannot do without salads, there’s a lot to choose from— crispy duck confit salad, Caribbean shrimp, and more. Lobster and Shrimp ceviche, grilled flank steak, and spicy tuna must be a part of your hearty meal.