Hotels to the Max!

What is the opposite of a minimalism? Well, maximalism of course!


If you have never heard of it, read on because it is the hottest new look hitting the hotel scene right now.


My own personal venture into the world of maximalism was just by chance some months ago when hastily booking a hotel for a one night stay. It was just one night and so my search was all about finding a comfortable bed for a reasonable price in a sizable city. I was late with my booking, so late that as I pressed ‘book a reservation’ on my travel app just as I was walking through the brass doors of the hotel!


I looked up and Wow!!


It is quite hard to describe what greeted me, apart from to say that it was big, bold and very, very colourful…a chaotic mix of old gilt trim, exotic wall papers, patterned flooring,abstract art work and huge pieces of furniture all covered in a multitude of fabrics.


Everything looked expensive, nothing seemed to match and yet at the same time it all seemed to belong together in some crazy way. One thing I did know was that I liked it… it was very exciting!


I tried to make sense of what I was looking at…did the hotel just happen this way or had there been a plan? It was difficult to tell… the colours were definitely intentional… bold Barbie pinks mixed with corals and greens.

Every wall, every item of furniture and every piece of art work had something to say. They were all fighting to be heard. While my eyes traced the design on the exquisite emerald green oriental wall paper at the check in, I found myself wondering where all this stuff had come from.


The bones of hotel were clearly old and grand with a huge central sweeping staircase, beautiful balustrades and balconies all covered in gold leaf. Had these amazing objet d’ art been found in the basement? Forgotten for many years then hauled out to create strangely eclectic look? No, thought I… there were also other pieces that were clearly modern and even little sports memorabilia thrown in for good measure. After securing my room key I could not help myself, I had to ask the young lady at the reception about the surprising interior. I started by complimenting the wall paper behind her, which she informed me with a smile was  “handmade especially for the hotel!”. Pointing to the magnificent rose-red and gold carpets she proudly explained that the huge patterned medallions reflected the opulent gold medallions on the ceiling above… and the art work she said was from the art students at the city’s well known school of design. So this wasn’t a happy accident at all, but an interior that had been designed purposefully to reflect the passage of time and the moods and feelings we gather along the way.


I liked it. I liked it so much that I took many photos and later discovered that it is a movement called ‘Maximalist Style.’


As it’s name suggests Maximalist Style is almost the dead opposite to minimalist style, every thing that is calm and quiet about the minimalist movement…monotone walls, sober colour pallets and a few carefully chosen artifacts, is turned upside down in the maximalist movement which thrives on ‘bigger, brighter and busier’ as its major theme. Maximalist leans on precious photographs – prized collections and eclectic furniture, things that you may have acquired over time – to tell its story.


It is a celebration of ideas and dissimilar objects all brought together with a palette of powerful colours, a multitude of textures and a wide range of styles…utilising all of them in one space.


I love it, it feels homely yet at the same time it is extravagant, indulgent, opulent, exciting and memorable…and I just can’t wait to book another night in that hotel, just to take another look!


Now how wonderful is that!

2nd August 2021

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