A Luxury Hotel on St Helena Island - How to Develop Hotels the Mantis Way: Episode 15

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Learn how to develop hotels from Mantis in this video about Mantis St Helena - a Luxury Hotel on St Helena Island. Interior Designer for Mantis, Maure...

Дата загрузки:2020-06-29T21:00:09+0000

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Learn how to develop hotels from Mantis in this video about Mantis St Helena - a Luxury Hotel on St Helena Island. Interior Designer for Mantis, Maurette also tells about the logistics of working remote.

BRUCE MCNICOL, Development Direct, Mantis:
This brings us to St Helena, probably Mantis’ most challenging project to date and one of the development flagship projects. Being remotely situated 2000 nautical miles from Cape Town had its own challenges. Again drawing from the expertise of our team. We had to put in highly experienced project manager from Mantis, Graham Vass. We had a really good construction company that we had sourced from Cape Town. With a professional team pretty much being situated and located in South Africa. We didn't have much hours on the site except for the team. And a lot of that work was done by correspondence, emails, Zoom calls, which had its own challenges. However, no matter what Mantis had to continue with the project. And there was quite a lot to it. We had to develop all thirty rooms fitted out. We had to ship all components from South Africa, from Cape Town. Maurette obviously involved in the interiors, we had Sascon involved in the IT. We had to ship out kitchens, all the utensils. There was quite a lot to that project, shipping, the logistics. You know, that has its set of challenges with the Royal Mail ship RMS St Helena. Maurette, we discussed that it was quite a challenge from that point of view.

MAURETTE VAN EYSSEN, Head of Interior Design, Mantis & MI Designs
2016 was probably one of the most fascinating years because apart from the challenges, it was also the excitement. And in the back of my mind, I knew that I'd be able to see the island eventually once the stuff arrives there. So, most of the manufacturing was done in Port Elizabeth, locally. Everything was packed, crated and shipped from South Africa. We first had to get it to Cape Town, which meant that we had to track it from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town. Once we got to Cape Town, obviously the containers got loaded and I think I had a total of eleven containers, plus a very small installation team consisting of myself, my husband and two assistants. And that was when the fun and the journey started when the ship sailed out of Cape Town.

BRUCE:
And then, I mean, remember, we had to send it across Penny at one stage where there was an opportunity to fly somebody across on a private aeroplane and we could choose one person from the consultant team. And we sent the architect to go and have a look at the project and then obviously report back to us on her return.

MAURETTE:
That's right. And I was dreaming in my dreams. I was hoping that they would send me just so that I could take some onsite measurements because I'd never in my life done an entire hotel simply off-plan. Every piece of furniture and every curtain that got sewn had to be done off-plan without ever having seen the site, without ever visiting to take any measurements. So far from the challenges, it was also extremely rewarding. The hotel consists of two areas. We had the heritage part that was allocated to the public spaces and I decided to focus on the heritage and the history in terms of furnishings and the fit-out for those areas. And then it was a modern section added, which consists of thirty bedrooms, so the bedrooms were done in a modern style. They were all the quirky, bright, colourful, with bold, patterns and design just to incorporate that island feel to create the feel of holiday and relaxation, taking you away completely into a different world which very, very few people obviously have the opportunity to visit.

BRUCE:
Yeah, I mean, the challenges with the heritage and getting all those and locked-up front with the designers, all those criteria. And it was quite a challenging period. And being a heritage building that you’ve got to preserve. There was a lot of discoveries that we found on site. We found that arch mid-construction, which was quite a unique piece, which actually became the reception. You know, that’s something that we had to change around and incorporate into the development, and so it was a very challenging project. I mean, the first time that we got to see the project was when Grant and I actually flew out for the final account and that's the first time we saw the project, which was quite unique. We don't normally work like that, but in this instance, that’s how it was built.

MAURETTE:
Yes and I think it was also a milestone in the life of Mantis

BRUCE:
Hundred per cent.



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