Boutique hotels opening new doors, says Andre de la Motta
In chronicling the evolution of the luxury vacationer, local businessman and architect Andre de la Motta has tracked the transition of tastes by those desiring the most expensive to the most thoughtful of experiences and views. “Where the market is right now, I would say, yes and no… that boutique hotels are trending,” he told Saturday Living.
The architect, real-estate developer, and businessman added, “It all varies in sizes, but boutique villas are trending. People are turning homes into boutique-style villas or building villas for that personal, private experience that vacationers can get from a boutique hotel. It has opened so many doors.”
The locks on the doors have evolved for de la Motta, who is turning keys with his company Master Core Jamaica Limited’s boutique hotel project in the north-east parish of St Mary. He specialises in modern contemporary architecture, which he said is an essential part of developing this structure with “amazing ocean views and breathtaking mountain vistas.”
It is being done in partnership with clients based in Germany, but the architect shared that they will engage the surrounding community by upgrading the market value and showcasing more of what the parish and parishioners have to offer next to its known nature comforts.
Expanding on the landscape, “this project will help change the typical look of traditional buildings. I want it to inspire more designers [to] modernise and change the look of architecture not only in St Mary, but the entire island of Jamaica. Be different, be bold, and let’s build some unique buildings such as this one to let the visual creativity flow for future designers who may want to play it safe to try and fit in.”
The Master Core Jamaica principal said that the curiosity in boutique-style architecture, or establishments to be accurate, is also rivalling. I am getting more European investors in real estate through the company. This boutique hotel is a collaboration; they are designers and builders, too,” he said. “I find that a lot of persons from Europe want to invest in Jamaica because, one, we have amazing weather as everyone knows and second of all, we have a lot of land accessible for development. Most of those who want to invest want to do so in vacation-style assets, homes, and hotels, and a lot of Europeans enquire about a company that can help them source the land to build what they want.”
Boutique hotels are smaller hotels that cater to guests’ needs specifically – providing a more intimate and personal experience than larger establishments that have large vacation turnovers. They will carry out the requests that larger spaces would not, or cannot. Through the St Mary project, de la Motta plans to infuse his signature warm tones and natural elements, particularly stone and wood, within the architecture, he said. “Lately, when people think of modern contemporary, they see a box. And it is often cold – straight-lined, concrete, steel, and glass – it is not always easy to achieve a tasteful design. That is not the true definition. It should be a form of art.”
The exclusivity of de la Motta and the Master Core Jamaica Limited team’s designs depends on how far the clients allow them to go, he explained. Boutique hotels and villas can feature cosy cottages, private gardens, terraces, holistic spas, and in Jamaica, where music and entertainment are the bread and butter, some have included recording studios, but he has yet to reveal the complete layout of this modern contemporary structure.
“I’m a lover of the outlandish, but some clients are conservative. In Dubai, one thing is the wow factor. People will figure [it] out, [what the wow factor is for them once they look at the building] which most, if not all, think is too expensive even when it doesn’t have to be,” assured de la Motta, who is an avid traveller.
“The façade has nothing to do with functionality. For example, I have a personal project building soon; we should have built it already. It is a stratosphere tower, a full technological tower with an exoskeleton façade that lights up at night and is visually interesting in the daytime. I’m presenting a style of architecture from my standpoint so that people will look at it as a marvel here. I have a few clients here that are very open, and they give me the creativity to design how I would want it, as long as it’s functional, meaning how they would want it,” he revealed.