How to Do a Modern Islamic Hotel Interior Design

The basic concept behind any hotel design is to provide a ‘home away from home.’ But comfort and homeliness are only the tips of the iceberg. People tend to want to experience a country’s culture and inadvertent traditions whenever they’re making a trip to a foreign land. If they wanted to live in another contemporary shoe-box, then they’d have selected any other regular building to stay in.
A modern Islamic hotel interior design is a necessary attraction in the Middle Eastern region. The Islamic culture is rich in history and innovation; specifically in the fields of art and architecture. From complex geometric patterns to beautiful symmetric layouts, a hotel designed in this aesthetic offers not only cultural relevance but also a study in historic value with a modern taste.
In a semi-communal building like a hotel, where people come to experience the vernacular but expect not to compromise on the modernity, it is important to use a dual ‘modern Islamic’ aesthetic.
Another important thing to consider is that everything in nature has an inherent logic – a basic symmetry that defies logic, and has become the Holy Grail of every designer. We now know that to be ‘The Golden Ratio’ and it has been the blueprint for every ancient Islamic architectural design for a more than we can remember. The best example of this is the legendary Temple of Solomon. Although it doesn’t exist anymore, simulated realities show that it captured the essence of the Golden Ratio quite beautifully.


A similar ratio has been used in the design of the Pyramids in Egypt, and the work of renowned artists, engineers, and architects; specifically Leonardo Da Vinci. Many even call this ratio the ‘Design of the Universe’ and maybe it is – all I have to say is that capturing this universal logic in the making of your modern Islamic hotel interior design can be a mathematical culmination of beauty that will automatically appeal to the senses of your clients and guests.
From complex geometric patterns to beautiful symmetric layouts, a hotel designs in this aesthetic will definitely offer a cultural relevance and a study in historic value with a modern taste. Further, let’s take a look at what exactly this style of an interior design can offer, and how you can implement it!


The ‘how to’ and ‘whys’ of a modern Islamic hotel interior design

1. Offering cultural value

Every hotel interior design should offer some cultural or traditional value to its guests as an attraction. People know what they want; they communicate in pairs, and word of mouth can be an important factor in attracting a lot of guests. They want to experience the formality of a traditional hotel, but with modern amenities. So the modern Islamic hotel interior design style offers a delicate compromise of both. It emulates a traditional aesthetic and artfully merges it with modern accouterments. For example, a traditional Islamic style courtyard planning can fit in very well in a large modern hotel lobby. However, it should be noted that the ‘modern’ here represents abstract concepts such as smart technology, simple or functional furniture, window therapies and more.

2. A standardized quality control

It is extremely important to deliver on qualitative value while crafting a modern Islamic hotel interior design. Here are some of the things you should take into account while mulling over the design:

  • Intrinsic quality: This refers to the inherent value of any item. The value of a modern Islamic hotel interior can be judged by the quality of Islamic and modern features that the guests are presented with. You cannot feature both of these aesthetics at face value. There needs to be a balance, a rhythm, a scale and some proportion in the mix.
  • Condition: This refers to the maintenance and appearance of an item. There is a reason people say that the first impression is the last impression. If your guests are wowed by a first glance, then they’re going to want to explore more. Furthermore, proper maintenance can make the difference between a subpar and excellent qualitative value.
  • Physical & Personal Comfort: This is an assessment of whether the quality of an item detracts from the comfort of the user. With a modern Islamic hotel interior design, you have to be especially careful about not letting the quality or authenticity get in the way of comfort. An overly large or overly decorative bedroom can make a guest uncomfortable. Similarly, you should make sure that an abundance of ornamentation doesn’t take away from the psychological comfort of any of the hotel spaces.
  • Attention to detail: The Islamic style of architecture and interior design is all about interpreting detail in a subtle but impactful manner. But in a hotel, aside from the physical and decorative detailing, it is important to ensure that the guests experience the specialty of the relevant aesthetic without compromising any of the physical or psychological comforts.
  • Ergonomics: Once again, it is important to make sure that there is a fine balance between the aesthetics and the usability. The guest experience is enhanced by wonderment and choice. So make sure to artfully balance out the intricacies of the modern Islamic aesthetic with the ergonomics of a user-friendly layout.
  • Presentation: We may tell everybody not to judge a book by its cover – but when the cover is actually the identity or the branding, then it matters. The modern Islamic hotel interior design is basically a blurb. It’s attracting the guests with a promise – a very specific message. It says; “I offer the best of Islamic culture, the richest of authentic aesthetic and I don’t compromise on the modern. Come hither!” Therefore, it is important that the presentation matches the promise.

3. The Importance In GCC Countries

Middle Eastern countries – especially Saudi Arabia, thrive on tourism. Each year, there is an abundance of pilgrims that come to stay in the city. So hotels have a special place in such countries. It is important to remember that these people have come specifically to enjoy the tradition of that country. They want to revel in the authenticity of their aesthetic, so the concept of a modern Islamic hotel interior design is especially important there.


4. The ‘How to?’ of Islamic & Modern

The delivery is extremely important when you’re working with such an intrinsic concept. The idea of Islamic and modern aesthetics is completely juxtaposed, so striking the perfect balance is extremely important. Let’s look at how each of these counterparts can contribute to a wholesome image in the execution of a modern Islamic hotel interior design:

– Islamic:

a.  Atmosphere
People who are traveling into a country want to experience the culture of the country they are in, like if a Chinese traveler comes to London, they are not seeking a Chinese experience in the hotel, they want to experience a London feeling. Similar is the case with Islamic countries. Don’t be too obviously contemporary. Use divans instead of sofas, domes instead of regular old false ceilings, and authentic finishes as opposed to contemporary ones to create the right atmosphere in your modern Islamic hotel.


b. Ornamentation
Islamic architecture has some incredible impactful design elements. These include the Iwan, the mashraba, geometry, domes, minarets, and arches. These physical design entities can lend an authentic aura to your modern Islamic hotel interior design.

c. Aesthetic
Islamic art used to be a very inherent feature of any such designs. Of course, it never featured any human figures. Instead, it was highly conceptual and artistic. It features intricate landscapes, beautiful still-life, and absolutely stunning calligraphy. You can definitely emulate the Islamic aesthetic by carefully imbuing artwork.

d. Layout
There is always an epic symmetry in Islamic style buildings. You can study the great Mughal or Spanish architecture to get a feel for the layout and implement it in a hotel design setting.

e. Eco-friendly & Sustainable Design
Did you know that the very first mosque in Medina was a construct of leaf roofs and clay walls? Islam appreciates nature; therefore, it is important that we translate that appreciation through modern means.

Eco-friendly design is usually for countries with a more civil and industrial defunct. It is for countries that are trying to use their existing products to get a more user-friendly environment – you can look at the Bahrain World Trade Center as the perfect example of an eco-friendly Middle Eastern kingdom.
However, sustainability is a concept that is used very moderately in rich countries like the UAE or KSA. You should, however, use it in a modern Islamic hotel interior design to make your building more self-sufficient, up-to-date and stand-out.

f. Color scheme
Colors, materials, textures, and patterns are all an intrinsic part of bringing in that authentic ambiance inside your modern Islamic hotel interior design. Islamic architecture and interiors embrace the warmer side of the color palate with occasional splashes of jewel tones like rust, green, red and blue. If you implement a cool contemporary color scheme while trying to emulate an Islamic ambiance, then it’s never going to work.

–  Modern:

a. Function:
A hotel design may not be purely functional entity, but there needs to be some semblance of logic to the whole layout and planning systems. The blueprint needs to be flexible and adaptable – it needs to embrace the functional and pragmatic aspects of the hotel design business. Space should feel communal, safe and proportional aside from thematic.

b. Ergonomics:
Being user-friendly is always a giant pro in any hotel design. So when you’re trying to be thematic, it is crucial that you not overlook the ergonomics. A modern Islamic hotel interior design needs to be physical, psychologically and physiologically user-friendly to embrace its modernity.

c. Technology:
Just because part of the thematic value comes from an age-old design concept, doesn’t mean you cannot incorporate technology. In fact, the technological aspect is the most prominent part of the modern counterpart of a modern Islamic hotel. You can incorporate trendy reception equipment, creative room allotment systems and more to embrace this particular side of the modern counterpart.

d. Flexibility: Flexibility means you can use the interior spaces in different ways, and how you use can it. This is an abstract modern concept and it allows you to make the spaces modular. For example, you can sit in different ways, have a quick lunch, or meeting etc. You have to have a feeling as a customer that you can personalize your experience and use the space as you like and need it. Everything is not set and decided for you.

e. Longevity:
For hotels, it’s important to be long-lasting (20 to 25 years). So it is essential that you make sure your hotel is classic and adaptable enough to be ‘in the zone’ for a long period of time.

We want you to understand the knowledge and reason behind the Islamic art and understudying the “Why” while emulating the experience of modern in your hotels. You can combine these together for a new trend of hotel design in any GCC country, especially in Saudi Arabia.

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Comments (4)

Very nice

Great balance between asethtics, usability, and preserving Islamic cuture. Excellent Article from excellent Interior designer.

Dear Mr. Yousef Thank you so much!!! We’re also so pleased that enjoyed your recent student coffee shop project together with our technical team. We hope to be at your service again for future projects. Best/ Mary

Beautifully done, and great work !!!

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