26 Dec MACq 01: A Storytelling Hotel
Every story begins somewhere and at the MACq 01 hotel in Tasmania, design elements have the power to tell far more about a place than just its level of opulence… They can tell a whole story. At this luxurious hotel you are able to escape to a different time and place where we learn about the culture of the First Tasmanians from the moment you walk past the vast blue walls of the entryway with contour maps etched on the doors representing the ocean crossed by the Europeans. We asked MACq 01’s General Manager, Jake Smith, some questions to dive deeper into the concept of hotel and here’s what he had to say!
The rooms at MACq 01 are designed around five Tasmanian character traits. Can you state what these are and explain the design concept/aesthetic behind each of these?
“Colorful & Quirky, Curious & Creative, Fighting & Believer, Grounded, yet Exceptional and Hearty & Resilient. These traits have informed every decision throughout the hotel since it was first imagined – guest experience, interior design, digital assets, tone-of-voice of communications, team attraction strategy, menu design, procurement, and beyond. Each room has its individual character introduced on the door, by way of bronze plaque, illustration, and story. Upon entering, there’s a glass nook filled with artifacts relating to that character and a longer version of their story. The rest of the room is designed to represent it’s character’s trait… For example, the hearty & resilient rooms are furnished with raw materials and muted tones; contrasting the curious & creative rooms that featured bright colors and reflective surfaces. But all rooms are similarly spacious and share the same relaxed luxuries of king beds, soft couches, merino throws, plush carpet, large windows and decks, dark slate bathrooms and maxi-minibars.”
Why was it important to capture the history of First Tasmanians in the hotel’s design concept? What about their culture/lifestyle was it necessary to speak to?
“MACq 01 has provided a public platform for the group mina-nina, perhaps our most meaningful community engagement, who are working towards resurrecting the Tasmanian indigenous dialect. The wonderful upshot of communicating these stories and design elements of spears, kangaroo skins and a bark canoe has meant MACq 01 has become a platform for Tasmania’s native community to convey an important message: Tasmanian aboriginals are not extinct, but alive and thriving in our society.”
You mention, “the design is not about a literal translation of our Tasmanian characters, but rather a building of intrigue and curiosity about these folk”. How does this create an unforgettable experience for guests?
“What’s fantastic about the design of MACq 01’s hotel is that guests can choose how much they are immersed in the storytelling theme – we like to think of the stories we tell as being an open book, which guests can choose to read or not. We have full time storytelling teams and daily storytelling tours of the doors and hallways of the hotel. This unique experience showcases Tasmanian history and culture in a theatrical, authentic and holistic way, which is consistent with our mission to create lifelong memories for all our visitors.”