The recent opening of Al Joud Hotel in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, quickly follows several J/Brice Design International engagements in the Kingdom that include the first Kempinski Hotel, several eateries, family entertainment venues, and a royal family villa.
J/Brice Design International created an affordable boutique hotel ambiance for Al Joud Boutique Hotel, that delivers an upscale experience for Muslim faithful who journey to the holy city during the Hajj—the annual religious event in which all Muslims strive to participate.
According to Jeffrey Brice Ornstein, whose firm is based in Jeddah and Boston, “Since the pilgrimage is the holiest event for devout Muslims who come from all walks of life, we wanted guests enjoy an upscale feeling during their often once-in a lifetime journey. We’ve succeeded by creating an upscale 21st Century environment for a global market that serves guests from both wealthy and poorer countries.”
While rated at three stars, hospitality insiders report that the 124-guestroom hotel, located among pricier properties, offers superior finishes, fixtures and amenities and delivers greater value than other comparably rated hotels in the vicinity of the sacred shrine of Kaaba and other of Mecca’s religious sites.
“An Arabian motif is carried out throughout the property in natural, high-end materials—walnut, alabaster and marble. Contemporary crystal lighting fixtures add elegance to a lobby furnished with inviting upholstered pieces in understated sand and desert sunset hues. Custom carpeting repeats the patterns in umber and orange tones set against a marble floor, all of which draw upon the palate of Arabian sunsets,” explained Ornstein.
Earlier, J/Brice directed the interior design of the upscale Kempinski Towers that opened in Al Khobar, KSA in 2015 as well as The Grand Heritage Hotel and Spa in Doha, Qatar. Ornstein added, “Over a dozen years ago we made a strong commitment to the Arab World. We developed a sensitivity to the region, absorbing everything from religion, classic art, music and design to popular culture. Being asked to design a hotel whose primary goal is to appeal to devout Muslims is an honor and culmination of our ability to internalize the Arabian sensibilities and esthetics.”
Ornstein added, “We are currently working on a spectrum of projects that include a 100,000 square-foot palace on the Red Sea, an upscale café chain opening 15-plus a year with planned expansion to 3,000 locations on the Arab peninsula, and in Jeddah a Planetarium, a 35,000 square-foot video arcade, and an Aquarium.
Founded in 1989, and with engagements totaling $5 billion USD, ranks J/Brice Design International among the top three largest independent hospitality design firms in the New York-Washington Corridor, with luxury properties throughout the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean and throughout the United States.