Grand Design: Hirsch Bedner Associates Help Rebrand Hyatt

The first Hyatt-branded hotel in Northeast China pays tribute to history while offering a modern twist.

Hirsch Bedner Associates

Global hospitality interior design company Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) combined ancient culture with vibrant modernity when establishing the aesthetics for Grand Hyatt Shenyang, the first Hyatt-branded hotel in Northeast China which opened several months ago.

The hotel is comprised of nine restaurants plus 353 luxurious rooms and suites, some of which are considered to be the most spacious in the city. The HBA team’s design vision was rooted in Shenyang and reflects its people, history, and prominence as an international business hub.

Hirsch Bedner Associates - Grand Hyatt

business  Shenyang and reflectin  ering modern styling. its HBA’s design of the Grand Hyatt Shenyang is thoughtfully multi-layered, integrating contemporary brand standards with influences of the region’s cultural history, economic vitality, and dramatic physical presence. The HBA team embraced the idea of coming “home” to a hotel and transformed the property into a second home-like destination for business and leisure travelers, as well as affluent locals.

“We studied local architecture and historic sites very closely,” notes Connie Puar, a partner at the HBA Singapore office, which handled the project. “We interacted with the people and paid close attention to their way of life in order to fully capture the essence of this vibrant city.  The resulting design pays homage to the culture of Shenyang in a thought-provoking, design-forward way.”

“We wanted guests to feel that there is a new discovery with every experience through provoking personal spaces,” adds Agnes Ng, an associate at HBA Singapore. “We picked moments of drama coupled with moments of calm — it’s important to strike a balance between excitement and refinement.”

 Welcome Home

For the Arrival Lobby, the HBA team wanted the design to foster an intimate interaction between international guests and life in Shenyang. Soaring nearly 40 feet high, the walls are clad in the subtle hue of cream limestone.  Scaling this backdrop is a bronze screen inspired by Shenyang’s thriving industrial and manufacturing activity.

Grand Hyatt Shenyang Architectural Lighting

This latticework of interlocking metal rectangles serves as a recurring design element throughout the hotel.  The lattice makes an immediate visual connection, inviting guests to gaze upward, where three tiers of open lofts span the walls like oversized bookshelves. These lofty ledges showcase bright white sculptures crafted exclusively for the property that represent “life” in Shenyang.

 Warm Reception

Situated on the 25th floor, the Reception Lobby broadens the theme of a warm enclave in Shenyang. It is here where an atmosphere of “warmth” dovetails with the idea of “home.”

Emerging from the elevators, visitors take in the open expanse of views and the subtle reminders of ancient Shenyang within modern surrounds.  The organic angularity of bronze screens from the Arrival Lobby continues here as a visual bridge between the levels.


Illuminated from below, the reception desk features intricate carving inspired by motifs from Shenyang’s Imperial Palace.  The carpet’s bold violets echo the majesty and splendor of the Qing Dynasty, while lacey wisps of orange evoke the royal Peony flower. This regal color scheme imparts an imperial ceremony of sorts, witnessed on the walls.

High above the Reception Lobby are a pair of tall, ornately carved wooden panels.  The ambiance creates a theatrical portrayal of the words “Grand Hyatt, which translate to “Royal Banquet” and “Hunting” — leisure activities associated with aristocracy.  Its fine detailing and craftsmanship beckons guests to explore the halls, as a castle tapestry might.  Within this space is the Lobby Lounge, distinguished by a graceful sweep of a carved bar, framed by the bronze screens and capped by a dramatic chandelier.  A towering composition of glistening crystal glass cubes are suspended, resembling a frozen waterfall.

 Careful Balance

In every corner, nature’s textures and forms are balanced.  Blonde timber lends a calming backdrop to the walls, while dark tones play against the contrast of buff stones on the floor, defining the space. Where gleaming marble meets natural timbers and sparkling crystals mingle with ancient crafts, luxury is tempered by subtlety — achieving a harmonious balance.

Grand Hyatt - Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA)

Be Our Guest

The Grand Hyatt Shenyang boasts 353 guest rooms that were envisioned to be less like hotel rooms and more like living spaces of functional luxury.  The palette is exclusively accomplished in natural tones and hues. Gently sheened light timber panels adorn the walls.  Light creamy brown Lati and grey sycamore wood panels from Italy were specified to convey understatement and refinement. Flanking the left side of the bed is a custom-designed desk that displays hints of detail from the bronze screens adorning the lobbies.  The guest bathroom is a very contemporary space; corner mirrors create depth and layering.  Cream Travertine walls and golden bronze Onice Canyon vanity counters create a perfect balance.

 Homey Meeting Rooms

The HBA team’s design of the Grand Hyatt Shenyang elevates the lounge areas into true living spaces. The meeting rooms have all of the comforts of home, complete with loft kitchen and bar.  Oversized opium sofas, antique Chinese cabinetry, and leather ottomans are paired with decorative accents while warm lighting transforms these perfunctory spaces into inviting areas. The meeting rooms themselves defy convention as well. They, too, are more like living rooms in which guests can work and play.

The two levels of meeting rooms also employ the living room concept.  Conceived to provide two distinct guest experiences, a tasteful combination and application of materials was used to distinguish each level.

 Spacious Spa

The living room concept is woven throughout the hotel’s Spa as well.  Inside, the Chairman’s Suite treatment room is part of a suite of two treatment rooms joined by a spacious and comfortable light-filled living room and open pantry.

The Spa at the Grand Hyatt Shenyang is inspired by the poetic shifting of seasons. The walls are covered in a natural distressed wood panel, styled as if reclaimed from an ancient house in Shenyang.  A linear fireplace rests in a contemporary textured stone hearth. Crema Marfil split stone and reclaimed wood line the walls in the public areas, while Lati grey timber and Bianco Statuario marble highlight the treatment rooms, which have a palette of clean whites and grays to impart a sense of tranquility.

Sparkling under a skylight, the indoor pool is awash with natural lighting. Thanks to the skylight, guests may relax under a summer sky, soak under a sheet of white snow, or bathe under the glow of winter moonlight.

“It has been a great honor for HBA to work on Grand Hyatt, Shenyang in collaboration with China Resources and Hyatt. Both ownership and operator have been very supportive during the design process,” Puar remarks. “The fruits of this close partnership are evident and we couldn’t be more pleased with the result.”

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