Lifestyle

Arabian nights in Lilya

Lilya

Creating a space inspired by faraway cultures is no easy task. Get it wrong and you might end up with a design that looks more like a superficial copy rather than one that transports visitors to another realm. This is very much not the case at Moroccan lounge and bar Lilya, which opened on Wyndham Street in May. “I have been lucky enough to travel to other Arab countries with similar cultures, landscapes and markets [to Morocco and North Africa],” says Anita Lopez, director of design at Dining Concepts, who created the lounge’s interiors together with general manager, Moroccan native Tom Brusse. The design came together over a mere four months, from conception to completion.

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The majority of the decor — from silk tassels to mosaics of traditional zellige tiles bedecking the walls — was sourced directly from Morocco and hand-crafted by local artisans. The brass door at the entrance was created by artisans from Marrakesh in a style that’s usually commissioned for five-star hotels, palaces and luxury residences.  Renowned Marrakesh artist Yahya Rouach, who has created pieces for Moroccan royalty, designed the ornate lamps that hang from the ceiling. 

“Morocco has so many beautiful accessories and decorative pieces that are very unique because of the delicate artisanal work,” explains Lopez. “It is very hard — and expensive! — to copy their work in Hong Kong. Therefore, we decided to get all the lighting, panels, doors and other decorative items from Morocco. Tom spent a month there checking that all the works were done according to our specifications. We were very lucky that he knew exactly where to find them.”


Lilya


Lilya

The 1,820-square-feet of space is divided into several areas. The 90-seat lounge is the star of the show, featuring a warm colour palette of lush reds and earthy tones as well as comfortable yet elegant low-slung furniture. Venture further and you’ll discover a 15-seat private room painted in blue, where two handcrafted cabinets and playful celebrity photos reside. Finally, there’s the 156-square-foot white terrace, where neutral-hued seating and a geometric-patterned floor don’t distract from views of the city, showcased by accordion windows. The flexible layout allows visitors to move easily from reclining on the couches to sipping cocktails and chatting at the bar.


Lilya


Lilya


Lilya

The nightlife spot serves up a menu of Moroccan delights such as tangine and saddle of lamb, but the main event is the carefully crafted cocktail menu. (The Ali Baba even comes with a smoking genie lamp.) “We want partygoers to have a fun, very authentic Moroccan experience,” continues Lopez. “Moroccan design is recognised for its richness of patterns and brightness of its colours. The harmony between these elements creates a unique style.” Indeed, the design elements of Lilya have all come together to create a slice of North Africa right in the middle of Hong Kong. “You can really feel the soul of the old town of Marrakech,” Lopez concludes.


Lilya


Lilya


Lilya

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