Alessandro Munge on the Future of Hospitality Design

Addressing Multi-layered Solutions to Changing Needs with IDS

Studio Munge: Multi-layered Solutions to Changing Needs

We recently spoke to Alessandro Munge of Studio Munge about his recent projects, as well as what the future holds for the world of hospitality design.


Due to the many changes in how we interact, what do you think will be priorities and considerations for designing hospitality in the future?

I think some of those changes are temporary, while others are transitional, some may be permanent. Our strength comes from experiencing the world, witnessing patterns, understanding tribes and human behaviour. While the situation has forced us in physical isolation to protect each other, I still believe humans to be social explorers by nature. People will go back to restaurants; they will travel the world seeking new adventures. However, we will all behave differently, perhaps a little more cautiously.

Hospitality design is about creating a multilayered meaningful, and purposeful solution. This experience should engage the guest on a much deeper level while supporting the ever-evolving operational needs. For example, thoughtfully designed vestibules in restaurants like Amal’s are practical solutions to control flow, facilitating the increase in takeout orders while protecting the dining experience. We are also reinforcing a variation in degrees of privacy – offering a wide range of versatile seating options to suit different parties and their comfort level. Alongside increased sanitation protocols, this guarantees a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.

Technology has allowed our teams and brands to completely reinvent the check-in experience leaving behind long wait lines and overcrowded desks when it comes to hotels. Through their personal devices, reservation stations or greeted by a host, the guest is in control and experiences a more fluid check-in. We also always think about hotel rooms as more than such.

Even when dealing with narrow spaces, we take great pride in planning and curating the space with custom pieces that will accommodate comfortable extended stays integrating lounging, working, dining and entertaining. All designs firms will have their take on new solutions; I envision spaces to be a little more edited with less clutter. We are minimizing accessories to focus on just the right amount of articles to meet the guests’ needs. The guest experience has to rely now more than ever on exciting amenities for leisure travellers and flexibility on interior programming for business travellers accomodating all needs. The pressure on good design will be more evident in the future than ever before!

"...everything in Amal inspires escapism – inviting the guest to explore the infinite possibilities of the starry night ahead."

Alessandro Munge

Can you tell us about your recent project Amal and what were the inspirations behind the space?

Opened August 2020 following over 25 years of creative partnerships, Amal is the latest entertainment heaven by hospitality maverick Charles Khabouth of Ink Entertainment and Studio Munge bringing together families and friends in the (re)discovery of Lebanese culture.

Amal, with its myriad of modernized hand-crafted details, is a feast for the eye – an all-white space harmonized with colourful bursts of pastel blues, mint greens and burned oranges reminiscent of the Mediterranean eastern shores. From the hand-painted ceiling tapestry and murals commissioned by GZ Art Co to the beautifully detailed furnishings, everything in the venue inspires escapism – inviting the guest to explore the infinite possibilities of the starry night ahead. Beautifully exhibiting authentic yet modernized traditional cuisine and design details, Amal is an uplifting celebration of life and an incredibly vibrant expression of Lebanese culture.

Studio Munge based in Toronto, is headed by Alessandro Munge whose firm specializes in luxury residential and hospitality projects.

With an innovative point of view earning him interior design’s leader in hospitality, Contract Magazine’s Designer of the Year Award, and prestigious Ryerson alumni achievement award, Alessandro approaches every project with a deep understanding of practicalities, artistic expression, and human connectivity.

Studio Munge’s local portfolio includes Bisha Hotel & Residences, Akira Back, Kost as well as the revitalisation of Toronto’s Distillery District with Cluny, El Catrin and Madrina. Recent appointments include the Park Hyatt Los Angeles, the Park Hyatt Toronto, Nobu Toronto, Canada’s first canopy hotel by Hilton, Pendry Chicago and Tampa, a Shangri-la hotel and an MGM urban resort in China, as well as several luxury private residences around the world.

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