Virgin Voyages reveals rooftop VIP club, Branson-inspired nightclub, Mexican eatery, outdoor lounges

Top: Signature nightclub The Manor by Roman and Williams. Bottom, from left: Athletic Club by Concrete Amsterdam, Mexican restaurant Pink Agave and Richard's Rooftop, both by Tom Dixon Top: Signature nightclub The Manor by Roman and Williams. Bottom, from left: Athletic Club by Concrete Amsterdam, Mexican restaurant Pink Agave and Richard's Rooftop, both by Tom Dixon

A chic top deck private club exclusively for suite guests, an upscale modern Mexican restaurant, a nightclub inspired by Richard Branson’s history in the music industry and a deck lounge reminiscent of the Hamptons and Ibiza—these are among the first ship spaces revealed by Virgin Voyages.

As well, there are outdoor lifestyle spaces—one with cabanas—focused on relaxation and adult play and The Test Kitchen, with a laboratory-like decor.

Several members of the ship's superstar design collective gave the first glimpse inside a ship Branson has vowed would 'shake up the cruise industry' on Wednesday night in Ian Schrager's East Village hotel Public.

'A lot of calm and a lot of crazy'

The 'modern romance of sailing' is the guiding star for the ship's overall design concept that also celebrates contrasts. High-energy spaces are juxtaposed with areas for rejuvenation and relaxation and will transform between day and night.

'It's a ship full of contrasts, a lot of calm and a lot of crazy ... You can live the lifestyle you like and not the one the brand dictates,' said design collective member Rob Wagemans of Concrete Amsterdam.

Richard's Rooftop for VIPs

Beginning with the top deck, Richard’s Rooftop designed by Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio—known for disruptive designs—will be a chic outdoor lounge for suite guests. This private club features a futuristic aesthetic with circular loungers, giant umbrellas and accents of dichroic glass that will cast shadows of rainbow reflections across the outdoor lounge. There, VIPs can sunbathe and socialize, with a full bar anchoring the space.

Inside the ship, Tom Dixon’s famed pendant lighting will adorn the entryway to Pink Agave, an upscale modern Mexican restaurant by Design Research Studio. Electric blue metallic lighting fixtures will cascade from the ceilings above oversized banquettes that line the dining room’s portholes. An elongated curved lounger centers the room with round tables for two. Pink Agave will feature a bar area in the foyer and a private dining room for larger groups.

The Manor—inspired by first Virgin music studio

Known for their work with celebrity residences and eye-catching hotels like The Standard Highline in New York City, the Roman and Williams design firm was a natural fit to create The Manor, the ship's signature nightclub. Inspired by Richard Branson’s history in the music industry and his first Virgin music studio of the same name, this dance-music-fueled space also takes cues from Studio 54 and has been outfitted with details, platforms and corners that make it a place to see and be seen. With emerald and aubergine undertones and gold accents, The Manor will bring glitz and glamour to sea.

Roman and Williams are also the masterminds behind The Dock, an outdoor lifestyle space with a focus on relaxation, socializing and ocean views. Located all the way aft on Deck 7, The Dock is reminiscent of chic seaside lounges in the Hamptons, Ibiza, Bali and beyond. By day the sun, sea and sailing are the stars and a cold beverage, a book and the view are the perfect companions.

Largest daybed at sea and cabanas

Back atop the ship, relaxation and adult play will meet yachting glamour at the Athletic Club, an outdoor lounge designed by Concrete Amsterdam that celebrates traditional nautical elements. The largest daybed at sea, the white and red striped semi-circular lounger is the perfect spot for sunbathing or star-gazing.

Adjacent to that sprawling daybed is a 220-square-foot area of triple netting where sailors can lay out and overlook the open space and decks below as if they were sailing on a catamaran. The Athletic Club spans both sides on the aft of the ship with 10 cabanas overlooking the ocean and beverage service from the adjacent bar.

Test Kitchen restaurant

Known for incorporating emotion and a bit of eccentricity in their designs, the team at Concrete Amsterdam are the architectural minds behind hotels like citizenM and hotel Zoku as well as eateries like 212 Amsterdam. Their human-centric approach will nudge sailors to focus on the form, function and elements of food at the Test Kitchen restaurant. Concrete Amsterdam designed an inviting entryway with lighting fixture images that mimic the periodic table.

The Test Kitchen’s laboratory-like environment is accented by metallic furniture, sleek lines and finishing touches of beakers, test tubes and flasks. Besides serving as a restaurant, this can double as a cooking school, or a place to learn barista or wine-tasting skills.

Further public spaces and cabins will be revealed throughout the year as Virgin Voyages continues its #shiptease series, where details of the on-board experience are announced in a uniquely Virgin way.

Posted 16 May 2018

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Anne Kalosh

US editor of Seatrade Cruise Review and Seatrade Cruise News

 Europe Exhibitor