Adelaide bar Luma has taken out one of the biggest prizes at the influential Restaurant & Bar Design Awards in London overnight, where it was named best bar. London restaurant Cicchetti won for best overall restaurant.
Luma, an elegant, Art Nouveau-inspired ground floor bar at recently renovated boutique hotel The Playford, is dominated by what designer Hachem calls a “sculptural chandelier” – a sprawling neon light fixture that swirls and curves on the ceiling.
The ceremony also named another five winners for the region, with Luma winning the best restaurant in Australia and the Pacific. It also won the lighting category.
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“Daring and effective. Modern luxury,” judge Ari Kastrati, chief hospitality officer of MGM Resorts International, said of the Luma space. “Incredible lighting detail.”
This year, winners were selected from 1130 entries across 61 countries.
Running for 15 years, the awards are considered one of the most authoritative design competitions of their kind. Forty judges are selected from the top of the global design, hospitality and lifestyle industries to vote on the entries.
Four other Melbourne venues were recognised in the 2022 awards, including restaurant Lona Misa, but no Melbourne venues made the cut in 2023.
However, three Sydney venues won regional categories this year.
The Poernomo brothers’ Koi won best cafe, shabu-shabu restaurant Hanasuki won best standalone venue and neon-lit Tsukiyo, which channels the street food scene of Osaka’s Dotonbori district, won best surface interiors.
Judge Ari Kastrati praised Hanasuki, designed by Eu & Y Architect, for its “minimalistic elegance” and “dramatic lighting”. Judge Sara Kristófersdóttir of Center Hotels described Loopcreative’s Koi space as “raw yet stunning design”. And Aurélie Schwend, a director of interior design for Marriott International’s luxury brands, highlighted the “smart application of materiality and lighting” in Span Design’s concept for Tsukiyo.