I first visited Whatley Manor on the edge of the Cotswolds, 7 or 8 years ago, on behalf of Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine. I have a lot to be thankful to that publication for, as it helped me gain access to several high profile hotels and restaurants such as Sketch and Petrus, providing a springboard to lots more work in that sector.
My design client So Design asked me to revisit recently as they are about to overhaul the hotel’s website. The hotel is famed for its Michelin starred dining, its wonderful spa, and pretty location, but I was there to shoot some of the bedrooms, all of which are individually styled, but currently receive scant attention on the website. Unlike a more corporate hotel where rooms may be pretty standard throughout, and one image might apply to a dozen rooms, here the different styles, scales and layouts required more thought.
The first suite to be shot was a dramatic space with a huge mezzanine sitting area under the eaves above. It was awkward space to shoot, but with key elements which gave it real character, such as this imposing stone mullioned window.
After getting all the general room shots that were required, we were about to proceed to the next room, when an open door on the mezzanine suddenly cast an interesting light on a corner I hadn’t intended to shoot. With a little bit of styling, I think we ended up with the most interesting and inviting shot of the room.
While it’s important for a customer to see a room as a whole, often it’s the little details, corners or atmosphere that really sell a space.
Then again, sometimes size is important.