Nature, Serenity, An Ocean Paradise

Here comes the post about my main purpose for going to MYS this year.  The World’s Premier of the latest Superyacht by Benetti, the 55 metre aluminium and steel body, “Ocean Paradise”.

Although it was one of the biggest Superyachts on display here, what unique and truly iconic about this vessel was the interior design and spatial organisation of the yacht itself.

Unlike others on display, Ocean Paradise interior design concept was one of Minimalism.  The only yacht here with contemporary design direction, and might have been the first in the world.  It was certainly a fresh and novel experience to finally see a progress in Superyacht interior design front.

The balance between Transparency and Opacity played a significant role in bringing about the openness and harmonious relationship between the interior of the yacht and its surrounding sea.  Full height floor-to-ceiling windows were used as much as possible along the main deck and master bedroom.  Only when bulwarks had to be there did the windows became smaller, but these were still three-quarter of the floor-to-ceiling height.  The results were not only ample daylight in every living space, but also fantastic views of the horizon and the sea anywhere on board.  According to one of Benetti’s designers who hosted me, this was achieved by intense study and development of the height of the opaque elements, and the use of plexiglass and crystal skylights, whilst minimising the bulwarks required.

Large full height windows along the Salon dining area provides uninterupted view of the sea and horizon beyond.
Another full height glass windows and doors along the Master Bedroom provides ample daylight into the space.
Lounger on the Balcony of the Master Bedroom

Minimal Ocean Paradise might be, but cold it was certainly not.  The play of different textures combined with soft neutral tones in the interior finishes, and a well designed lighting scheme gave it a warm, homely, relaxing feel, yet still luxurious, instead of the usual traditional formality seen in so many yachts.  In this sense, I felt that the interior design of Ocean Paradise was truly avante garde and certainly set a high standard for future superyachts to follow.  The overall feel and sense of space on Ocean Paradise reminded me of a combination of contemporary beach villa style of living widely found in South East Asia, and chic boutique hotels in the US, such as Andre Balaz’s The Standard in downtown LA and Hollywood.

The Salon with bespoke curvaceous sofa lounger
Hallway leading to TV Lounge and Master Bedroom with Bespoke wall panels and minimal design
Custom made sofa in TV Room
Leather Panels with bespoke stitching details in the TV Room
Master Bedroom
Master Bedroom Ensuite and Dressing Quarter
Bath tub in the Master Bedroom with full height glass partition for uninterrupted view into the Master Bedroom
First Guest Bedroom with Movable Beds
King size beds slide apart to separate into 2 single beds in First Guest Bedroom
Dressing Table in First Guest Bedroom
Second Guest Bedroom
Space saving foldable dressing table in Second Guest Bedroom

There were a few details that I found rather dated such as the overuse of really bold coloured leather panels with diamond stitching details in the bedrooms, even on parts of the ceiling; purple and red LED ceiling lights in the bedrooms, which made these beautifully designed and detailed suites felt almost like low budget urban boutique hotel rooms, which was a shame when the play of light and space, as well as standard of craftsmanship were so beautifully executed everywhere else.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved leather paneling both for walls and floors.  When such detail was executed properly, they looked beautiful and added both sophistication and elegance to any interiors.  Unfortunately, it was not quite the case here.

Having said that, I particular liked the little zen garden surrounding the central stairwell, which brought freshness and greenery on board.  It was also a novel idea to have a little garden on sea.  However, I wasn’t sure how easily it could be maintained since the garden was in glass enclosure, but still, it added a sense of tranquility to the space.

Zen garden in glass enclosure surrounding the Staircore
Detail of leather upholstered stair treads with shadow lighting

This was a Superyacht designed for the ultimate entertainment experience, with extensive gaming, sporting and social facilities on offer.  The more I walked around and explored the yacht, the more I felt like I was transported into a movie set in Austin Powers or James Bond!  It certainly had the feel of a trendy boutique hotel geared up for really wild parties rather than a family yacht.  One could imagine the kind of guests on board this yacht would most likely be the young, glamorous models, jet-set socialite crowd in their early twenties who just loved to party hard.  When I asked my Benetti host, he kindly explained that the owner of Ocean Paradise was a young gentleman in his early thirties… So that explained why the whole yacht felt like a playboy’s mansion at sea… it was, in deed, designed to be a millionaire playboy bachelor’s pad!

Lounge Area on the Upper Deck
Game table in the Lounge Area of the Upper Deck
Outdoor Lounge Area on the Upper Deck
Outdoor Dining Area on the Upper Deck
Jacuzzi with waterfall feature on the Top Deck
Lounge Area by the Jacuzzi on the Top Deck
Sun lounge on the Top Deck
Dining table on the Top Deck

Even though there were small details that were not particularly to my taste, I had to admit that overall, I really loved what the Benetti design team and Mr. Lee had done with Ocean Paradise.  Unlike all the other Superyachts on display here at MYS, this one was young, fun and sexy… A definite breath of fresh air in Superyacht interior design…  I might have complaint about the red and black leather headboards in the bedrooms, but I could not deny that the Master Bedroom was lush, really sexy and glamorous, especially the bath tub area… whilst the main lounge and dining room as well as everywhere else were just oozing with an air of youthful sophistication, that could not be found anywhere else…

A week on board Ocean Paradise, would really be an Ocean Paradise!

Post my tour of Ocean Paradise and Lady Candy, I would like to thank the design team at Benetti Yachts and their agent Benetti America for taking their time to educate me in luxury yacht interior design and construction; letting me be one of the very first few people to experience Ocean Paradise and Lady Candy first hand; as well as introducing me to the Ocean Paradise owner Mr. Adrian Lee, a Singaporean businessman who was behind the avant garde interior concept of this iconic yacht.


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