September 17, 2015
The only thing better than a Roger Thomas design is a Roger Thomas redesign.
Noting the continuing needs of hotels of the size and popularity of the Wynn establishments in the U.S. and China, company design head Roger Thomas explained to The New Yorker a few years ago that “I’m always trying to build a better mousetrap.” Elaine Wynn, the ex-wife of Roger’s boss and then still a director of the resort company, told the magazine, “Nobody is better at giving a room a facelift.”
Some sense of that skill comes through in one of Roger’s recent projects, updating the popular, Michelin-starred (actually, two in the 2013 edition) Cantonese restaurant at the company’s Macau hotel. Wing Lei works hard all day, offering what reviews say is some of the territory’s tastiest dim sum and an array of Cantonese favorites through the evening (a set menu is about $150 a person). Roger and his Wynn team in Las Vegas and China kept the vibrant opulence of the original, but lightened the intensity of the color palette while adding rich new textures in the fabrics, table linens and wallcoverings.
Roger kept the 134-seat main dining room’s signature feature, a nine-yard long crystal dragon, but reimagined every other detail in colors he calls “Coral Red and Imperial Yellow.”
For the drapery fabric, he turned to a close friend, Timothy Corrigan (another Design Commerce Agency client). The Los Angeles designer custom-colored one of his fabrics from his collection for F. Schumacher. Los Angeles-based Robert Crowder and Co., a specialist in wallcovering for hospitality markets, crafted a metallic bouclé on hand looms for the walls.
Roger’s own new “Lido” fabric for S. Harris, along with textiles by Italy’s Rubelli, cover the furnishings. Custom frame embroidered-linens to match the embroidery on the chairs was sourced from Settings by Mona, a Las Vegas-based linen specialist.
Roger himself designed the dining chairs, made by Edward Ferrell + Lewis Mittman. Chairs may be the most important element in the room — for the economic impact as well as the visual. “If a chair isn’t working, if it isn’t quite as comfortable as it should be, then I’ll know about it, because people won’t sit there,” Roger explained to The New Yorker in 2012. “They’ll go somewhere else.”
If you’re hungry for great Cantonese food, we’ll wager there’s no place more comfortable to sit in Macau.