Inside Bisha, Charles Khabouth’s slick new hotel in the Entertainment District
Stepping into Bisha, the newly opened Blue Jays Way hotel by nightclub maven Charles Khabouth and Lifetime Developments, is like entering the abode of a Saudi Arabian prince. The space was designed by Studio Munge (the firm behind the look of Figo and several other Khabouth restaurants), and the main floor has crushed velvet walls, mosaic marble flooring, hypnotic artwork and an intimate, dimly lit atmosphere conducive to slick business deals and saucy affairs. The building is a hotel and condo hybrid, with floors nine to 42 containing luxe one- and two-bedroom apartments.
On the 44th floor, there’s Kōst, an epic rooftop restaurant and patio with panoramic city and lake views. Anyone who’s been lounging too long downstairs will be practically blinded by the white oak walls, ivory ceramic tabletops and floor-to-ceiling windows (which look out onto an infinity pool, with the CN Tower in the background). Directly below is a private events space that can fit 230 guests. The seventh floor’s hotel suites, to be completed in October, will be entirely designed by Lenny Kravitz (yes, he’s a designer now).
Here’s what we saw at the hotel’s official grand opening, earlier this week.
The tower was designed by Wallman Architects, who preserved the red brick facade of the building that came before:
Outside, two symmetrical art installations, by Japanese sculptural artist Jun Kaneko, line the entranceway:
The lobby’s custom-cut flooring is a mix of two types of marble: nero marquina and bianco carrara. The ceiling installation is hand-blown glass by Toronto artist Jeff Goodman:
Guests pass through thick velvet curtains to enter the lobby bar. The bar top is made from onyx, with a leather front:
Here’s the bar’s lounge area, with brushed oak floors, black velvet wall panels and some trippy Damien Hirst and Alexander McQueen scarves hanging on the wall:
A standard hotel room (which starts around $400 per night) has custom furniture, including a velvet couch and a glossy, Art Deco-inspired armoire:
The fine Frette linens have a thread count of 300:
The bathrooms have toiletries by Byredo, including their new Bal D’Afrique fragrance:
Here’s Kōst, a bright restaurant with a seasonal menu inspired by the Baja Peninsula. It’s helmed by chef Ben Heaton. All the artwork was curated by Grace Zeppilli, of art and accessories consultancy GZ International:
The ceramic-topped tables have quite the view:
The kitchen looks out onto the dining room. Currently on the menu: peach salad, tuna tartare and roasted tofu.
Swimmers have the ultimate VIP seats to Blue Jays games:
This post originally said, incorrectly, that Akira Back is the head chef at Kost. In fact, Kost's chef is Ben Heaton. Back will be helming a separate restaurant on Bisha's second floor.