One of the first things Ugur Talayhan, above, did when he arrived 2016 at SWISSOTEL THE BOSPHORUS, in his native Istanbul, was to cover in the outside terrace of the popular all-day brasserie of the 501-room hotel. Because of the steep lie of this 55 acre plot of land, the terrace, which is one floor down from the ground floor lobby, looks down over the surrounding greenery. As the image shows, Talayhan has added foliage, real of course, to the inside of the covered-over area. With good lighting and sympathetic music loops, the space, now called Sabrosa, is a popular all-day and evening venue in its own right.
In Florida, THE SETAI MIAMI BEACH invested in a bespoke rollaway ceiling for its central courtyard – the tarpaulin can be electronically pulled back, or forth, in a matter of minutes. Here too, the return on investment was miraculously short. Diners, wherever, love choosing an outdoor venue knowing that if it looks like rain a ceiling can be pulled over almost instantaneously.
Cruise ships led the way. A decade ago the aft deck behind the casual dining on most vessels was lovely for outdoor breakfast, hypnotically watching the wake disappear behind you. Sudden at-sea deluges, however, could cause momentary havoc. One or two stand-up umbrellas began to appear, and then came bigger, permanent umbrellas, and now such leading luxury cruise lines as Regent Seven Seas RSSC have permanent tarpaulins covering a large part of that deck. The same thing happened at WALDORF ASTORIA BEVERLY HILLS. Its rooftop Jean-Georges Vongerichten eating place needed cover, not from rain but from bright sun that could have harmed facelifted diners. Permanent ‘temporary look’ umbrellas solved the problem.
While cynics might say cover up a bit more and you end up with an actual tent situation, the overall message seems to be if you have a suitable space, cover it up.