What is the story behind Marina Royale? As a subproject of the resort complex Baltica Royale, embedded in the bay near the Polish town Darlowo, it is POC Partners’ first major step on the road abroad. One they are taking with an international team of experts, among whom creative director and brand strategist Henry Chebaane. “My work is about creating links between the real and surreal planes. It’s about creating a story.” And the story of Marina Royale is …
As the brand strategist of Baltica Royale and Marina Royale, how did you approach the concept development of the resort complex?
“When you create the master brand for a specific project, it means you develop one consistent storyline to which you connect all the architectural, artistic and design elements, from the guest houses down to the spoons in the restaurants. A resort with a strong storyline invites its guests to really connect to and marvel about their surroundings. Can they sense the sea in the nautical details and the varying shades of blue in Marina Royale? Do they feel like they just entered a different world? Ultimately, it’s the experience of its guests that makes a resort come alive.”
Where did the inspiration for Marina Royale’s story and design come from?
“Marina Royale is one of three future resorts within the Baltica Royale complex, the other two being Riviera Royale and Viridia Royale. As the name suggests, Marina Royale focuses on the seaside experience, while the others are set more inland. The creative challenge for me was the introduction of the Baltic coast in our story. It doesn’t have the typical warm sea and sandy beaches, but there’s a mysterious beauty in its wilder coastline and unique sunlight. So I approached Marina Royale as a hidden kingdom by the sea, taking elements from local history and legend, besides the maritime characteristics.”
Is the international character of this project also present in your concept?
“The Polish-Belgian connection is definitely there, in the maritime traits itself. One of the things Poland and Belgium have in common, is their history of nautical travel and trade. I could easily imagine someone setting sail from, for example, Knokke or Nieuwpoort to Darlowo to seek their fortune and build a new life on the Baltic coast, perhaps even start a small business there. That’s why one of the places to eat out near the beach in Marina Royale is actually named ‘Strand’ and offers fries and waffles. I love to create experiences in which reality and imagination connect.”
Customer experience is clearly very important in your work. Which feeling do you want to offer the guests?
“I want to inspire a shared sense of amazement, as if the guests became part of something unique the moment they arrived. This is a very good basis to create a social community, which I want to further encourage in the resort’s facilities. Marina Royale offers various eating possibilities, such as the Lido beach café and the Dall’ Uovo trattoria. It also has the Aqua Regina spa and the Kaczuszki (“little duck”) kids’ club. To me, it’s all about motivating guests to relax, open up and interact with each other.”
And how did you experience the collaboration with POC Partners for this project?
“It’s very clear to me that POC Partners loves this project and the region in which we’re bringing it to life. In my experience, we share a lot of traits: devotion, passion, a cool head when needed and a profound belief in the success of Baltica Royale.”