CasaSugar: What about Panama inspired the design of the hotel?
Matt Blesso and Adam Rosenberg of the Tantalo Hotel: Casco Viejo (CV) is a landmarked USESCO heritage site, and the vast majority of new developments are exterior historic restorations. Much interior design in the neighborhood is recreated to be in keeping with the colonial exteriors. So for most developers, CV is synonymous with colonial restoration. What I found really inspiring about CV was not just the beautiful colonial architecture but also the gritty nature of its buildings and residents. To me, CV is the most interesting and beautiful of the Latin American colonial cities because it has not been fully restored and has an incredibly eclectic mix of residents. You have wealthy Panamanians mixed with expat artists mixed with long time squatters. Architecturally you have beautifully restored buildings next to buildings completely covered in band-aids next to buildings covered by graffiti with trees and plants growing out of and them. This is what we wanted to capture in our interiors. Eventually CV will likely by fully restored. It will be more valuable but, in my opinion, less interesting and we envisioned this project as a means of preserving some of its current grittiness.