How Studio DADO is raising the bar in restaurant design

Driven by guest demand for more refined travel experiences, Yohandel Ruiz explains how luxury cruise operators are focusing on creating immersive and sophisticated dining venues and culinary experiences onboard their ships 

How Studio DADO is raising the bar in restaurant design

Studio DADO

Elements such as the penny-tiled marble floor design and mirrors add to the authenticity of the traditional steakhouse dining experience in Prime 7

By Guest |

Luxury cruising has evolved dramatically over the past decade. While mass-market cruise lines continue to centre their offerings around high-energy entertainment such as waterslides, roller coasters, and neon-lit shows, luxury operators have embraced a different path. To meet demand from travellers who crave a more refined experience, luxury cruise operators are focused on creating unparalleled culinary adventures.  

In addition to being a response to changing consumer preferences, this new direction makes good business sense. Today’s travellers seek more than just thrills and excitement; they desire immersive experiences and exceptional dining opportunities – and these two factors tend to be the reasons guests remain loyal to certain brands.  

Cruise Lines International Association’s 2024 State of the Cruise Industry Report highlighted that passengers are looking for greater adventure, with expedition cruising becoming the fastest-growing itinerary category. Just as travel has become more intense, luxurious and inspiring, guests are asking for more from their dining experiences. As designers, we try to raise the bar every year, not just in the speciality venues but also in the complimentary ones – all types of restaurants have to be equally atmospheric and memorable. 

Regent Seven Seas Cruises and its newest ship, Seven Seas Grandeur, stands out as a prime example of this trend. The luxury vessel boasts an exceptional array of dining venues that offer dishes made with the highest quality ingredients, preparation and presentation. Passengers onboard Seven Seas Grandeur are treated to a variety of dining options that span the globe in terms of culinary diversity. They include Prime 7, an American-style steakhouse, and Compass Rose, a new take on the brand’s signature dining room concept. 

Studio DADO Prime 7 Regent Seven Seas Cruises Seven Seas Grandeur

Studio DADO used bevelled glass interior walls, custom onyx and belted leather chandeliers, and a wood and stitched leather ceiling to emulate the early 20th-century New York City steakhouses in Prime 7

Pacific Rim, another speciality restaurant onboard Seven Seas Grandeur, is a sophisticated venue with a distinctive art concept and a harmonious blend of contemporary Asian cuisine and impressive interior design. Our team designed and hand-crafted the ‘Tree of Life’ sculpture outside the restaurant. The artwork stands to remind us of life’s fragility and beauty. Inside the restaurant, our design choices reflect the rich and varied traditions of Asian culture, with serene colour palettes, intricate patterns and elegant lighting. We aimed to create a tranquil, intimate atmosphere where guests can savour their meals and enjoy conversations without distractions. This seamless integration of design and culinary art is what elevates the dining experience from merely enjoyable to truly unforgettable. 

The careful curation of these dining venues was a collaborative effort and involved blending the vision of Regent Seven Seas Cruises with the design expertise of Studio DADO. As the co-founder of the studio, I take great pride in our role in crafting luxurious and inviting spaces that complement the culinary experiences onboard. Our approach goes beyond simply creating beautiful interiors; we strive to design spaces that enhance the overall dining experience and resonate with the tastes of discerning passengers. 

The success of Seven Seas Grandeur underscores the demand for luxury cruises that offer exceptional dining experiences. According to Oxford Economics’ Luxury cruising, the new ‘Gold Rush’ report, luxury cruise capacity is on track to nearly double by 2028. At the same time, the luxury sector’s modest portion of the overall cruise market means that passengers will continue to enjoy refined, personalised experiences, gourmet cuisine and top-notch dining options. 

Seven Seas Grandeur showcases how a luxury cruise operator can provide not only exceptional service and amenities but also unforgettable dining adventures. As cruise professionals and enthusiasts, we have the opportunity to embrace this trend and continue to innovate, creating immersive and sophisticated culinary experiences that leave a lasting impression on passengers.  

Yohandel Ruiz is co-founder of Studio DADO  

This article was first published in the 2024 issue of  Cruise & Ferry Interiors. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. Subscribe  for FREE to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox.  

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