By Jochem Kaan, photos by Carlo Borlenghi and David Churchill
In the superyacht industry, renowned names combining their talents and expertise often results in interesting superyachts, to say the least. As is the case with My Secret, a brand new vessel that was launched in 2012 by acclaimed Dutch shipyard Heesen Yachts. In a team composed of Heesen, Bannenberg & Rowell for the luxurious interior designs and exterior design by Omega Architects, the superyacht that was until recently known as Project California proves to be an instant classic.
Heesen Yachts, who has an impressive 13 projects on it's order book and is already planning deliveries through 2015, once again affirms a well-deserved reputation for being a stable, strong and reliable partner. Combined with the successful efforts of Frank Laupman of Omega and the highly accomplished Bannenberg & Rowell, My Secret is ready to unveil her secrets to the world.
First off, My Secret sports that signature Heesen-feature of a bulbous bow, that not only creates an anti-wave but also gives this steel-hull displacement yacht her characteristic look. The hull shape results in higher efficiency, allowing lower fuel consumption. As for her features, this award-winning vessel boasts elegant lines and well-balanced proportions. She has a classic appeal while remaining undeniably modern in style, her crisp white hull giving her a confident and slightly sportive personality.
Starting with the main saloon, the interiors onboard show off a distinctly Californian style, hailing from the 40s and 50s of the twentieth century. Modern lines, light and creamy colours combined with darker, more intense tints, and luxury materials are blended to form a friendly, intimate environment that combines luxurious style with a sense practicality. Among others, the latter can be seen in the overall preference for lightweight materials, aiming for optimal weight reduction. The large furniture and friendly yet glamorous style undeniably evoke a sense of the classic Hollywood era, yet manage to remain undeniably contemporary.
There are several innovative features in this intricate design scheme, of which a backlit marble end wall in the dining area is one of the main saloon's most eye-catching features. The main saloon consists of a main lounge, with long sofas and elegant armchairs, and the fore formal dining, where a grand oval table, dramatic centrepiece lighting and the backlit marble strike a glamorous and intimate tone.
The main aft deck offers a spacious and classic vibe, with large U-shaped lounging area optimally utilising the views and extending the main saloon's luxurious ambiance.
My Secret's grand master suite occupies most of the fore main deck. Entering through a private office, the full beam master stateroom is an impressive example of delicate design. From subtly blended colours and luxury materials, to the natural light and intricate attention to detail, this stateroom manages to combine a sense of grandeur without becoming overwhelmingly dramatic. There is an underlying sense of subtleness in the design, combined with a hint of playfulness. Again, the classic Hollywood glamour is omnipresent, emphasising the era's understated elegance rather than presenting a loud abundance of design elements. This ambiance if perfectly extended into the en suite, where the flowing black and white flooring pattern and a wavy leaf-life theme applied throughout add a minimalistic natural touch, almost like a modern equivalent of Jugendstil. In a way, one can feel a spacious, outdoor ambiance while the room remains eloquently private. With the centrepiece, a large oval tub, spacious shower area and his and hers wash basins, this en suite is a perfect extension of the master stateroom, both in style, comfort and luxury.
All luxury materials have been applied in a way that perfectly blends decoration and functionality. Throughout, light and mid-tone wenge and white elm have been used for panelling and cabinetry. Interestingly, this combination of natural materials was inspired by a custom made surfboard. Combined with stainless steel, leather and marble, a delicate sense of luxury and elegance was created, forming a complex design scheme with plenty of innovative features. Such high levels of details highly depend upon perfect craftsmanship, which was assured by Heesen Yachts Interiors (formerly known as Oortgiese) and Sinnex, working together to achieve this extraordinary result.
Following the main staircase downstairs, accompanied by the playful modern surf board pattern found in the master bath, four luxury guest suites are available on the lower deck. In addition to the lush master, these quarters, consisting of two doubles and two twins, comfortably accommodate a company of up to 12 guests, with the twin suites housing extra Pullmans.
Each guest stateroom is equally spacious and luxurious with regards to design and amenities, with intimate and light atmospheres reminiscent of My Secret's overall classic elegance. Colour palettes consist of natural wood tones, greys and beiges combined with a gentle lighting scheme and unobtrusively applied, natural materials. From upholstery to wall panelling and ceilings, these designs also exude an atmosphere that is both modern and classic, luxurious and subtle. In short, an undoubtedly pleasing and luxurious accommodation for every guest onboard. Combined with lush en suites in similar styling, all with large shower areas, guest comfort onboard My Secret is more than complete.
The superyacht's ambiance of subtle glamour is extended throughout the upper deck, where a lush upper saloon and wonderfully spacious aft deck area form a great surrounding for ample guest entertainment and relaxation. The upper saloon is bathing in natural light, complimenting the room's natural elegance, which is slightly less formal than the main saloon. Soft curves, the familiar light colour palette with added pastels here and there, and large surrounding windows for dramatic panoramic views form a soothing ambiance where guests can relax and be entertained. The saloon consists of a large lounge space with adjacent bar, with designs accentuating curvy shapes and lines, opposite the main saloon's more rectangular, edgy nature.
Outside, the aft deck with large al fresco dining table forms the perfect extension of the upper saloon, with light wicker chairs and several lounge corners allowing guests to sit back, relax, and enjoy My Secret's natural elegance.
From here, stairs lead upwards towards the lush sun deck, which offers a grand ambiance for parties, lounging, large al fresco meals and day to night entertaining. Centrally located, there is a big lounge area comfortably seating every guest, and a large bar. The hardtop covering assures ample shade, while the big curved lounging sofa aft allows guests to sit back and soak up some sun. Activities aplenty, with a full range of gym equipment available on the sun deck, offering guests a most relaxing and tempting way to stay in shape. After which, with a dip in the Jacuzzi, surrounded by lush sun pads and those magnificent vista views, relaxation comes naturally.
And for those in search of a bit more privacy or simply the best views to watch the setting sun, the upper fore deck offers a wonderfully large cockpit with additional sun pads. Wherever you go, there seems to be a great sense of relaxation and style, an ambiance of light glamour that pampers guests and makes them feel at home, while also giving them a sense of elegance from times past. Maybe this is the true secret of My Secret.
Bannenberg & Rowell Design
London, United Kingdom