Latona – the Liberty belle
Super Conero style
Although architecture was an integral part of Art Nouveau, its ‘whiplash’ style of sudden curves, asymmetrical shapes and dynamic lines would not have worked on Latona’s exterior. Just imagine a yacht in the style of Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia basilica, or Otto Wagner’s Karlsplatz Stadtbahn station. Instead, CRN and Zuccon looked to something far more subtle (and much closer to home) – CRN’s very own Super Conero of the 1960s. Classical and timeless, Latona mixes a thoroughly modern silhouette with subtle superstructure detailing, giving it the feel of la dolce vita. There are no sudden or aggressive lines on Latona; her design is honest and unpretentious, with the flamboyance saved for the interior. If most superyachts can be described as ‘black tie’ then Latona is very much ‘shorts and flip-flops’ – inviting, warm, friendly and, of course, topped off with that gorgeous turquoise hull, that changes intensity depending on the water in which she sits.
The turquoise experience continues as you step on board Latona’s aft deck, with the pool (the windowed floor of which lets natural light illuminate the tender bay below it) and cushions radiating the soft, blue hue. A forward bar serves a C-shaped sofa with two tables and it’s here at Latona’s main salon entrance that we first see Art Nouveau’s swirls, segments and curves in the flanking seascape murals.
It seems quite apt that a superyacht with its character based firmly in grandeur should forgo a classic main salon layout, with Latona encouraging her guests to lounge outside and dine inside. A circular walnut table with room for 12-guests dominates the salon, surrounded by floral pattern dining chairs and four deep loungers, for those unable to stagger very far after dessert. The mirrored ceiling features wooden carvings that accurately reproduce the Emperor Dark embroidery decorating the floor below – a musical note type motif that flows through may of Latona’s interior elements.
As specifically requested by the owner, the galley has been located behind the dining area, with a convenient hatch cut out of the wood panelling, making service efficient and discreet. Thanks to the sliding, full-height glazing, guests can also eat al fresco while enjoying unobstructed sea views from the port and starboard fold-down terraces.
Heading forward, we follow the Emperor Dark embroidery on the floor, which leads us to Latona’s lobby. Here, the Liberty style can be seen on the lobby wall panels, and also the doors, which feature the asymmetrical lines that make the art form so intriguing. The swirls continue in the main staircase’s handrails, where dark wood shapes contrast with a central backlit column in wood with silver leaf.
At the end of the lobby corridor is the owner’s suite, an area so vast, that it has been split into three distinct areas. At the entrance is the studio, with its curved sofa stretching away from the starboard door. A huge walk-in wardrobe can be found to port, with the bedroom accessed forward.
Stepping inside the master stateroom, your eye is immediately drawn to the hand-made headboard that flows out of the bed like a dark walnut and light blue velvet crown. The ceiling is also crafted by hand, with wooden flowers encasing the spotlights, while underneath, the familiar dark brown carpet embroidery leads you past the owner’s private terrace to the his and her bathroom.
Constructed entirely in bright Carrara marble with Calacatta marble detailing, the bathroom features a large circular hydromassage tub, a walkthrough shower, elegant taps and doors in glass with haut- and bas-relief decorations.
For the guests
Heading back into the foyer, the guests can choose to take either the stairs or the elevator down to the lower deck. Here we find the lobby for the four cabins – two double VIP aft and two twins forward. Unlike many superyacht designs that like to mix things up with a radically different guest cabin design, Zuccon and CRN kept to the Art Nouveau look that works so well on the upper decks. Decorated with fabric-lined panels, mirrors and deep carpets, the guests are treated to the same experience as the owner – even the en suite bathrooms share the same style as the master stateroom up above, featuring fine marbles and the large showers with seats.
Last stop in on the elevator is the upper deck. Forward is the bridge and captain’s cabin and aft is arguably one of Latona’s most delightful areas, the music room. Surrounded by the charming Liberty Style decoration is one of the most magical seats I’ve ever seen, a deep sofa shaped like a lyre – a musical instrument straight out of Art Nouveau’s heyday. A white-lacquered grand piano sits in the port-side corner, with precious curtains and Lalique lamps contributing to this unique lounge.
Stepping through the sliding doors, Latona’s upper deck opens out into a huge entertaining area complete with a 12-seat dining table with two large sun pads aft.
If the upper deck sunpads aren’t big enough for you, then it’s time to head up the starboard staircase to the sun deck. Much like the owner’s suite, it too is made up of three different zones. Aft is for sun-lovers only, with four sunpads and a delightful, raised circular sunbed with convertible roof. The inflatable slide is also deployed from the aft area, which along with the upper deck’s inflatable climbing wall, adds to Latona’s lighthearted character.
Central is what CRN call the ‘living area’ although, ‘eating area’ is probably more apt, as there’s (yet another) dining table for 12. Unlike the interior, the furniture here is made for being out in the elements, so there’s no lyre-shaped sofas, or motif flooring: up here on the sundeck, it’s all very much St Tropez beach club. Talking of which, forward is a huge sunpad area fitted with a Jacuzzi, which, thanks to a low-profile splash screen, gives you a commanding view of the surroundings while keeping your privacy intact.
Latona’s outside areas reflect her easygoing attitude, with a generously sofa’d foredeck lounge ideal for making the most of Mediterranean mooring. Here, the tables and surrounding seating can be covered by a bimini top, with only the forward sunpad open to the sun’s rays.
Last, but by no means least is Latona’s beach club, which in many ways is her most impressive feature – and that’s saying something. The reason for this is not only her solarium, gym, hammam and integrated open air lounge, but mainly her mightily impressive float-in garage. First seen on Latona’s big sister, the 58-metre J’ade, the float-in tender bay is located at the forward part of the beach club and when flooded, can be used as a salt water swimming pool – ideal for the kids. Not only is it a major aesthetic innovation, but technically it takes up less space than a normal garage as it’s not walled off.
It’s so important in yacht design to have a theme and with Latona’s Stile Liberty, CRN and Zuccon had the ideal basis for creating a unique superyacht with a warm and endearing heart. Latona’s quality is a testament to the craftsmen who painstakingly built her, and her finish, into a 50-metre yacht that is truly world class.
Art Nouveau lasted a mere 20 years before Art Deco replaced it, but with Latona, CRN has created a timeless classic.