Reasons to renovate: Reflagging; new and updated identity
DoubleTree by Hilton Pittsburgh-Green Tree is undergoing an extensive $17 million transformation that is scheduled for completion by the end of 2012. Inspired by the rolling countryside setting, design firm Looney & Associates is creating a grand mountain lodge design for the 460-room property, which was formerly a Radisson hotel until November 2011.
The owner, RIDA Development Corporation, saw an opportunity to create a new product that would not only maintain market share but also provide an opportunity to pursue greater market share and increase rate.
Looney & Associates wanted to localize the design while also meeting the brand’s touch points. While the building itself had nice masonry details and coloration that fit with its surroundings, the porte-cochere had an outdated and disjointed look. Jim Looney, president of Looney & Associates, says the new porte-cochere offers a more appealing and welcoming arrival experience for guests.
The lobby has become more of a gathering space with a palette that includes rich earth tones and fresh pops of color and materials that include warm wood tones and natural stone accents. The new registration desk layout promotes interaction between guests and the staff.
The interior design palette represents the four seasons of the mid-Atlantic, and the art collection incorporates natural elements through the use of mixed media, prints, and photography.
The hotel entices guests from the lobby with an open entry layout into Champions Club, a sports bar and lounge. Other food and beverage options include Seasons The Restaurant and the grab-and-go Bistro Marketplace. “The edges blur between food and beverage outlets, lobbies, and lounges,” Looney says of the recent trend in hotel public spaces. The new layout is more conducive to business and will help increase food and beverage revenue, he adds.
In addition to business and leisure travelers, the hotel caters to group business and events. The property offers more than 40,000 square feet of flexible meeting, banquet, and party space in a soon-to-be renovated atmosphere. A new business center will offer guests individual workstations, printing, and faxing capabilities.
Other recent hotel renovation projects led by Looney & Associates include the Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort, formerly the Sheraton Safari Hotel and Suites, which revealed its new look in March. Centered upon a new pool palm courtyard and located near Downtown Disney, the property underwent a comprehensive $25 million transformation. The property traded its previous safari motif for a central Florida casual feel, inspired by the lush greens, citrus groves, and blue water of the region.
“Extreme makeovers are possible in properties,” Looney says.
More on Design & Construction: Read about design concepts with local influence and guestroom bedding trends in the May issue of Lodging.