2013 in Review: Dynamic Hotel Renovations

With funding for capital improvements loosening up, hotels across the country took on large-scale renovation projects to bring their properties up to modern-day standards.

Here were some of the biggest hotel renovations to be completed in 2013:

New York Palace– The New York Palace, a luxury midtown hotel on the corner of 50th and Madison, completed a $140 million redesign in September featuring new lobbies, specialty suites, and six new restaurants and bars, two of which are helmed by renowned chef Michel Richard. The transformation also included the property’s premier rooms and suites in the Towers, a hotel-within-a-hotel on the top 14 floors. San Francisco-based design firm BAMO redesigned the Towers’ 176 guestrooms and suites and the new private reception experience. New York-based architecture and interior design firm BBG-BBGM renovated two of the hotel’s triplex suites and the new Metropolitan suite. The Towers redesign reflects an upscale residential atmosphere with hints of inspiration from The Palace’s historic Villard Mansion. BBG-BBGM also created a comprehensive master plan for the reuse of the hotel’s public spaces and designed interiors for two previously unused spaces of the north Villard Mansion: the new street-facing bar, Tavern on 51, and the exclusive lounge, Rarities. New York–based design firm Champalimaud remodeled the hotel’s main guest reception area and lobby, as well as a new bar, Trouble’s Trust, and the new lobby lounge. These new upscale establishments and redesigned lobby spaces provide visitors with an elevated sense of arrival, welcoming patrons to unwind and socialize.

Affinia 50– Affinia 50, located in New York City’s Midtown neighborhood, completed a top-to-bottom $18 million to $20 million renovation in November that included all guestrooms, suites, and public spaces. This has been the first renovation for the property in 10 years. Reimagined by celebrated architect Nobutaka Ashihara and international interior design firm Dawson Design Associates, the property’s new design creates a space for guests to feel as though they are staying in a stylized city apartment complete with cozy touches such as book ends and throw pillows as well as thought-provoking, New York City-based photography, and carefully selected artwork in each room.


San Francisco Marriott Marquis– In August, the San Francisco Marriott Marquis finished a $90 million, 10-year revitalization project that upgraded amenities and design throughout the hotel. The first phase of the project modernized all public spaces, including the lobby and all dining spots. Meeting rooms were refreshed along with the ceiling of the Golden Gate Ballroom being raised to offer a more grand space to hold meetings or conferences. The second-floor atrium was remodeled to create a better flow between all of the rooms, adding 10 breakouts and a 5,000-square-foot foyer with dramatic skylights. All 1,500 guestrooms were overhauled in the final phase of the project with new wall covering, carpets, and drapery, as well as light fixtures and seating.

Loews Vanderbilt Nashville– Loews Vanderbilt Hotel completed its $17 million renovation in July, just in time for the summer tourism season and the opening of the new Music City Center in downtown Nashville. Following six months of extensive construction, the nearly 30-year-old, 340-room hotel now offers the new Mason’s restaurant and Mason Bar, a new lobby, new guestroom bathrooms, new corridors, new designer suites, and an updated outdoor patio space. Designed by Simeone Deary Design Group, the new lobby combines modern lines with warm tones and dark woods. Design elements include a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace and a Hank Williams mural wall in the great room. Mason’s and Mason Bar features a Mason jar chandelier suspended over the bar, Mason jar walls in the restaurant space, and cowhide leather chairs in the bar. See also: Behind the Design—Loews Vanderbilt Lobby

The Gettysburg Hotel– The Gettysburg Hotel, a 119-room hotel located in historic downtown Gettysburg, completed a multi-million dollar renovation in April. Updated amenities include a new lobby, newly refurbished guestrooms, refreshed meeting and banquet space, and a brand new restaurant. The hotel enlisted the design services of Baskervill, a full-service architectural and interior design firm, to renovate and redesign the hotel. The updated design recognizes its proximity and ownership affiliation with Gettysburg College. These updates aim to reposition the Gettysburg Hotel as a premier independent hotel more typically found in larger urban markets. The hotel’s new restaurant, One Lincoln, is a nod toward both the famed 16th U.S. President and the hotel’s location on Lincoln Square. See also: Reinventing History

Hyatt Regency Dallas– In April, Hyatt Regency Dallas announced completion of the $50-million makeover and upgrade of its 1,120 guestrooms, bathrooms, and corridors, in time to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the hotel. The team of EDG Interior Architecture and Design and CamargoCopeland Architects took an artistic and interpretive approach to creating the new sculptural guestroom design. The redesigned and reconfigured rooms offer different options for both work and relaxation. In addition, a sculptural, metallic wall screen extending from the headboard and a linear “river mirror” created from an abstracted image of the Trinity River replaced traditional framed art. The transformed bathroom is accessed via sliding barn doors and includes a backlit mirror, a freestanding vanity, and an art collage of Dallas-inspired imagery screenprinted onto metal.

Topnotch Resort– An all-new Topnotch Resort opened in June following a property-wide renovation. A renowned Stowe, Vt., destination since 1959, Topnotch has an airy new lobby, renovated guestrooms, an intimate outdoor wedding venue and event space facing the mountains, rethought conference and banquet facilities, an improved arrival experience, a refreshed indoor tennis center, and a new green event space that draws the outdoors in. The project was conceived and directed by owner MetWest Realty Advisors, with the assistance of hotel manager MetWest Terra Hospitality. The architect responsible for the major renovation is TruexCullins, with H. Keith Wagner Partnership as landscape architect.

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