Cambridge, Mass.—Kimpton Marlowe Hotel recently completed its guestroom redesign, which takes inspiration from the academic and literary history of the neighborhood surrounding the hotel, along with the scenic Charles River. Phase one of the redesign encompassed all 237 guestrooms and suites, which have floor-to-ceiling windows and views of the Boston skyline, hotel courtyard, and Charles River. Phase two, which includes all common areas, the lobby, and meeting and function spaces, is currently under review.
“This is a very unique time to be debuting a brand new guestroom product to the market and our guests,” said Joe Capalbo, area director of operations, Kimpton Hotels of New England, and general manager of Kimpton Marlowe. “A new guestroom redesign would ordinarily keep us competitive with what’s happening in Boston overall, but now it sets a different tone entirely. Our rooms, given that they are brand new designs from top to bottom, offer some of the cleanest and freshest rooms in the market. And in this era of COVID-19, when you combine brand new rooms with Kimpton’s Approach to Clean, our guests can be assured that our guestrooms are some of the safest available in Boston and Cambridge.”
In light of the emphasis placed on home life and remote work today, Capalbo said, “Our new guestrooms feel more residential, offering customized experiences, and details that are reminiscent of home. Through the use of custom furnishings, locally-inspired artwork and personalized details that pay homage to the creative spirit that Cambridge is known for, our new guestrooms and suites offer spaces and experiences that guests would enthusiastically welcome into their homes.”
One of the main drivers of the redesign was the need to create more space for guests, Capalbo added. “Everything has its place and function,” he explained. “And that lets the rooms’ new design stand on its own without being interrupted or overwhelmed by elements that are non-essential. It’s easy to maneuver work, relax, sleep, or even work-out in our new guestrooms.”
KKAD, a hospitality design and architecture studio in Newark, New Jersey, executed the guestroom redesign for Kimpton Marlowe Hotel, working closely with Kimpton’s in-house design team. The refreshed style mixes contemporary and vintage elements, said James Goldsmith, design manager, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. “To help refresh Kimpton Marlowe, the team wanted to bring some edge to the guestrooms while creating an updated, fresher version of the hotel. The overall feel of the room, with plenty of thoughtful details and some unexpected character, is inviting and charming. The aesthetic is tailored but definitely not buttoned up. Mostly in shades of gray and blue, it’s thoughtful, grounded, and unexpectedly casual.”
Guestrooms include a wave-pattern, custom blue carpeting inspired by the Charles River; a channel-stitched headboard in a cool tone of brownish-gray; a velvet, blue-green lounge chair; and an oval mirror above the credenza with both metal and leather accents. Goldsmith also noted that a side table next to the lounge chair has a marble top with veining detail in shades of white, brown, black. There are a few additional details throughout the room that provide depth in both color and texture. A bronze mesh material is used on the face of several case pieces including the hospitality unit as well as some armoires in the hotel’s specialty suites. Large benches in the guestrooms, which sit beneath flatscreen TVs, are upholstered in a cognac leather to add a rich layer to the room while also providing ample space on which guests can spread their belongings.
Kraig Kalashian, managing partner and founder of KKAD, calls the Kimpton Marlowe redesign “quiet, elegant, reflective, articulate, and contextual.” The artwork in the room is tied to architecture, monuments, and movements like rowing that are synonymous with Cambridge and Boston, he explained. KKAD designed a custom ottoman to accompany the rooms’ lounge chair in which the fabric looks like pages and words from a cross-section of literature, including poems by EE Cummings and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and biographical details of Oliver Wendell Holmes, all of whom have strong historic connections to the Boston area. “This custom piece is a surprise and delight moment for the Marlowe,” concluded Kalashian. “The hotel is all about unexpected moments of discovery and adventure, and every aspect of Marlowe’s new guestroom design encourages guests to embark on that journey.”