Hotels Up the Guest Room Wow Factor
Properties from the Atlantic to the Adriatic are debuting sophisticated upgrades to rooms and suites
In the same spirit as homeowners who spent the pandemic revamping their own digs, many hotel owners over the past year and a half focused on expanding and upgrading accommodation options at their properties. The enhancements span everything from practical updates, like modernized in-room technology, to decadent additions, such as new deluxe villas with private saunas.
Coastal In-Room Luxury
Fontainebleau Miami Beach
One of the most thorough guest room renovations brings artful luxury to the shores of the Atlantic. The 18-story Fontainebleau Miami Beach recently debuted the complete redesign of its iconic all-oceanfront suite Sorrento Tower, which was built in 1948 and named after the Italian coastal town of Sorrento.
A former Art Deco standalone hotel before being acquired by Fontainebleau, the new design adds a touch of Mid-Century Modern to the Art Deco mix. The brightly lit interiors of the junior, one- and two-bedroom suites feature accessories like leather embossed steamer trunks that double as minibars as well as retro lamps and lounge chairs straight out of ‘50s-era Italy. The decor, featuring a color palette inspired by Sorrento’s Miami Beach setting, includes modern touches like 55-inch LED flat-screen TVs. Fontainebleau Miami Beach boasts 1,504 guest rooms and suites.
San Diego Mission Bay Resort, San Diego, CA.
Royal Sonesta Kauai Lihue, Kauai, HI.
On the opposite coast, Portola Hotel & Spa in Monterey, Calif., last year completed a multimillion-dollar room renovation to its Presidential and Executive floor suites.
Recently honored with Condé Nast Traveler’s 2020 Readers’ Choice Award as one of the Top 25 Hotels in Northern California, the hotel features 379 newly renovated accommodations, each integrating the colors of Monterey’s Hispanic roots as well as coastal touches. Contemporary furnishings include headboards with built-in lighting and USB outlets. For convenience, the property is connected to the recently renovated GBAC STAR-certified Monterey Convention Center.
Another California remake, the San Diego Mission Bay Resort debuted in June 2020 with a full $21 million property transformation, including its 357 guest rooms, conference center and meeting rooms.. Located on the waterfront of Mission Bay Park, the largest aquatic preserve in the U.S., the resort renovated its accommodations with updated decor, everything from new beds to patio furniture.
Across the Pacific, Hawaii’s Halekulani revamped its guest accommodations as part of an extensive full-property renovation (shown in our lead photo above). The historic Oahu hotel dates back to 1917 and has retained its historic elements including its serene signature “seven shades of white” aesthetic in all 453 guest rooms. New furnishings blend elements of European, Hawaiian and Asian cultures.
At the Royal Sonesta Kauai Lihue, all 356 guest rooms and suites are being renovated. The project commenced in July and will be completed by March 2022. Alongside modern touches, the property is also integrating organic materials inspired by its surroundings on Hawaii’s Garden Isle.
At the apex of luxury, the Grand Deluxe Villas at Hotel Kempinski Adriatic Istria Croatia were completely renovated this year and debuted in June. Updates at this seaside resort, located in the Umag countryside in northwestern Istria, include completely new furniture in each villa, the addition of fully equipped gyms, saunas and other amenities. Each villa spans from 6,500 to 10,000 square feet and features between three to five bedrooms, ensuite bathrooms, dining areas, kitchen, courtyards and private swimming pools. The villas also offer an option of booking a private chef.
Urban Guest Room Chic
Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest, Hungary
Bellagio in Las Vegas, NV.
Kempinski also reimagined the Grand Deluxe room category, including the Corvinus Presidential Suite, at the Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest, in Hungary. Located on the top floor, the Corvinus suite features views of the city as well as two bedrooms, a living room, dining room and preparation kitchenette. The room incorporates art from the Corvinus Art Collection. Meanwhile the upgraded Herend Suite features Herend porcelain as part of its decor, and Suite 960 Harmony offers a touch of elegance with its sitting room and views of Gellert Hill from the bedroom in the rotunda.
Fresh off a remodel, the Bellagio in Las Vegas this September introduced its redesign of all 2,568 guest rooms in the resort’s main tower. Bellagio’s new guest room designs and upgraded amenities add even more sophistication to the in-room experience. The designs take inspiration from the movement of water, as influenced by the Fountains of Bellagio, as well as the vibrant reflections of light seen at sunrise and sunset. Rooms each feature an oversized shower, dual sinks, a built-in closet and an activity table.
The Langham, Boston
The Langham, Boston also recently took the wraps off a redesign of its 312 guest rooms, including 17 suites, as part of a $200M transformation. Features include New England-style decor as well as brass-embossed windows in its bi-level Loft Suites, reminiscent of the property’s beginnings as the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. The pinnacle of luxury is the Chairman’s Suite, a penthouse indulgence with a baby grand piano, dining room for eight and king-size bedroom overlooking the Boston skyline.
Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta in St. Louis underwent a makeover with a January 2020 debut, including a complete refresh of the property’s 389 guest rooms and suites, as well as the addition of nine more guest rooms, for a new total of 398 guest accommodations. Upgrades include new soft goods as well as a new color scheme of blues and grays that brings a dash of elegance to the historic hotel, a fixture of the Central West End neighborhood since 1922.
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Scottsdale, AZ.
The Galt House in Louisville, Ky.
The Galt House in Louisville, Ky., introduced its property renovation in October 2020, including upgraded guest accommodations. Upscale amenities including 49-inch HDTVs were added to the hotel’s 1,310 guest rooms, which include more than 600 suites. New features also include workstations and stone-top vanities with lighting in the bathrooms. The property, which is situated on the Ohio River, dates back to the 1800s, and is close to the museum district and Urban Bourbon Trail.
Not to be outdone, Arizona’s Fairmont Scottsdale Princess recently unveiled an extensive renovation of 458 of its guest rooms and 20 luxury suites. The new design takes a page from its desert surroundings, while also modernizing in-room technology. Rooms also now feature 50-inch, and in the suites 65-inch TVs, as well as new bedding to sink into while watching.
Peppermill Resort Spa Casino in Reno, Nev., this fall is introducing a new room type to its Peppermill Tower, the Peppermill Deluxe room with new features such as quartz countertops set against luxe dark birch furnishings. Rooms also are outfitted with contemporary artwork.
InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta is embarking on a full property renovation this fall, including upgrades to its 422 guest rooms. The property’s Deluxe rooms span 499 square feet, while its larger Club rooms offer access to the InterContinental Club Lounge. An array of decadent suites includes the 1,893-square-foot Presidential Suite, which features a grand marble foyer, hardwood floors and jetted tub.
While existing hotels spent their downtime refurbishing and reimagining, Emeline used the time to design a whole new artful hotel in downtown Charleston, S.C. The property’s 212 guest rooms include 128 luxury suites with views of the city. Its decor reflects the area’s foliage and taste of nature, while in-room amenities include local art posters and a turntable alongside a curated vinyl collection.