First Finish Begins Major Renovation of Sheraton Steamboat Resort

June 19, 2017

Guest rooms will be converted to timeshare villas for Vistana Signature Properties   First Finish, Inc. recently began work on the Sheraton Steamboat Resort in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The upscale resort will see a conversion of the west tower guest rooms into timeshare villas for Vistana Signature Properties. Situated in the winter-sport haven of Steamboat […]

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First Finish Begins Major Renovation of Sheraton Steamboat Resort

June 19, 2017

Guest rooms will be converted to timeshare villas for Vistana Signature Properties

 

First Finish, Inc. recently began work on the Sheraton Steamboat Resort in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The upscale resort will see a conversion of the west tower guest rooms into timeshare villas for Vistana Signature Properties.

Situated in the winter-sport haven of Steamboat Springs, the ski-in/ski-out resort property will remain operational for the 26-week construction period. The project is comprised of extensive exterior and interior work. The conversion of 198 guest rooms to 112 villas consists of new sliding doors, curtain wall windows, and Juliet balconies to add more square footage in the timeshare villas. Following an eight-week preconstruction period, construction is currently underway and is expected to be completed in November.

Located on Mount Werner, Steamboat Springs is a world-renown, winter ski resort destination. Sheraton Steamboat Resort is the area’s only ski-in/ski-out resort, and was recently awarded the Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor for 2016. For more information about the Sheraton Steamboat Resort or to make reservations, please visit the hotel’s website at http://www.sheratonsteamboatresort.com/.   

ABOUT FIRST FINISH, INC.

Based in Columbia, Maryland, First Finish, Inc. is a full-service general contractor specializing in the successful delivery of fast-track hospitality renovations nationwide and in the Caribbean. First Finish manages every aspect of a hotel renovation project—from due diligence pricing, preconstruction, model room development, material selection input and sourcing to construction, interior finishes, and installing FF&E. For more information, please visit www.firstfinish.net and follow us on LinkedIn.  

Bamford Haybarn Spa at 1 Hotel South Beach

April 20, 2017

South Beach is known for many things, but until recently, offering a pastoral relaxation escape had not been one of them. That all changed with the December opening of Bamford Haybarn Spa at 1 Hotel South Beach (FL), where spa-goers are transported to the English countryside within the 4,500-square-foot, 12-treatment-room retreat. The spa is the […]

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Bamford Haybarn Spa at 1 Hotel South Beach

April 20, 2017

South Beach is known for many things, but until recently, offering a pastoral relaxation escape had not been one of them. That all changed with the December opening of Bamford Haybarn Spa at 1 Hotel South Beach (FL), where spa-goers are transported to the English countryside within the 4,500-square-foot, 12-treatment-room retreat. The spa is the first U.S. outpost for the British lifestyle and wellness brand Bamford, and it takes its design and treatment inspiration from its flagship spa in south England’s rural Cotswolds. “We wanted to give a very natural feeling by bringing rustic elements of the interior to put the visitor in close proximity with nature,” says spa director Alena Stavnjak. “The result is highly unusual, calm and beautiful, rustic yet contemporary.”

A far cry from the area’s buzzy beaches, the spa is a haven for sustainable serenity, with wood acting as the main design element—log walls from reclaimed ash trees, hickory floors from recycled timber, and willow bundles from salvaged trees are some of the highlights. “Memories of woodland walks are evoked with tree trunks, branches, and logs,” says Stavnjak. “Wood slices are reminiscent of piles of cut logs ready for the fire.” The spa is also home to a relaxation area called The Woodland Room, which features cozy places for contemplation and a bespoke central water fountain. “Our spa design brings the outdoors and nature inside,” she adds.

Nature and holistic healing are also at the heart of the spa menu, which features impactful services performed primarily with Bamford’s own natural and organic skincare line that is certified by the UK’s Soil Association, which means that at least 85 percent of the product, excluding the water, needs to be produced organically. “It is a very tough set of standards to meet,” says Stavnjak. The spa’s other brand partners—Comfort Zone, Knesko Skin, and NuFace—were also selected for being natural, organic, sustainable, paraben free, and never tested on animals. Other green efforts include organic linens and a laundry service that uses green detergents. “All of this is in line with 1 Hotels’ mission-driven brand, focusing on eco-sustainability and wellness, encouraging travelers to live well, do better, and connect with the world around them,” says Stavnjak.

Another hallmark of the Bamford brand is simplicity, which is evident in a spa menu that offers straightforward and effective offerings. “In our case, less is more has been a successful model in making all of our services productive,” says Stavnjak. “We train our staff in fewer treatments, so they execute them better and in line with our standard protocols.” Highlights include the Bamford Bespoke Facial ($160, 50 minutes), which incorporates hot and cold jade stones with ancient yoga breathing techniques, and the Jade Hot and Cold Stone Treatment ($235, 80 minutes), a massage that uses organic oils combined with warmed and cooled jade stones. The menu also offers an assortment of services specifically for men and expectant mothers, as well as a range of massages and body treatments that appeal to clients’ various healing needs. Stavnjak says the secret to the success of these services—and the reason that many clients come back for more—is the training of the 25-member team and the consistency of service. “We hired staff that has extensive therapy background and has worked for luxury brands,” she says. “We also made sure the team was adaptable in working with a brand that is more standardized for treatment consistency versus freestyle techniques. Bamford has a very specific approach to training, and all of our services are created in sequences.”

Also enticing to clients are the spa’s unique branded Bamford retail offerings. In addition to skincare and bodycare products, the spa’s store includes the company’s ready-to-wear and accessories lines, made with natural fibers and sourced from artisans from around the world, as well as candles. Other standout efforts include teaming with the hotel’s concept restaurant, Plnthouse, for healthy cuisine pairings, and the onsite Spartan Gym, the 14,000-square-foot fitness center created in partnership with the Spartan Race obstacle course-based workout.

So far, Bamford’s stateside foray has proven to be successful, and a second Bamford Haybarn Spa will be debuting this fall at the recently opened 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge in New York. Turns out, city-goers, as well as beach-goers, love being able to connect with nature in the middle of the urban jungle.

Get to know the spa director in our Spa Talk interview with Alena Stavnjak.

 

Owners

1 Hotel South Beach and Bamford

 

Spa Director

Alena Stavnjak

 

Opened

December 2016

 

CLIENT BASE

65% female

35% male

 

SPACE

4,500 square feet; 12 treatment rooms

 

PRODUCTS

Bamford, Comfort Zone, Knesko Skin, NuFace

 

EQUIPMENT

Living Earth Crafts, Majestic International, The Madison Collection

 

ARCHITECT AND INTERIOR DESIGNER

Spencer Fung Architects (London)

 

SPA CONSULTANT

Genevieve Summers (Miami)

Hilton debuts Curio in D.C. with The Darcy, a new boutique hotel

April 12, 2017

By: Rebecca Cooper, Senior Staff Reporter Washington Business Journal When The Darcy hotel opens near Logan Circle next month, it will bring with it a ton of local tie-ins, from restaurants from D.C. celebrity chefs David Guasand Robert Wiedmaier to a pop-up from District-based online flower retailer Urban Stems. It’s all with an eye toward creating […]

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Hilton debuts Curio in D.C. with The Darcy, a new boutique hotel

April 12, 2017

When The Darcy hotel opens near Logan Circle next month, it will bring with it a ton of local tie-ins, from restaurants from D.C. celebrity chefs David Guasand Robert Wiedmaier to a pop-up from District-based online flower retailer Urban Stems.

It’s all with an eye toward creating a hyper-local scene at a hotel property that, in its former life as a Doubletree by Hilton, had anything but.

The transformation is the result of a total renovation of the hotel, located at 1515 Rhode Island Ave. NW. The project, which began when the hotel closed in October, took the property down to the studs — reconfiguring some meeting space and adding six additional guest rooms for a total of 226, of which 37 are suites.

The property was purchased by KHP Capital Partners last May for $65 million. Rather than keep it a Doubletree, KHP decided to fold the hotel into Hilton’s recently launched collection brand, Curio, in order to give it a more independent identity.

Creating The Darcy in order to add it to Curio is the reverse of how a property is typically brought in. Usually, a hotel that already has a well-established, independent identity is added to the collection in order to keep its unique brand but still be connected to the Hilton system.

But KHP felt strongly that a local, independent feel was essential for a hotel near the Logan Circle neighborhood, according to Kelly McCourt, director of sales and marketing for The Darcy. (She works for Sage Hospitality, which is managing the property.)

That’s why the hotel courted local favorite chefs to run restaurants there. Wiedmaier’s seafood-focused Siren will open when the hotel opens, most likely in May, and Guas’s more casual restaurant and cafe, Li’l B, will open a couple of months later. Both restaurants are leases, rather than management agreements, which gives the chefs more control over the eateries.

“It was very deliberate, from the design to pulling the local community into the property,” said McCourt. “It was very important for the hotel’s positioning.”

In addition to the locally-led restaurants, The Darcy will have a cocktail cart that can be ordered to rooms featuring locally-produced Green Hat Gin and other spirits from New Columbia Distillers, as well as Element shrubs — infused vinegars that have become popular in cocktails.

Other local offerings include a fashion program curated by Read Wall, a men’s clothier based in Shaw, which will provide ties, pocket squares and other accessories for loan if a guest forgot to pack an item.

And hotel’s patio will also be home to an occasional UrbanStems pop-up shop for the first few months, offering flowers for purchase to local residents — and guests the ability to pick up one of the online flower dealer’s signature bouquets. The hotel plans to host a flower-centric happy hour event twice a month through the summer with the tag line, “pick flowers, not fights,” on one of the outdoor patios that will offer drinks and the ability to pick up a bouquet.

The Darcy is currently accepting reservations for mid-May, but the hotel and Siren may open earlier, depending on the final construction schedule, according to McCourt.

Rebecca Cooper covers retail, restaurants, tourism and the arts.

1 Hotel South Beach rebrands top suites as Retreat Collection

February 8, 2017

The 425-room 1 Hotel South Beach has rebranded its 22 premium suites as the Retreat Collection. The suites will feature a heightened level of personalized service from airport arrival to departure, thanks to the creation of a new Personal Guru feature. The Personal Guru, which is only available to guests of Retreat Collection suites, is […]

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1 Hotel South Beach rebrands top suites as Retreat Collection

February 8, 2017

The 425-room 1 Hotel South Beach has rebranded its 22 premium suites as the Retreat Collection. The suites will feature a heightened level of personalized service from airport arrival to departure, thanks to the creation of a new Personal Guru feature.

The Personal Guru, which is only available to guests of Retreat Collection suites, is a hybrid of travel planner, butler and concierge who coordinates all aspects of a guest’s visit, including coordination of all on-property and destination activities and private check-in process. Guests are surveyed prior to arrival so that their Guru can stock the room with preferred beverages, groceries, international newspapers and reading material, etc. Unpacking and pressing services are offered, as well.

Included in the Retreat Collection rate are an array of benefits, including airport transfers (coordinated by the Personal Guru), use of a cabana at one of four pools on premises for one day during the stay, breakfast for two daily at Beachcraft by Tom Collicchio and priority seating to all three of 1 Hotel’s restaurants.

“We are delighted to be able to offer an alternative, more personalized style of accommodations at 1 Hotel South Beach,” said Milton Sgarbi, 1 Hotel South Beach managing director. “Guests are increasingly requesting more on-demand services that are a step above more traditional hotel offerings, and we’re responding to them with the ultimate travel experience with the Retreat Collection.”

An oceanview bedroom in one of the Retreat Collection suites.
An oceanview bedroom in one of the Retreat Collection suites.

The Retreat Collection includes two-, three- or five-bedroom suites ranging from 950 to 3,500 square feet, each with a balcony with views of either the Atlantic Ocean or the Miami skyline. Staying true to 1 Hotels’ ethos, the suites are inspired by nature and designed by Brazilian architect and designer, Deborah Aguiar.

Rates start at $3,000 per night for a two-bedroom, home-style suite; $15,000 for the sprawling Meyer Davis-designed Presidential Suite, also known as the Beach House, with views of the beach and amenities well-suited to entertaining, including a media room, pool table and large dining area; and $20,000 for the five-bedroom Penthouse.

The 1 Hotel South Beach is a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Silver-Certified property and features the recently opened Spartan Gym (the first of its kind) and a Bamford Haybarn Spa (the first in the U.S.).

Renovations upgrade the W Hotel, Renaissance Fort Lauderdale and B Ocean Resort

February 5, 2017

Three large hotels in Fort Lauderdale have undergone major renovations ahead of the busy winter season. New York-based Related Companies just finished upgrades to 517 guest rooms at the W Hotel & Residences Fort Lauderdale, part of an ongoing $55 million renovation of the property expected to continue until fall. Guest rooms at the W got […]

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Renovations upgrade the W Hotel, Renaissance Fort Lauderdale and B Ocean Resort

February 5, 2017

Three large hotels in Fort Lauderdale have undergone major renovations ahead of the busy winter season.

New York-based Related Companies just finished upgrades to 517 guest rooms at the W Hotel & Residences Fort Lauderdale, part of an ongoing $55 million renovation of the property expected to continue until fall.

Guest rooms at the W got new carpeting, window treatments and furnishings.  Public-space upgrades to the property include a redesign of the lobby area on the fourth floor.  Ongoing work at the hotel-condo building includes a ballroom renovation scheduled for completion by May 1 and construction of new porte-cochere entrance to the property at 401 North Federal Highway.

A renovation of the B Ocean Resort Fort Lauderdale that began in 2015 has upgraded the property’s 484 rooms and suites.

The renovation of the B Ocean Resort at 1140 Seabreeze Boulevard, which  opened in 1956 as the Yankee Clipper hotel, also includes a redesigned lobby and a new coffee bar, plus enlarged meeting space, two suites for spa customers, and a two-story penthouse with a private elevator.

The hotel’s Wreck Bar has been expanded with the addition of a sushi bar, and the bar will start featuring a new burlesque mermaid show on weekends (for adults only) starting Feb. 10.

The Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port Hotel near Port Everglades underwent a $5 million renovation that improved the property’s lobby area, meeting space, pool area and lighting. Several new food and beverage locations also opened at the hotel including Bistro 17, Calusa Coffee Bar and R Lounge.

Atlanta-based Noble Investment Group purchased The Renaissance for $48.1 million in 2015.  [Sun-Sentinel] Mike Seemuth

First Finish Project Announces LEED Silver Certified

December 28, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE The Mason & Rook Hotel is Awarded Prestigious LEED Green Building Certification The Mason & Rook hotel in Washington, D.C. announced that it was awarded LEED Silver. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes, […]

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First Finish Project Announces LEED Silver Certified

December 28, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Mason & Rook Hotel is Awarded Prestigious LEED Green Building Certification

The Mason & Rook hotel in Washington, D.C. announced that it was awarded LEED Silver. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes, and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained, and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.

The Mason & Rook project was more than just a renovation; it was a complete rebranding of the original property. The project consisted of construction of a new, one-story addition adjacent to the ground floor, over the existing basement level parking garage, to create a new ballroom. In an effort to expand the lobby to allow for a better guest experience upon arrival, the former drive lane/porte-cochère was removed, and the first floor was extended. The expansion of this space required the addition of a new steel canopy as well as a complete re-grading of the existing point of arrival for guest vehicles and pedestrian foot traffic. In addition to the first-floor expansion and addition, all nine stories of guestrooms were demolished; only the perimeter walls and floor/ceiling decks remained. The guestroom renovation included MEP riser relocations and footprint modifications. A new bar and amenities were only part of the renovation that took place on the previously abandoned rooftop. The renovation of the space also included a new pool, adding a bar enclosure, installation of a full-glass railing system to meet DCRA zoning requirements, and cladding the existing industrial finishes on the penthouse and roof with IPE. The main level benefited from an expanded lobby, a new restaurant and bar area, and a steel trellis for the new restaurant patio that was installed.

“The renovation of the Mason & Rook Hotel completes an extensive and dramatic reposition of the Helix Hotel,” explains David Burman, president of First Finish, Inc. “Being one of our most complex renovations to date coupled with being our first LEED Silver project makes me extremely proud of all team members involved.”

LEED is the foremost program for the design, construction, and operation of green buildings. More than 82,000 commercial and institutional projects are currently participating in LEED, comprising more than 15.7 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and more than 162 countries and territories. For more information on USGBC’s LEED program, please visit their website at www.usgbc.org.

For more information about the Mason & Rook or to make reservations, please visit the hotel’s website at https://www.kimptonhotels.com/stay/mason-rook-washington-dc.

ABOUT FIRST FINISH, INC.

Based in Columbia, Maryland, First Finish, Inc. is a full-service general contractor specializing in the successful delivery of fast-track hospitality renovations nationwide and in the Caribbean. First Finish manages every aspect of a hotel renovation project—from due diligence pricing, preconstruction, model room development, material selection input and sourcing to construction, interior finishes, and installing FF&E. For more information, please visit www.firstfinish.net and follow us on LinkedIn.

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Hilton’s Curio Collection Enters Nation’s Capital With First Signing In Washington, DC

December 15, 2016

MCLEAN, VA–Hilton (NYSE: HLT) today announced the signing of The Darcy, Curio Collection by Hilton, a global portfolio of distinctive upper upscale hotels that caters to travelers in search of local discovery and authentic experiences. The Darcy, Curio Collection by Hilton, is slated to open in mid-2017. The 226-room hotel is in the heart of […]

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Hilton’s Curio Collection Enters Nation’s Capital With First Signing In Washington, DC

December 15, 2016

MCLEAN, VA–Hilton (NYSE: HLT) today announced the signing of The Darcy, Curio Collection by Hilton, a global portfolio of distinctive upper upscale hotels that caters to travelers in search of local discovery and authentic experiences. The Darcy, Curio Collection by Hilton, is slated to open in mid-2017.

The 226-room hotel is in the heart of Washington, D.C., just off Scott Circle. Only three blocks from Dupont Circle and Logan Circle, and six blocks from the White House, The Darcy’s central location will allow guests to easily visit the city’s many monuments, attractions and museums, including the Verizon Center and Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.

“We’re excited to sign with KHP Capital Partners for our first Curio Collection hotel in our Nation’s Capital,” said Matt Wehling, senior vice president, development – North America, Hilton. “The Darcy’s ideal location, within walking distance to Washington, D.C.’s major attractions, will be a huge draw for guests desiring an authentic, high-energy and high-quality experience that reflects and enhances Scott Circle, making it a perfect fit for the collection.”

The Darcy will feature a timeless yet edgy design, focusing on clean and classic architecture with accents of distressed metals and bright colors. Subtle cherry blossom patterns and abstract artwork of magnolias will connect the hotel to D.C. As with all Curio properties, The Darcy will reflect the local spirit of its community, embodying the sophistication and energy of Washington.

“The Darcy will offer unparalleled, personalized service in the most convenient of locations in Washington, D.C.,” said Tobias Arff, general manager of The Darcy. “Our location is ideal no matter your reason for visiting – whether visiting the White House and the National Mall, heading to meetings on K Street or looking for inspiration from one of the new hot spots on 14th Street Corridor.”

Chefs Robert Wiedmaier and Brian McBride created the hotel’s restaurant, Siren, which will feature locally sourced ingredients paired with the world’s freshest seafood. Lil’ B, an intimate coffee shop and eatery, will be led by celebrity Chef David Guas, who brings his New Orleans style to the cafe. Additional amenities will include a fitness center, business services, room service, valet parking, concierge services and programming with business and leisure travelers in mind.

The approximately 5,500 square feet of meeting space, which will allow for flexible room sizes and include contemporary, state-of-the-art audio visual options, will make The Darcy a well-situated choice for meetings and events in the center of Washington, D.C. The hotel is a ten-minute walk from Metro stations at Dupont Circle and McPherson Square and three miles from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

“As home to so many important cultural institutions and a blossoming restaurant and nightlife scene, Washington, D.C. is a natural choice for expansion of the Curio Collection,” said Mark Nogal, global head of Curio – A Collection by Hilton. “The Darcy will provide a stylish alternative to the local area in addition to providing guests with a memorable hotel experience all with the reassurance of the Hilton name.”

As part of the Hilton portfolio, The Darcy, Curio Collection by Hilton participates in Hilton HHonors®, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 13 distinct hotel brands. Hilton HHonors Members always get the lowest price with the Best Price Guarantee, along with HHonors Points, free standard Wi-Fi, digital check-in and no booking fees only when they book directly through Hilton.

Cayman’s Art Scene

February 25, 2016

We enjoy a vibrant and creative arts scene here in the Cayman Islands and have a huge amount of talented artists who work hard to enliven our surroundings with their artwork. Artists have a good many places in which to showcase their talents, including hotels, coffee shops and businesses, as well as the more traditional […]

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Cayman’s Art Scene

February 25, 2016

We enjoy a vibrant and creative arts scene here in the Cayman Islands and have a huge amount of talented artists who work hard to enliven our surroundings with their artwork. Artists have a good many places in which to showcase their talents, including hotels, coffee shops and businesses, as well as the more traditional art galleries. Entities such as the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands and the Visual Arts Society champion the visual arts and the Cayman National Cultural Foundation promotes the performing arts, all showcasing art with a number of events, classes and exhibitions throughout the year. Local artists are given an opportunity to display their work and overseas artists bring a fresh perspective to Cayman’s art scene.

At the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, guests are greeted by an incredible art wall depicting Cayman’s iconic stingrays, created by EDG Interior Architecture and Design, the interior designers for the Resort’s lobby and restaurant. Mosaics and metal stingrays combine for an amazing and beautiful piece of artwork, admired by guests who can easily imagine themselves swimming with stingrays after enjoying the work. Local artist David Bridgeman has many of his art pieces displayed across the Island, in homes and businesses. A collection of his art graces the reception of Evolving Island and SteppingStones offices, above Fidelity Financial Centre on West Bay Road. These are five pieces of oils on aluminum plates, each piece flowing into the next, depicting David’s take on a landscape that mirrors his English heritage and his Caymanian home. Another piece hangs in Butterfield’s offices in George Town, again using the local landscape as inspiration, with a copse made up of red birch trees, a rain gauge in the middle of the woodland and a large calabash which looks like the setting sun. The path is littered with imaginary bluebells from English woodlands. So, while you enjoy your time in Cayman, take the time to enjoy our inspirational artwork that is all around us.

Virginia Crowne Plaza Gets Update

November 23, 2015

JN+A, HVS redesign Dulles Airport Hotel Jonathan Nehmer + Associates (JN+A) and HVS Design have been tapped to provide architecture and interior design services for the renovation of the Crowne Plaza Dulles Airport Hotel in Herndon, Va. The $7 million update is slated to begin this month and be finished early next year. The update […]

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Virginia Crowne Plaza Gets Update

November 23, 2015

JN+A, HVS redesign Dulles Airport Hotel

Jonathan Nehmer + Associates (JN+A) and HVS Design have been tapped to provide architecture and interior design services for the renovation of the Crowne Plaza Dulles Airport Hotel in Herndon, Va. The $7 million update is slated to begin this month and be finished early next year.

The update will include a redesign of the hotel’s lobby, club lounge, pre-function area, guest corridors and 327 guestrooms and suites. In addition, the fitness center will be expanded and revamped to reflect the brand’s new design prototype, which HVS Design created for the Crowne Plaza flag. A new Starbucks market is also in the lobby plans.

In keeping with a “Tailored to Travel” theme at the property, a wood feature wall and a floating, stone desk will be incorporated into the lobby. From a distance, the staggered, brick-patterned wall will give the appearance of a mélange textured weave.

The Rockville, Md.-based firms also say they’re instilling a tailored, minimalist feel in the guest rooms. The residentially inspired design will feature curated art that showcases varied mediums, subjects and framing techniques.

The Crowne Plaza Dulles Airport is owned and managed by Germantown, Md.-based SharCon Management. Columbia, Md.-based First Finish is the general contractor for the renovation project.