Stella Awards 2021: Best Decor/Design

NORTHEAST

Stellas 2021 Best Decor Design

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Trump International Hotel, Washington, D.C.

The Old Post Office, now the luxurious 263-room Trump International Hotel, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was completed in 1899. The ornate Romanesque Revival style has been retained in much of the present 263-room property, where wide guest corridors have original marble walls and transom windows softened by fabric drapery. Guest rooms have soaring windows, glittering crystal sconces and richly polished wood furnishings.

Planners will find more than 38,000 square feet of meeting space that includes the richly detailed Lincoln Library, with a 16-foot coffered ceiling, high arched windows that flood the room with natural light, ornate columns, intricate millwork, hardwood floors and velvet draperies, ideal for groups of under 150. At 13,200 square feet, the Presidential Ballroom can host receptions for up to 1,335 guests.


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InterContinental New York Barclay

Since opening in 1926, the 703-room InterContinental New York Barclay has welcomed guests to enjoy a luxurious residential-style experience in the heart of the city, just a few blocks from Grand Central Station, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the rest of Midtown’s many attractions. The hotel has seven well-appointed meeting rooms totaling 20,000 square feet, with two on-site ballrooms decked out in coffered ceilings, elegant chandeliers, custom crown molding, specialty carpeting, and custom lighting and millwork.

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Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center

Just outside the nation’s capital in National Harbor, Md., the 1,996-room Gaylord National Resort & Conference Center is decorated in Colonial and maritime motifs: golds, navy blues, dark woods, dour 18th-century portraits and smoky white Italian marble. Meeting space totaling 546,000 square feet can handle all sizes of groups and includes the 16,000-square-foot RiverView Ballroom, with two large event terraces overlooking the Potomac River, and the 31,127-square foot Chesapeake Conference Room with nearly 16,000 square feet of preconference space.

Finalist: New York LaGuardia Airport Marriott

Close to Manhattan and less than one mile from the airport via a free shuttle, the LaGuardia Airport Marriott features 443 efficiently laid-out and soundproofed guest rooms, including junior, executive and presidential suites perfect for hosting small groups. Event space totals more than 15,000 square feet across 17 rooms, the largest holding up to 400, includes a 5,000-square-foot ballroom and 16 breakout rooms.


SOUTHEAST

Stellas 2021 Best Decor Design 1

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Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort

The 369-room Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort in Florida announces its fun and funky style right from the get-go. The lobby sports a “Giant Flip-Flop” statue and a mammoth chandelier comprising 168 margarita glasses. Ind guest rooms, the theme is coastal casual and luxurious comfort. Furnishings utilize a soothing sand, sea and sky color palette, while the bathrooms sport sea glass-inspired tile work and custom Whale Tail sink faucets.

The resort has some 30,000 square feet of flexible indoor/outdoor function space, with over 15,000 square feet of interior meeting space on the 9th floor, tucked away from the rest of the action. An additional 7,000 square feet of outdoor terrace space on the 8th floor gives groups a stunning venue for receptions and dinners, along with a terrific view of the Atlantic Ocean.


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The Reach Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton

A recent multimillion-dollar renovation of The Reach Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton, has refreshed all 150 guest rooms with a nautical theme influenced by Key West’s rich culture, history, art and cuisine. Planners get to choose from over 20,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor event space, including two ballrooms that each feature a terrace, and the outdoor East Beach deck, overlooking a quaint pier and ideal for sunset receptions for up to 270 people.

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The Confidante Miami Beach

The retro-glam design of the Confidante on Miami Beach’s uber-hip Collins Avenue mirrors its 1940s origins. All 354 guest rooms feature rainfall showers, Jonathan Adler bath toiletries, and Atlantic Ocean or Miami skyline views. The hotel’s nearly 30,000 square feet of event space comes with smart technology, lots of lounge areas and midcentury modern details, as in the new 4,639-square foot Carmen Miranda Ballroom, with private wrap-around terrace overlooking the hotel’s pools, lush tropical landscape and, of course, the sparkling ocean.

Finalist: Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando

An Autograph Collection property, the. 247-room Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando has a lobby that resembles a modern palace with vaulted ceilings, striking Italian mosaics and a colorful art gallery with more than 150 works. Guest rooms similarly are enlivened by a curated collection of original artwork from renowned artists, along with purple velvet drapes, tall buttoned headboards and accents in Java wood.


MIDWEST

Stellas 2021 Best Decor Design 2

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Viceroy Chicago

On the site of the 1920s Cedar Hotel, today’s Viceroy Chicago has kept and restored the older property’s brick and terra cotta facade that now fronts a striking new 18-story glass tower. Guests enter into a three-story lobby space with a marble floor and an adjacent restaurant that sports the original neon Cedar Hotel sign on its second floor. Distinguished design firm Goettsch Partners also created a large dining and entry plaza off the street, a four-level terrace extending from the ballroom and meeting spaces, and a signature rooftop lounge terrace and outdoor pool with stunning views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline.

The hotel’s 180 revamped guest rooms are awash in stylish art deco or art moderne touches, using striking gold and black accents and period-inspired furnishing that look retro-chic against the backdrop of the city as viewed through floor-to-ceiling windows. Among the more modern conveniences are Nespresso machines, rain showers and free in-room WiFi access.


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Radisson Blu Mall of America

With 500 chic guest rooms and suites, the Radisson Blu Mall of America offers an edgy, fashion-forward aesthetic. Guests are greeted by a stunning lobby that features a black-and-white color palette accented with deep blue, as well as distinct lighting features, clean-lined seating and contemporary glass paneling. The Bloomington, Minn., property’s 26,300 square feet of meeting space is similarly kept stylish, from the sliced limes artfully arrayed around a table of Moscow Mules to a honeycomb-shaped shelf used for honey-themed breakouts inspired by the hotel’s rooftop bee colony.

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Emery, an Autograph Collection Hotel

The prevailing design at the Emery in Minneapolis is 1960s, specifically the cool, more minimalist early ’60s vibe of Mad Men that extends throughout the hotel’s 229 guest rooms and 6,000 square feet of meeting space. Located in the historic former Midland Bank building, the property has a bright plant-laden lobby with high ceilings, warm wood seating and a number of cozy nooks for breakout sessions.


SOUTHWEST

Stellas 2021 Best Decor Design 4

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Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center

Now’s perhaps the first opportunity to enjoy the fruits of a 2019 revamp at the 1,100-room Hyatt Regency Denver. The expansive, naturally lit lobby has bold pillars, stunning artwork and high windows, while guest rooms are marked by Inventive layouts, luxurious Hyatt Grand beds, sleek modern furniture and impressive picture-window views.

On-site dining has been refreshed as well, in the Former Saint Craft Kitchen and Taps (with an “adventuresome Colorado-inspired menu”), the urban and artful Assembly Hall Bar + Market in the lobby, and Peaks Lounge, said to be the highest bar in Denver, with picture windows showcasing the namesake Rockies. The hotel also supplies more than 60,000 square feet of meeting space across 35 meeting room, plus ample prefunction space.


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The Art Hotel Denver, Curio Collection by Hilton

Just steps away from the Denver Art Museum, the Art Hotel Denver houses its own collection of more than 50 pieces of contemporary artwork, including a 22,000-piece LED light installation by Leo Villareal. Indeed, the property weaves art into all of its dining, meetings and event offerings to enrich the group guest experience, as in the 3,145-square-foot Broadway Ballroom, a luxuriously airy, open space that features Sam Francis’ quintet of “Trietto” abstract works that pop with energy and color.

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Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center

In Grapevine, Texas, the design of the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center is all about the Lone Star State. The lobby has stone fireplaces, wood-rafter ceilings and western leather-craft furnishings; public spaces are punctuated by indoor garden atriums, and guest rooms (1,814 of them) utilize wood and a palette of rustic reds, chocolate browns and beiges, with splashes of turquoise. A Texas-size 490,132 square feet of event space give the property prime meetings and conventions cred.

Finalist: Beaver Creek Lodge

Hospitality just doesn’t get cozier than at the ski-in, ski-out Beaver Creek Lodge, an Autograph Collection property in Beaver Creek, Colo. It begins in the lobby with a flickering fireplace, antlers on the wall above, wood beams, a grand staircase, and with scattered statues of mountain climbers snaking up a soaring central atrium. All 72 guest rooms are similarly cozy in true ski-chalet style, with scenic river or mountain views. The lodge’s 5,058 square feet of event space includes a 1,344-square-foot conference room perfect for board meetings and training seminars.


FAR WEST

Stellas 2021 Best Decor Design 3

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The Venetian Resort Las Vegas

Innovative design at the Venetian Resort Las Vegas begins with 7,000 suites featuring a separate living area furnished with sofa and armchairs, an oversized Italian-marble bathroom, remote-controlled Roman curtains, a large work desk and multiple LCD HD TVs. Meeting and trade-show space, totaling an eye-opening 2.25 million square feet, lies just a short walk from guest rooms. All meeting rooms and exhibit areas are organized vertically and are connected by escalators, making it easy for attendees of larger events to quickly move from room to room.

The resort also offers many nontraditional space options such as private dining rooms, hospitality suites, poolside patios, lounges and theaters able to host special events like sushi rolling classes, mixology sessions, poolside yoga and more.


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‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach

At the 839-room ‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, a recent top-down revamp was inspired by the local culture and lush landscape. Lava stone mosaic accents, woven columns, artwork and other thoughtful design touches abound. Among highlights, the open-air lobby sports the spectacular 280,000-gallon Oceanarium; the pool deck offers a saltwater infinity pool and a pool bar; and the resort’s 22,000 square feet of flexible function space is draped in all the colors and textures of the tropical 50th state.

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The Ranch Malibu

Guests at The Ranch Malibu, a top wellness retreat spanning 200 acres in California’s Santa Monica Mountains, enjoy a a sequestered environment with no televisions, no cell and limited WiFi service to aid in mental detoxification. The property’s design celebrates the architecture of old Spain with rich textures and warm tones. All 19 guest cottages are decorated with reclaimed wood floors, limestone bathrooms, and linen-covered queen and king-sized beds. The calming colors and beautiful aesthetic promote relaxation, transformation and a restful night’s sleep.

Finalist: The Inn at the Mission San Juan Capistrano

In the heart of California’s historic San Juan Capistrano, the Inn at the Mission San Juan Capistrano celebrates the history and style of California and its roots in Old Spain within its suites, villas and 41,000 square feet of meeting space. The property’s design, by Los Angeles firm Kay Lang + Associates, includes hacienda-style guest rooms. Outdoor events can be staged in the gorgeous Olive Grove, complete with twinkling lanterns and firepits, and a lush foliage-ringed patio overlooking the ruins of the storied Great Stone Church.


INTERNATIONAL AND U.S. TERRITORIES

Stellas 2021 Best Decor Design 5

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The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas

A $100 million renovation completed in 2019 has enabled the 180-room Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas, to better reflect the beauty of its U.S. Virgin Islands setting. New design touches recall the island’s early position as a Caribbean trading center with artwork depicting the lush flora and fauna of the region, nautical knot displays, the “Custom House” lobby with concierge desks fashioned after vintage luggage, and colors evoking blue waters, green palm trees and coral conch shells.

The hotel’s airy guest rooms, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking lush lawns and turquoise waves, have been fitted with white ice marble floors, weathered white woods with natural walnut accents. More than 10,000 square feet of meeting space, including two ocean-view gazebos, similarly exudes an island-inflected charm.


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Conrad Punta de Mita

About 10 miles north of Mexico’s Puerto Vallarta, the Conrad Punta de Mita has a modern design that blurs the line between inside and outside. The property’s public spaces are open to the sky or contain apertures that provide a gateway to the natural world. A framed pergola welcomes guests in the main building, and an event lawn, part of 54,000 square feet of lush function space, is surrounded by mangroves. The 324 guest rooms have tropical colors, private terraces and Pacific Ocean views.

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JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa

Along Cancun's most pristine shoreline, the 447-room JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa has lovely palm-studded grounds but is known for its stunning interiors. The resort, including its 20,236 square feet of event space, is furnished with pieces that incorporate traditional Mayan designs, including authentic Mexican textiles and reclaimed wood accents adorned with meticulously carved drawings. Local artisans created the herringbone-patterned floors, while the hotel’s bedrooms and bathrooms feature marbled, aerial-view images of land formations.