Stella Awards 2021: Best Hotel/Resort Renovation

NORTHEAST

Stellas 2021 Best Renovation

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The Langham, Boston

The design of the landmark Langham hotel represents the best of the old (the property began life as the ornate Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in 1922) and the new following an extensive renovation that included all 312 guest rooms, a grand new ballroom and more. The luxurious new lobby is decorated in jewel tones, with a cozy fireplace and sleek new check-in desk and concierge area. Rooms and suites feature new marble-clad bathrooms and New England-inspired décor.

Among the newly refurbished function spaces (totaling over 13,000 square feet), the Governor’s Room boardroom now has plush plaid carpeting and an oak table with bronze details. The new Lincoln Ballroom, which can accommodate 200 guests, features natural light via a skylight flanked by chandeliers, strategic gold-leaf touches and oversize antique mirrors. In addition, the entire hotel now sports a newly curated collection of art, including commissioned works by acclaimed local artists.


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Renaissance Newark Airport Hotel

The aptly named Renaissance Newark Airport Hotel in New Jersey has undergone a renaissance of its own, a revamp completed in 2020 that brought plush new pillow-top mattresses, sound-blocking windows and 55-inch smart HDTVs to the 396 guest rooms. The newly expanded 5,500-square-foot fitness center is equipped with new Peloton bikes, top-of-the-line Life Fitness cardio and strength equipment, and more. The hotel’s 16,618 square feet of meeting space also has been spruced up, including a ballroom that can hold 880 people and 16 breakout rooms.

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Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club

In June 2020, the 300-room Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club in Cape Cod, Mass., completed a $5.5 million renovation to its collection of on-site Britterige Villas, some or all receiving new furnishings, carpeting, kitchenettes and more. The facelift complements the ambiance of the property and provides guests with a refreshed, nature-inspired setting. The resort has a total 21,000 square feet off meeting space for groups of up to 5900, plus a private beach, five pools, a full-service spa and the private 18-hold Privé golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus.


SOUTHEAST

Stellas 2021 Best Renovation 1

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Emeline

Tucked among the quaint row houses and cobblestone streets of Charleston, S.C., the Emeline has completed a renovation of all 212 guest rooms, including 128 luxury suites. Rooms have been gut-renovated and outfitted with bespoke embroidered linens and towels from Matouk, gorgeous teal walls and plush headboards, vintage brass mirrors and premium amenities such as luxe branded spa robes, custom ceramic vanity accessories by local Charleston artist Susan Gregory and more.

In addition, the property now sports a new lobby, restaurant (Frannie & the Fox, with indoor/outdoor seating, serving wood-fired regional dishes), and ballroom among its approximately 13,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting space able to host gatherings of up to 240 people. Bicycles are provided for guests to enjoy forays around town.


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Rosen Shingle Creek

In Orlando, among the Rosen Shingle Creek’s 1,501 guest rooms are 37 grand suites and 69 oversized executive suites that recently have been reinvented with smart sophistication and a chic nod to nature, including op-art swirl-patterned carpets, plush accent chairs in burnished orange, and bursts of color in cylindrical porcelain lamps of persimmon red. The rooms’ walnut Spanish-inspired high-boy dressers and nightstands have new trendy paint schemes that highlight their hand-carved flourishes, while new in-room technology includes QI-tech alarm clocks with wireless cell-phone recharging.

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The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes

Hot on the heels of a $30 million renovation, the 582-room Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, features newly upgraded guest rooms, a revamped luxury pool with private cabanas and an updated Club Lounge. The new room design is marine-inspired, with nautical details and curated artwork. Upholstered wall panels, cozy bedside lighting and globe-shaped cut-glass pendants dangling from the ceiling add to the elegance. New custom furniture includes upholstered and wooden chairs, stuffed couches and chaise lounges. Bathrooms have been outfitted with double vanity sinks and marble flooring. The hotel offers 147,000 square feet of meeting space.

Finalist: The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island

In honor of its 30th anniversary this year, the 446-room Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island, in Florida, is debuting a transformation that reflects its location amid unspoiled coastal beauty and Southern charm. The renovation includes upgraded rooms and suites, where smart TVs, bedside charging stations and newly redesigned living areas provide more space for relaxation, as well as refreshed meeting and event spaces (of which the hotel has a total of 48,9000 square feet) and three new restaurants. 


MIDWEST

Stellas 2021 Best Renovation 3

 

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Even Hotel & Tinley Park Convention Center

In the fast-growing village of Tinley Park, Ill., just 26 miles southwest of Chicago, the new Even Hotel & Tinley Park Convention Center recently completed a $10 million renovation that completed its rebranding from a Holiday Inn Hotel. The Even mission is to serve travelers’ holistic wellness needs, and thus each of the hotel's 202 guest rooms have been completely renovated and include a mounted fitness wall, bed headboards with colored LED mood lighting to allow a calming environment, spa-inspired bathrooms and more.

The newly expanded 120,000-square-foot Tinley Park Convention Center, attached to the hotel, is known for its warm atmosphere and abundant, versatile space ideal for major conventions, trade shows, meetings and special events. The facility now offers approximately 70,000 square feet of event space (58,000 contiguous) with up to 35-foot ceiling heights. It is able to support more than 375 8x10-foot booths and 21 breakout rooms of various sizes.


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MotorCity Casino Hotel

Just prior to the pandemic, Detroit’s MotorCity Casino Hotel made a commitment to renovate its meeting and convention space, a promise now kept. The property’s refreshed 67,500 square feet for events includes the 17,856-square-foot Grand Ballroom with beautiful chandeliers that can change colors to match the mood or color scheme of the occasion. Among other enhancements, all meeting rooms have been equipped with cutting-edge audiovisual equipment, including video teleconference capabilities.

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Minneapolis Marriott City Center

With 45,814 square feet of recently revamped meeting and event space, the 585-room Minneapolis Marriott City Center is open for business and raring to go. The hotel has 24 event rooms, including the Grand Portage Ballroom, which can host up to 2,400 people, and 21 maximum breakout rooms. Connected to the ingenious network of climate-controlled skyways that traverse the city’s downtown, the property is conveniently located near top local attractions such as the Target Center, Target Field and US Bank Stadium.


SOUTHWEST

Stellas 2021 Best Renovation 4

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The Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park

Since its debut in the 1930s, the 130-room Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park has been a landmark in El Paso, Texas, and promises to be even more so following a two-year, more than $78 million renovation. The transformation included upgrades to guest rooms, public spaces, meetings and event spaces. The hotel also introduced two upscale food and beverage concepts, the Ámbar Restaurante and La Perla, both available for private group dining. In the lobby/library, the space has an artisan quality with a fireplace framed by rich tan leather and mohair seating, sleek marble tables, and teardrop chandeliers hung from floating Mahogany clouds.

One highlight is the hotel’s historic ballroom, which includes e mezzanine area overlooking San Jacinto Plaza, for a total 2,815 square feet of space for receptions of up to 160 people for receptions. An additional three meeting rooms ranging from 310 to 724 square feet. In all, the Plaza offers nearly 7,600 square feet of meeting and event space with artwork by Mexican National and Texas artists such as Victoria Villasana and Ray Chiarello.


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The Broadmoor

In 2020, the 784-room Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo., debuted its new Bartolin Hall, bringing total function space at the property to over 315,000 square feet. The new space matches the Italian Renaissance style of the rest of the resort, allowing large conference or trade shows to unfold in similar splendor. The hall’s 93,500 square feet of exhibit space features polished concrete floors, 25-foot-high black piped ceilings and direct connection to the 60,000 square-foot Broadmoor Hall ballroom. Bartolin Hall also offers 18 breakout rooms on the first floor with dedicated food service areas. The second-floor mezzanine level has an additional 14 meeting rooms equipped with airwalls for customization.

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Adero Scottsdale, an Autograph Collection Hotel

Following an $100-million investment, the Adero Scottsdale made its debut in October 2020 as part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection. Perched high above Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, the property offers a full menu of outdoor adventure and fitness activities, while its 177 guest rooms and suites are outfitted with the latest technology, custom furniture, a simple design palette that reflects the colors of sunrise and expansive private balconies with incredible views. Other highlights include more than 16,800 square feet of versatile indoor and outdoor meeting and event space, including a 5,000-square-foot ballroom and private event lawns, a world-class fitness center, a spa, three dining venues and — believe it — an adventure concierge.

Finalist: Margaritaville Lake Resort, Lake Conroe/Houston

A makeover of the 303 luxury suites at the 335-room Margaritaville Lake Resort, Lake Conroe/Houston has given them a light and airy color palette that channels the lake, sand and sky. Starting at 600 square feet, the suites have separate bedrooms, high-end furnishings and lavish bathrooms with walk-in rain showers and granite vanities. Each suite also offers its own private, furnished balcony, perfect for enjoying morning coffees and evening cocktails over views of the lake. Other features at the resort include five signature Margaritaville-inspired restaurants, a waterpark, a spa, golf and 72,000-square feet of IACC-approved meeting space. 


FAR WEST

Stellas 2021 Best Renovation 2

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Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa

In coastal Carlsbad, Calif., the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa recently underwent a more than $50 million renovation that upgraded the 327 guest rooms, the restaurant and bar, as well as all 83,000 square feet of meeting and event space. The new resort experience celebrates the Southern California lifestyle and the artistic expression of the Park Hyatt brand. Guests will find a dramatic redesign of the resort’s striking lobby entrance, spacious public areas and outdoor-pool offerings, which now feature seven distinct aquatic experiences.

The property’s 40,000 square feet of refreshed indoor event space includes the 11,730-square-foot Grand Ballroom. Some 173,000 square feet of outdoor meeting space among 200 pristine acres gives attendees unmatched access to expansive areas with fresh coastal air and lavish scenery. From the lobby’s outdoor veranda, a double grand staircase leads to an expansive new event lawn featuring a colorful, eclectic display of native plants, including date palms, birds of paradise and an assortment of aloes and agaves.


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Town and Country Resort

In September 2020, the 704-room Town and Country Resort in San Diego’s Mission Valley completed a two-year, $95 million top-to-bottom renovation, introducing revamped guest rooms, four new dining outlets, 258,000 square-feet of renovated meeting space, a sun-drenched pool complex, and a three-acre riverfront park, all while remaining true to the its mid-20th-century roots. For example, the now more central reception area and lounge includes a large bar, oversized armchairs and picture-window views of the pool deck beyond, the pool itself now sporting a new four-story Twister waterslide.

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L’Auberge Del Mar

At the beginning of 2021 the 121-room L’Auberge Del Mar in San Diego’s lively Del Mar district underwent a major renovation that resulted in a remodeled lobby and bar area with a new coffee shop, a refreshed 16,545 square feet of meeting space and a completely reimagined restaurant and pool area. The property also offers a full-service spa and gathering spots outside overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Finalist: South Point Hotel & Casino

The 2,163-room South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas has been receiving rave reviews for its recent guest-room remodel, resulting in new wooden floors, refrigerators, coffeemakers and a makeup mirror. In addition, the lobby sports new flooring and furniture, and a new movable walkway connects the on-site 70,000-square-foot conference center to the property’s 80,000-square-foot exhibit center, both of which also now feature complimentary WiFi. In all, the hotel offers 175,0009 square feet of event space.


INTERNATIONAL AND U.S. TERRITORIES

Stellas 2021 Best Renovation 5

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The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas

While the plush Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas, underwent a transformation that was revealed in December 2019, the outbreak of Covid-19 delayed a proper debut until this year. The all-encompassing $100 million project includes fully redesigned public spaces, guest accommodations, event and meeting space, and dining venues. The property’s refreshed look and feel introduces a pristine white palette with splashes of color inspired by the sparkling sea and the lush tropical landscape of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

All 180 guest rooms and suites now feature a bright and airy design; other enhancements include a remodeled infinity pool, a second pool with a slide and newly designed cabanas. The resort’s new Lady Lynsey II is a 60-foot catamaran that can host up to 75 guests for snorkeling tours, sunset dinner cruises and island-hopping excursions. Finally, among more than 10,000 square feet of on-site meeting space, the property’s 1,250-square-foot ballroom and several meeting rooms have undergone a redesign.