Stella Awards 2022: Best Decor/Design


Stella Awards 2022 Best Decor Design 1

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Inns of Aurora

Five historic homes totaling 54 rooms and within walking distance of each other comprise the Inns of Aurora on Cayuga Lake in Northern New York State. The Aurora Inn (built in 1833), E.B. Morgan House (1858), Rowland House (1903), Zabriskie House (1904) and Wallcourt Hall (1909) have all been lovingly restored to accentuate their time-honored character. The Rowland House, for example, is flanked by ancient trees and a handsome two-story boathouse, with its 10 guest rooms featuring private marble baths, original modern art and luxurious linens. A private lounge on the third floor is decorated with playful designs from MacKenzie-Childs.
There’s more: The complex has a new 15,000-square-foot healing and wellness center, an on-site conference center with 2,000 square feet of event space, rolling lawns and lots of recreational opportunities at the lake.

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The Wayfinder

In Newport, R.I., the Wayfinder has 197 spacious rooms and suites featuring a palette of coastal colors, custom furnishings, vintage finds and local touches, including some 1,000 pieces of art, all created by Newport artists. The pool area sparkles at night thanks to small overhead white lights. Similarly well-appointed event space includes the 1,920-square-foot Telltale Room, able to host a banquet for up to 125 people, and the 910-square-foot Compass Room & Terrace, which can accommodate 125 for a reception.

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The Roundtree, Amagansett

A quintessential East Hampton getaway on New York’s Long Island, the Roundtree, Amagansett, has just 15 rooms that pay homage to the area’s historic farmsteading legacy dating to the 1700s. One of the property’s five cottages, for example, has a wide plank hardwood floor and an open, airy feel, with a cathedral ceiling, gas fireplace, two bedrooms on the first floor with custom-made beds, a living room with a queen sofa bed and a spiral staircase leading up to a cozy loft area with two twin beds. The grounds are similarly charming, the beach is nearby and a conference room sits up to 20.


Stella Awards 2022 Best Decor Design 2

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Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort

Influenced by the colors of the sea, sand and sky, the 369 guest rooms and suites at the Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort in South Florida offer a tropical vibe along with practical conveniences, beginning with the lobby. Here, wooden sofas are piled with brightly colored throw pillows and hung from the ceiling with ropes, while a giant blue flip-flop sculpture commands the center. Barrel-style seating, white plantation shutters and a profusion of plants contribute to the atmosphere of a carefree getaway.
The grounds are dotted with colorful Adirondack chairs, with dozens of aquamarine loungers and umbrellas around the pools, and palm trees everywhere. All suites offer furnished balconies with  views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean or Intracoastal Waterway,  while the more than 15,000 square feet of meeting space on the 9th floor (there’s another 15,000 square feet outdoors) is insulated from distractions to create an enclave of productivity. 

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Lake Nona Wave Hotel

In Orlando, the 234-room Lake Nona Wave Hotel  lures guests in with a façade of curved glass connoting the energy of a wave. The interiors bloom with a multicolored collection of artworks, patterns, jaw-dropping custom furniture, bespoke wall coverings and more. Guest rooms feature a kaleidoscopic palette, custom modern furnishings, colorful porcelain tile made in Italy, and patterned wallpaper and drapery that practically dance up the walls. Meetings can take place in the sculpture garden under a canopy of nearly 300 palm trees, and a ballroom can host receptions of up to 300. 

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Margaritaville Hotel Nashville

Drawing inspiration from the surrounding city, the Margaritaville Hotel Nashville marries a “casual-luxe” design to a metropolitan attitude. The 166 guest rooms feature touches like wood-paneled floors, throw pillows that resemble slices of lime, muted pastel colors — the Jimmy Buffet Suite on the top floor even comes with its own table games. The resort offers imaginative meeting space like the colorful Compass Rose Ballroom, able to host banquets fo 224 and cocktails for 400, and the “Porch of Indecision,” an outdoor patio on the second floor perfect for meeting breaks and receptions.


Stella Awards 2022 Best Decor Design 3

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Radisson Blu Mall of America

In Bloomington, Minn., the fashion-inspired 500-room Radisson Blu Mall of America’s unique mid-century touches are mixed throughout with bold, creative furniture and lighting, presenting inviting spaces in which to relax and connect. The lobby has a cozy fireplace and, in deference to the connected Mall of America, a two-story 3-D Krion wall resembles a pristine shopping bag with treasures inside. The second-floor FireLake Grill House sports reclaimed barn wood walls, columns and beams sourced from all over Minnesota, while further up, a skybridge leading to the mall was designed to mimic Minneapolis’ famed skyway system.
Two elegant ballrooms and 14 meeting rooms help form the hotel’s 26,300 square feet of versatile meeting and event space, while a full-service fitness center and the Laughing Waters Spa tend to guests’ physical and emotional well-being.

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Grand Traverse Resort and Spa

Alongside Lake Michigan in Traverse City, Mich., the 550-room Traverse Resort and Spa recently completed a three-year, nearly $3 million renovation of its more than 86,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, using blue and grey hues, all linen-less banquet tables and locally made chairs to create what the designers call a “lake effect.” Spaces include the stately 19,320-square-foot Governors’ Hall, able to accommodate up to 1,500 people for a banquet, while the smaller Tower, Mackinac and Peninsula rooms allow for more intimate gatherings. In all, the property can host up to 2,500 attendees

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MotorCity Casino Hotel

The design concepts found at the 400-room MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit take their cue from the excitement to be found in its 100,000-square-foot casino as well as from the storied history of its hometown as the fabled center of automobile manufacture. The casino itself, for example, is shaped to resemble a classic 1950s tail fin-style car, while the hotel’s 67,500 square feet of meeting space features a mix of white and gold seating, sparkling chandeliers and striking Dale Chihuly glass throughout. The Sound Board, an on-site live music theater with a capacity of 2,400 people, showcases the imaginative custom lighting found throughout the property.


Stella Awards 2022 Best Decor Design 5

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Hotel Drover, an Autograph Collection Hotel

There’s an urban ranch oasis in Fort Worth, Texas, known as the Hotel Drover, which celebrates the spirit of the West with a luxuriously rustic design throughout via an extensive use of reclaimed woods, copper, steel and native Texas stone. An exterior focal point is the signature neon cowboy installation by Austin’s famed Evan Voyles, while the hotel’s many public spaces and guest rooms showcase art and custom furnishings from Texas artisans, including branded leather check-in booths, bespoke antler and blackened steel chandeliers, and cowhide lounge chairs.
Guests can choose among 200 charming guest rooms, uniquely furnished bunkhouse rooms and luxurious suites featuring luxury sheets, down comforters, organic bath products and wet bars; suites also offer soaking tubs, fireplaces, balconies and patios. The property has more than 10,000 square feet of flexible indoor meeting and event space, including a 4,500-square-foot barn with 150-year-old reclaimed beams, reclaimed wood floors and three Italian crystal chandeliers.

Stella Awards 2022 Best Decor Design 6

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Hotel Valley Ho

In downtown Scottsdale, Ariz., just 25 minutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Scottsdale Airport, the Hotel Valley Ho opened in 1956 and stands today as a fully renovated modernist icon with 241 generously sized rooms and suites outfitted with floor-to-ceiling glass, terrazzo tile baths behind translucent walls, unique Arizona artwork and mod décor, as well as airy patios or balconies. The on-site VH Spa, with its roster of revitalizing treatments and workouts, overlooks the outdoor pool, while the ZuZu restaurant serves seasonal American fare.
The hotel offers 13,000 square feet of hip indoor meeting space, including the 2,400-square-foot Valley Ho Ballroom and 4,000-square foot SoHo Ballroom, as well as over 20,000 square feet of outdoor event space that includes the panoramic Sky Line Rooftop and the lush Palm Court.

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Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center

Embracing the Aggie “Howdy!” spirit, the 250-room Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center serves as the guest house for the university, sharing the richness of the university’s storied history, treasured traditions and exceptional academic, research and athletic prowess. Maroon and white with soft accents of gray are tastefully woven throughout the property’s contemporary setting, along with historic photos & treasured memorabilia. Cutting-edge is the prevailing theme for the hotel’s 35,000 square feet of meeting and event space.


Stella Awards 2022 Best Decor Design 4

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The Venetian Resort Las Vegas

With more than 7,000 suites in three opulent towers on the Las Vegas Strip, the Venetian Resort still manages to pay acute attention to details. Elegant guest rooms range from 650 to 720 square feet and borrow from European design models, including separate living areas furnished with sofas and armchairs, oversized Italian-marble bathrooms, remote controlled Roman curtains, large work desks and multiple TVs. An array of on-site bars, restaurants, hospitality parlors, poolside patios, lounges, theaters and restaurants were designed for guest networking and activities like sushi rolling classes, mixology sessions and poolside yoga.
Some 2.25 million square feet of on-site meeting and trade-show space is conveniently located just a 3-4 minute walk from guest suites. Meeting rooms and exhibit areas are organized vertically and connected by escalators, easing the flow from room to room of attendees. Did we mention that there’s also a casino?

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Montage Healdsburg

In California’s scenic Sonoma Valley., the Montage Healdsburg celebrates the great outdoors with 130 bungalow-style guest rooms that complement the landscape, as in the Vineyard King Room, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking vineyards, hardwood flooring lending a charming wine-country feel, and lots of accents in stone, wood and copper. The Deluxe Forest Studio sports marble bathrooms with a bathtub and separate indoor/outdoor showers, plus a furnished balcony with outdoor firepit. The resort also has 6,300 square feet of similarly rustic-luxe meeting space.

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The design of the 62-room Bardessono in Yountville, Calif., takes its cue from its lush Napa Valley surroundings. All villas have natural, earth-infused décor and custom-crafted furnishings, while the spa suites have lots of natural light with luxurious bathrooms, gas fireplaces and a private furnished courtyard or balcony. The resort also partners with Andrea Schwartz Gallery of San Francisco to feature artworks throughout the hotel that are updated annually and as pieces are sold. The property has more than 5,600 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space.

Finalist: The Ranch Malibu

Nestled amidst 200 sprawling acres in California’s Santa Monica Mountains, three miles above the Pacific Ocean, the Ranch Malibu offers an intimate experience, immersed in nature and focused on health. The grounds offer a rustic, yet refined atmosphere with a palette of soft neutrals, natural woods and greenery, while all 21 private 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.


Stella Awards 2022 Best Decor Design 7

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La Concha Resort

Epitomizing the “Latino Chic” lifestyle, La Concha Resort is a leading lifestyle beach resort and nightlife destination in San Juan, Puerto Rico. A retro urban showcase and architectural landmark built in 1958, the resort has been completely reimagined for the 21st century. On-site highlights include the iconic Perla event venue, a 2,765-square-foot seashell-shaped structure that appears to be floating above water and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean from every angle. The property’s grand entrance is framed by a color-stained glass wall and an inner courtyard. Luxury finishings include eight custom Murano lamps that create a shimmer effect due to the surrounding reflecting pool.
Among the resort’s 483 guest rooms, the Suite tower features 235 namesake accommodations with chic furnishings, European-style kitchenettes, entertainment centers, custom carpets, turndown service and panoramic ocean views. Other features include three outdoor pools, assorted wellness programs, a casino and more.

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Condado Vanderbilt

In San Juan, Puerto Rico, the 391-room Condado Vanderbilt was built in 1919 and today stands as a monument to classic Spanish Revival architecture. After decades of gentle repose, the property has been restored to its legendary grandeur through meticulous renovation. Guest rooms feature 300-count Rivoita Carmignani linens, plush bedding and spa-inspired baths with marble showers and stone-topped vanities. The hotel’s 100 spacious suites offer sweeping views of the Caribbean framed by elegant French doors, which open to private terraces and balconies. 

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Conrad Punta de Mita

Situated among Riviera Nayarit’s natural landscape and aquamarine waters, the new-build 324-room Conrad Punta de Mita reflects Mexico's rich history and unique culture to create a sense of barefoot resort elegance. Integrating indigenous artwork with luxury amenities, the hotel offers expansive, contemporary beachfront suites featuring large patios, plunge pools, freestanding soaking tubs and outdoor showers. Natural elements are also used throughout the Conrad Spa, where each individual treatment room is an open-air igloo made with twisted wood that allows natural light to pour in.
The property’s signature restaurant, Codex, is tucked away on the secluded edge of the resort and is approached via a bridged walk where guests brush past the surrounding forest of mangroves before reaching an entry with four fountains. An open kitchen, Pacific Ocean views and décor that includes unique clay ceramics made from minerals found in local clay help set the mood for the sumptuous food that ensues. The resort also has more than 54,000 square feet of flexible meeting space.

Finalist: Thompson Zihuatanejo

The 56-room Thompson Zihuatanejo, which sits majestically along the Playa la Ropa in the resort area of Ixtapa in Mexico, sports a colorful new mural depicting the local fishing culture, wildlife and nature that help make this boutique resort a hidden gem. With its private beach, water sports, tequila tastings and access to the nearby La Chole Archeological Site, the property is a natural for meeting planners, who can arrange gatherings for up to 200 at the on-site HAO restaurant and up to 300 on Ceniza Beach.