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Artistry in San Antonio

The San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter, part of Marriott International Inc., has revealed a renovation of the entire hotel, which was completed in early March.

“San Antonio’s most recognizable symbol, the quatrefoil, was the inspiration for the lobby’s design,” said Regan McClean, Parker Torres Design’s senior interior designer on the project. “This four-leaved symbol is seen in iconic architecture throughout the city. Each of the emblem’s four leaves represents a characteristic of the city: pride, texture, artistry and tradition. These elements were modernized throughout the design to immerse the hotel in the spirit of San Antonio.”

The San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter, one of the largest hotels in downtown San Antonio, spent 2019 undergoing the extensive renovation of all 1,000 guestrooms, public areas and food and beverage outlets. Additionally, more than 11,000 sq. ft. of meeting and event space was added, bringing the hotel to a total of 70,000 sq. ft. of flexible event space.

“The hotel is located on the well-known Riverwalk, home to lush vegetation and the yearly Fiesta celebration that infuses bright colors, music and cultural celebrations,” McClean said. “This adjacency was the driving force behind the green and purple color selections and the inspiration for the customized art package throughout the public spaces.”

All guestrooms, suites and common space areas were renovated and refurnished to feature a more modern and luxurious design. The hotel’s lobby and common areas underwent a complete redesign, and now features two new dining experiences, complete with a new market, restaurant and bar.

Aaron Miller, interior architect for Parker Torres Design, noted that in regard to the lobby design, a challenge was making sure the large, open three-story space felt personal.

“Creating small groupings of intimate seating was an important feature,” Miller said. “Seating groups tucked in slight niches at the bar feature wall, banquette seating in the restaurant separated by glass features, and loose lounge seating in the larger circulation paths all achieve quiet moments within the large space.”

The hotel’s location prompted a number of design selections as well.

“Artistry is shown in the stunning glass feature wall commissioned by a local San Antonio artist. Texture is evident in the mix of rough and sleek finishes. Art throughout the space celebrates the pride of San Antonio by highlighting the yearly Fiesta celebration that takes place just outside the hotel on the Riverwalk. Multicultural tradition and influence is shown through the accents of color and pattern throughout the space,” McClean said.

Tributary, the hotel’s main restaurant, offers Texas-modern cuisine and cocktails with a “crafted, not complicated” attitude in a stylish setting. The chef-driven restaurant features artisan, seasonal dishes and sources fresh ingredients from local and regional farming partners.

“We want guests and employees to feel the local vibe of San Antonio within the hotel. Everywhere you look within the space has an element and detail that reflects the city’s authentic characteristics in a new, vibrant and modern way,” McClean said.

The hotel also has a 24-hour health club with fitness equipment and an indoor-outdoor swimming pool. Additionally, the property now offers an M Club, a 24-hour destination for Marriott elite members.

As the world shifts into a new state, the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter is committed to providing guests with an environment that aligns with expert protocols. The Marriott Cleanliness Council is devoted to ensuring the health of guests and associates, enforcing social distancing and installing hand-sanitizer stations throughout the hotel.

“Social distancing was not an initial consideration for us as the design was complete prior to COVID-19,” Miller said. “Only the last phases of final construction were interrupted by the pandemic. At the time of the design development for this project, our industry was striving to maximize seating and enhance social experiences. Over the past few months, we have worked with the hotel to remove seating and open the main spaces more. Luckily for us, those intimate moments we created to combat the volume of the space lend itself nicely to social distancing and feel purposeful within the new guidelines.”

Additionally, the property is now conducting virtual tours of the 70,136 sq. ft. of meeting space with socially distant setups via video conference calls for those who wish to plan their event from afar.

“Hotels are a transitory space between what is familiar and what is new; this design plays a part in melding that experience,” McClean said. “Although the hotel is rooted in the local traditional identity, our intent with this renovation was to bypass the clichés and provide a space that reflects a modern San Antonio.”