Being avant garde has been the credo of the 116-room Hotel Diva since Personality Hotels opened it in 1985. So it came as no surprise that even a quarter-century later the owner, Yvonne Detert, wanted the hotel to stay current, investing $2 million in renovations.
“Hotel Diva has always been a mover and shaker in the hotel industry, but it needed a fresh, exciting look,” said Detert. “The new look was inspired by a fashionable evening out on the town, à la a classic tuxedo ensemble. With this renovation, we wanted to add in a backdrop of drama.”
Designer Robert Edmonds, owner of Edmonds + Lee Architects, opted for “a dramatic, yet clean, modern style. I went for a fresh look, but one that kept with the existing feel of Hotel Diva—exciting, fashionable and a sense of being at the right place,” he said.
Guestrooms are done in three shades of gray with dark plum accents, setting off black and white furnishings, abstract geometrical carpeting and unique lighting. The hotel’s signature rolled-steel headboards were retained and are now accented with white bedding, an embroidered Diva pillow sham and ostrich feather boa bed throws. Chairs are covered in custom-designed fabric and window treatments include custom shades printed with two images: a woman’s form in a lacy corset and another of legs in high heels. Bathrooms feature a white Lucite wall pattern and floor tile resembling Brazilian hardwood.
The exterior of the hotel also got a new look, and is painted charcoal gray with white windows. “Painting the exterior of the building in striking black and white showcases the shades, and has caused people to stop in their tracks,” said Detert.
“It’s always a challenge to stay within budget but we did it,” added Edmonds, who touted the unique result of the project. “Everything has been re-envisioned with a dramatic, yet handsome, modern style.”
The renovation places Hotel Diva in a stronger position in the upscale boutique hotel market, said Detert, with pricing changes that are projected to increase RevPAR by 19% in 2012.
“The new design will allow us to compete better against the competition, mainly boutique hotels in the Union Square area, and to exceed quality perceptions,” she said. “The guestrooms have really appealing elements that have our guests asking where can they purchase the items in their rooms or take home an element of Diva to accent their homes.”