ALMAZORA, SPAIN—First impressions mean everything and you only get one chance to get it right. For La Quinta Inns & Suites’ fresh, new Del Sol prototype design, its custom-made facade by Neolith strives to look as good as the interior.
The prototype design is centered on making a statement, being guest-inspired, as well as developer- and owner-friendly. To achieve a distinct look for its exterior, the brand enlisted Neolith, a subsidiary of TheSize Surfaces, a surfacing manufacturer based here.
“La Quinta Inn & Suites’ new prototype was inspired by extensive guest-experience research and a desire to create a fresh design using unique elements. The new design features a dramatic composition of color and texture that creates a facade that is bold and inviting,” said Krishna Paliwal, SVP of design & development, La Quinta Inn & Suites. “It combines iconic brand elements such as La Quinta’s recognizable red-clay roof with elegantly clean geometric lines. Neolith’s clay-based panels provide a reddish-rustic color with liquid-glass sheen that gives a modern and distinctive look that makes La Quinta a welcoming destination.”
TheSize Surfaces is a fairly young company, having began in 2009, creating an 100% natural surfacing material comprised of clay, mineral pigments and quartz. For surfacing projects, the manufacturer produces a big slab of Neolith that is made in three different thicknesses and various properties, including zero porosity, scratch resistance and UV resistance, and the color doesn’t fade, according to Daniel Sanchez, sales director for The Size Surfaces, manufacturer of Neolith.
“Our surfacing material is an all-new product and it takes time to find the right network to establish a project. North America is booming and we can deliver a unique approach to countertops, wall plating, outdoor furniture, flooring, etc.,” said Sanchez. “There are so many applications for this product that it’s actually a new product category—sinter compact surface. We work in 65 different markets regularly, including Europe and Asia, and we have different projects with huge potential.”
It was Neolith’s pronounced abilities to transform a look with color selected by the client, providing ample opportunities for variety and creativity in implementing the exterior’s design.
“The custom-color iteration of the Neolith material is quite unique in itself. It creates optical features when natural light strikes the liquid-glass sheen and has a wonderful light-to-dark color variation as well,” said Paliwal. “All new La Quinta hotels will be built using the Del Sol prototype design. We anticipate using Neolith or similar material to maintain a consistent look on these new-builds.”
Hotels chains often require a uniform look and the surfacing manufacturer sought to meet the brand’s particular needs by starting with developing the right product for the prototype design and presenting it for approval.
“We started with the most difficult part, which is product development. We took different shades and combined them all together. La Quinta selected one of our colors and we created three select shades with the same color. They decided to do three different shades going from darker to lighter in color.
Sanchez noted that custom work is very complicated and the process entailed six months of continued testing and sending samples from their headquarters in Spain to the brand’s approval.
“Apart from four colors we did for La Quinta, we produced these shades exclusively for the brand and it’s one of the special things we were able to do,” said Sanchez. “It was tough work, but we finally got what they wanted and they’re tremendously happy. As a result, we received more orders and more hotels to be supplied.”
As the brand strives to listen and speak to its guests and owners, implementing a new, modern appearance with Neolith’s surfacing materials was a vital piece of the puzzle.
“La Quinta’s new prototype design is part of the company’s overall business strategy to innovate for the benefit of our guests and hotel owners. The use of bold shapes, colors and textures creates a unique and distinctive elevation on the exterior where Neolith material is used,” said Paliwal. “With its unique elements and curb appeal, this new design is a beacon that will attract travelers to La Quinta and drive value for La Quinta hotel owners.”