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Tropical Touches

The Curtis hotel in downtown Denver has recently reopened, giving guests the chance to experience a tropical getaway without having to get away. The hotel’s experiential Jimmy Buffett suite was inspired by sunnier days and proves that vacation is a state of mind, and Parrotheads don’t have to go too far to feel far away.

Guests who book the Jimmy Buffett room can waste away in Margaritaville and explore beach-inspired decor, including a wall-mounted sailfish, ocean blue floor tiles, playful wall art featuring 25 hidden Jimmy Buffett songs, and nautical-inspired furniture, among other hints of paradise.

InspireDesign spoke with Staci Patton, principal, hospitality interior design director at DLR Group, the designer of the Jimmy Buffett suite, about the process of bringing the beach to Denver.

“The hyper-themed guestrooms were inspired by The Curtis team wanting to elevate the pop culture nostalgia present in the hotel’s branding and offer to discerning guests looking for a happy time,” Patton said.

The goal, according to Patton, is to offer immersive experiences for guests through themed floors, a unique feature of the hotel. For this suite specifically, the team chose to represent an artist or band that could capture a fun, new experience for guests.

“Jimmy Buffett was chosen after much consideration on those that impacted Denver, traveled through or had ties to the area. With all the hyper themes, we chose to update the furnishings by adding new millwork, artistic touchpoints including a feature mural, textures and fabrics that represent each theme to really capture the identity of the ‘Stay Happy’ experience,” she said.

Patton said that many people are unaware of the sizeable Buffett fan base in Colorado—a group referred to as the Colorado Parrothead Club.

“Jimmy was chosen due to his amazing concerts in Denver and the very upbeat and happy spirit his music and life has offered his ‘Parrothead’ fans. We knew this theme would offer a bright fresh expression and wish you away to Margaritaville once you opened the door,” Patton said.

The design team worked with Nine Dot Arts to commission a mural that illustrates scenes from more than 10 Jimmy Buffett songs as a hunt and seek style drawing. “A true Buffett fan will be able to see the scenes and name that song,” she said.

Patton added, “Each hotel offers something unique for its guests and what we have done at The Curtis simply cannot be replicated. It’s so important to be true to your identity as a hotel, representative of your locale community and the promise you offer. It’s a more authentic approach that discerning guests really find honest and more fun. At The Curtis, we had so much creative leverage to explore their ‘Stay Happy’ brand and really take it two to three notches above. The Curtis is a play zone full of discovery, and the themes really call to one’s memories and return the feel-good vibe. If other hotels choose to theme their experiences, we hope it’s true to their unique appeal. Guests don’t want copycats, just cool one-of-a-kind cats.”

Especially during this uncertain and stressful time, the design team wanted to offer guests an escape, filled with feelings of travel and discovery.

“The challenge with a theme room is to be on point with the subject matter,” she said. “In this case with Jimmy Buffett, we really wanted to inspire true fans and those who may not know Jimmy’s life and work. But more importantly, the opportunity is to design a room that encourages exploration.”