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WEB EXCLUSIVE: Ten Most Popular Design Stories of 2016

NATIONAL REPORT—It’s that time of year again where we look back at the year that was. The design-led hotel continues to be a major focus, and many properties were launched, redesigned or renovated to speak to the changing tastes and needs of design-savvy travelers. Some hotels capitalized on their storied past—The Highland Dallas and Deer Path Inn—while others aimed to create a nostalgic taste of summer—Lark Hotels’ Summercamp and Blue, Inn on the Beach, as well as The Georgian. Here are the top 10 design stories as determined by you, our readers.   

1. The Highland Dallas Ups Its Game With New Look

The Highland Dallas hotel, the former site of famed 1960s hotspot Trader Vic’s Tiki Room, was ready for a fresh new look to better illustrate its hip, local vibe. “It’s like choosing your wardrobe; at a certain point, you want to up your game and make certain everything looks its best,” shared David Lemmond, The Highland Dallas’ general manager. “We aimed to update our look to represent our unique personality.” Read the full article.

2. Deer Path Inn’s Renovation Harkens Back to English Roots

Designed after a mid-15th-century manor house, the 57-room Deer Path Inn located on Chicago’s North Shore has reopened after an extensive 12-month renovation. A return to its former glory was the main focus of this project. Read the full article. 

3. Lark Hotels Transforms Blue, Inn on the Beach Into a Sparkling Gem

Rising at 4:45 a.m. to catch the first peek of an orange- and blue-hued sunrise from the vantage point of a similarly exquisite Lark Hotels boutique hotel here—Blue, Inn on the Beach—is just one way Rachel Reider of Rachel Reider Interiors goes the extra mile in pursuit of a creative vision. Read the full article. 

4. Lark Hotels’ Summercamp Evokes the Essence of Summer

Drawn from its location on a former campground and designed to vibrantly capture the essence of summertime—catching fireflies, splashing in the water, campfire songs and swinging on a tire—Lark Hotels’ Summercamp is ready to welcome adults who deserve a break—and their families, too. Set on idyllic Martha’s Vineyard, the boutique hotel is the newest in a line of distinctive properties designed by Lark Hotels Design Director Rachel Reider of Rachel Reider Interiors. Read the full article. 

5. At Vancouver’s Skwachàys Lodge, Aboriginal Art Is in Focus

Skwachàys Lodge, based here, is more than a boutique hotel. It’s a social enterprise that houses an onsite gallery and 24 artists with the aim of creating an enveloping experience in Aboriginal arts and culture for guests, while serving its community of creatives, locals and tourists alike. Read the full article.

6. After Suite Refresh, The Georgian Evokes Seaside Luxury

The Georgian, a celebrated landmark here on Ocean Ave. for more than 80 years, has flung open its doors to reveal a refresh of its 14 signature suites and 14 oceanview suites.

“To see where it’s been and where it’s going is really exciting, and our repeat guests and new travelers will appreciate the history and comfort they feel when they’re here with us,” said Memory Rudolph, director of sales, The Georgian. Read the full article. 

7. Springmaid Beach Resort’s Reno Injects Playful Vibe

Sun and surf, sandy toes and family fun comes to mind when you think about this city, and its coastal environs are the main source of inspiration for the multiphase renovation of the Springmaid Beach Resort as it nears the final stages of a rebranding effort to become a DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Myrtle Beach Oceanfront later this year. Read the full article. 

8. Creating a Destination at New York’s Boro Hotel LIC

While architects and designers may love to create anew, sometimes you have to work with what you have. Aligned with this sentiment, New York City-based design and architectural firm Grzywinski + Pons embarked on a project that was halfway done by a previous owner and sought to develop a greater vision for Boro Hall LIC, reflecting the emerging and industrial-chic neighborhood here. Read the full article. 

9. Why Poised Taupe is Sherwin-Williams’ 2017 Color of the Year

As the authority on color, Sherwin-Williams’ Sue Wadden and a team of design experts travel the world to identify the latest trends, taking the pulse of world events—economic, political and pop culture—to determine what is resonating on a macro level. Through this process, a color palette emerges and there is one color that is the key driver. In a conversation with Hotel Business Design, Wadden shares why warm neutrals are staging a comeback and Sherwin-Williams’ Poised Taupe (SW 6039) is leading the charge as the 2017 Color of the Year. Read the full article.

10. Kimpton Schofield Shines As Cleveland Takes Center Stage

Propelled by recent events, the city of Cleveland is taking center stage: LeBron James leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to an NBA championship; the much-talked about Republican National Convention starring Donald Trump; the unveiling of a $50-million renovation of its historic Public Square; and now, the opening of the 122-room Kimpton Schofield Hotel. Read the full article.

—Corris Little