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Whimsical Journey

Stay Happy. That’s the mantra for Denver’s The Curtis Hotel, a DoubleTree by Hilton, and it was the inspiration for DLR Group when transforming the property’s lobby into a nostalgic space with naturalistic materials, vibrant colors, and both vintage and modern design elements suggestive of each Colorado season.

All Photos: Kruger Images

DLR Group Principal Staci Patton noted, “At The Curtis Hotel, and driven by our creative client Sage Hospitality, we wanted guests to feel the excitement of travel, nostalgic memories and the adventurous spirit of Colorado. The design aesthetic is inspired by camping trips set in the 1970s and 1980s, which instantly sparks nostalgia for the guests’ journey ahead. Designing with a campground in mind, we included fun camping activities such as a ‘drive-in’ movie theater, an ‘indoor pool’ created using blue tiles, and an RV positioned as the lobby’s welcoming transportation to new memories and the tail end offers technology connection. All these elements are enveloped by the great outdoors and those stay happy memories.”

With Colorado recreation at the heart of the design inspiration, outdoor influences can be seen throughout the space. For instance, the check-in desk, inspired by rock climbing, has a bright array of climbing ropes, knots and carabiners. “The desk design is completed with its stylized ribbed face and overhead canopy to mimic the undulations found on rock terrain,” Patton said.

“The lobby also features a photo station that mimics a ‘Bluebird day,’ sunny, cloudless weather typically after a snowfall,” she said. “If skiing isn’t the plan for the day, guests are invited to relax in the vintage-inspired campground where they can sip on craft cocktails and unwind.”

The backdrop of the entire lobby is a soaring red rock mural, inspired by the Red Rocks Amphitheatre. ”As one of the most famous music venues in the world, the mural has a metallic texture inspired by music, a clear starry night, and the lights from the venue making a striking silhouette of the nearby mountains,” Patton said.

With all of these different elements included, flow was important. “When walking through the lobby, we made sure that the design flows seamlessly from one feature to the next,” Patton said. “By using the same bright color palette throughout the space, each activity is correlated to a different season. We made the ideas work together in a seamless way by creating a path for guests to explore. By guiding visitors throughout the space, they feel as though they are discovering something new and exciting about both the hotel and those feelings of vacation memories.”

Patton noted that over the past few years, the hotel has added “hyper-themed” guestrooms, with designs inspired by Barbie, the Star Trek franchise and Jimmy Buffett. “The lobby design was conceptualized to connect the whimsy guests find in their suites from the moment of arrival,” she said. “To continue the fun, the lobby provides guests with a coffee corner, board games and a cocktail bar.”