The Renovated Curtis Hotel Lobby Welcomes Happy Campers
The renovation of the Curtis Hotel lobby in Denver provided a unique opportunity for the property to create a refreshed and playful space. Working with Denver-based Sage Hospitality, creators of the Curtis Hotel brand, DLR Group’s interior design solution transforms the lobby into an ideal day in Colorado, pulling inspiration from the surrounding landscape and typical Coloradan pastimes. We highlighted local vendors and makers by incorporating local products that celebrate Colorado and embrace details that make the space special and unique to the area.
With an in-depth understanding of the Curtis Hotel’s unique brand and “Stay Happy” nostalgic mantra, we set the tone for the Curtis Hotel by featuring a happy camper at its front door. Creating a memorable first impression, the happy camper takes hotel guests back to the 1970s and ’80s – immediately sparking the notion that a fun-filled journey is ahead. Our team worked closely with the Curtis Hotel staff to understand guests’ unique needs and how to capture the market.
With a fully immersive design, a unique experience is threaded throughout the lobby with naturistic/natural materials, vibrant colors, and a balance of both vintage and modern design elements suggestive of each Colorado season. Upon check-in, guests are welcomed through a campsite and pool area where they are invited to unwind and immerse themselves in both a nostalgic and retro atmosphere.
Inspired by the sport of skiing, the check-in desk has a bright array of climbing rope, knots and carabiners – doubling as a colorful art installation that captures all the enjoyment of the outdoors. To represent the natural rock terrain found throughout Colorado, a stylized ribbed face and overhead canopy mimics the undulations native to the state’s outdoors. A stay at a Curtis Hotel wouldn’t be complete without its signature warm cookies – a staple of the brand. An “easy bake” oven and cookie jars filled with fresh cookies put the final touches on the welcome desk area.
As locals and visitors know, the best day of the week in Colorado is powder day, the first day after fresh snowfall. The lobby features a photo opportunity that has a bright sun backdrop accompanied by a ski lift chair. Designed to evoke a “bluebird day” with no clouds in the sky, the photo station features an arrangement of lights that are reminiscent of bright sun rays glistening off the mountain ridge. Located in the lobby, Curtis Hotel’s retail area is designed to resemble a ski resort gear shop. A wall full of vintage skis and snowboards is displayed alongside candies and souvenirs for travelers to take a piece of Colorado home with them.
If skiing isn’t on a guest’s itinerary, the lobby also features a campground with a playground that is reminiscent of a family camping trip. The campground serves as a lounge area that features kitschy flamingos and crochet games. Blue tiles are placed to look like a pool and guests are invited to sip on a cocktail on tiki stools or simply relax in the comfortable seating area.
In keeping with the nostalgia of the space, a large “You’ve Got Mail” display directs people to the technology hub where they can answer emails or tend to other business.
Being home to Red Rock Amphitheatre, the world-famous music venue dear to Coloradans, the backdrop of the lobby is a soaring red rock mural. The metallic texture of the mural is inspired by the music, starry nights, and the northern lights that make a striking silhouette for the nearby mountains.
The lobby of the Curtis Hotel is a true expression of the fun and excitement of Colorado. When designing this space, we embraced the adventurous spirit of the locale and sought to excite hotel guests. Visitors of the hotel are encouraged to explore Colorado and fully immerse themselves in the surrounding nature and activities available. The design of space not only reflects local culture but also remains true to the Curtis Hotel brand.
Published in the September 2020 issue of Building Dialogue.