HD Talks


Hotel Flashback: A Boston Staple’s Rebirth

Posted by on March 29, 2017 in Projects, Uncategorized

By Mary Beth Klatt

President Calvin Coolidge was the first U.S. President to stay at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel, built in 1927. Formerly the Statler Hotel, part of E.M. Statler’s grassroots hotel chain initiated at the onset of the 20th century, all but two U.S. presidents have stayed there since. In its heyday, this “city within a city” triangular building, designed by architect George B. Post, was the tallest in town. It was also the most technologically advanced in the world, with radios in each guestroom and programming broadcast from a rooftop station.

A cozy public space at the Boston Park Plaza

Over the decades, the building began to look dated. The lobby was diminished when commercial real estate offices were carved out of the hotel’s podium, detracting from the building’s original grand entrance.

However, in 2016, Sudbury, Massachusetts-based Parker-Torres Design completed a $100 million renovation financed by Sunstone Hotel Investors. Continue reading →

HD Expo 2016 Best Booth Winners Announced

Posted by on May 5, 2016 in Events, Trends, Uncategorized | 2 comments

This year’s HD Expo is buzzing, with almost 11,000 guests and 800-plus exhibitors filling the Mandalay Bay convention center in Las Vegas. The show floor booth designs making their debuts have been in the making for months. Executed with remarkable precision and style, it’s always a treat to see all that hard work and time pay off in the form of innovative and eye-catching product showcases.

HD Expo’s Best Booth competition is always a major highlight, and this year, our Best Booth judges—Lora Spran, Walt Disney Engineering; Jon Kastl, Champalimaud Design; and Veronika Todemann, HBA—embarked onto the massive show floor to select the most thoughtful and creative booth designs.

If you’re joining us in Vegas this year, be sure to stop by and take a look at the unique winning displays. If you’re reading this from home, we’ll be sure to share photos so you too can enjoy the ingenuity behind these stunning designs. Continue reading →

HD Expo: The Final Countdown

Posted by on April 27, 2016 in Uncategorized

It’s a little crazy to think that by this time next week, HD Expo—May 4-6th at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas—will be kicking off. If you’re still planning your agenda (no judgment—we’re definitely not immune to busy schedules and procrastination around here either) here are a few options we recommend you work into your itinerary:

Wed, May 4th


High Seas Design

Adam D. Tihany, Founder, Tihany Design

Thomas Weigend, Director, Meyer Werft

Orlando Ashford, President, Holland America Line

The number of cruise ship passengers reached approximately 23 million in 2015, up from 17.8 million per year in 2009, according to Cruise Lines International Association. Naturally, cruise lines are introducing new ships to their fleets to accommodate the swell. With seven ships added last year, and 15 more in the pipeline for this year and next, many—including a number of luxury offerings—are crafted by world-class hospitality designers. For the first-ever cruise ship panel conversations at HD Expo, join Holland America Group CEO Stein Kruse, designer Adam D. Continue reading →

Hotel Flashback: Caesars Palace Celebrates 50 Years

Posted by on March 24, 2016 in Uncategorized

By Mary Beth Klatt

The opulent 680-room Caesars Palace began because builder and designer Jay Sarno had a vision: He wanted to construct a unique Las Vegas hotel—an homage to the famed Roman emperor.

An image taken during construction of the Forum Mall at Caesars Palace.

An image taken during construction of the Forum Shops at Caesars.

The Roman-themed hotel exceeded even Sarno’s own expectations when it opened—with one tower and 680 rooms—in 1966 to great fanfare. Crooner Andy Williams sang and Broadway star Elaine Dunne entertained the more than 1,800 guests who noshed on filet mignon, Alaskan king crab, and champagne at the grand opening celebration, which is rumored to have cost $1 million.

Caesars Palace opening, 1966.

Caesars Palace opening, 1966.

Some of the biggest names in show business and politics were among the first to see the imported marble statuary and fountains, the 908-seat Circus Maximus showroom, a 25,000-square-foot convention complex, Garden of the Gods pool complex with a swimming pool and spa, and the Roman Forum Casino. Continue reading →

Hotel Flashback: A Colorful Makeover for a West Virginia Resort

Posted by on December 2, 2015 in Projects, Uncategorized

By Mary Beth Klatt

It’s hard to believe that the Greenbrier, a destination resort opened in 1778 on 10,000 private acres in the foothills of West Virginia’s Allegheny Mountains, was briefly used as an army hospital during World War II. German, Japanese, and Italian diplomats were also housed there with their families for a time while awaiting return to their respective countries.

The Chesapeake & Ohio Railway, which had owned the property prior to the war, reacquired the resort and hired interior designer Dorothy Draper to revamp the onsite, circa-1913 hotel. She gave the building a bold new personality, using color and oversized patterns to convey luxury, elegance, and a sense of history on everything from menus and matchbook covers to staff uniforms.

A view of the Greenbrier hotel's upper lobby in 1948.

A view of the Greenbrier hotel’s upper lobby in 1948.

The Greenbrier’s reopening in 1948 was a social event of the season, attracting celebrities such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Bing Crosby, and members of the Kennedy family. Continue reading →