2019 GOLD KEY AWARDS
BEST LOBBY MIDSCALE
THE ELIZA JANE, THE UNBOUND COLLECTION BY HYATT
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA
THE DESIGN FIRM: Stonehill Taylor, New York
THE MUSE: A much-needed breath of clean, fresh air as you step into a greenhouse. A monochromatic color scheme throughout the hotel helps the design tell the property’s many different tales (seven, to be exact). And the lobby is no different with a palette of—you guessed it—greens, to follow suit. A 60-ft.-high atrium space welcomes guests with evergreen-paneled walls, accented by a large format hex-tiled floor. “A large skylight and lush greenery soften the original exposed brick and slate-colored plaster walls, which, together with the foliage-entrenched canopy glass bar, create the sense of a greenhouse or conservatory,” says Michael Suomi, former principal, Stonehill Taylor. (Suomi recently founded Suomi Design Works where he serves as president.) The marble-topped lobby bar is surrounded by green, crocodile-embossed leather bar stools. Reaching out further, the lounge invites guests to plop down on mismatched, velvet seating of varying jewel tones, all polished off with antique oriental rugs below and an eclectic collection of decorative lamps with brass accents dotted throughout.
THE MAGIC: Seven (yes, seven) historic warehouses had to be internally conjoined to create the 196-room hotel and a 2,000-sq.-ft. open-air courtyard. “While it was important to honor the building’s past, the designers also wanted to make sure they achieved a sophisticated and contemporary aesthetic. A solution was to restore and paint the existing metal work black in order to pop against the jewel tone color scheme throughout the lobby,” Suomi explains.
THE MAVERICK MOVE: A bar back that mimics an open garage is striking yet also achieves a cohesive thread from one space to another (guests are greeted by a similar fluted glass “closed” storefront partition that separates the lounge seating area from the main public space).
THE MESSAGE: Let guests peel the layers back on their own, but inject elements that take their hand. A deep cranberry color on the bar front continues onto paneled walls and bookshelves in The Press Room—a living room-inspired lobby lounge with a marble fireplace, sourced antiques and most appropriately, typewriters.
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF THE ELIZA JANE