Hospitality Design Online announces JBI has introduced the expansive mixed-use concept Waterside District to downtown Norfolk, Virginia, following the $40 million overhaul of the iconic Waterside Festival Marketplace. The nautical and industrial history of Norfolk informed the design of the 135,000-square-foot venue. Set along the banks of the Elizabeth River, the revamped space houses a 55,000-square-foot food hall, which includes Guy Fieri’s Smokehouse, the Harbor Club, and the 22,000-square-foot Blue Moon Tap House. To highlight the history of the region, the design team employed a material palette of stained concrete, white-washed brick, blackened steel, reclaimed wood, and exposed structural elements. Garage-style doors on both floors of the building connect visitors to the coastal setting. Read full article here.
Hospitality Design takes a behind the scene look at a new Curio Collection by Hilton hotel is El San Juan in Puerto Rico. The 388-room property opened in 1958, and was a hotspot for entertainers of the time. Jeffrey Beers, founder and CEO of New York-based Jeffrey Beers International, says his only directive was “to bring the El San Juan back. This hotel was the epicenter of San Juan for a long time, and we wanted to add a new chapter to its glorious history in an artistic way.” In the dramatic lobby, the original stone flooring and ornate millwork ceilings were preserved because “it would have been a shame to do away with what has become a backdrop to the hotel’s pedigree and history,” says Beers. New backlit onyx reception desks were seamlessly layered into the vignette, while the centerpiece of the VIP area is Rosario Fernandez’s photographs of models donning vejigante masks, accompanied by intricate glass backlit alabaster chandeliers, handtufted rugs, and sheer curtains that suggest a residential feel.