Designing Timeless Spaces for the Modern Traveler

Wednesday, May 29, 2024 Service Spotlights Hospitality

Anna Dis Sveinbjornsdottir, LEED AP ID+C | Director of Interior Design |


As traveler preferences continue to evolve, the hospitality industry is tasked with discovering new ways to craft meaningful and memorable guest experiences. With more lodging options available than ever before, hotels must differentiate themselves among competitors to attract return guests. A customer’s impression of a hotel is often shaped by their initial encounter.  Curating a welcoming atmosphere and well-crafted ambiance can elevate a customer’s experience upon arrival, which can influence their entire stay.

Communicating that immediate sense of belonging and place begins with thoughtful, visually impactful design. Pond’s team of hospitality specialists have produced innovative designs for hotels across the country. When we approach a space, the first question asked is, “When we build this, who will come?” The end user is at the forefront of the process from the very beginning. We consider the aesthetic appeal of the design, the comfort and functionality of the space, and ways to encourage guest engagement at every touch point.

In collaboration with our hospitality clients, we have created timeless, multi-dimensional environments that will captivate guests for years to come. Here are some of our recent projects:


Doubletree Hotel | Tampa Bay, Florida

Nestled on Central Florida’s west coast, DoubleTree Beach Resort Tampa Bay-North Redington Beach underwent a floor-to-ceiling upfit that delivered radiant hues, enhanced amenities, and updated public spaces and guest rooms — all while retaining its beachfront charm. Azure columns welcome guests at the front entrance, while an open, contemporary lobby establishes an elegant-but-casual vibe that carries through all the redesigned public spaces. Pond worked with OTO Development to transform the 7-story, 125 room hotel to open in time for summer 2024.


Hotel Trundle | Columbia, South Carolina

Hotel Trundle is a 41-room boutique hotel located in three repurposed, historic buildings in downtown Columbia, South Carolina. The owners envisioned a hotel that celebrated Columbia’s history and spotlighted the city’s vibrant culture, while providing guests with a distinct lodging experience through unique guest services and amenities. These perks include local beer at check-in, Sip-and-Nibble manager’s Receptions, light local breakfasts, a fitness studio, and a lending locker business hub. We curated a mid-century eclectic style and meticulously restored historic details to showcase the buildings’ exposed brick, stamped tin ceiling tiles, deep moldings, and custom wood trim. The lobby and public areas feature original artwork from extraordinary local artists, including unique plaster tiles that form a mosaic of the Hotel Trundle logo.  The creative partnership between this boutique ownership speaks volumes when the synergy is flowing and tells the story of the property and the owner’s vision.


Hilton Garden Inn | Lakeshore, AL

The Hilton Garden Inn in Lakeshore, Alabama needed a complete renovation to better serve their clientele and align with the updated Hilton brand standards. Our design team modified the existing layout to include new pod-style check-in areas, a more centralized bar area, open-style seating in the hotel’s multi-purpose meeting spaces, and a self-serve coffee bar featuring refreshed wood finishes that mirror those displayed in the lobby. To tie the entire building into its newly created identity of timelessness and durability, we thoughtfully curated artwork for the property. These pieces are evocative of Hilton Garden Inn’s brand identity and are prominently displayed atop the renovated lobby fireplace and within prototype rooms.  Pond and our long- term client, RAM Hotels, emphasize the partnership with the brands to create positive environments for their guests.


Holiday Inn Express | Asheville, NC

Pond partnered with Holiday Inn Express and Suites to complete a guest room and public space conversion in Asheville, North Carolina. Converting the public space began with the complete demolition of the existing lobby and the adjacent breakfast area. From there, we created a reconfigured floor plan that maximized space utilization by installing ceiling insets. This change transformed the openness of the space immensely and cultivated a communal setting that allows guests to relax and engage. Pond continued this transformation by redesigning the lobby, lounge areas, and breakfast buffet to embrace the property’s stylish new look.


Beal House | Ft. Walton Beach, FL

Beal House Fort Walton Beachfront, Tapestry Collection by Hilton is located on Florida’s EmeraldCoast. The design concept for Beal House is centered around the creative storytelling of Dr. J.H. Beal, a prominent local figure and revolves around his shell collection, inspiring the interior spaces. It offers an authentic beach house experience, encouraging exploration, relaxation, and a desire to return. Guest rooms provide a tranquil retreat, some with ocean views. Choosing the right hotel is crucial for a memorable trip, and Beal House delivers. The Remedy Coastal Kitchen + Bar offers a relaxed atmosphere with indoor and outdoor seating. It reflects Dr. Beal’s pharmacy background and serves a menu that satisfies all cravings, from breakfast to late-night drinks. The curated art collection and accessories add an authentic touch to the space. Pond provided architecture, engineering, and interior design services on this project.


Residence Inn | Columbus, GA

Residence Inn is the global leader in the extended-stay lodging segment. The hotel is designed for long stays with spacious suites that include separate living, working, and sleeping zones, providing guests with the space and freedom to travel the way they like to live. Pond worked with the hotel to renovate the space to provide a home-away-from-home feel to guests. The renovation also included the 24-hour markets and the breakfast and outdoor area so guests can easily maximize their time and thrive while they travel. We aimed to create spaces that guests were empowered to choose without constraints and areas that fostered socialization or quiet introspection.


Pond’s Interior Design Services

Pond’s hospitality specialists work collaboratively to create impactful spaces that cater to the unique communities they serve. To learn more about the firm’s interior hospitality design services, click here.


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