In the first part of this series looking back on JAI’s hospitality design journey, we walked through ten meaningful projects we took on in the past 20 years. In part two, we continue that journey – taking you through even more projects that have defined JAI and the hospitality industry at large.
To see projects 1-10, which opened between 2004-2014, click here.
Here are projects 11-20, which were completed and opened between 2015-2020:
11: Residence Inn by Marriott
Durham NC | 2015
A short drive away from the Nasher Museum of Art, and part of the Research Triangle Region near Duke University, the Residence Inn, Durham, inspired us to focus on technology and contemporary art for our custom public spaces. A few unique additions included a designated media room for guests to catch the big game in and a large, elaborate custom light fixture in the dining area. That was a project in and of itself back then!
12: Residence Inn by Marriott
Secaucus, NJ | 2015
Located only 6 miles from New York City, the Residence Inn, Secaucus, is a hidden gem that has managed to escape the city’s hustle and bustle while remaining close to MetLife Stadium and Meadowlands Racetrack. We wanted to celebrate its tranquil location by intentionally designing the interiors to be slightly more traditional than our urban counterparts, but with a modern twist. The design’s primary inspiration was a stunning carpet collection designed by a talented friend of mine.
13: Shephard’s Beach Resort
Clearwater Beach, FL | 2011 & 2014 & 2017
Shephard’s Beach Resort was a labor of love, right in our backyard. This sprawling waterfront project had us coming back every few years as they evolved into one of Florida’s top beach-side entertainment resorts.
We began by breathing new life into the existing lobby and converting office space into a high-end gift shop called The Oasis. We came back to Shephard’s Beach Resort a few years later to design a new guestroom tower, sweeping lobby pool, and generous patio area. Florida’s beautiful sunsets, paired with the vibrant greens, oranges, blues, and reds, make for the perfect backdrop to the outdoor stage that draws in big names from all over the country. This hotel is always an exciting one!
14: Hampton Inn & Suites
Ft Lauderdale City Center, FL | 2001 & 2013 & 2017
Located in the heart of downtown, Hampton Inn & Suites in Ft. Lauderdale is only an 8-minute walk to the lively shops and restaurants. I designed this hotel as a new build 21 years ago before I started JAI. Several years later, we reconnected, and my former client asked us to renovate the hotel. Connecting with him again and renovating a project I designed in my early years was a fantastic experience.
After he sold it, the new owner called us to renovate it once again. When it comes to hospitality design, we run marathons, not sprints, and this hotel is proof of that. I feel grateful to be a part of this hotel’s journey, and since I worked on it twice already, it was both fun and familiar.
15: Residence Inn by Marriott
Sunny Isles Miami, FL | 2017
This Residence Inn forced us to problem solve through space and design, not due to the location itself, but because of the surrounding businesses. We had Ritz Carlton and Trump Towers as our neighbors, which called for some high-end, fully custom creative design. The property was small, so we went tall to maximize every square inch of space, which meant many unique layouts. This 18-story hotel boasts Miami Beach’s panoramic views, sky-high accommodations, and a spectacular rooftop pool, deck, and bar on the 9th floor. See the full project update.
16: Courtyard by Marriott
Greenville, SC | 2018
The green space and colorful nature surrounding this hotel were so inspiring that we decided to bring nature’s palette into the hotel through our finishes, fabrics, and artwork…also known as Biophilic Design. Strolling through this exceptional property is like taking a walk in the park. Exuding warmth and charm, we used beautiful deep blues, lush greens, and earthy brown to give the Courtyard a complete makeover including an all new lobby bar and multi screen media wall. See the full project update.
17: Hyatt Regency
Orlando Airport, FL | 2019
You won’t find any mouse ears here! A renovation of Hyatt Regency’s 445 guestrooms and suites inside the Orlando International Airport had the goal of creating the greater Orlando experience by providing tranquility in the middle of a bustling airport without referencing a famous, local mouse. Many international travelers use the hotel as a layover between flights and need anywhere from six hours to two days of quiet. The calm of this design is truly a match for the commotion of the runway and the internationally visited theme parks outdoors. See the full project update.
18: Beaufort Hotel by Ascend
Beaufort NC | 2019
Nestled on ten sprawling acres, the Beaufort Hotel has all of the charms one would hope for in beautiful southern accommodations. This may be one of the only places on earth you can watch the sunrise while dolphins emerge from the ocean and wild horses walk on the beach. This property is breathtaking, from the spacious vaulted ceilings and exposed beams to the gorgeous wildflowers lining the pool. We used reclaimed materials to keep the aesthetics and charm as organic as possible, and so the integrity of the Beaufort remained unaffected. See the full project update.
19: Cambria Hotel Washington, D.C.
Madeira Beach, FL | 2020
This project was unique because I tackled it during the peak of the COVID pandemic on my own. It had been 15 years since I last worked without a team, and it was for a new client, so a lot was on the line. My teenage daughter was able to come with me weekly to see the progress, making the Cambria Hotel our quarantine escape. This hotel represents family. Mine and my client’s family, the opening team and us all leaning on each other as a family through this pandemic opening. See the full project update.
20: Courtyard by Marriott
Coconut Grove Miami FL | 2011 & 2020
Just an 11-minute walk from upscale shopping at CocoWalk, this former Doubletree hotel was transformed into a Courtyard by Marriott in 2011. Then in 2017, when we were preparing to start a renovation, Hurricane Irma hit. Due to the amount of water damage, our focus shifted, and we began taking the building down to studs and rebuilding. In 2011, we designed a moderately custom Courtyard. In 2020, we completed a fully custom Courtyard that is a gem in the historic neighborhood of Coconut Grove. See the full project update.