By Don Douloff
TORONTO — Last July, the Prince George Hotel, in downtown Halifax, unveiled a $3.5 million renovation that has transformed the hotel’s public spaces and guestrooms with contemporary design, custom light fixtures and luxury furnishings reflecting the city’s natural surroundings.
Taking about a year, the ground-floor renovation refreshed the lobby; added a new lobby bar; added Level Shop, selling snack foods and guest necessities 24/7; renovated Terrace restaurant, which serves Sunday buffet brunch; refreshed the two meeting and event spaces, adding new vinyl, carpet, fixtures and artwork; renovated both sets of restrooms; and added a new wheelchair-accessible restroom. The Prince George opened in 1986 and since March 2013 has been owned by Temple Hotels Inc. and managed by Atlific Hotels.
Following the refresh, the lobby is a functional and tastefully designed main foyer outfitted with modern reception pods, high-top communal tables, two guest computers and a living room with lounge seating and fireplace. White mosaic marble and hand back-painted white-glass walls illuminate the space and provide the backdrop for custom lounge furniture. Whimsical chairs, popular for guest selfies, complete the look.
Located opposite the front entrance, Levelbar provides a gathering spot for guests and locals alike. Equipped with barstools, mini booths, dramatic purple velvet chairs and an outside deck, the bar animates, and adds visual energy to, the lobby space.
Taking five and a half months, the guestroom renovation refurbished the hotel’s 201 rooms (which include 15 suites).
Spearheading the guestroom refresh was Vancouver-based Hager Design International Inc. Founded in 1984 by Doris Hager, the company specializes in hospitality projects encompassing hotels and restaurants, including quick-service eateries and pubs.
The Prince George’s design brief mandated the new guestrooms appeal to a broader audience and younger traveller. The new guestrooms had to exceed the requirements of guests who expect a high level of sophistication, while respecting the reputation of the hotel and the city in which it operates.
The guestroom redesign sought to create a rich and textural contemporary space with a sense of relaxed luxury that reflects Halifax’s natural surroundings. A palette of washed golden oak, shades of grey and deep blue recall the sandy beaches and moody seas that surround the city. The Hager team chose this neutral yet rich scheme, in combination with clean-lined casegoods in pale oak, so the guestroom look would remain fresh for years to come.
In addition, guestrooms had to include up-to-date technology. To that end, the new casegoods were designed to incorporate ease of recharging at both the desk and bedside tables.
Other elements from nature such as woodgrain-inspired carpets and cut-velvet leaf fabrics reinforce the sophisticated natural design concept. These elements are paired with bold striped wall vinyl and sofas, elegant contemporary light fixtures and metallic tufted headboards, bringing a touch of Hollywood-style glam to the rooms.