The Embassy Suites Hotel & Convention Center in Denton, Texas has opened its doors. The eleven story, 318 suite hotel opened officially at the end of December, and is part of Rayzor Ranch, an open-air retail, dining, and entertainment destination. If approved, this would be the first Embassy Suites to achieve LEED Gold Certification, as well as BR&P’s first LEED Embassy Suites project.
The design theme pairs natural materials with a modern elegance, creating a sophisticated yet relaxing atmosphere for guests. From the exterior masonry and EIFS patterns, to the interior design, biophilic elements can be found everywhere. The facility is outfitted with 1,000 solar panels, which over the lifetime of the system, will reduce the hotel’s carbon footprint by more than 11,000 tons. Natural design features include the lobby focal point, a 23-ft high living wall and waterfall, as well as many natural patterns in various finishes throughout. One of these patterns is a decorative wall covering behind the front desk, which is designed to look like a microscopic view of a leaf.
The hotel also has the latest in-room technology, including electronic tablets that allow guests to change the temperature, control the TV and call room service or the front desk. The bathrooms have Bluetooth speakers built into the mirrors.
The 70,000 sq. ft. convention center hosts three ballroom spaces, each with a Denton theme: the Equestrian Ballroom, the Golden Triangle Ballroom, and the University Ballroom. Straying from a classic feel, modern design flows throughout the ballrooms which have open ceilings with exposed structure, wooden pattern panel “clouds,” making the rooms feel warm and unique, while giving the illusion of appearing larger, and custom industrial chandeliers. The two smaller ballrooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, with the Golden Triangle room opening up to the Event Lawn.
The Event Lawn is made up of synthetic grass and has anchors so that large tents can be installed for a variety of outdoor events taking advantage of the Texas climate. There is also a fire pit, giant chess set and other lawn games. Other amenities include a large resort-style outdoor pool, a splash pad, and a second indoor pool, which can be opened to the event lawn, weather permitting, via large sliding glass doors.
A big project such as this is not without challenges. One of the design challenges was creating a visually interesting and modern tower that felt like it belonged in the surrounding grasslands. “The natural patterns in the masonry and the EIFS helped to achieve that,” says Laura Daugherty, BR&P Architect. “The views from this hotel are very dramatic since it towers over everything in the area.”
Those natural patterns within the masonry and EIFS were one of Gerri Kielhofner’s, BR&P Partner in Charge, favorite features about the design of the hotel. “They mimic organic qualities in nature. As does another favorite, the grand stair railings, all of which are signature pieces in the hotel.”
“This is a brand-new look; this is one notch above,” said Kim Phillips, vice president of the Denton Convention and Visitors Bureau. “It’s a level of property that Denton has never had. It adds a layer to what Denton has to offer.” Another economic advantage, Denton is back in the convention business, with $2.7 million worth of business booked as far out as 2024.