The Hotel du Pont’s lobby gets a facelift. Plus, UD’s Academy of Lifelong Learning gets new life (and a new name), volunteers send the right stuff to soldiers overseas, and go behind the scenes at Ronny’s Christmas Wonderland.
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As it approaches 100 years, the iconic Hotel du Pont transforms its lobby into an even hipper place to see and be seen. Don’t worry. The awesome ceiling remains.
When redecorating the lobby of the nearly 100-year-old Hotel du Pont, management wanted to make the space a friendlier place to meet and greet while retaining the sophistication and elegance the world-class hotel is famous for.
So they started at the top.
Designers looked to the lobby’s architectural ceiling detailing and the five large, arched windows that face 11th Street as building blocks for the project. The new look was created to enhance the ceiling and windows while also improving guests’ experiences.
By all accounts, the hotel once again hit its mark. “So many more people are using the lobby,” says Lisa Bolten, the hotel’s general manager. “They’re sitting, relaxing and talking. They’re actually hanging out more.”
The previous lobby design, done in 2000, was described by some as intimidating. But the addition of new ceiling-to-floor damask draperies, a custom organic carpet pattern, funky furniture and 8-foot sculptures has transformed the lobby into a classy, yet comfortable, space. The color palette of turquoise, berry and gold was also culled from the ornate ceiling.
“I love the drapes,” Bolten says. “They do a fantastic job of pulling the color out of the ceiling and everyone loves the ceiling. The drapes also complement the wonderful arch in the windows.”
Those at the hotel aren’t calling the project a renovation, explains Carolyn Grubb, the hotel’s public relations and marketing communications director. “It’s a refresh,” she says. “It’s kind of like redecorating your living room.”
Grubb won’t say how much the project cost, citing company policy, but she would divulge that men, especially, have taken to the comfortable side chairs along the lobby’s front.
Still, it didn’t take long for a well-known woman to share her appreciation for the hotel. “Priscilla Presley was doing something with QVC and staying here,” Bolten says. “She stopped at the front desk and said how beautiful the hotel is. I’d like to think the lobby had something to do with it.” —Drew Ostroski
Page 2: Thanking the Academy | UD's Academy of Lifelong Learning gets a new name–and a sizable endowment–to help keep it going and growing.