Industry Update
Supplier News 1 August 2018

First look: AXIS/GFA Architecture + Design and Design Atelier reveal the renovated Embassy Suites by Hilton Monterey Bay Seaside

Renovated design brings the bay’s surrounding seaside environment to the hotel’s interior spaces and continues the revitalization of Monterey Bay’s historic Cannery Row area

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AXIS/GFA Architecture + Design

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- AXIS/GFA Architecture + Design, the San Francisco-based and noted hospitality and hotel architectural design firm, and Design Atelier, the California-based award-winning hospitality interior design firm, are pleased to reveal the first look of the recently renovated Embassy Suites by Hilton Monterey Bay Seaside hotel. With an invitingly modern and approachably elegant design that authentically embraces Monterey Bay's seaside surroundings and historical past with subtle elegance, the Embassy Suites by Hilton Monterey Bay Seaside's uniquely renovated lobby is the highlight of this completely transformed property, and serves as a local destination in its own right.


Elegantly understated influences from the surrounding natural and historical urban environments deliver an "authentically Monterey Bay" guest experience

A multi-million dollar renovation for owners Atrium Hospitality, the renovation of the Embassy Suites by Hilton Monterey Bay Seaside's lobby and ground floor public areas is nothing less than sweepingly thorough. Upon entering the hotel's main entrance, guests are greeted with an entirely new reception experience. Architecturally, the former lobby's cavernous reception and lounge spaces previously dwarfed by the overhead 8-story atrium are now brought down to human scale with three separate louvered pergolas - variably 10 feet high to 11.5 feet high - that cooperatively create 1,300 square feet of new intimate lounge space while still permitting glimpses of the hotel's impressive interior space. Through clever design, the pergolas are positioned to maximize horizontal sight lines for guests on the lobby and reception floor while at the same time concealing back of house spaces previously viewable from the atrium's upper corridors. Accenting the new canopies, architectural feature walls, screens, and built-in over-scale lighting elements bridge the lobby's open areas with the cloistered spaces of the bar and lounge, also entirely renovated. Previous guests will immediately notice an increased airiness in the lobby with the removal of the former lobby's archaic water feature and stifling planters and greenery.

Design-wise in the lobby, the hotel's seaside environment is unmistakably represented; wood textures and naturally oxidized metal finishes accentuate hard surfaces seemingly bringing the driftwood and salt-weathered industrial artifacts found along the nearby boardwalks directly into the hotel. On the color palette, sandy browns, grays, aquamarine and turquoise dominate with clear influence from the nearby marina environment, while burnt orange and amber accents hint of beach sunsets seen from the nearby bay shore. Flooring treatments highlight a playful mix of sand-colored hard flooring and frothy seafoam carpet inspired by the coastal surf. A closer look at accent rugs reveals the muted but iconic pattern of Monarch Butterfly wings - a species that makes its winter sanctuary amongst Monterey Bay's shoreline groves. In the hotel's updated bar and lobby lounge areas, furniture and fixtures feature sophisticatedly modern but distinctly organic materials and accents with chunky live-edge and rough-hewn wood pieces reminiscent of nearby beach driftwood and the surrounding historic buildings from Monterey Bay's industrial past. Subtly recognizing Cannery Row's historic influence on the area, gilded ropes, knotted lines and sailing blocks drape from the new steel box beam architectural screens adding an elegant and human element to balance the organic influences in the lobby's design.

New reception lounge media wall a community collaboration that punctuates the lobby's unique and elegant design, and serves as a destination within the hotel itself

Accenting one of the new pergolas, the addition of a media wall delivers nearly 25 linear feet of bezeless high definition television screen playing a loop of an aquarium video produced in collaboration with the nearby Monterey Bay Aquarium. The inviting lounge seating and video loop on the media wall entices guests to linger and acts as a destination within the hotel itself, directly immersing guests in a soothing and experiential representation of the nearby bay, and punctuates with additional emphasis the marine color palette and organic textures found throughout the rest of the lobby.

"We're very pleased with the renovation results and the visual connection it creates to our hotel's coastal setting," states Teri Owens, General Manager of the Embassy Suites by Hilton Monterey Bay Seaside. "Our guests love the comfort and convenience of the new product and design."

More than an elegant refresh, the hotel's renovation adds clever functionality to increase space usability

Although renovated to introduce a modern and sophisticated design throughout the property, the updating of the Embassy Suites by Hilton Monterey Bay Seaside's lobby includes some cleverly design features whose primary purpose is increasing the usability of the hotel's spaces. In the atrium's open dining area, elegantly understated convertible "crates" provide functional breakfast buffet service stations during the morning that easily convert to remove the buffets from view to provide elegant lounge and dining space later in the day by seamlessly blending-in with the other new architectural elements in the lobby. The crates are inspired by the surrounding historical canneries' maritime aesthetic, and are designed to subtly hint at the fishing and shipping crates used on Cannery Row's Fisherman's Wharf a century ago.

Renovated guestrooms extend the lobby's aesthetic into the hotel's private spaces

In each of the 225 entirely renovated guest suites, guests will find the familiar color palette and warm mix of organic textures from the lobby throughout each room. Local artwork featuring both sea-inspired abstracts as well as imagery from nearby Cannery Row complement the design of each room and extend the invitation of the nearby beach environment into the hotel's private interior spaces.

Although only officially available late last year, the hotel's newly renovated conference and banquet spaces are already driving new group and event business to the property. Delivering over 16,000 square feet of renovated group event space, the two entirely refreshed ballrooms with 14 foot high ceilings break into 10 sections to provide flexible spaces to host intimate weddings through to large conferences.

"The renovation has helped open new doors to new groups that would not have previously considered our hotel for their events," states Andrea Ferrara, Director of Sales and Marketing at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Monterey Bay Seaside. "Our sales team recently won the #1 Sales Team for Q1 2018 amongst all Atrium Hospitality properties, with credit to our new facilities for helping make that a possibility," Ferrara continued.

For never before published high resolution images of the newly renovated Embassy Suites by Hilton Monterey Bay Seaside visit

For more on the architect AXIS/GFA Architecture + Design visit For more on the interior designer Design Atelier visit

For a permanent link to select images and a brief description of the project visit

About AXIS/GFA Architecture + Design:

AXIS/GFA Architecture + Design ( is an award-winning full-service international architecture and design firm with studios in San Francisco and Los Angeles, California. Although an all-industry firm, AXIS/GFA Architecture + Design offers particular expertise in hospitality design, hotel architecture, hospitality facility renovations, and multi-family residential architectural design.

About Design Atelier:

Design Atelier ( is an established multi-cultural, highly creative design firm that brings a unique and innovative approach to all of its projects. Our work spans the globe, and our clients range from prestigious hotel groups to luxury residences. Our mission is to create interior spaces that respect the environment and promote human interaction.

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PRESS RELEASE - First look - AXIS GFA and Design Atelier reveal the renovated Embassy Suites Monterey Bay Seaside_260718.2

Press release from AXIS/GFA Architecture + Design and Design Atelier announcing the design of the newly renovated Embassy Suites by Hilton Monterey Bay Seaside.
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