“Each Graduate Hotel is as unique as the city in which it resides,” says Andrew Alford, chief creative officer. “Although the cities are rooted in collegiate tradition, their personalities, qualities, and aesthetics are as varied and unique as each of us are as individuals.” Locally sourced art collections, bold colors, fearlessly eccentric patterns and prints, and rich textures add to the uniqueness of each boutique hotel. “The joy of creating a Graduate Hotel is the joy of being a historian, screenwriter, actor, designer, and artist all wrapped up in one, with the goal of delivering a bespoke experience that celebrates the community in which it resides,” adds Alford.
We chatted more with Alford to get the design scoop on each of the brand’s properties, and hear his inspiration behind each.
“Graduate Ann Arbor captures the feeling of strolling through a tree-lined campus, on your way to a century-old library,” says Alford. “Guests can study or socialize at a 40-foot-long communal table or lounge in classic Eames chairs upholstered in vintage tapestries, all under a ceiling that appears to be made from books. The palette is rich and comfortable, with emerald greens, persimmon, and earth tones set against materials that range from reclaimed wooden yard sticks and antique mirrors to chalk boards with scribbled engineering equations.”
“This property is a tale of two cities,” says Alford. “Classic southern preppy is represented by plaids, florals, and houndstooth patterns, while the alternate creativity of the city is on display in the art, unconventional furniture choices, and unexpected color combinations.”
“This is like stepping into the exotic den of a global traveler and collector,” says Alford. “The Persian velvet walls are the backdrop for a worldly collection of rattan furniture, Middle Eastern rugs, and chinoiserie objects—all creating a stage set that should smell like rare spices and sound like travels to parts unknown.”
“This location captures the history and rich beauty of its home city,” says Alford. “The rich colors are inspired by the myriad of greens of Virginia’s landscape, the brick reds of the university’s historic buildings, and the ivories of Jeffersonian architecture.”
“Here, you can experience Americana in a brand new way,” says Alford. “Drawing inspiration from the great state of Nebraska, the hotel’s design features everything from corn patterns used as tropical motifs to brick walls inspired by the hotel’s location in the Haymarket warehouse district. A carefully collected range of vintage furniture hints at yesterday, all while maintaining a fresh feeling that’s distinctly the Lincoln of today.”
“This is a summer camp for grownups who still have a youthful heart,” says Alford. “A multitude of plaids are set against a palette of red, navy blue, and hunter green, creating the perfect stage for repurposed vintage objects, art, and furniture—such as antique canoes that have been transformed into chandeliers.”
“The interiors are the seersucker suit or floral dress worn with cowboy boots,” says Alford. “The elegant fashion of Oxford is captured with florals, stripes, polka dots, and plaids in a beautiful palette of pink, navy blue, gray, white, and canary yellow.”
“This hotel features a tailored interior that balances county club preppy with elements of the city’s punk and creative community,” says Alford. “The palette is thoughtfully monochromatic in navy, periwinkle, camel, and cream, allowing the art to shine through. It tells the stories of local heroes such as Arthur Ashe, local punk bands such as Gwar, and Virginia’s state dog, the American Foxhound.
“This property showcases a new version of Southwestern interiors,” says Alford. “It is equal parts natural history museum and just flat out fun, with a riot of patterns, colors, and eccentric art.”