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The Mind Behind the Design

Linda Snyder Shares Her Inspiration for the New Caribe Royale Lobby

Linda Snyder, principal of California-based Linda Snyder Associates, has partnered with Caribe Royale Orlando for over 31 years, leading the design as our property developed. Today, she is spearheading the dramatic transformation of our lobby and guest suites. Linda took a moment to share what inspires her and her exciting vision for the new Caribe Royale.

What is your inspiration for the new lobby?

Our design for Caribe Royale Orlando comes from an art exhibit by Robert Rauschenberg, an artist in Captiva Island, Florida. He assembled pieces over a period of seventeen years, representing the images that he saw in his quarter-mile walk from his studio to his home on Captiva Island. His art was comprised of the images, vegetation, flora, fauna and found objects that came from tourists or people who lived for quite some time in the area. It all represented a very iconic image of Florida, and my feeling for the property is that it very much needs to tell people where they are when they walk in. The property is in a very tropical location, and its name, “Caribe Royale,” is related to the Caribbean. So, with the new lobby we wanted to relate very well to both a business environment and a relaxing vacation environment.

Rauschenberg’s work  is frequently very collaged, incorporates found object pieces, and is very layered. We have incorporated some fabric patterns inspired by images that were layered in his collages. We’re also creating visual interest throughout the property: furniture on top of carpets, and with artwork and lighting, so it’s a layering of texture and color and pattern that is inspired by his artwork.

How does the design contribute to the guest experience?

With this new design, we are reconfiguring the arrival experience. It starts with lighting outside that really draws the guests to the port-cochere, and continues as they walk into the lobby. We have a feature chandelier that is essentially a flock of waterbirds on the move, which draws guests into the space. We are eliminating the barrier that is created right now by the entire registration desk, and instead, we have a series of four pods that are oriented towards the door. They’re staggered beside one another, eliminating the need for the traffic control ropes. It allows for four separate queues for each registration pod, and it allows the guests to enjoy a more open experience in the lobby.

What problems are you trying to solve?

We wanted to modernize the current guest registration area so it better matches the hotel’s focus on the guest experience. The new location of the pods in the lobby will allow greeters to walk right around and be personally attentive to each guest.

What can we expect from the new lobby design?

We’ve taken all of the furnishing out of the center of the lobby, and instead, it becomes an area that is activated by lighting. We have an interactive light fixture that is concealed within the chandelier, and it will be programmed with different images. It could be an image that represents a large meeting group, or it could be programmed to different images. It will be interactive, so as a guest step into it, the images will move. The lighting fixture will be a really fun element, attracting adults and children, alike, to that center point of the lobby, while removing the functional areas away from the center. The concierge will be off to the right as you walk in, and the registration area will be to the left. It allows all the functional areas to really happen around the perimeter of the lobby and the activity zone right in the center. All of the lighting is LED, which is all low energy, and the color temperatures are warm and will dim at different times of the day. It’s energy-efficient lighting, but even more so when it’s dimmed to create more ambiance at night.

How does the lobby design integrate with the other buildings of the Caribe?

The overall tropical style flows well with the exterior, and we are bringing some of the colors inside; a little bit of the pinks of the building are integrated into the design of the interior. The landscaping around the center courtyard is a key feature of the property. We’re bringing all of those light, fresh tropical colors right into the lobby itself, with plants that bring the flow from outdoor to indoor. Palm trees will continue to be a signature element, with images integrated into the artwork.  We also have a very tropical mural that will cover the entire wall behind the registration area.

What is the history of your partnership with Caribe Royale?

I designed the Caribe Royale when it opened, and I’ve been working with the Caribe’s parent company for 31 years. This is the third property that I designed for them. The first one was in Santa Clara, California, and the second was Buena Vista Suites. And then, I designed the Caribe Royale, including the original convention center.

 What design element are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of the overall design, which is really refreshing and brings the entire resort a modernized feeling. I think the way everything is going to come together, from the lighting to the murals, to the finishes, and the carpet designs, it’s all going to integrate really nicely.

What do you think is special about the Caribe Royale?

The courtyard experience with the pool holds up after all of these years; it is still a spectacular design. And the plantings around the pool are really nice. The way that the resort so seamlessly flows from outdoors to indoors and back out to the courtyard again makes it a classic resort experience for both convention and leisure guests.