If you saw my story last week on Instagram you got to see some sneak peeks of the hotel Graduate Richmond and let me tell you, it is probably my favorite hotel in Richmond now. Don’t get me wrong, my love of the color blush definitely draws me to Quirk and there’s nothing like a rooftop bar (which the Graduate will be opening this summer) but this hotel is a little more my scene. The comfortable color scheme, the at-home vibe, the uniquely patterned flooring, it all just makes me feel welcome. Of course it doesn’t hurt that it is just down the block from my alma mater and my first apartment and the fact that the designers included some special characteristics into the hotel that highlight VCU’s uniqueness.
I was visiting the Graduate Richmond for a monthly Tuesdays Together meeting as part of the Rising Tide Society. I arrived early and decided to test out their lobby café, Brookfield. Now usually a latté is a latté, right? Well one of the things I loved most about the lobby café was that they made special mention that they give back to the community through Graduate Gives. This year Graduate Gives is giving 100% of proceeds to Feed More for any hot chocolate purchased in the café. Ahh, my heart!
After my latté I headed upstairs for the meeting and behind the scenes tour! The Director of Sales, Nicole Boughan, led the tour of three major room styles, the rooftop bar and pool, and the event rooms. Nicole explained the attention to detail taken by those who designed the Graduate Richmond and it is just amazing. The decor, art, and styling of the hotel is so special. This excerpt from their press release really sums up the thought behind the design of Graduate Richmond:
“Drawing inspiration from Richmond’s forward-thinking mindset, Graduate Richmond encapsulates the city’s social creativity and cultural innovation. Clad in warm walnut paneling, the lobby pays homage to native hero Arthur Ashe’s personal style and the tennis fashion he inspired with details such as perforated vinyl seating and a wall art installation of vintage eyeglass frames. A rug inscribed with the words “Things are looking up” written backwards and a mirror suspended above it allowing guests to decode the message is a nod to the clever minds of VCU’s distinguished marketing program. In the guest rooms, grey and blue plaid carpeting and Armani Casa inspired furniture create a masculine and contemporary feel. The rooms’ navy walls are adorned with punk music references and framed photos of an American Fox Hound, the official dog of Virginia.”
“Hand-crafted accommodations,” the tagline of the hotel group, is 100% accurate. Did you catch that, I said hotel group. Yep, there’s more than one Graduate! I had no idea. As a branding enthusiast (it was kind of my major) I find their concept and overall brand provide such a unique experience. The Graduate brand of hotels sends teams to the cities where the hotels are being built and design the interior decor around the characteristics of that city. The thought that goes into the design of these hotels and the cities where they live make it worth the visit.
I could go on and on about Graduate Richmond and why it’s the best place to stay in the city. Instead I’ll just give you my top five favorite things about it and you can decide for yourself if it’s worth the visit.
Locations include Ann Arbor, Mi.; Athens, Ga.; Berkeley, Ca.; Charlottesville, Va.; Lincoln,
Ne.; Madison, Wi.; Oxford, Ms.; and Tempe, Az.
Graduate Hotels is also under construction in Minneapolis, Mn; Bloomington, In.; Seattle, Wa.; and Roosevelt Island, Ny. with plans to open by 2019.
Jessica Deleo is a licensed agent in Richmond, Virginia with One South Realty Group. All information provided is of my own opinion and intended for educational purposes only. Read full disclaimer.