Design firms partner on music-themed Arizona resort

When it opens late next year in Glendale, Ariz., the upcoming VAI Resort is expected to be Arizona's largest hotel property with 1,100 rooms.

“The design philosophy at VAI Resort is a symphony of elegance and innovation combined with a good dose of rock n’ roll attitude,” Scott Hillig, president of design and development for VAI Resort, said in a statement. “We have used the beauty of the desert landscape as our inspiration and woven its rugged textures, vibrant hues and organic forms into the fabric of our design. ... We have infused a musical theme throughout the resort, where every corner resonates with rhythm and harmony. The architecture and interior design strike a chord, seamlessly blending elegant notes with unexpected surprises. It’s an integrated experience where guests can feel the energy of the music in every heartbeat of the hotel. VAI Resort serves as a stage where luxury and artistry dance together."

Public spaces at the hotel include the VAI Amphitheater with a five-acre oasis backdrop and Konos Island, 52,000-square-foot island oasis that evokes Mykonos, Greece, and Tulum, Mexico, with its white sand beaches, restaurants and entertainment experiences. Konos Island will serve as the centerpoint of the entire resort. VAI Resort also will have 12 restaurants.


The design of all accommodations was inspired by the hotel’s overall music theme and incorporates materials like crocodile-skin leather, cowhide, metal, stone and soft wood tones. The elements are complemented by pops of colors.

Each of the four hotel towers at VAI Resort has its own theme:

  • Amphitheater: A new take on the traditional private viewing suite, these hotel rooms are integrated with the VAI Amphitheater and offer unique design elements and furnishings that provide the “best seat in the house," providing an intimate concert experience.
  • Cadence: A tranquil environment decorated with music sheets and raw scraps of paper that capture original scores and lyrics from famous artists.
  • Rhythm: These rooms have song lyrics written out in a mixture of moss and metals.
  • VAI Villas: Ranging from 1,100 to 5,300 square feet, the Villas pay tribute to entertainment venues worldwide.

To create the unique setting and look for the property, the hotel team collaborated with firms Davis Ink, DH Companies, Gensler and KTGY + Simeone Deary Design Group. Additionally, the art program at VAI Resort will showcase the work of six artists who created pieces exclusively for the resort. Centered around music and entertainment, this curated collection will be revealed upon the resort's opening.

In addition to designing several spaces across the resort, including hotel lobbies, a highlight of KTGY Simeone Deary Design Group's work is in the Amphitheater Hotel Tower lobby. "Drawing inspiration from the rhythmic flow of music that defines VAI's aesthetic, we embarked on a design journey that artfully integrates the perpetual dance, look and feel of sound waves in motion," Gina Deary, principal of KTGY Simeone Deary Design Group, said. "Much like the ever-shifting patterns of the wind, these sound waves within the Amphitheater lobby are represented through contours and lines that tell the narrative of our architectural vision. This captivating design element can be seen throughout the entire property, adorning ceilings and walls and select public spaces. These soundwave patterns, paired with a desert-inspired color palette, further enhance the tapestry of the local terrain that surrounds VAI Resort."

“VAI’s elevated resort experience is set to transform the luxury entertainment landscape of Arizona. Through our work on the expansive Konos Island, the public-facing retail spaces, conference center breezeways, and one of the site’s signature restaurants, Gensler’s goal is to elevate the guest’s journey through discoverable, experiential moments,” said Siobhan Barry, principal at Gensler.