Rodrigo Vargas Design helms $13M refresh of historic The US Grant

Highlights include elements that link San Diego, the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, and the property’s Presidential namesake.

In San Diego, The US Grant, a Luxury Collection Hotel, is in the finishing stages of a $13-million renovation. The restyling includes the grand lobby, meeting and wedding venues, expanded fitness center and all 270 guestrooms and suites.

With concept curation by Rodrigo Vargas Design, the refresh highlights the hotel’s heritage through design elements that link San Diego, the tribal history of the hotel’s ownership (the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation), and the property’s Presidential namesake.

Design updates will include a “Presidential” color scheme including navy blues, golds and earthy neutrals expressed with bold patterns, custom furnishings, and design details honoring both past and present American and Native American cultures. For instance, at the lobby, there will be a restored oil portrait of President Ulysses S. Grant, though the lobby will also have design elements inspired by the Grant family story and Sycuan Tribal heritage.

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The lobby will also have a new white Carrara marble promenade leading to the front desk and concierge spaces that include mirrored feature walls; custom area rugs with a design inspired by the $50 bill and the hotel crest; collector tables that will display Kumeyaay artifacts; and a tableside Vieux Carre cocktail cart.

The guestrooms will have a hint of red, black and white Palm tree wallcoverings; and tones of blue, white and gold carried through furnishings and décor, set atop glen plaid patterned carpets.

The hotel’s presidential suites will have different design variations, though these will all have Art Deco elements and geometric shapes reflective of the 1930s.

Recently known as the Celestial Ballroom, the Bivouac Ballroom and Foyer will be returned to its original 1910 style with the addition of hanging pendants reminiscent of the 1920s and a vaulted ceiling. Meanwhile, the presidential ballroom and foyer will have a new elevator landing with white Carrara marble and pendant lights, with the foyer featuring portraits of the 15 US Presidents and five First Ladies who have visited the hotel. The ballroom will have a houndstooth-patterned carpet.

Built by the son of 18th U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant in 1910, the US Grant borders the Gaslamp Quarter in Downtown San Diego. The hotel underwent a $56 million renovation in 2006.


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