California-based design firm WATG and its interior design studio Wimberly Interiors collaborated on the $50+ million resortwide renovation of the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa near San Diego.
The design touched all elements of the resort and incorporated the firm’s architecture, landscape architecture and Wimberly Interiors’ design teams.
“We were honored to collaborate with Geoff Gray and the entire Park Hyatt team to reimagine this extraordinary estate-style resort,” said Erin Nichols, senior designer for Wimberly Interiors Los Angeles. “Together, we pushed creative boundaries and touched every element of the property, drawing inspiration from the resort’s stunning natural landscape—verdant rolling hills and valleys, lagoons, lush trails, wildlife and ocean views.”
The lobby arrival was updated to connect the outdoors with the indoors, bringing the ocean view directly into the lobby, creating a Mediterranean “outdoor living room” and developing a new grand staircase that descends into the outdoor event space. A series of lounges and bars within the lobby space are each designed to evoke a coastal California oasis with casual elegance.
WATG and Wimberly Interiors collaborated with Top Golf to concept and create two new Top Golf Suites, situated just off the lobby space, for ultra-private small events with access to the lobby and event lawn spaces.
Outdoor Event and Leisure Spaces
The outdoor event and leisure spaces were inspired by the grand estates of Santa Barbara, Montecito and Rancho Santa Fe. The new grand stairway that leads from the lobby to the outdoor veranda offers views of the courtyard event space. The new event lawn features date palms, bird of paradise and a variety of aloes and agaves. Some modern elements adorn the courtyard as well, including two new fountains designed as a contemporary nod to classical Mediterranean architecture, and a steel sculpture by local artist Jennifer Gilbert Asher from Eaton Fine Art is meant to evoke the fluid movement of local birds through an abstract lens.
The Rose Garden, featuring over nine rose varietals, was redesigned in its current location as a reference to its legacy, offering a brick-enclosed sanctuary with seating where guests can quite literally “stop and smell the roses.” In addition, many of the mature palms that were planted during the original construction in the 1980s were replanted in the new gardens.
A new pool area now includes an adult pool with cabanas as well as a family pool with a waterslide tower and tide pool splashpad. Featuring two winding slides, the tower has patterns of birds, reeds and fish commonly found in the nearby Batiquitos lagoon, paying homage to Carlsbad’s local wildlife.
“The landscape vision takes inspiration from coastal California estates such as Casa del Herrero in Montecito and others in Rancho Santa Fe,” said Lance Walker, VP and director of landscape at WATG. “The new landscape features a coastal garden palette with layered combinations of palms, olives, agaves and lush textual shrubs. We worked closely with Xenia Hotels and Park Hyatt to align the goals of the project with the Park Hyatt brand. Collaborating with our architecture and interior design teams, we wove in artistic elements inspired by the Batiquitos Lagoon environment.”
Food + Beverage Spaces
The new lobby lounge has a resort-like feel and open-air corridors leading to an outdoor veranda. The new oval-shaped bar was designed to “activate” the lobby with power USB outlets for people to recharge or work remotely. On the opposite side of the bar, the lobby lounge, otherwise known as Park Hyatt’s “living room,” has flexible seating for couples, families and business travelers alike for continental dining. A communal table sits in front of built-in millwork cabinetry, which can also be rented out as another bar for events or receptions.
The pool bar’s color schemes mix dark tones with crisp whites, as well as detailed banding in grays in blues that is seen throughout the property.
For an all-day dining option, guests can visit Ponto Lago, a new restaurant with a show kitchen centered by a quartzite countertop. Surrounding walls are glazed with light gray tile to play off the stone counter, while Chevron-patterned oak flooring and leaflike lighting add a touch of warmth. Large windows look out over the ocean, and the patio has outdoor heaters and select herb plants.
Guestroom design was inspired by the great blue heron. Residing in the Batiquitos Lagoon, this bird is celebrated by Native American tradition as progressive, self-reliant, tranquil and graceful. The rooms have a of mix of hard and soft materials that celebrate the subtle blue-grey plumage color of the Heron.
Wimberly Interiors collaborated with Terry Eaton of Eaton Fine Art in Austin, Texas, to create modern, abstract bronze wall art for each guestroom that depicts the stately great blue heron soaring in flight.
The guestrooms were modernized with wood ledges and a curated library wall that also serves as a desk and bar to maximize the space.
Grand Ballroom and Meeting Space
The inspiration for the meeting space came from the eucalyptus trees, native black sage, salt marshes and 185 species of migrating birds that make up the coastal wetland surrounding the resort.