The new Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center is located on the Texas A&M University campus, directly across from Kyle Field stadium. The 8-story, 252,000-square-foot hotel and conference center officially opened in August 2018. The upscale hotel consists of a two-level podium, containing the conference center and ballroom. The upper six floors of the glass-and-brick tower house 250 hotel guest rooms/suites. Amenities of the 4-star, full-service hotel and conference center include upscale guest rooms featuring state-of-the-art technology, a full-service restaurant, bars and lounges, a gym, a business center and 35,000 square feet of meeting and event space. It also has an outdoor amenity level on the third floor with a swimming pool that prominently features the Texas A&M University logo and a view of Kyle Field.
Camarata Masonry Systems, Ltd. (CMS) installed more than 98,000 square feet of tile on the project. The original list of materials called for a combination of 33 different sizes and finishes. Nine different vendors were utilized in the acquisition of the tile. In addition to the 33 types, sizes and finishes for the tile, nine different colors of grout were chosen. These choices required meticulous procurement coordination and careful material distribution to the proper installation areas. This was critical since this hotel on was a tight completion schedule to open in time for the first Aggie football game.
The main lobby entry consists of Cerim’s Material Stones porcelain tile collection in “Material 06,” with an additional 7,300 square feet of 24- x 48-inch porcelain tiles from Casa dolce casa – Casamood’s Stones & More 2.0 collection in “Stone Burl White” throughout the remainder of the lobby.
The monumental staircase leading from the first to third levels is clad with Daltile’s large-format Panoramic Porcelain Surfaces™ on the steps and landings. Behind the concierge desk, various sizes of dry-stacked Winter Chop Ledge Stone was installed to complement the “Aggie Maroon” wall.
In the back of the house, there is a 10,000-square-foot kitchen to service the restaurant and bar areas. Stain- and slip-resistant 4- x 8-inch quarry pavers from Daltile’s Quarry Textures collection in “Ashen Gray” were installed in this area over a sloped mudbed.
In the buffet area of the restaurant, CMS installed 1- x 3-inch tiles from Cepac Tile’s Arc series in “Matte White” on the backsplash accent walls and a contrasting accent wall in the exhibition kitchen with 2- x 4-inch porcelain tiles from Cepac Tile’s Contour series in “Steel Grey.”
The facade of the bistro counter wall features the “Catalyst Hydrogen” mosaic from Emser Tile’s Catalyst collection, which is a unique, multi-surface hexagon-shaped combination of glass, cast stone and natural stone tiles.
The first and second levels of the hotel are serviced by two large sets of public restrooms. The restroom floors are tiled with 900 square feet of 12- x 24-inch porcelain tile from Emser Tile’s Boulevard collection in “Boulevard Gracia.” The walls of the restroom stalls have 450 square feet of 9- x 36-inch Pulis Vision Tassellato porcelain tile, while the accent walls feature 150 square feet of 3/4-inch penny rounds from Cepac Tile’s Classic Rounds series. The installation of a Schluter metal cove base differentiates these restrooms from what would be found in a typical hotel.
The main function of the second level is the conference center. The pre-function/coffee break area floors for the conference rooms highlight 24- x 48-inch pavers from Casa dolce casa – Casamood’s Stones & More 2.0 collection in “Stone Burl White” and the elevator lobby walls are clad with large-format tile.
The 12th Man Bar was completed with a combination of quartz, marble and porcelain tile, which created a challenging installation. The finishes consisted of glossy, 12- x 12-inch St. Croix Brown marble tile from Emser Tile, 12- x 24-inch Bronze porcelain tiles, and pieces of Calacatta marble and Molten Gray quartz. The thickness of the quartz was 2 cm, compared to 1 cm for the porcelain tile, which meant that 1 cm of the quartz tile would be exposed. In order to provide a refined finish, CMS polished all edges of the quartz tile prior to installation.
The 250 guest rooms on levels three to eight utilize white porcelain tile from Dune Ceramics. Approximately 32,000 square feet of 12- x 12- and 12- x 24-inch tile was used for the room entries and restroom floors. These restrooms are clad with 2,900 square feet of 2- x 2-inch tile on the shower floors, along with 20,200 square feet of 6- x 24-inch wall tile. As part of the quality control efforts on this project, CMS completed waterproofing tests for each shower prior to installing the finish tile to ensure the showers were water tight.
In addition to the typical rooms, there are two suites with upgraded finishes. Each room has a double-sided fireplace clad with 6- x 24-inch honed White Birch Ledgestone. For the flooring in the master bathrooms in each suite, 300 square feet of 24- x 48-inch pieces of Expanse Basalt tile and 360 square feet of 24- x 48-inch porcelain tiles from Casa dolce casa – Casamood’s Stones & More 2.0 collection in “Stone Burl White” were used, with an accent wall featuring 48 square feet of Splitface Silvertron Mini at the vanity backsplash. The wall behind the soaking tub is a combination of 24- x 48-inch Expanse Basalt, which was cut to 8-inch strips, with Splitface Silvertron Mini set on a 45-degree angle, creating a chevron pattern. The shower floor features Emser Tile’s “Chiado Atolia” 2- x 2-inch mesh mosaic from the Chiado collection. The kitchen/bar area backsplash in each suite is accented with Anatolia Tile + Stone’s “Peperino” random-stacked, stained glass tile.
Despite many changes that occurred during construction and the numerous types of tile and finishes on this fast-paced project, CMS was able to meet the schedule and provide a visually stunning interior to be enjoyed by alumni, current students and their parents or any other visitor.
The project has received national and international praise, including the 2019 Associated Builders and Contractors of Greater Houston’s Excellence in Construction Award for “Finish Interior.”