Known as the "Castle of the Rockies," Fairmont Banff Springs is an anchored landmark in the picturesque alpine town of Banff, Alberta, Canada. The year-round luxury mountain resort is nestled in the center of Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Featuring 739 guest rooms and suites, the famous hotel has offered a championship golf course during the summer, unparalleled skiing in the winter, the award-winning Fairmont Spa and authentically local dining experiences for more than 130 years.
Fairmont Gold is privately located spaces on the fourth and fifth floors of the main building, offering guests exclusive services and amenities. In January 2023, Jeffrey Beers International, LLC --a full-service studio that specializes in architecture, design and planning from hotel hospitality to resorts -- completed the renovation of 97 Fairmont Gold guest rooms, 10 Fairmont Gold two-bedroom suites, six Fairmont Gold one-bedroom suites, two Fairmont Gold two-bedroom terrace suites and one Crown suite.
Led by Project Manager Pierre Josselin, the design team included Jodel Narcisse, Gaby Misa and Mallory Priest. Contemporary Stone & Tile Design caught up with Josselin to learn more details about the renovation. Here is what he had to say:
CSTD: When designing for such a luxury brand, how do you go about deciding what materials to use in the suites and guest rooms?
PJ: We typically follow brand standards, which dictate the caliber of materials to use; usually, wood floor in the entrance for warmth and residential quality, carpet in the bedroom for softness and natural stone in the bathroom for richness.
CSTD: In particular, what was the design goal for the bathrooms of the guest rooms and suites at Fairmont Banff Springs?
PJ: We wanted to accentuate the natural environment of the hotel, so a marble with soft veining felt appropriate. The typical Gold bathrooms are small, so we picked a light gray marble to make the space feel fresher. The gray provides a nice contrast with the dark wood vanity, white quartz vanity top and matte black plumbing fixtures. We also created a custom chevron pattern in the shower to make them extra special.
For the suites, we picked a ribbed white marble, which brings a nice rich texture, paired with bronze plumbing fixtures. Overall, the bathrooms have this elegant timeless quality to them.
CSTD: Were there any specific requests your client had for the designs?
PJ: To reflect the mountain grandeur of the property.
CSTD: Specifically, what stone/tile did you select for the baths in the guest rooms and suites?
PJ: The guest room floors and wall tiles are Nordic Grey marble and the vanity top is Statuario quartz. In the suites, the floor and wall tiles are Bianco Carrara marble and the vanity top is Palissandro Nuvolato marble.
CSTD: What were some considerations before making a final decision on the materials?
PJ: Finding a local supplier, to make sure the stone selection meets the budget and it comes in the size and finishes we needed.
CSTD: Were there other applications in the guest rooms/suites that used stone or quartz?
PJ: We used white quartz for the countertop at the minibar and activity table. Quartz is typically preferred over natural stone for its durability and non-staining quality.
CSTD: In general, what are some current trends you are observing in hospitality design regarding materials?
PJ: Porcelain tiles/slabs have come a long way, especially the natural stone-looking ones. The marble look is still very much in demand, but because of budget constraints, more and more, porcelain is being preferred/considered. And for some, it’s very hard to tell the difference.
CSTD: Is there anything else you would like to share about this project?
PJ: The existing fireplaces have been re-clad with Palissandro Nuvolato marble, and they are a showstopper. The strong veining exemplifies the Mountain Grandeur the property was after.