A Note From the Designer: A hospitality firm’s take on hotel reimagination – Guest Blog by Rob Polacek

At Puccini Group, we’ve been creating concepts, interior designs, and brand identities for nearly 20 years for hospitality projects around the world. Coming from a designer, it’s safe to say, hospitality design provides a spectrum of projects that range in client interaction. We create, see the process through its construction, and hopefully along the way forge a lasting relationship.

However, the Portola Hotel & Spa isn’t just another design job for us at Puccini Group. From the project’s inception, we laid the foundation for a true partnership with the hotel ownership and staff, sharing in the opportunity to freely reimagine how the projects final phase would look and feel.

The Portola Hotel & Spa’s current renovations of over 9,600 square feet were certainly designed true to Puccini form. Using multi-studio specializations, Puccini Group offers a holistic approach when designing for a client, resulting in culturally crafted, regionally influenced, and community focused spaces.

We were Inspired by locality and championed a devotion to the Monterey landscape. With the coast as our backdrop, there was never a shortage of inspiration, to which the hotel staff were eager to aid in ideation. And with the Portola and city of Monterey’s such rich history, it was easy to draw upon the deep cultural context needed to inspire a cohesive design concept.

Lobby Atrium with Wood Beams Installed

Simply put, the Portola Hotel is a passion project for us, not only because of its history and place in the community, but because their team is consistently attentive – making sure their voice is heard alongside the pings and dings of construction – yet ultimately granting us the creative license as industry experts.

Backdrop of the Front Desk 

The hotel and staff were always a part of the design conversation. They expressed interest in hearing about how existing conditions affected potential layouts of the lobby space, considered in our efforts to help maximize engagement with visitors and provide an enjoyable, yet also logistically manageable hospitality experience.

We worked as a team, going through options of color and pattern. From a designer’s standpoint, it’s hard to include all parties at this stage of design development, but when a client is adaptable, open-minded, and contributing of quality ideas, the end result is most often a loved design.

Wood Beams above the Front Desk


We know the renovations are sure to produce nothing short of what Monterey expects for its beloved coastal community. And that’s where we return the appreciation – having communities value designed additions of quality aesthetic.

And not just any community. Monterey is our own backyard. It’s nice to work hand in hand with those who love Northern California as much as we do. Feels local – feels like home.

– Rob Polack, Chief Creative Officer

Subscribe To Portola Hotel & Spa Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *