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Online Exclusive - Lakehouse Hotel & Resort, San Marcos, California

Oct 8, 2013

Lakehouse Hotel & Resort, in San Marcos, California, channels the family vacation idealized in Dirty Dancing. Beginning with imagery from New York’s Catskill region, designer Maria Carrillo of Graham Downes Architecture—the San Diego firm that shuttered this summer upon the tragic death of its namesake founder—crafted a residential style against a quixotic backdrop.


“I started coming up with ideas that spoke to the eastern seaboard but also had the touch of the southern lake house,” says Carrillo. “I grew up in the South, where it was more about wraparound porches and long lazy days.” Consequentially, each room looks out on the lake with a wraparound, concrete porch, complete with yellow rocker chairs and bottle openers under the arms. “When you come to the lake, you come to chill,” she adds.


For an upscale, southern-influenced design, Carrillo took a cue from fashion designer Lilly Pulitzer. “Pulitzer became the inspiration, like this was her lake house,” she says. “This was a way of introducing a residential feel.” Homey touches appear throughout as poufy ottomans, oversized love seats, and a wood-burning fireplace. Imitation wood tiles extend through the rooms and bathrooms to the lobby, where a teak slab mimics a big sideboard and a cabinet between two columns offers a cheeseboard for wine-tasting events. Pulitzer’s bright patches of color add to this with an over-scaled blue and brown patterned rug, a display of canoe paddles, and a forest graphic behind the reception desk. “Everything is more residential; it’s not slick or cool,” explains Carrillo. “We kind of let ourselves loose a little.”


In the boathouse, a bright chartreuse pattern adorns the drapery and matches the floral carpeting. A three-tiered white and green chandelier illuminates the white lacquered wood space, which is used both for meetings and events. “The boathouse is where all the ladies play cards,” says Carrillo. “It’s cute.”


In the guestrooms, there is a subtler version of the resort’s cheerful details and playful gestures, with nutty colored furnishings against blue, leather headboards. Pulitzer’s style reappears with repeating diamond and zigzag-patterned furniture and rugs. “It’s bright and fun, like a garden party,” Carrillo pointes out. Blue front doors with large, graphic numbers welcome guests into both the guestrooms and the resort’s adjoining cottages.


These four cottages recall the summer lake homes in Dirty Dancing with white wooden paneling, blue roofs, outdoor porches, and lawns with colorful umbrellas, chairs, and retro games. “We brought back the games to the whole lake house concept,” says Carrillo. Horseshoes, lawn bowling, croquet, and bocce ball lend a familial feel to the cottages, which are adjacent to the pool and have back porches on the water.


“We wanted people to look over and say, ‘Wow, I want to stay there next time,’” says Carrillo. 

hdtalks: the interviews

During HD Expo 2014, Hospitality Design’s Michael Adams sat down with HBA’s Michael Bedner to talk about his half-century in the hospitality design industry. View the video.



Produced by: Emerald Expositions
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