Interior design at Virgin Hotels

Red bus outside Virgin Hotels Las Vegas
Virgin Hotels
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
30 July 2021

Sometimes fitting in is the best way of standing out. And no-one knows that better than Virgin Hotels.

Virgin Hotels has collaborated with local people to design hotels that fit in with their cities, while still staying true to the Virgin brand and standing out in their own way.

Virgin Hotels started this journey with its first property in Chicago. Based in the 1928 Old Dearborn Bank Building, which was designated a Chicago Landmark in 2003, Virgin Hotels Chicago has used many of the original design features to inspire the look and feel of the hotel. As guests step inside, they arrive into a beautiful historic lobby with polished brass elevator doors, a limestone staircase with an oak bannister, and the building’s original cigar bar, where they can check-in for their stay.

Virgin Hotels Chicago Commons Club
Virgin Hotels

However, it’s in one of the brand’s newest hotels that this idea of being inspired by the locale really comes to life. After completely renovating the old Hard Rock Hotel, Virgin Hotels Las Vegas opened its doors in 2021. With its Mojave desert-inspired decor, it captures and embraces its location. 

Virgin Hotels Las Vegas brings the desert inside with cacti, Joshua trees and red rock mountains all featuring in the decor. The property takes you on a journey through the desert during your stay.

Virgin Hotels New Orleans, the brand’s next hotel to open its doors, has also taken inspiration from its city for its design. Working with local designers, Virgin Hotels has created a building that tells the story of New Orleans. 

Its southern residential feel helps guests to feel at home in the city while they stay with Virgin Hotels. And the tropical architectural motifs mirror the plant life that thrives in the region. Even the carpets in the corridors (an often overlooked part of hotel design) take inspiration from Henri Matisse’s book Jazz, in keeping with New Orleans’ French Quarter. 

“Contextual responses to the local area are really important, as they give customers a more authentic, immersive experience,” Virgin Hotels design chief Teddy Mayer said. “In New Orleans, we worked with the owners of a home store in the Garden District. They understood how to deliver design that wasn’t an insult to locals: we didn’t want Mardi Gras masks and beads all over the place. They brought it from a very authentic, very real place that’s also future-thinking.”

A hand holding an iPhone showing the Virgin Hotels app opening a red hotel room door
Image from Virgin Hotels

For all this fitting in, Virgin Hotels is still a Virgin brand and knows how to make sure it stands out among the competition. Splashes of Virgin red can be found across the hotels – from the townhouse-style doors to the Chambers, to the iconic Smeg mini-fridges found within. Virgin Hotels likes to do things differently so even something like identifying the dog-friendly rooms is done with a bit of flare – look out for the porcelain pups outside certain Chambers on your next visit. 

For a greater dosage of design inspiration and insight into Virgin’s 50-year history, pick up your copy of Virgin By Design today.