Originally published in STIR®
Hyatt Hotels debuts green, feel-good suites for extended-stay guests.

Hyatt Hotels have always had a reputation for luxury and style, so when the company saw an opportunity to enter the typically utilitarian extended-stay market, it wanted to change things up a bit. After acquiring Summerfield Suites in 2006, Hyatt opened the doors in November to its new Hyatt Summerfield Suites prototype in Sandy, Utah, a suburb of Salt Lake City, offering guests a cutting-edge, eco-friendly home away from home.

"We wanted to create an aspirational experience that not only makes guests feel comfortable, but that pushes the envelope and makes them say, 'Wow, I wish my own home looked like this!'" says Al Williams, vice president of design and construction for Hyatt Summerfield Suites and Hyatt Place.

Color was crucial to the suites' look and feel, so Hyatt steered away from generic hotel shades, opting for rejuvenating colors. The bathrooms are drenched in a light blue (Blue Horizon SW 6497) for a watery spa-like feel. The bedrooms are warmed up in a yellow glow (Golden Fleece SW 6388), and the kitchen has a custom-mixed sage green accent wall, which helps "bring the outdoors in," Williams says.

Usually hotel-room kitchens are tucked in a windowless corner, but Hyatt flipped the floor plan to keep the kitchen window-side, and added a modern bench to the dining table instead of the traditional four chairs. This layout allows guests to walk through the front door into the living room as they would at home.

"Typically, the first sensory experience is visual, and that has to establish a warm, residential but not dated look," Williams says.

Wanting both forward-thinking colors and forward-thinking paint, Hyatt Summerfield Suites – which has a brand standard of using only low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) coatings – chose the Sherwin-Williams ProGreen™ 200 line for durability and consistency. Eco-friendly features are incorporated throughout the hotel, from automatic dimmers to an energy-management system that presets the thermostat so if a guest is out skiing all day, the temperature levels out, then bounces back when he or she walks in. A large, natural-gas fireplace warms the lobby where guests gather for breakfast and happy hours. This gathering spot, along with a food market and Internet cafe, gives the hotel a "neighborhood feel," which appeals to business travelers who visit frequently and might encounter a familiar face.

But the hotel's biggest draw are the suites, which are filled with high-end materials, including granite countertops, sleek glass shower doors and tables that aren't mass-produced. Everything from bedding to shelving is designed for comfort.

"The suites are intended to feel like home, with colors that aren't bland, but that you might put in your house," says Jeff Olpin, general manager, Hyatt Summerfield Suites Salt Lake City/Sandy.

Kevin Ludlow, owner of the Salt Lake property, agrees that having a comfortable, colorful room is essential to travelers at the end of the day. "You walk in and feel like you could live there a long time," he says.

Up-to-the-Minute Green Guide

State laws regulating the VOC (volatile organic compounds) content in paint and other finishes are as variable as paint color. "The laws are constantly evolving," says Steve Revnew, director of marketing, product development for Sherwin-Williams.

To help you keep up, Sherwin-Williams has created an up-to-the-minute online resource where you can download the latest information. The Sherwin-Williams LEED and VOC Coatings Reference Guide is updated continually to reflect the most recent LEED, OTC, CARB, NAHB and other guidelines. The guide also provides a list of compliant coatings for a multitude of applications. To download the guide, as well as a continually updated map and listing of VOC regulations by state, go to swgreenspecs.com.