The luxury 440-room hotel combining European traditions with California flair is well-appointed with an 8,000-square-foot spa and all the amenities guests could want. Lifescapes designed the urban oasis of the Palms Pool, with class and glamour, in a unique sky-deck setting, where guests can unwind or lounge in poolside luxury with a private cabana. The hotel also provides an elegant event space that is the perfect botanical oasis, complete with lush Garden Gazebo and Bamboo Garden, with its twinkling lights and cozy fireplace.
Located in Miami Beach, this iconic destination hotel features 1,504 rooms and four beautifully designed contemporary pools surrounded by a lush, tropical experience. Originally designed by famed modern architect Morris Lapidus in 1954, the Fontainebleau has been the destination for many of the wealthy and famous, in addition to everyday guests from around the world. The two-year renovation and expansion (completed in 2008) sets the tone for the current generation and recalls the clean, contemporary lines originally envisioned at the resort without sacrificing its status and mystique. It was an honor to be part of its revitalization.
Purchased in 2011 by Sunstone Hotel investors, they immediately launched a series of interior and exterior enhancements. Lifescapes International redesigned two specific environments, the special events area and pool/recreation area. The special events area now has a sprawling lawn with lush, lined edges and spectacular views perfect for family gatherings, weddings and community events.
We dramatically transformed the former pool area, which had little to no softscape, nor appealing hardscape features. Now a verdant, friendly, tropical inspired destination, The Backyard welcomes guests to enjoy a leisurely poolside experience. A beautiful new pool deck, complete with two Jacuzzis, a children’s slide and LED screens for movies and special presentations, along with the newly created full-service pool bar offers guests multiple ways to enjoy both day and evening activities while overlooking the spectacular San Diego Harbor.
The 250-room eclectic, colorful hotel in the heart of Silicon Valley is a warm and inviting respite for business travelers. Set on 3.5 acres, it is made up of several mini-destinations defined by flowering trees and shrubs that create natural barriers. The dramatic entry drive supports the “local” feel with large massings of flowering shrubs and sequoias and rich-colored cobblestone walkways. Once inside the perimeters of the resort, meandering paths of distinctive pavers connect the various areas and lead to a central courtyard, event zone and bar area.
We used plant materials that captured the Northern California feel, and were adaptable to the region’s climate; Los Alto Sequoias, Holly Oaks and oversized mature Sycamores are all around the property and create beautiful garden canopies.
The intent of the landscaping was to blur the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces, delivering a warm and inviting environment guests crave. The activated pool area is lined with a tapestry of colorful shrubs, flowering accent trees, and large oak trees for shade. It features an oversized spa and waterfall feature.
All of these inviting elements combine to create an atmosphere that is perfect for groups to congregate, socialize, work outdoors, or host events around the pool.
Photo credit: Garrett Rowland
Our goal was to bring a lush and rich layered landscape to rival the Strip resorts. Tall date palms provide a dramatic contrast to the hotel tower as well as provide a strong scale to the building façade and entries. Evergreen oak trees impart much needed shade and help soften the pedestrian pathways and parking areas. To complete the design story, we chose a rich tapestry of understory planting to add color and texture as well as tying in many of the plants found around the casino resort.
The Pool deck, although small in area, showcases many features found in larger resorts and casinos. A large whirlpool spa, generous swimming pool and lounge chaises offer guests a chance to enjoy the hot Las Vegas sun. There are tall Medjool date palms for dappled shade, oversized cabanas to provide all season enjoyment and a firepit for nighttime gathering with friends or family. The verdant backdrop of planting surrounds the pool area, and delivers an unapparelled experience.
At the south end of Mule Alley in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards lies the recently opened 200 room, 4-Star Hotel Drover. Majestic Realty Co. gave us the opportunity to create a labyrinth of outdoor spaces: a front courtyard for pre-dinner libations, an outdoor lawn venue that sits adjacent to a rustic event barn, and even a few spots to play cornhole under the well over 125 trees that were brought in from around the country.
The main hotel arrival has a ranch-style entry complete with cattleguard that creates a charming rumble when driven over. Directly outside the front doors, guests are greeted by a giant Antonio Munoz bronze Drover sculpture depicting a cowboy on a horse roping a young longhorn steer that was designed with input from Majestic Realty EVP Craig Cavileer. Keeping a connection with The Stockyards, brick paving spreads throughout the area for a rustic look, while cacti imported from CA flank the front doors.
At the entrance to the front courtyard, we designed a wall fountain complete with corten steel accents and custom-designed hand-painted Spanish tile from California Pottery and Tile. Within the courtyard, we transplanted two giant 40’ tall mature Red Oaks from a field near Houston to create a natural respite from the hot Texas sun. A custom-designed contemporary copper fountain designed in collaboration with Water Studio sits in the center of the courtyard. Extra details, such as custom wood planters with the branded Hotel Drover logo, as well as a neon cowboy, also adorn the front space.
The expansive “Backyard,” bordering the banks of Marine Creek, features an area under string lights that includes three firepits with surrounding seating near a small stage for acoustic live music, as well as an expansive lawn where guests can play various games, such as cornhole. Giant transplanted oak trees, agaves, and large cacti from Southern California accent the area.
Three relic fountains, procured from around the world, adorn the property. One was made from a 500-year old solid limestone water trough imported from a Belgium meadow, a 300-year old limestone fountain from Italy is nestled near the private chef’s table pavilion within the herb garden, and a 10’ tall fountain from France creates a soothing trickling sound near the outdoor dining terrace.
The centerpiece of the entire backyard and pool area is a pre-existing giant oak tree which is now adorned with a hanging pendant light. A wood deck built around the tree provides chaise space for people to relax in the shade. Extra special detail on the custom designed Spanish tile on the pool and spa water line incorporates the Fort Worth Longhorn silhouette. Accent lighting is used throughout, including Restoration Hardware crystal chandeliers in the pool cabanas.
Adjacent to a towering rustic event barn is the gorgeous exterior wedding/event lawn that can comfortably accommodate 380 guests enclosed by 25’ tall Loblolly pine trees along the perimeter, for a sense of exclusion.
Whether you’re a tourist or a local planning a staycation or event, Hotel Drover offers multiple experiences to accommodate even the most discerning guests.
The 349-room, 6.7 acre oceanfront, Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort was the first new hotel built in Hollywood Beach in many years, and Lifescapes was commissioned because of its extensive experience creating memorable, iconic destinations worldwide.
We designed the carefree coastal style to include a tropical mix of hundreds of trees, including coconut, date, Christmas and foxtail palms, sea grapes, which are indigenous to the area, beauty leaf and autograph trees. We also mitigated any loss of removed trees by replacing them with fully grown native species. The beach-inspired designs are accompanied by natural rockscapes, waterfalls, sustainable wood materials and colorful florals for beachfront appeal.
Along with 22 guest cabanas designed enticingly for hotel guests’ escape and relaxation, there is also a robust water-oriented recreation area complete with 3 pools, spa, grotto-inspired waterslide, and a FlowRider® Double for surfing. True to the nature of Jimmy Buffet, the inspiration behind the property, The Hollywood Beach Bandshell and Great Lawn are perfect for concerts and other outdoor entertainment venues.
Margaritaville is a sun and sand, fun-filled resort conceived with the guests’ playfulness in mind. The recreational amenities combined with the cafes, restaurants and shops offered at Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort make this festive destination a vacation spot NOT to be missed!
Situated in the heart of the Sunset Strip and above the Pendry Residences, the Pendry West Hollywood Hotel offers 149 luxury guest rooms and suites for the discerning traveler who wants to experience the iconic Southern California lifestyle. Designed as a natural extension of the area’s rich history, the Pendry exudes classic Hollywood art déco through a fresh, contemporary perspective. Woven together, the interior and exterior environments create a layered, residential-style experience that ties the property into the surrounding community.
Approaching from Sunset Blvd., the hotel offers Ospero café and an upcoming live music venue. It presents a vibrant, modern façade of crisp lines and LED animation that connects with the energy pulsing on the Strip. Leading towards the entry, regimented, layered, tall Mexican Fan Palms and Medjool Date Palms line Sunset Blvd. and Olive Dr., continuing the surrounding street character.
From here, guests travel behind high Prunus hedge walls, which evoke the area’s residential neighborhoods’ exclusivity, to arrive at the spacious 115’ x 180’ entry piazza. Envisioned as the motor court of a private home, it features bold patterned concrete pavers in black and white that stretch from hotel to residential buildings and continue in marble once inside the hotel lobby. Towering, specially selected Coastal Live Oaks and California Sycamores are used to visually anchor the space and extend the feeling that this property has been part of the West Hollywood landscape for years. Additional tall hedge walls and a 15’ high Greenscreen wrap around the opposite side of the Piazza, creating an enclosed, secluded courtyard, with smaller, intimate spaces for guests to discover. From here, they can enjoy drinks or work on their laptop in a garden setting, surrounded by a layered, textural understory of sculptural planting. Custom Ipe wood and brass doors, cut into the hedge wall, also offer an entry to the property’s private, luxury membership-only, The Britely Social Club, which boasts cocktail lounges, a bowling alley, screening room, and a live entertainment venue, among other amenities.
Situated eleven floors up on the top of the hotel tower, the pool area has a commanding, 180-degree view of the city. Guests can relax sitting along the theater-like steps of the flush-edge pool or lounge on chaises and sunbeds, nestled in clusters of pottery and hanging plants. Wolfgang Puck’s destination restaurant, Merois, offers alfresco cocktails and dining overlooking the pool, while The Britely members enjoy an adjacent open-air rooftop bar, lounge, and non-stop elevator access.
Overall, the property harkens back to an earlier era with a richness and class that travelers and residents alike are looking for.
Photo credit: Christian Horan Photography
Overlooking Xinghai Bay and the luminous Yellow Sea from its landmark location on Wanxia Mountain, The Castle Hotel commands a magnificent presence with its European-inspired castle set amid lush foliage on Lotus Mountain. The long driveway leads up to a grand Porte Cochere that encircles a lavish fountain. It’s an outstanding special events venue with 4,000 m2 of rooftop garden with captivating sea vistas. Inspired by King Ludwig’s passion for Greek mythology, the statues of Poseidon, Aphrodite, Piper and the Four Seasons adorn the gardens. The meticulous landscaping by Lifescapes International includes themed garden structures, romantic rooftop gardens, and special accent plantings that incorporate the four essential elements: water, shade, color and fragrance.
The Godfrey Hotel captures the theme of timeless Hollywood glamour. By complementing the architecture and interior, the design is an homage to classic styling with cutting edge, forward-thinking sophistication.
The combination of California native and ornamental water-conserving plants weaves together the unique fabric of this special destination. Formal black and white geometric patterned pottery, rust colored planters and natural stone accents create a perfect balance of texture and color.
Capturing the spirit and vibe of Hollywood, the rooftop garden is designed as a series of destination “rooms.” The bar lounge, with its classic customized detailing, comfortably blends with the outdoor terrace lounge and provides a glimpse of the pool scene. Surrounded by verdantly planted pots, umbrella-covered seating along the glass perimeter rail showcases dramatic views of Hollywood in the distance.
The pool area is comprised of shaded daybeds, as well as chaise lounges for sun-worshiping guests. The use of two-tone black and white mosaic waterline tiles, reminiscent of old Hollywood flair, give the pool a touch of sophistication and glam. Lush, raised planters with overflowing shrubs, evergreen trees and king palms accent the space and illustrate the California-vibe.
The outdoor bar has a city-view backdrop and features a custom waterwall for sound and relaxation. Guests drinking, lounging, or socializing in the ample seating area can be entertained by the large projection wall on the adjacent courtyard.
A small patio, the “fireplace court,” nestled in the corner of the deck creates another intimate destination. From there, guests resting in modern furnishings around fire pits can enjoy views of the iconic Hollywood sign for a memorable experience.
Photo credit: Robert Meyers Studio