Imagine that your suite evokes memories of the stately Broadmoor Resort or the lush and sunny vibe of the salt marshes at Sea Island, two prominent land-based resorts in America. Actually, there’s no need to imagine. Windstar was inspired to create suite accommodations that mirrored the Colorado and Georgia resorts, sister companies to Windstar, for several of its ships (and with more to come).
“Why be ordinary?” says Stijn Creupelandt, Windstar’s vice president, hotel operations and product development, adding that the classic pair of suites on each vessel were already due for a renovation. “There are a lot of hotels that build cruise ships but there are not a lot of cruise ships that can theme their suites with an existing portfolio of hotels.”
Broadmoor at Sea and Sea Island at Sea are currently available on Windstar’s 312-passenger Star Legend and Star Breeze, and they’ve have been a hit, he tells us. “Guests love the homey feel, love that they are distinct from any suites they’ve ever seen on a cruise ship,” noting that the initiative was recently awarded best suites design on small ships from Cruise Ship Interiors (CSI). “And guests from Sea Island and Broadmoor who travel on Windstar appreciate the nod to the hotels they love. It’s comfortable to be reminded of places where they’re happy.”
Creating the ambience
Liz Schneider, of Seattle-based Liz Schneider Interiors, partnered with Creupelandt and Windstar on the project and offers a back story.
“We created The Broadmoor at Sea around a concept that celebrates the legacy of the Penrose family (founders of the property) in the American West,” she writes on LinkedIn. “In the early 1900’s, Spencer and Julie Penrose were philanthropists in the American West. Their vision was to build a hotel of dreams in Colorado Springs. Spencer and Julie were inspired by their own steamship sailings to Europe and in doing so decorated the Broadmoor Resort in a way that shared the colors, patterns, gilded and ornate furniture found on their adventures.
“Inside suite 500, you will find, in gilded gold frames of course, archived photographs of the resort celebrating its rich legacy. In addition, we recreated the Broadmoor’s own suite carpet design,” Schneider continues. “Next we curated a collection of custom fabrics & paint colors and designed a wall covering inspired by Julie Penrose signature bougainvillea paper that decorates the walls of the Broadmoor.”
Yes of course, there were challenges!
Creating lovely interior spaces at resorts is one thing; cruise lines, Creupelandt tells us, have a whole other series of maritime regulations their designers must follow. It’s not quite as simple as nipping into storage at Sea Island or the Broadmoor and picking up a few rolls of wallpaper.
Regulatory requirements apply to every inch of a cruise ship, he tells us.
“Regulations relate to fire retardancy and apply to furniture, cushions, foam used in pillows and on chairs, wallpaper, even the carpet itself.” For this project, Broadmoor, for instance, “gave us approval to reproduce the carpet and the wallpaper that decorates Broadmoor at Sea and then we refabricated them to the maritime specifications we are required to follow.”
And passengers would never know the difference.
Broadmoor at Sea and Sea Island at Sea (replacing the classic suite category) are found on Star Breeze and Star Legend. The new suite design will also be added to Star Pride (April 2024) and Windsurf (November 2024).