Hot Hotels in Suburbia Power hospitality players call on Jolanta Lukus, of Royal Design Inc., to make their hotels into distinct masterpieces. By Paul W. Fitzgerald
If you’ve been wondering what Royal Design Inc. has been up to the past few months, let me assure you that this well-known company based out of Richmond Hill, ON, has been more than busy the past few months designing, overseeing the finest details and finally opening some magnificent properties in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and beyond. “This year has been wonderful and yet at the same time crazy, and it’s all not over,” said Jolanta Lukus, one whom many credit as the ‘master creator’ of a large number of amazing projects. “We are always growing on so many levels,” she added.
“Jolanta Lukus, one whom many credit as the ‘master creator’ of a large number of amazing projects”
Springhill Suites Vaughan
As a journalist long fascinated with her work, I reached out and asked her to share some images and materials so I could learn more about the latest projects that are shaking up the design world. But she had something better for me in mind. She offered a day trip to view a few new hotels she just designed. It was an offer I could not refuse. So, at her request, off I went with my pen and camera in hand with one goal and mind: to try and figure out what makes Jolanta tick and discover how her creativity turns into reality. It was a special kind of field trip. It was an experience I soon won’t forget. The lobby of the new Hilton Garden Inn here in Brampton, ON, provides the very first clue that it’s not your typical suburban like hotel. This place is far beyond different. It’s enticing so many ways. And while you are traveling, you better spot to call home. These walls and tremendous meaning. There’s a sense of hope exists here, you can just feel it. This is urbane
“I find her creativity and style is just excellent”
and it speaks to you in could not have picked a spaces speak with and prosperity that living at its best.
Only a stone’s throw away from the Toronto Pearson International Airport, the nation’s busiest airport for all types of jet-setters, and nestled right next door to the renowned Pearson Convention Centre, this place immediately shouts out character, mystique and seems a definitive locale of where the classic and new-age frontiers meet in its own sort of unique avant-garde way. Wanting guests to be immersed in the life of intrigue and the forward thinking moment as they step inside, designer Jolanta Lukus knew she needed something over the top – something extraordinary. And then it hit her one day during the planning phase for design: connecting the local landscape of this multi-cultural subdivision with the activity of air travel patrons would ultimately create a hub of innovation that gives guests a sense of belonging. She was right.
“I find her creativity and style is just excellent,” said Lodhia during the recent grand opening ceremony of the new hotel which took place on October 5, 2011. While Jolanta welcomes the compliments from a higher-up and other notable commercial real estate gurus – all of which seems the norm these days for her growing business based out of Richmond Hill, ON - her biggest reward, albeit compliment, comes from her personally viewing the completion of such a major style and design project like the Hilton Garden Inn. One’s eyes will never be bored after seeing her work when visiting the Hilton Garden Inn. Large silver-themed pendulums hang from the ceiling of the main lobby. Marble and granite countertops abound, and there is plenty of room to relax in the lobby. An eloquent style in-house bar and restaurant connects from one end of the lobby and at the other end is a meeting room that mirrors a library-like setting, designed in a classic and contemporary sense: fire place and flat screen TV included.
“Her signature of creativity and innovation in design is apparent at each hotel”
During a tour of the hotel, Jolanta had the right words that eloquently described her talent for design: “I dream of ideas and I see inspirations in so many things surrounding us in everyday life. I have visions of creating great landmarks, and creating great places that will make Toronto equally as dazzling as cities like New York, London, and even Paris.”
So how does she bring her creativity to life?, “I honestly don’t know how I do it, everything comes so naturally,” she explained. “I guess what I do is just like mixing a great tasty drink. I put all the right ingredients into a jar and then shake it up. And then somehow, after a lot of hard work and coordination on so many different levels, it comes out as the great tasting mixture that makes one crave for more.” Her inventive approach in style and design is also evident at two other hotels she also recently designed and opened: the Springhill Suites by Marriott and the Homewood Suites by Hilton – both
adjacent to one another along Applewood Crescent in Toronto-Vaughan, which are also in close proximity to the Vaughan Mills Mall and the coming-up extension of the Subway. These two new hotels also have workout rooms, and pools and Jacuzzis that are complimented with inimitable lighting of sorts, futuristic in every sense which is exquisite to the eye. One can immediately label both properties with this brilliant designer, there’s no doubt about it. I distinctly recall standing in the lobby as a guest arrived. He stood at the main entrance and in a tone of amazement asked if he had arrived at the Ritz or the Springhill Suites. A staff member of the hotel at the check in desk piped in: “This is the Ritz of Vaughan and you are at the right place.” A roar of laughter then filled the room. Her talents and ambition far exceed the local area as she is now taking on style and design projects for hotels in Europe and Africa. Asking her what’s next on her design-to-do-list, she smiles and said, “Naturally the right thing for me to do next would be to concur the Middle East.” After a brief pause and while displaying an even bigger smile, she added, “Well I’m already working on it”. She lets out a big burst of laughter, confident in every sense and also contagious too. She remains a true innovator, a winner in her own right.