#ThoughtfullyLocal: Canopy by Hilton hotels highlight local neighborhoods through thoughtful design

Canopy by Hilton is the energizing, new hotel in the neighborhood offering simple guest-directed service, thoughtful local choices, and surprisingly comfortable spaces, so guests simply feel better going forward. Each property is designed as a natural extension of its neighborhood, with local design, food and drink, and delivers a fresh approach to hospitality and the guest experience. Canopy by Hilton is the lifestyle hotel brand of Hilton Worldwide.

We’ve had the pleasure of working on two Canopy by Hilton hotels this year, one near Washington D.C. in Bethesda North, MD and the other in Portland, OR. With only five Canopy by Hilton branches open in the United States, we are thrilled to help bring these exciting hotels to new markets.

Canopy by Hilton Washington D.C. Bethesda North

Image Courtesy of Canopy by Hilton

Image Courtesy of Canopy by Hilton

As the second Canopy by Hilton location in the United States, Canopy by Hilton Washington D.C. Bethesda North incorporates design staples of the Canopy by Hilton brand, including residential-style guestrooms with a locally interpreted Canopy above the bed and open closets. This is one of the first MARKZEFF-designed locations to open with interiors that fuse authentic materials, such as rough-hewn oak wood walls, concrete floors, and locally inspired artwork, furnishings, and accessories. Mark Zeff is also the firm that collaborated with Hilton’s team to initially create Canopy’s interior design ethos at the inception of the brand.

Image Courtesy of Canopy by Hilton

Image Courtesy of Canopy by Hilton

The entrance of the 177-room hotel features two impressive design elements: a two-story, living moss wall that from a distance looks like a map of the area and a massive chandelier draped with opaque acrylic reproductions of pages from a 1933 National Geographic Magazine. An early resident of the area, Gilbert Grosvenor (a nearby Metro stop, Grosvenor, bears his name) was the editor of that 1933 issue, dedicated to the birds of his Bethesda country home.

The feeling of the hotel lobby seating area is electric and eclectic. Its materials consist of velvet and leather, glass and wood. A combination of enveloping couches and hard surface chairs creates a comfortable cross between shabby chic and industrial. The lobby area also includes 48 colorful pop art portraits of other local notables

Floors throughout are high gloss, painted concrete with bright area rugs, and sliding barn doors define the bathroom in an homage to the area’s farming roots.

Canopy by Hilton Portland Pearl District

Image Courtesy of Canopy by Hilton

Image Courtesy of Canopy by Hilton

True to theme, Canopy by Hilton Portland Pearl District incorporates the revitalized industrial neighborhood and its indie boutiques, art galleries, microbreweries, and green spaces throughout the hotel, designed by locally based firm ZGF Architects and New York-based interior designer MARKZEFF.

Image Courtesy of Canopy by Hilton

Image Courtesy of Canopy by Hilton

The 153-room hotel features industrial finishes such as hot rolled steel metal beams, brick walls and concrete floors in parts of the lobby, café & reception area. The check-in desk, as well as other furniture pieces, are fabricated by local vendors. Throw pillows throughout the hotel feature fabric from Pendleton Woolen Mills, a sixth-generation family-owned Portland business.The guest rooms also feature an interpretation of a “canopy,” which extends over the front of the bed and is made of timber resembling the Oregon state tree, a Douglas Fir, creating a direct connection to the beauty and natural wonder of the Pacific Northwest.

Even the hotel’s exterior acts as a symbolic bridge between the Pearl District’s old and new structures, thoughtfully incorporating materials that reflect and complement the neighborhood’s past and future. The oiled bronze-inspired facade of the building – which is an art installation itself – changes its golden hue in synchronicity with the passing phases of daylight. Casement windows at street level allow activities in the hotel to carry out onto the sidewalks of Glisan Street, creating outdoor seating and an inviting setting for both guests and passersby.

Canopy by Hilton Portland Pearl District’s art curator, Elizabeth Leach of Elizabeth Leach Gallery located next door to the hotel, selects works from local artists to showcase around the hotel in both the property’s permanent and rotating art collections.

CRE Heads to Boutique Design New York


Now in its ninth year, Boutique Design New York (BDNY) is the leading trade fair and conference for hospitality design professionals.  The event brings in over 8,000 Interior Designers, Architects, Purchasing Agents and Owners/Developers over a two-day period each November.

Continue reading to hear what our very own David Summerfield, Procurement Specialist, had to say about the conference:

“BDNY was an experience to remember. The thousands of attendees made it possible to create a memorable show. During the show, CRE took the time to meet with many of the vendors we consistently work with to create and establish those long-term relationships. There were many custom pieces on display worth noting. These custom pieces were one of a kind as they all had their own personal touch to separate themselves from the other competition. The capability to utilize technology and sync it with a smart phone or tablet was rather interesting and unique. The visit to BDNY opened up an array of contacts to utilize and consider for the many projects we procure.”

CRE team participates in Day of Service


Christina River Exchange believes one of our most important responsibilities is giving back to the community where we live and work. Through charitable giving and volunteer service, we strive to be a champion for our underserved communities.

Every year our affiliate company, The Buccini/Pollin Group, takes an entire day to give back to the local community through volunteer services by each associate. We were happy join BPG in their efforts this year and participate in the Day of Service at the Delaware Humane Association.

The Delaware Humane Association is Delaware’s premiere nonprofit no kill animal care and adoption center committed to providing for the needs of homeless and owned dogs and cats in our community.

Meet our summer intern, Madison Cann!


We were thrilled to welcome Madison Cann, a senior at the University of Delaware, to our team this past summer. With a background in purchasing, Madison was a great asset to our team and we truly appreciate all of her hard work!

Read our interview with Madison below to hear what she had to say about her experience working for Christina River Exchange.

Can you provide a little background information on what you are going to school for and when you are expected to graduate?

“As a senior at University of Delaware, I'm a Public Policy major and a Women & Gender studies minor. A lot of what I learn is about economic, social, and political structures/institutions and how individuals interact with them. Most of my work tends to be reading and writing, which has definitely helped me gain skills that are incredibly valuable for my future.”

What would be your dream job after graduation?

“Thinking about my post-grad career is still pretty crazy! My passions can have various career paths, so it's been hard to try to narrow down exactly what I'd like to do. I really want to pursue political advocacy, whether that be in a government position or a non-profit. I'm also fairly certain I want to do the peace corp in a couple years, and I also want to get a higher level degree. So, that question is pretty hard because I feel like I have a million answers for it!”

 What do you feel you learned the most during your time at CRE? Was there anything that surprised you?

“Working at CRE was really an amazing experience. With my previous studies and internships, I had never really gotten a chance to look at the implications of business and finance. However, getting to see how to navigate this was a really big eye-opener. It made me realize that having a good understanding of things like cost-benefit analysis and utilization of resources is fundamentally helpful no matter what career I pursue.”

What was your favorite moment while interning with CRE?

“I would say my favorite moment at CRE was when I got to lead a meeting with the CRE team about re-inventing our proposals and marketing. With my public policy background, I was really thrilled when my boss, Michelle, gave me the task of updating our proposal document and some of our marketing strategy. I have a passion for writing and for making an intended message accessible for a reader, so this project was really exciting for me. After working for weeks on the project, I got to bring together the entire CRE team and discuss what I had done and work with them about their collective ideas as well. For most internships, you end up doing a lot of mundane and less important tasks, but I feel like Michelle and the team really trusted me and my work. It was really amazing to be treated like a peer and less like a student. I feel so lucky that I got to work with such an amazing team all summer, and that experience of leading the meeting is one I'll remember forever.”

Virgin Hotels coming to Nashville & New Orleans

Richard Branson brings the iconic Virgin brand into new markets around the world to shake up the status quo. Virgin Hotels is positioned as the much-needed bridge between the current landscape of lifestyle and legacy hotels. With a focus on the fantastic, the global hotel lifestyle brand combines comfort and innovation with a unique mix of cultural influences, from fashion to music and everything in between.

Once ready for business, Virgin Hotels properties will feature the brand’s charismatic and contemporary style alongside innovative functionality, ample communal space and a signature restaurant, all wrapped in an efficient, personalized experience.

Christina River Exchange is thrilled to be able to assist in bringing this new hotel experience to two locations: Nashville and New Orleans!


Virgin Hotels Nashville

Located in the historic Music Row area of the city, Virgin Hotels Nashville will deliver a one-of-a-kind hotel experience. The hotel will feature 240 chambers, the brand’s take on guestrooms, which will include both “The Dressing Room” featuring a full vanity, make-up desk and well-lit mirror, an extra-large shower with a bench, and his and hers closets designed by Poliform®, and “The Lounge”, which consists of Virgin’s patented designed bed, ideal for working, recharging, wellness and playing.

Virgin Nashville will also include multiple dining and drinking outlets such as the brand's signature Commons Club, a rooftop and pool, and - fitting for Music City - a speakeasy.

The design for Virgin Nashville is inspired by local musical influences and will maintain the brand’s innovative style.

Judi Crook, Interior Designer for MARKZEFF, says “Virgin Nashville’s design fuses modern industrial with a sleek, playful, and sophisticated style, aiming to create a unique and timeless design in which guests are sure to find endless visual variety and luxurious comfort at every moment.”

Virgin Hotels Nashville is expected to open in 2019.


Virgin Hotels New Orleans

Virgin Hotels New Orleans is situated in the city’s Warehouse District. The up-and-coming area sits directly next to the Central Business District and is home to a growing number of new restaurants, galleries and shops. Similar to Nashville, the new-build hotel will feature 225 chambers, the brand’s flagship space, Commons Club, a rooftop pool and lounge, gym, and dedicated meeting and event spaces.

The hotel’s design concept is to create a unique and immersive experience for guests, mirroring the history, food and music in New Orleans. Virgin Hotels’ Vice President of Design Teddy Mayer has tapped a local design firm, Logan Killen Interiors, to bring an authentic New Orleans flair to the project.

Virgin Hotels New Orleans is expected to open in 2020.