Stenciled Lobby in Upscale Resort Makes Hotel Inviting Coming and Going

The stunning stenciled concrete lobby at the Alila Marea resort in San Diego
Alila Marea, a luxury resort nestled into a coastal bluff above the Pacific coastline, finally nears its completion. During the last year or so, Surfacing Solutions Inc. polished 42,000 square feet of concrete in the hotel. But overall, the job’s most impressive feat isn’t about volume. It involves the polished, stained, stenciled concrete in the lobby, made possible with stencils from Floormaps. Photo courtesy of Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas

To loosely quote Theodore Roosevelt, nothing in the world is worth doing unless it takes effort. Take for example the Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas in San Diego, California, and its exquisitely stenciled polished concrete lobby.

“This hotel was challenging, as are many high-end structures,” says Mona Kharouba, superintendent for Suffolk, the project’s general contractor. “But when you throw in the complexity of completing this beautiful hotel amid a pandemic, building gets much more difficult. And much more rewarding.”

From the upscale spa and the stunning ballrooms to the restaurant and bars, the owners spared no expense, says Kharouba. Overall, “My absolute favorite part of this building is the polished, stained, stenciled concrete in the lobby.”

the waiting area of the stenciled concrete lobby at the San Diego luxury resort
The stenciled lobby and adjoining hallways and open spaces feature a unique design made with Floormaps stencils. Photo courtesy of Surfacing Solutions Inc.
An inviting lobby

Surfacing Solutions Inc., led by Marco Loredo, finished the 4,000-square-foot expanse of decorative concrete in the lobby. The results bring so much life and beauty to the resort, Kharouba adds. “It ensures Aila Marea is inviting from the second you walk in to the second you end your stay.”

In addition to Loredo, the hotel design team deserves credit for creating the dazzling design. Kudos are also in order for the women who form the backbone of Floormaps in Rogers, Arkansas. The company helped bring the design to life with its custom-made stencils.

a balcony with comfortable seating overlooking the beach
In addition to the floors in the lobby, SSI also grinded and sealed 18,000 square feet of concrete on the hotel’s 130 balconies. Photo courtesy of Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas
Customer service excels

Floormaps makes its stencils with low-tack adhesive-backed vinyl known for its ease of release. Subsequently, the stencils leave behind less adhesive, while still achieving a crisp, clean design. The company typically makes custom stencils that measure up to 4½-feet wide by 10-feet long. Along with custom-made designs, Floormaps also offers a variety of 3-by-3-feet stencil kits, exclusively made for the Concrete Decor Store.

stenciled concrete hallway using floormaps adhesive stencils.
In addition to its custom-made designs, Floormaps offers 3-by-3-foot stencil kits available exclusively from the Concrete Decor Store. Seen here is the Geometric Modern Tile pattern. Photo courtesy of Floormaps

Simple instructions accompany the stencils, along with detailed images to help with the installation. If installers require extra help, customer service is just a phone call away. Floormaps also offers assisted installation, as well as training courses.

“The girls at Floormaps will bend over backwards to make things right,” says Keith Cantillon, COO of SSI. “We had a problem and they rushed out new pieces. We really appreciate their hard work.”

Geometic Modern Tile patter on a concrete floor
Seen here is the Interlocking Clover pattern by Floormaps, available for purchase exclusively from the Concrete Decor Store.
Installing the stencil

Shawn Halverson, CEO of SSI, says he was impressed with how his applicator was able to chase the stencil and move it under stairs and through railings. “It was a very difficult, very complex design. Marco had to apply the stencil when the rails were already in place.” His challenge also involved finding a repetitive pattern he could follow.

hotel separators using rails modern separation using a rail system
The hotel lobby project tasked the SSI team with installing a complicated stencil pattern under stairs and through railed areas. Photos courtesy of Solid Surface Solutions

“He looked at how the floral pattern repeated and noted how the straight lines went in each direction,” Halverson says. The lines gave him his clues on how to most efficiently install the stencils.

But to further complicate matters, Halverson adds, “There was only one straight wall. Everything else was radial.”

Before applying the stencils, SSI polished the floors. It then took the SSI team five weeks to completely stencil and stain the design in the lobby. “We had to do it in six different sections,” Cantillon says, because they couldn’t occupy the lobby all at once. Once they completed the stencil install, they densified the surface and put down a guard.

Made to order

The designers proposed a pattern both beautiful and complicated for the lobby. Luckily, they settled on a version where the pattern was four times larger than the original design. “Each petal was smaller in the original design and it was very busy. We were all relieved when they chose a larger format,” Cantillon says.

stenciled concrete lobby with inviting pattern to show dynamic design
The original stencil design featured a much smaller pattern than what SSI ended up installing. Photo courtesy of Solid Surface Solutions

“We did five mockups before getting approval,” he says. At one point, he adds, they switched the white and gray coloring placement, which delivered a totally different look.

The men say they have used Floormaps stencils many times, with each one custom-made for the job. SSI’s clients typically supply the artwork and decide how many colors they want in the floor’s design.

“And Floormaps creates a stencil based on that,” Halverson says. The SSI team has been so thrilled with Floormaps’ products, as well as its customer service, that they now use its stencils exclusively.

concrete countertop with adhesive-backed stencils placed on them a stenciled concrete space using floormaps geometric patterns
The Concrete Decor Store also exclusively offers these stencil kits, Geometric Line and Quilt Tile.
Photo courtesy of Floormaps

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