I came across the Graduate Hotels, quirky properties offering well-designed oases in college towns in America. The Graduate Hotel, is part of a well-curated, well-crafted collection of hotels that reside in the most dynamic University towns across America. Every site and property celebrates and commemorates the youthful optimism of school days and cultivates the spirit of each community in a bright new way.
Every smart cultural nod in the place winks at the heritage and history of each unique town. Cultivating the feeling of the unexpected, where little moments of surprise and discovery will meet you down every corridor and around each corner.
The Graduate Tempe opened in early October in Tempe, Arizona as part of the Graduate Hotels collection, the newest venture from AJ Capital Partners. The 140 room hotel features include two dining options and a rooftop bar. It is located directly across from Arizona State University campus.
The overall concept is based on the sense of adventure, discovery and romance evoked by the property's desert surroundings and the pioneering spirit of the University.
Graduate Tempe's interiors are decorated with a sense of adventure and feature an array of primitive and Native American artwork, many pieces sourced locally by the Arizona State University Art Department. The hotel lobby features a digital print of Charles Darwin's Origin of the Species and a large-scale ant farm behind the front desk that was created in partnership with the university's School of Life Sciences, Social Insect Research Department, which is a nod to the university’s acclaimed Department of Entomology.
The interiors express charm and soul. Andrew Alford, chief creative officer of AJ Capital Partners - the real estate development and investment firm behind Graduate Hotels - was key in determining the design and aesthetic of Graduate Tempe (all of the Graduate Hotels for that matter). There are two completed Graduate Hotels - Tempe, Arizona and Athens, Georgia - and three that will open by the end of 2015 - Charlottesville, Virginia; Madison, Wisconsin; and Oxford, Mississippi. There are projected to be more than 20 properties in the next five years. While the hotels have a “preppy-collegiate” vibe, each hotel is a distinct reflection of the unique location and the “American public’s craving for interesting design,” according to Alford.