Hilton Garden Inn Ocean City Oceanfront offers local flair in beach destination

Ocean City, MD, is now home to the Hilton Garden Inn Ocean City Oceanfront, which takes its inspiration from local culture.

In collaboration with OTO Development, //3877 was tapped as the design architect, architect of record and interior designer for the project, which included a complete renovation of an existing beachfront property.

“We combined modern, coastal influences with elements of the building’s original Victorian-style architecture throughout the project to breathe new life into the concept,” said Abby Eckard, interior designer, //3877. “We aimed for a contemporary yet nostalgic feel, similar to the vibe of the boardwalk, in order to cultivate the perfect backdrop for memorable vacations.”

The hotel offers an elevated beach vacation for guests, with all 170 rooms overlooking the Atlantic Ocean from en suite balconies. Its strong sense of place encourages guests to not only savor the surrounding area from their rooms, but to explore the local community.

All 170 guestrooms overlook the Atlantic Ocean.

“Our team folded intentional design elements throughout the property that created an authentic experience without leaning too far into clichés,” Eckard said. “This includes a neutral finish palette that backdrops the coastal atmosphere, featuring hues of blue reminiscent of Maryland crabs. We wanted to guide guests through moments of discovery through subtle design.”

In the hotel’s lobby, guests will find an ombré effect on the tiles gradually shifting from cream to blue as they travel further toward the back of the hotel, drawing them out toward the direction of the beach, Eckard added. To the right on the main level, a café serves up ice cream to beachgoers, an ode to the classic Ocean City mentality.

“The project as a whole is a testament to the palpable energy and culture in the area,” said Noelani Brannon, interior designer, //3877. “The guestrooms feature regionally inspired art, a staple element of the Hilton brand, as well as subtle local style such as a nautical light cord for anchor-shaped wall sconces. From the lobby, views of the ocean are a paramount element of the experience, anchoring—no pun intended—each stay in a serene, peaceful atmosphere.”

Design elements—such as an art installation hanging above the check-in desk by artist Jeff Auxer that features nearly 200 glass plates that mimic the look of a school of fish—bring a nod to the beach.

The hotel also offers amenities such as a 300-ft. deck that overlooks the Atlantic, as well as an oceanfront restaurant and bar.

“It was a welcomed challenge to balance staying true to the Hilton Garden Inn brand while creating a unique, locally inspired design,” Eckard said. “We wanted to draw from the nostalgia of the beach into a modern, yet approachable property that is designed to be timeless for generations. We also embraced existing architectural elements throughout the space, which provided a beautiful layering of small nods to the existing design.”

Throughout the process, //3877 aimed to keep the integrity of the Hilton Garden Inn brand while incorporating local elements.

“This resulted in a familiar, yet distinct design that brings comfort to guests while ensuring that they have a unique stay that sticks with them long after they depart,” Brannon said.

The design team infused residential aspects into the design to create an authentic, inviting mood. This, Brannon noted, helped to create a sense of place for those traveling and invites guests to return year after year—establishing the hotel as a destination in its own right.

“Porcelain wood-look tiles add to the residential aesthetic while pops of color seen in the artwork and textiles adds a notable energy to the space,” Brannon said. “Soft, comfortable furniture with clean lines and coastal touches provides a residential, lived-in element that makes guests feel right at home, welcoming them to relax and stay a while.”

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