Transformation at The Chrysalis

It’s a respite for the body, mind and soul. Overlooking Taylor Dock, into the soothing blue-gray hues of Bellingham Bay, The Chrysalis Inn & Spa is located just steps from Historic Fairhaven’s rustic brick beauty. If you’re looking for more than a room with a view, this is the premier location.

The Chrysalis’ renovation is a chance to modernize their guest suites. Internet-connected televisions will be available in every room. Photo courtesy: The Chrysalis Inn & Spa.

The Chrysalis’ name itself recalls the complex and beautiful transformation that can come with stillness – a space beyond restoration. As we wrap up the year, The Chrysalis is completing its own transformation, enlivening their rooms and image. Step by step, everything from carpet to furniture is getting a fresh update.

Since the beginning, The Chrysalis’ architecture and design has been guided by Betty Blount of Seattle’s Zena Design Group. “The design presents a simple palette of unpretentious luxury – authenticity,” she describes in her reflection on The Chrysalis. “There’s a sense of serenity and warmth as you move through the spaces, inviting one to savor the details.”

Some timeless Pacific Northwest touches will stay the same – the cool, slate stone floors of the bathroom; the natural wood accents. But many aspects are ready for renewal. “As long as we’ve been in the community, we’ve had a reputation for being warm and inviting,” explains Chris Caldwell, marketing director for The Chrysalis. “This is a stunning location and with a spa, our clientele have a certain expectation for luxury. We want to stay fresh, without being ostentatious.”

The newly painted walls reflect the subdued colors of the saltwater outside the room. Accent upholstery in earthy neutrals complement and warm the space. The seaside-inspired wicker furniture is being exchanged for rich woods, with post-modern design elements.

The designer, Betty Blount, has chosen furniture with clean lines, neutral palettes and subtle textures to complement the soothing atmosphere. Photo courtesy: The Chrysalis Inn & Spa.

“Ultimately, we’re selling a luxury product,” says Caldwell. “The design and experience has to reflect that.”

The renovation has practical purposes too. When the Chrysalis opened 18 years ago, cell phones weren’t as common or relied upon as they are today. “Technological updates have become a requirement. If you don’t have them, you’re behind,” says Caldwell. The rooms are all being outfitted with new smart televisions. If it suits them, guests can log into their own accounts and continue watching all their favorite shows.

This year’s renovation is also a prelude to The Chrysalis’ subtle rebranding and a corporate collaboration. Since the rapid growth of online booking and reliance on internet reviews, The Chrysalis decided to join a broader network for more worldwide exposure.

They already successfully book up on weekends, when most people have the chance to relax. Now they’re looking to connect with business travelers and others who may book stays between Sunday and Thursday.

The Hilton Brand Hotel line, Curio Collection, presented itself as a good fit for the growing hotel’s needs. Curio is an arrangement made with independently owned boutique hotels. By partnering with Curio, hotels get access to Hilton’s worldwide reservation system and broader exposure. There are also reciprocal incentives for travelers through the Hilton Honors rewards program. Business travelers can earn free nights, among other perks, for staying in their hotels.

Of course, a stay at an upscale hotel isn’t complete without an incredibly comfortable king sized bed. Photo courtesy: The Chrysalis Inn & Spa.

The beauty of this arrangement is that The Chrysalis will retain its unique identity and independent ownership. Curio doesn’t have a template that dictates how The Chrysalis has to look, leaving its vision in the hands of those who have crafted it all along.

The Curio hotel line aims to connect travelers with a stay that suits their personality. Their website even has a little quiz guests can take to discover what kind of traveler they are – Culturist? Epicurean? Spiritualist? – and can recommend hotels that suit their type of travel. “By celebrating hotels’ individual spirit, Curio Collection is defined by the uniqueness of each hand-picked property,” the company explains. “Curio appeals to travelers seeking one-of-a-kind discoveries.”

The crossover will take place after the completion of The Chrysalis’ renovations. Guests can take advantage of this new system, and experience the hotel’s fresh updates, in early 2019.

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