InterContinental Hotel Archives Neal Prince ASID

Neal Prince R.A., A.S.I.D

(Curriculum Vitae)

InterContinental Hotel Corporation Digital Archives

 

Phoenicia InterContinental Hotel,
Beirut, Lebanon (1960-1976)

InterContinental Hotel Collections
held by the Neal Prince Estate Holding Trust
Mr. Neal Prince,
R.A., A.S.I.D
(Curriculum Vitae)
 
Index Holdings Relating to the 1940's
Index Holdings Relating to the 1950's
Index Holdings Relating to the 1960's
Index Holdings Relating to the 1970's
Index Holdings Relating to the 1980's
Index Holdings Relating to the 1990's
Professional
Biography 2000's
 Mr. Neal Prince Resource Image Data Base
 
InterContinental  Hotels 
Historical
Background

John B. Gates,
Chairman of the Board
Robert Huyot,
Chairman of the Board
Hans Sternick,
Chairman of the Board
John P. Sutherland,
President
Latin American
Division
Mario Di Genova,
President
Europe/Africa Divsions
R. Kane Rufe,
Sr. Vice President
Far East/Pacific Division
John C. Carrodus
Sr. Vice President
of Services
Neal A. Prince
Vice President
Graphics and Interior Designs
 
Departmental Staff and Contractual Designers:
Kenneth Smith,
ASID
Charles R Alvey,
Graphic Designer
Richard Simpson,
Graphic Designer
 Bill Embery
Dale & Pat Keller,
ASID
Joe Grusczak,
ASID
Trisha Wilson,
ASID
James Ray Baker,
ASID
Irene D'Alessio,
Interior Designer



Arie deZanger,
IHC Photographer


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
CONTACT
US

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Phoenicia InterContinental Hotel, Beirut, Lebanon (1960) monogram,
designed by Charles R. Alvey & Richard Simpson


InterContinental Hotel was a subsidiary of Pan Am Airlines

Pan Am Logo InterContinental Hotel Corporation Digital Archives




1961 Hotel Phoenicia Inter-Continental Hotel Brochure


1964 Hotel Phoenicia Inter-Continental Hotel Brochure


1968 Hotel Phoenicia Inter-Continental Hotel Brochure


Who is Mr. Neal Prince? Mr. Prince is a trained Architect from Rice University, an Art Historian, Art Collector and a person with a vast passion for Motion Pictures and Theatre History, especially Set Designs. These elements came together to build a foundation to Mr. Prince's skills, which later became recognized as his ability for designing Hotel and Restaurant Interiors. Mr. Prince incorporated his own passions of above, into an International branding philosophy that remains as strong today as it was when he developed his philosophy of Hotel and Restaurant Designs, which is visible today, in Hotels worldwide. But what makes Mr. Prince different? He was a pioneer within this Industry, along with Dale and Pat Keller, of Hong Kong, in designing Hotels in countries that never had an International Hotel presence. Mr. Prince, along with Kenneth Smith (Interior Designer), Charles Alvey (Graphic Designer), Richard Simpson (Graphic Designer), William Embury (Interior Designer), Joe Grusczak (Interior Designer), James Ray Baker (Interior Designer) and Irene D'Alessio (Interior Designer) and many others were the first, to sent the standards for International Hotel Interiors. And what is incredible is that he did not have the grand budgets that most designers have today. Mr. Prince used local talents and products, when available and appropriate, to augment his designs, which, in return, allowed local Artist, Gallery Owners, Merchants and vendors to view InterContinental not as an invader, but as a partner in creating new sources of commence within the local economy. What is even more unique in Mr. Prince being different, was that Mr. Prince has always credited his success, not in the terms of "I", but "WE". Mr. Prince, being from Corsicana, Texas, has always remained modest and respectful and always have contributed his success due to the fact that designing hotels is a "TEAM" effort, from his Departmental Staff to his Professional Associate Designers that he had brought on to do a certain project for the vast inventory of InterContinental Hotel holdings. This website is to bring together the collections, resources, stories and images documenting a period of time, before computers, mobile phones, fax's or video conferencing. This website is to recapture the time when International Hotel Design Industry remained in its infancy before the growth and development into what we have today as multi billion dollar companies. Each Hotel on this website will encompass how Mr. Prince and his Staff and Professional Associates overcame the troubles of designing Hotels, from a historic point of view, to what was necessary to open the Hotels, maintain the Hotels, and what lessons were learned to be applied for the next project.

-webmaster


Hotel:

Phoenicia InterContinental Hotel

Soaring over the sparkling Mediterranean, the Hotel Phoenicia InterContinental Hotel had welcomed the guest to a land that was over 60 centuries old. From the balcony of your air-conditioned room, it was only 5 minutes at the time from the center of this fascinating cross-roads of East and West. Within a day thier guest were able to visit Baalbek, the Biblical Cedars of Lebanon, and Damascus.

Phoenicia Inter-Continental Hotel, Beirut, Lebanon Neal Prince

The Phoenicia Intercontinental, on the shores of the Mediterranean, was the perfect place for the guest to explore Beirut and the rest of Labanon... the legendary "Land of Milk and Honey"... with its remenders of Phoenician and Roman days, its orange and olive groves and their wonderful beaches brought in the tourism of no other.

Like all Intercontinental Hotels, the Phoenicia Intercontinental  has a personality distinctly its own. The Guest discovered these when they saw how to capture the Lebanon's unique charm....how to had blended its warmth and hospitality known far beyound the countries of the Middle East. And because the Phoenicia Intercontinental  was internationally operated at the time, it had featured all the comforts to its day for the experienced international traveler instinctively had sought out. Plus some additional ones. No matter if the traveller had came to Lebanon or what their purposes were, they would have found the Phoenicia Intercontinental, everything to make their stay comfortable, enjoyable and memorable as the guest could have possibly had wised for.

With the Phoenicia Intercontinental becoming the International travellers home base for the middle eastern traveller, they were ready to sample Lebanon's many attractions. You're near everything... only 2 minutes from the dock... 5 minutes from the business section of the Beirut and a short drive from either the airport or the Gambling Casino. In less then an hour at the time, the traveller and the guest could have been skiing magnificent slopes or enjoying ancient Baalbek, with its Roman ruins and great 3 month Music Festival. At the time, only 60 miles away from the exotic Damascus, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. In no time the hotel guest were able to view the picturesque Pigeon's Grotto, the National Museum, American University and the Great Mosque, which was 800 years old at the time. The guest would have enjoyed the swim and sun at the Hotel pool or any of the fine beaches it had at the time. Or the guest would have enjoyed the pleasures of driving out to Tripoli, Damascus and the famed Cedars of Lebanon. All year old the guest had the pleasures to fish, golf, play tennis or water ski and, between January and April, enjoy the winter sports near the world's oldest forest, amind mountains 10,000 feet high.

a

Hotel Rendering, ca. 1960

Location: 

Beirut, Lebanon

 

Architect:

Edward D. Stone, Architect

Peter Bruder, Mechanical Engineer

Gorlin & Atlas, Structural Engineers

 

 

Lead Interior Designer:

Neal A. Prince, RA, ASID

Charles R. Alvey, Graphic Designer and Colour Specialist

 

Neal Prince Pan Am Airline Beirut Phoenicia Hotel

 

As air travel to the east has grown, Beirut has become a great airport city, one of the businest in the world at this time. Besides being the air enterance to the east it was the recreation cener of its corner of the world, where one was able to swim in the Mediteranean or ski in the the mountains; it is an oasis then for American colonies throughout the middle east at that time. The hotel thus combines a business and luxury tourist trade, and is designed to dominate in both categories.

 

Lobby:

 

 

Rooms:

600 completely air-conditioned. During this time in history, air-conditioned rooms were a new amenity of luxury to Hotels, as air conditioned rooms were not standard as they have become in today's Hotels.

Phoenicia Inter-Continental Hotel, Beirut, Lebanon Neal Prince

Typical Suite:

Typical Suite (ca. 1962)

Phoenicia Inter-Continental Hotel, Beirut, Lebanon Neal Prince

Interiors designed by Mr. Neal Prince, R.A., A.S.I.D (1960)

Furniture designed by Mr. Prince and produced and supplied by Daou et Fills (Daou & Sons Inc.), from Beirut, Lebanon.

Restaurants/Lounges:

Le Paon Rouge Supper Club:

Phoenicia Inter-Continental Hotel, Beirut, Lebanon Neal Prince
Photograph courtesy of Arie de Zanger, IHC Photographer

The sophistocated supper club - the Le Paon Rouge offered the famous international entertainment and dancing.

Sous la Mer Bar:

Phoenicia Inter-Continental Hotel, Beirut, Lebanon Neal Prince

The Sous la Mer Bar was located at the lower level of the Hotel at the deep end of the swimming pool, which had the under-water windows so that the bar patrons were able to watch the swimmers.

Les Phoenicians Snack Bar:

Phoenicia Inter-Continental Hotel, Beirut, Lebanon Neal Prince

The Coffee Shop and snack bar was opened to the pool areas, also a cocktail bar.

L'Age d'Or Rotisserie Restaurant:

L'Age d'Or Restaurant, Phoenicia Inter-Continental Hotel

L'Age D'Or Restaurant (remodeled)

The guest had the pleasure to dine at the gourment restuarant, called L'Age D'Or Resturant, which featured the French and Lebanese specialties.

La Cascade Bar -

 - No Photograph is available at this time

La Panache Cocktail Lounge -

La Pananche Cocktail Lounge  Phoenicia Inter-Continental Hotel

Phoenicia Cafe -

(ca. 1962)

L'Amerique Coffee Shop:

 

Pool Facilities:

Phoenician Hotel Pool -

Phoenicia Inter-Continental Hotel, Beirut, Lebanon Neal Prince

The image is the famous Phoenicia InterContinental Hotel Pool, which was designed by Mr. Neal Prince, in a manner to visually have the pool look larger then what the actually pool was. You note the wave like mosaic pattern, in allow the image to flow out from the pool on to the desk, to allow the guest from their balcony's to view the pool in a more large image, then what it actually was. This pool design was celebrated by many repeated guest and to this day, is remembered as the charm of the Phoenicia InterContinental Hotel property in Lebanon.

Neal Prince Phoenicia InterContinental Hotel

Trellises around the terraces had served as to break up the direct sunlight, but was punctured by openings to permit sunbathing.

 

 

How does Mr. Prince's identify an outstanding Hotel?

Response:

When you arrive at the Hotel, telephone room service and order a club sandwich to be delivered to your room. Once the room service had delivered your requested club sandwich, take a moment to access how it was prepared, what materials they used to create your club sandwich and then taste the sandwich. Mr. Prince firmly believes, from 55 years of travelling around the world that if a Hotel is able to prepare the "simple" club sandwich correctly, then that Hotel is being operated correctly.

Meeting Facilities:

3 function rooms accommodating up to 2,500 people.

 

 

The Auditorum:

Comments:

 

During the early 1960's, the Phoenicia offered an exotic charm of ancient Lebanon, with every modern convenience. Cocktails in the Mediterranean Sun near the famous outdoor swimming pool, which was designed by Mr. Neal Prince. Since the hotel incorporated, within the property, a small pool, Mr. Prince designed the tile work in a manner, within the pool, to flow out onto the desk to create a visual larger pool, as viewed from the guestroom's balcony. The design was so well done, that after 50 years later, many guest still remember the pool and how well it was designed ahead of its time.



With the newly created Graphics Department of InterContinental, with Charles R. Alvey and Richard Simpson had designed for each property their own monogram. Along with all graphics for silverware, glassware, uniforms and vast other items to allow the Property to have its own identity and personality, to be now known as InterContinental Hotels Group. As exhibited from this starter plate in the photograph below:

Phoenicia Inter-Continental Hotel, Beirut, Lebanon Neal Prince

Or this Matchbook that was designed by Mr. Charles R. Alvey, incorporating the Hotel Monogram into the Branding of the Hotel, which remains today associated as the monogram of the Phoenicia InterContinental Hotel:
Phoenicia Inter-Continental Hotel, Beirut, Lebanon Neal Prince

Sample of the luggage label of the Phoenicia InterContinental Hotel:
Phoenicia Inter-Continental Hotel, Beirut, Lebanon Neal Prince


 

 

Further exhibits of the Graphics Department would be the newly created monogramed luggage labels for each InterContinental Hotels:

Phoenicia Inter-Continental Hotel, Beirut, Lebanon Neal Prince

At the time when this Hotel was opened, InterContinental Hotel was own by Pan-Am Airlines, which reflects this Luggage label that would be applied to each guest luggage as they checked out from the Hotel. This was a marvelous way of advertise the guest designations and further promote this Hotel property. Though many of the photographs and documentation were destroyed when political unrest occurred in Beirut in 1975, this luggage label would illustrate the great detail that the Mr. Prince Designed Department engulfed their talents in having this Hotel reflect the national culture. This particular monogram was personally designed by Charles R. Alvey and Richard Simpson in 1961.

Attached is an 1971 MEMO from Mr. Prince on the Process of Designing a Guest Room for an Hotel























 

These earlier images are further examples of the detail graphics and designs that were created by the talents  of Charles R. Alvey (Product Designer from Texas) and Richard Simpson (Graphic Artist from New York), both being graduates from Pratt Institute. They both were hired by Mr. Prince to become the first Department of its kind, to become the InterContinental Hotel Corporation's Department of Interior & Graphics Design. These images are another example of InterContinental Hotel's creating the Industry standards, which most of their competitors copied for their own Graphic's applications. In some hotels, this images are used to this day.

Phoenicia Inter-Continental Hotel, Beirut, Lebanon Neal Prince

 

 

 

.

STATEMENT

OF

InterContinental HOTEL

INTERIOR AND GRAPHIC DESIGN

POLICY

BY

NEAL PRINCE, ca. 1961

The approach to hotel design differs greatly from each interior design for an individual. The latter is dictated by the aesthetic environmental pleasures of one particular person or family, whereas hotel design is a coordinated effort between the functional requirements if IHC Hotel Management and Operations, the architectural concept and space allocation, the desires of the local hotel company, the limitations of restrictive budgets, and the harmony and market of the country in which a hotel is located – all combined to produce a profit marking plant reflecting the current international tastes of a widely diversified market.

Although standardization would appear to be desirable in a rapidly growing industry, experience indicates the most successful efforts are based on individuality related to the country of origin rather than standardization of design, but with an overlying emphasis of international standardization of quality and service.

Each hotel in each location produces its own surveyed, conceptual, and operational requirements of IHC, its own local interior designers, and its own problems of local availability and manufacturing; however, the following outline of goals is generally applicable:

A. To produce good design based primarily on the functional needs and requirements of IHC Operations in order that Management can merchandise fully the facilities provided and develop a high quality of service; this design to be approached simultaneously along the following avenues:

1. Concept (objectivity) – initiated by IHC Operations and local Hotel Company (where applicable).

2. Function (utility) – based on past experience and current consumption of practical innovation.

3. Construction (fabrication) – utilization of local market facilities and methods wherever possible.

4. Budget (feasibility) – dictated by market surveys indicating the initial expenditure warranted by projected profits.

5. Beauty (design) – a conglomerate result of the thinking and ideas of all parties involved coordinated into a smooth, compatible result.

B. To insure that the original design concept and subsequent development of each project is based not on the likes and dislikes of any one faction but expresses the taste and insures the comfort of the international guest; and also utilizes, wherever possible, the trades, manufactures and craftsmen as well as the arts and crafts, ornamentation, styles, and traditions indigenous to the country in which a project is located.

 


 

ARTICLES

 

The following Article was published in the Architectural Record, in May of 1957, Page 220:

"Titled: Luxury hotel for air-conscious Beirut

Planning Hotels for the exotic, exciting cities that appeal to American tourist may have romantic sound, but it is strictly business for Intercontinental Hotels Corporation, a subsidiary of Pan American World Airways. in the words of Byron Calhoun, president, "When you design a hotel, you are not designing a building; you are not designing a shelter for a business; you are designing the business itself." On this theme he, with Joseph Salerno, chief architect, and Richard S. Smith, constgruction chief, study the income potentials for hotel schemes, whether the designs are their own or those of architects they have commissioned. This hotel design and the two shown on the succeeding pages, are examples of current projecs, with analytical notes supplied by Intercontinental.

  • As air travel to the east has grown, Beirut has become a great airport city, one of the busiest in the world. Besides being the air entrance to the east it is the recreation center of its corner of the world, where one can swim in the Mediterranean or ski in the mountains; it is an oasis then for American colonies throughout the middle east. The hotel thus combines a business and luxury tourist trade, and is designed to dominate in both categories.

  • Feature is ballroom and theater combination. Theater can operate separately as a movie house, or it can join the ballroom for business functions. As a convention auditorium it far surpasses the folding chair arrangements. Or, it can be used for exhibits, with virtually the whole ballroom becomeing its stage.

  • Ballroom can be arranged in various space combinations, with our without adjoining ante rooms.

  • Theater-ballroom traffic kept entirely separate from general hotel activities.

  • Extensive shop areas at ground level. Most of these, it is planned, will be developed an native bazaars, possibly with several concessioners together in one store space. All of this activity, however, is fairly well isolated from main hotel areas, especially from the extensive terrace areas and cabanas around the pool.

  • Trellises around terraces will serve to break up direct sundlight, but will be punctured by openings to permit sunbathing.

  • Coffee shop and snack bar open to the pool areas, also a cocktail bar.

  • Another bar will be located at the lower level at the deep end of the swimming pool, which will have under-water windows so that bar patrons can watch swimmers."

(Page 221 is in the processed to be obtained)

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