/ / / / /

Graduate Hotels Want You to Relive Your 'Glory Days' of College

August 28, 2014 at 12:56 PM | by | ()

UPDATE: We've received more room photos below. Give your Cliff Notes in comments below.

In recent years, we've seen major hotel brands rushing to grab the attention of Millennials as the young, design-savvy, and tech-centric crowd enters the workforce and begins to travel, whether for business, leisure or (most likely), bleisure.

Marriott Hotels is ramping up their Moxy and AC Hotels by Marriott brands, while Radisson Hotels have gone and created Radisson Red. Thompson Hotels are queueing up their Tommie brand while Virgin Hotels is getting closer and closer to opening their first hotel. All these brands are offering amenities that are important to Millennials, such as--great design, social spaces, useful tech, free WiFi and reasonable prices. Which, really, any modern traveler will like these days.

But now there's a new brand of hotels ready to compete with the big boys--Graduate Hotels. Surprisingly, the brand is not aimed at Millennials but we don't believe them. Here's what Graduate promises to be about:

From imaginatively appointed guestrooms and animated lobbies accented by coffee shops and bars, to locally-inspired art collections, Graduate Hotels will offer a hand-crafted experience. Itís a place where smart never goes out of style.

Graduate Hotelís public spaces will establish each property as a community living room, making each location a place where campus and community thrive together. With their collective backgrounds and passion for this brand, the team behind the Graduate did their homework and are creating a truly authentic experience and atmosphere highlighting what each of these unique towns has to offer.

Graduate Hotels will be opening in secondary markets across America, typically near college campuses. Already on their website, they've listed locations such as Tempe, Ariz; Athens, Georgia; and Charlottesville, Virginia. Graduate Tempe will actually open across from Arizona State University in October as will Graduate Athens at the University of Georgia.

We're actually totally onboard with this idea of having a stylish, almost-boutique hotel brand open near college campuses, rather than the usual boring, overly corporate, budget brands. And the Graduate Hotels have some serious money behind them from AJ Capital Partners, who according to the Wall Street Journal has lined up about $500 million to open 20 Graduate Hotels over the next five years. Damn.

But as a member of the Graduate's target demographic--35-45-years-old--there is no way you can get me to relive my college days. Granted, Graduate hotel rooms will thankfully not look like my old college dorm room which had Dave Matthews posters above the bunk beds, fans on full blast during hot late summer days and various plastic crates holding CDs and VHS tapes, but the model room shown on the WSJ article does not do it for me.

Is it too late for the Graduates to go back to school and rethink those pattern choices? And maybe that paining of the red beer pong cup?

Here are some more photos from the Graduate Athens, the Graduate Madison and the Graduate Tempe, in that order:

[Photos: Graduate Hotels/WSJ.com]

Archived Comments:


Okay, I'm really feeling this brand (and I didn't even like college much). It's that font! That check accent chair! I'm younger than their target demographic though, so that's a point in their court, I suppose. Could do without the trophy lamp and floral pillow, however.

The logo

Is AWESOME. I love it. I wish they had been more inspired by the logo when doing the room design.

There is SO MUCH GOING ON! Ok, suitcases with a big stripe running down the middle. Circles on the carpet, plaid on the bed, check accent chair, floral bolster pillow, a lampshade like a trophy and the worst offender, the beer pong cup painting. And this is coming from me, who won a Flip Cups tournament once upon a time.

I think they should just go after the millennials and admit it. After all, they're already on campus!

in between

I am in between you both (and i am just under the target demographic). I love lots going on, but this is a bit too much. carpet, sofa and bed clash I like. Curtains is going a little too far. The cushions and the pictures and that weird trunk chest thing and the flowers are over the top for me. Though those things combined are not nearly as hideous as that shiny headboard.

I'd still stay there. At least I could hide all the cushions in the cupboard.


The logo is fantastic. Scrap the stripey bed skirt / head board in the double-double room, bring in a solid in the curtains, a few more tweaks, and maybe we're in business.

The shiny headboard looks like it's covered in something so that it can be wiped / hosed down easily. No...

American flag

I just noticed the last picture has an American flag as a bedspread.

american flag


i like the stripy valance. please don't scrap that.

Oh my

I actually was a major part in the opening of Graduate Tempe in Arizona, room layout etc etc and have some pretty awesome pictures ;)