* This InterContinental Hotel was subsidiary to Pan American World Airways until 1977
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.
El Prado InterContinental Hotel
Lead Interior Designer:
Neal Prince ASID Intercontinental Hotel Designer Pan-Am
Neal A. Prince, R.A., A.S.I.D, Lead Designer
V.P. of Graphic and Interior Design Department, InterContinental Hotel Group 1960-1985
200 air-conditioned rooms around Spanish Colonial court, gardens, swimming pool. 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.
How does Mr. Prince's identify an outstanding Hotel?
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.
El Proado Coffee Shop:
Patio Andaluz Night Club:
Interiors came under Mr. Prince' s supervision in 1960. Property was 10 minutes from the city's commercial center until 1977, when the property was sold off.
Attached is an 1971 MEMO from Mr. Prince on the Process of Designing a Guest Room for an Hotel
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:
- 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:
- Concept (objectivity) – initiated by IHC Operations and local Hotel Company (where applicable).
- Function (utility) – based on past experience and current consumption of practical innovation.
- Construction (fabrication) – utilization of local market facilities and methods wherever possible.
- Budget (feasibility) – dictated by market surveys indicating the initial expenditure warranted by projected profits.
- Beauty (design) – a conglomerate result of the thinking and ideas of all parties involved coordinated into a smooth, compatible result.
- 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.