Hotel's FLOE Lounge represents a new high water mark for meeting, dining, and entertainment in Orange County.
IRVINE, CALIF. – As Marriott International continues to innovate the hospitality industry, inspiring us to “Travel Brilliantly,” the Irvine Marriott Hotel introduces a brilliant new venue for meeting, dining, and entertaining to the Orange County scene: FLOE Lounge. Blending high-concept interior design with advanced technology and fine art – all interpreted through the lens of popular psychology – FLOE is set to change the way modern global travelers stay, dine, meet, and play in this epicenter of Southern California trends.
“In keeping with Marriott International’s ‘Travel Brilliantly’ initiative, FLOE at the Irvine Marriott introduces an exciting new ‘downtown’ vibe to coastal Orange County,” says Scott McCoy, general manager of the Irvine Marriott Hotel. “Our new lobby, lounge and restaurant are designed to be a destination where today’s stylish travelers and locals alike can gather to enjoy a warm but modern setting that is approachable, sophisticated, and luxurious – yet true to its coastal roots.”
Designed by Leo A Daly, one of the largest architecture, engineering, planning, and interior design firms in the nation, FLOE Lounge features flexible gathering spaces for both social interaction and entertaining, or private reflection. Daly’s high-concept design also was inspired by coastal Orange County’s world famous beaches- a feeling conveyed through the natural, soft color palette and clean lines of the space that draw inspiration from sand, ocean, and driftwood. The design further reflects the influence of the region’s marinas, with metal cabling that resembles ship rigging and an eye-catching abstract macro photograph of a yacht in the Lobby.
Set for completion in early February 2014, FLOE Lounge creates a lasting first impression from the moment you enter the hotel’s front doors – a directive from Marriott International’s “Travel Brilliantly” brand values. Here, two grand-scaled floral displays flank the spacious room, which is artfully designed with numerous inviting areas for lounging, meeting and socializing. Seating areas and decorative accents showcase a seaside-meets-city palette of hues with shades of coastal blue, gray and yellow punctuated by vibrant reds and highlighted by compelling works by local artists. Each area provides flexible, movable seating and tabletop components, as well as Wi-Fi access and outlets for electronic devices – reflecting the way that savvy travelers gather and meet today. In addition, a specially designed, acoustically enhanced alcove within the lounge will host emerging local musical acts on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
Inside FLOE Lounge
The excitement continues as FLOE Lounge transitions to the dining area, where a subtle nod to nautical influences is revealed in the up-lit stainless steel cables -reminiscent of cordage on a ship – that define the space while providing entertaining glimpses from one space to the other. Large-cut white limestone flooring also connects the two spaces, evoking the feeling of an ice floe, and paying homage to the destination’s name. Southern California artist Jennifer Prichard’s ceramic “barnacle” sculptures also extend the ocean theme, gracing the walls above the lounge’s exclusive alcove seating, with semicircular banquette tables that provide privacy, quiet (acoustically engineered to encourage conversation), and their own televisions – all with a view of the action.
At the bar, FLOE Lounge’s mixology experts create ahead-of-the-curve cocktails with FLOE’s signature single “ice ball” replacing the typical ice cubes, and the use of locally grown herbs from Irvine’s Tanaka Farms. Communal tables near the bar reflect the trend toward European pub-style socializing – while games offered tableside and at the bar infuse an added sense of fun and camaraderie. Televisions are placed discreetly in the bar area so that guests can enjoy the game, while conversations remain lively.
Throughout FLOE Lounge, furnishings underscore the coastal-urban vibe, with glints of shimmering silver adding even more visual interest. Seating and table configurations have been strategically designed for the way we live and dine today – with set tables for business dining, communal tables for collaborative work and meetings, and inviting banquette arrangements for relaxed dining. Even the cuisine stays true to the FLOE vision, based on ingredients from purveyors within 50 miles of the property and interpreted into relatable yet citified dishes that center on quick, light bites and seasonal offerings.
For intimate gatherings, guests may reserve FLOE’s private dining room. Here, glass sculptures by local artists adorn the exclusive space (which seats up to 20) and minimalist Caesarstone buffets create a contemporary atmosphere that also is functional – one is an inductive cooktop, the other providing a chilled surface for cold food service.
Continuing the FLOE
Designed with Southern California weather in mind, guests have the ability to move from the interior to exterior spaces with great ease at FLOE. After dinner – or any time – guests of the Lounge can gather around the massive indoor marble fireplace with its low-slung sofas and armchairs, or join the fun outdoors, where inviting seating areas designed around fire features beckon. By day, umbrellas shade the sunny terraces, complete with Ping Pong table and 70-inch TV screen. By night, the space will come to life with LED lighting and “Dive In” movies that are scheduled to be shown in the pool area below.
“The introduction of FLOE Lounge reflects the continuing evolution of the Irvine Marriott Hotel,” says McCoy. “Guests – both travelers and locals – are seeking a place that feels current, yet approachable, a place that’s exciting, yet inviting. FLOE is that place, and we’re proud to introduce this new concept, and destination, to the coastal Orange County market.”
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She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.