In October 2019, we completed a renovation in our own back yard (well, practically): Graduate Annapolis. The new hotel is designed with a maritime aesthetic — nautical flags, preppy plaid, sailing knots, bright stripes, and brass. If you are in or around Annapolis, it’s well worth the visit!

Continental Contractors, Inc. completed the renovation of the Graduate Annapolis last fall. We renovated 216 guestrooms, lobby, meeting, and restaurant areas at the former Lowes/Hotel Annapolis property. Continental along with AJ Capital Partners, and the brand’s in-house design team, revamped nearly all aspects of the hotel, ushering in maritime themes and a coastal aesthetic, with nods throughout to the U.S. Naval Academy, which is located less than a mile away.

Guestrooms received new furniture and fixtures, including new vanities and faucets.In the lobby, nautical flags greet guests over the front desk. Hospitality Net observed “Upon entering the hotel, visitors are welcomed by an art installation at the front desk, which features maritime signal flags spelling out the message ‘We are all students.’ Themes of Maryland blue crabs and Naval Academy traditions are found throughout.” 

Continental installed reclaimed wood flooring through much of the first floor, and two new ADA restrooms were added to the lobby area. The four-story atrium, shown to the right, includes an art installation of more than 750 pieces of vintage nautical reproductions, as well as a beautiful carpet depicting the rotunda of the Naval Academy’s Bancroft Hall. The restaurant, Camp Severn Shore, received a new coffee bar and a large garage door that will allow fresh air and sunshine in on warm weather days.

Enrolled midshipmen, visiting friends and families, and alumni are all encouraged to stay at the Graduate Annapolis, or to at least stop by for a visit. The Graduate Annapolis is part of the larger Graduate Hotels collection, which targets college communities and caters to students, alumni,  and their families, paying homage to the culture of the respective schools. In addition to the aforementioned maritime details, curtains in the guest rooms are in the Naval Academy’s school colors: blue and gold.  

Kristyn Parker, the general manager of Graduate Annapolis, shared in a statement,, “The hotel speaks specifically to Annapolis’ geographic beauty and inspiring past, and we look forward to welcoming guests, students, and locals alike.

The amount of detail and customization in the hotel extends even to these memorable room key/identification cards. Graduate Annapolis’ room cards use historic figures that resonate with Annapolis/Maryland area, like this example of a Maryland, and Annapolis icon Francis Scott Key.

Renee Bagshaw, executive vice president at Continental, says, “It was so gratifying to see the final results of the Graduate Annapolis and all the ways it represents  our hometown, nautical vibe.” It takes a great team to do great projects well. We couldn’t have done it without project manager Rich Crozier and assistant project manager Karen Krause and all of our team members that contributed. Thank you, Graduate, for the opportunity!

[SEE PROJECT]