Crowne Plaza Resort Saipan

Modernizing A Beachfront Oasis




Tan Holdings


Hospitality + Entertainment


Landscape Architecture

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From Classic to Contemporary

A shift in the desires and expectations of travelers induced a complete design and brand overhaul of a Micronesian resort to appeal to modern vacationers.

The client’s tropical resort, located on the Micronesian island Saipan, has been a haven for tourists from Eastern Asia since the 1970s. Positioned only steps away from the beach, with a variety of outdoor amenity spaces, the resort offers guests a wide array of options for recreation and relaxation.

To maintain the allure and prestige of their island property, the client set out to rebrand the site into an upscale IHG Crowne Plaza resort. LandDesign’s landscape architects were engaged to showcase the resort’s natural beauty, improve the site’s outdoor amenities, and reinforce connectivity to create a cohesive guest experience.

The Vision

Forging an Identity for an Outdated Resort

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With IHG taking ownership of the established resort, our designers recognized the importance of crafting a unique identity for the site that owns and strengthens the new brand. This rebranding presented an opportunity to not only provide the outdoor space with a more contemporary and visual appeal, but to also enhance the guest experience at large. Our team studied the flow of outdoor amenities and noticed a disjointed pattern of connection between the two existing pools. Furthering guest’s ability to fully enjoy the site’s new amenities, we increased connectivity to the existing pools on opposite sides of the resort by introducing an open central lawn – reconfiguring the space to encourage circulation and promote an inviting environment for guests. By opening the space, the resort now has a cohesive outdoor environment and welcomes guests to relax among the many amenities, including pools, playgrounds, and shade structures.

The Challenge

Coordinating Logistics From Across the Globe

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Reduced travel capabilities during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted traditional site visit and coordination methods. This presented the project team with a unique challenge of designing from across the Pacific Ocean and nine time zones away from the client. Working with a truly remote island, our team faced obstacles in sourcing premium plants and craftsmanship which were essential to upholding the forthcoming brand. The design team had to get creative and work with a local contractor to curate a simplified plant and material palette that was tailored to what was available on the island.

Another critical piece to this puzzle was ensuring the selected plant palette, furniture, and shade structures were able to be maintained by the resort staff. Our team designed for the harsh and seasonal environmental challenges of the Micronesian climate, such as the strong tropical sun and the destructive annual typhoon season. Motivated by the challenge ahead, they were able to create a guide to ensure the plant palette was best suited for the climate and the structures could be easily removed during severe weather.