Skip to main content
Project Spotlight

Project Spotlight: Graduate Hotels – AJ Capital Partners

Graduate Hotels

Graduate Nashville | Guest Room Statement Mirror | Photo Credit: Steve Freihon

For our latest Project Spotlight, we caught up with  Krissy Melendez, Senior Concept Director at AJ Capital Partners, whose vision and designs for Graduate Hotels create a welcoming and nostalgic experience for its guests. Here’s what we learned about this fascinating brand.

Krissy Melendez

Krissy Melendez
Senior Concept Director, AJ Capital Partners

“Majestic Mirror has been a steady go-to partner for us.  They are always open to our out-of-the-box ideas andhelp make the vision of the room come to life.  We lean on Majestic for their expertise in the hospitality sector and work closely with them to be mindful of the end use, materiality, and budget.”

What is the concept behind Graduate Hotels as a Brand?

“Graduate is a curated collection of hotels that are centric to the Universities in which they reside.  Each city has a different culture with amazing people and traditions.   We take great care in researching these stories to develop a unique concept from scratch each time. Our design approach is to consider each Graduate as a stage for the ‘character’ that we build these stories around.  Pulling inspiration from every era also gives us the chance to connect with our guests, so whether they are age 8 or 80, something will trigger the nostalgia of their time spent as a student at the University.”

Graduate Hotels

Graduate New Haven
Bathroom Vanity Mirror
Photo Credit: Steve Freihon

Graduate Hotels

Graduate State College
Guest Room Full Length Mirror
Photo Credit: Steve Freihon

Graduate Hotels have unique mirror designs. Can you tell us more about the statement mirror shown in the photo from the Graduate Nashville? What was your inspiration for the room & mirror design?

“For our Graduate Nashville property, we were inspired by the classic tale of a singer-songwriter making it big in the Music City. Taking that familiar story and diving deep into the character development, we imagined what each space would look like and how that played an impactful role in her life.  Her bedroom, for example, would be an eclectic mix of southerninterior influences with a tinge of gaudy nostalgia as she is discovered artistically and wants to indulge in her success. The mirror that Majestic produced plays an important role in the room. We were influenced by taking a traditional Federal-style mirror with a carved eagle and customizing it by having the eagle hold an electric guitar, an acoustic guitar and lining the circular profile with guitar picks. We designed the mirror as an oversized statement piece placed perfectly to reflect the rest of the room’s view. It’s a fun opportunity for guests to snap a picture of themselves as a playful nod to how people document their stay on social media platforms.”

What does the future hold for Graduate Hotels?

“Graduate as a brand is always evolving, and we look forward to continuing to build upon the distinct experience at existing properties, all while expanding oversees to Cambridge and Oxford in the U.K. this year.”

Learn More About Graduate Hotels
Follow on Instagram @graduatehotels or visit