The Narrative

by Hilton

During the fall of 2018 at the VCU Brandcenter, I was assigned to one of three teams to work on a live client project. My group was tasked with Hilton Hotels. The three teams received the same brief to produce and pitch a concept that the hotelier would ultimately select as the winner.

And not to type in all caps or anything,

“When was the last time you went to a hotel bar?”

The client, our close network, and even further research all told us that if it wasn’t a specifically special hotel bar, skewing towards high end/luxury, most people went to the hotel bar because they were trapped. There was nowhere else to go so why not go to the bar? Even if it is a little ugly, weird, or anti-climactic.

Unique, sophisticated yet unpretentious hotels are becoming more popular these days. And each one often comes with its own equally impressive and unpretentious food and beverage concept.

The Brief

Create a new brand for a customer winning food and beverage concept/experience which can be easily repeated across hundreds of locations across the country.


Female solo travelers - one of the largest growing travel segments.


Solo female travelers face fear frequently on their journeys.



Hilton inspires women to venture fearlessly.

The Concept

A charming library serving intriguing cocktails, thoughtful dishes from locally sourced ingredients and creators, with an atmosphere where you’d expect to see Jeff Goldblum having a conversation with Amy Winehouse as Chuck Berry plays lowly in the background.
*Sample locations to be rolled out in “second cities,” such as Salt Lake City, Savannah, and Austin.

*Sample locations to be rolled out in “second cities,” such as Salt Lake City, Savannah, and Austin.

Library Rationale.jpg

Why a library?

Brand/Customer Experience

Customers will be greeted with imagery, typography, and stylings that evoke the inherent intellectual prowess associated with literature while feeling inspired from the wealth of stories surrounding them. And they’ll soon learn this is no ordinary library.

The Space

The Narrative provides a space for nearly any occasion. Work, play, both, or…neither? Customers will have a place to get things done, unwind, try something new, or even get away to recenter themselves. Maybe they’ll even read a page or two.


To defeat the threats and fears associated with the bar, we’ll do away with the bar - at least the seating and congregating portion of it. A drink can be ordered there but is encouraged to be taken to any of the many seating areas.

But the most novel experience is to have a craft cocktail concocted in front of you with our bar cart service. Customers only need to fill out a drink card and a waiter/bartender will be with them promptly.

Full Service Dining

For customers looking to have a more traditional meal, The Narrative will accommodate with a familiar but far from traditional dining area, complete with a full service menu (story themed, of course) and an open kitchen to observe the culinary storytelling.

Ads & Extensions

Playful Out-of-Home, sponsored cocktail/culinary classes and events on AirBnB, placed bookmarks in featured novels in the airport book store, Hudson News, and a feature-rich In-Flight Magazine offering culinary, lifestyle, and other experiences worth stepping out for.

Leave Behind

A fitting departure containing our research and presentation, for our client to relay back to his team: A USB stick, under the guise of a skeleton key, housed in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.