InterContinental Hotel Archives Neal Prince ASID

Neal Prince R.A., A.S.I.D

(Curriculum Vitae)

InterContinental Hotel Corporation Digital Archives

El San Juan InterContinental Hotel
San Juan, Puerto Rico (1960-1961)

InterContinental Hotel Collections
held by the Neal Prince Estate Holding Trust

InterContinental Hotel was a subsidiary of Pan Am Airlines

Pan Am Logo InterContinental Hotel Corporation Digital Archives
Mr. Neal Prince,
R.A., A.S.I.D
(Curriculum Vitae)
Index Holdings Relating to the 1940's
Index Holdings Relating to the 1950's
Index Holdings Relating to the 1960's
Index Holdings Relating to the 1970's
Index Holdings Relating to the 1980's
Index Holdings Relating to the 1990's
Biography 2000's
 Mr. Neal Prince Resource Image Data Base
InterContinental  Hotels 

John B. Gates,
Chairman of the Board
Robert Huyot,
Chairman of the Board
Hans Sternick,
Chairman of the Board
John P. Sutherland,
Latin American
Mario Di Genova,
Europe/Africa Divsions
R. Kane Rufe,
Sr. Vice President
Far East/Pacific Division
John C. Carrodus
Sr. Vice President
of Services
Neal A. Prince
Vice President
Graphics and Interior Designs
Departmental Staff and Contractual Designers:
Kenneth Smith,
Charles R Alvey,
Graphic Designer
Richard Simpson,
Graphic Designer
 Bill Embery
Dale & Pat Keller,
Joe Grusczak,
Trisha Wilson,
James Ray Baker,
Irene D'Alessio,
Interior Designer

Arie deZanger,
IHC Photographer


 * * * Webpage is being updated * * *

Who is Mr. Neal Prince? Mr. Prince is a trained Architect from Rice University, an Art Historian, Art Collector and a person with a vast passion for Motion Pictures and Theatre History, especially Set Designs. These elements came together to build a foundation to Mr. Prince's skills, which later became recognized as his ability for designing Hotel and Restaurant Interiors. Mr. Prince incorporated his own passions of above, into an International branding philosophy that remains as strong today as it was when he developed his philosophy of Hotel and Restaurant Designs, which is visible today, in Hotels worldwide. But what makes Mr. Prince different? He was a pioneer within this Industry, along with Dale and Pat Keller, of Hong Kong, in designing Hotels in countries that never had an International Hotel presence. Mr. Prince, along with Kenneth Smith (Interior Designer), Charles Alvey (Graphic Designer), Richard Simpson (Graphic Designer), William Embury (Interior Designer), Joe Grusczak (Interior Designer), James Ray Baker (Interior Designer) and Irene D'Alessio (Interior Designer) and many others were the first, to sent the standards for International Hotel Interiors. And what is incredible is that he did not have the grand budgets that most designers have today. Mr. Prince used local talents and products, when available and appropriate, to augment his designs, which, in return, allowed local Artist, Gallery Owners, Merchants and vendors to view InterContinental not as an invader, but as a partner in creating new sources of commence within the local economy. What is even more unique in Mr. Prince being different, was that Mr. Prince has always credited his success, not in the terms of "I", but "WE". Mr. Prince, being from Corsicana, Texas, has always remained modest and respectful and always have contributed his success due to the fact that designing hotels is a "TEAM" effort, from his Departmental Staff to his Professional Associate Designers that he had brought on to do a certain project for the vast inventory of InterContinental Hotel holdings. This website is to bring together the collections, resources, stories and images documenting a period of time, before computers, mobile phones, fax's or video conferencing. This website is to recapture the time when International Hotel Design Industry remained in its infancy before the growth and development into what we have today as multi billion dollar companies. Each Hotel on this website will encompass how Mr. Prince and his Staff and Professional Associates overcame the troubles of designing Hotels, from a historic point of view, to what was necessary to open the Hotels, maintain the Hotels, and what lessons were learned to be applied for the next project.



El San Juan InterContinental Hotel






Lead Interior Designer:

Neal Prince ASID Intercontinental Hotel Designer Pan-Am

Neal A. Prince, R.A., A.S.I.D, Lead Designer

V.P. of Graphic and Interior Design Department, InterContinental Hotel Group 1960-1985



The following was a rendering of the Lobby:


Later, the lobby was remodeled to reflect this photographic image:

Dramatically situated in its own luxuriant fifteen-ace tropic estate, the magnificent new San Juan Intercontinental had welcomed you to a fascinating San Juan and the intriguingly beautiful vacation land of Puerto Rico.  From its 1500-foot private ocean beach to its spectacular Night Clubs, the guest found excitement and relaxation, with modern elegance, cordial hospitality and genial service unsurpassed in the Caribbean.


San Juan, Puerto Rico


 - No Photograph is available at this time, only renderings

At the time, the guest were able to return back to their rooms with delightful modern comfort and tasteful decor of their room. The furnishings were modern, with spacious wardrobe closets and private baths. Every one of the rooms and suites were pleasantly air-conditioned, with each having its own terrace, with a breath-taking view of the blue Caribbean or the majestic mountains of Puerto Rico.

How does Mr. Prince's identify an outstanding Hotel?

Response: When you arrive at the Hotel, telephone room service and order a club sandwich to be delivered to your room. Once the room service had delivered your requested club sandwich, take a moment to access how it was prepared, what materials they used to create your club sandwich and then taste the sandwich. Mr. Prince firmly believes, from 55 years of travelling around the world that if a Hotel is able to prepare the "simple" club sandwich correctly, then that Hotel is being operated correctly.





 - No Photograph is available at this time, only renderings

Santiamen Coffee Shop** - was designed for a delicious breakfasts, informal luncheons and dinners, or tempting evening snacks.


The Soda Bar** - A sparkling, ultra-modern room with a delightful outdoor covered patio where the guest enjoyed their favorite treats from the kitchens or soda bar in luxuriant tropic surroundings.


The Cofresi Bar and Cocktail Lounge** - was a colorful rendezvous that had invited the guest to linger and make new friends. Its decor was a happy blending of modern beauty and gay tropic atmosphere...revolving around the central motif of an intriguing copper banana tree. 

Tropicoro Night Club** - A creation of the International famous designer Max Borges, Jr., this club was the most spectacular club in Caribbean at the time. A magnificent golden room with dramatic parabolic ceiling and a background of lush tropic gardens. From your table on any of the three terraced levels, you had an unobstructed view of the beautiful stage and the thrilling performances of any of the world-famous entertainers. On a gleaming circular floor, the guest could have danced to the scintillating Latin and American rhythms of fine dance orchestras. Dining too was incorporated into the design, which became a wonderful experience of this elegant room, where you savor the Puerto Rican and the continental delicacies at their very delicious best, at the time.


Casino San Juan** - which was an elegant, inviting, distinctive...but exciting beautiful casino that was under the same dramatic parabolic roof as the Tropicoro Night Club. The towering walls were of crystal-clear glass separate the two, and given the delightful effect of one great room. In that atmosphere of spacious modern elegance.



Le Pavillon Dining Room** - This famous Intercontinental Hotels dining excellence achieves its peak of perfection in this distinctive restaurant. At the time, the atmosphere of this French elegance, with every meal, created a dining experience that was the talk of the town. This restaurant included Latin and continental dishes, as well as your American favorites...prepared with a master touch by world-famous chefs of the time.


 ** -Renderings were done by W. David Shawn



Meeting Facilities:

 - No Photograph is available at this time, only renderings


Isla Verde Room - This meeting room was a perfect spot at the time for a delightful conference, an ideal location for all types of group meetings. A wide selection of air-conditioned public rooms were available to accommodate groups of all sizes. This tremendous ballroom that accommodated up to 1,000 persons for a banquet, or 1,500 for a conference at the time. It also could have been divided to serve groups of 750 people, 500 people or as little as 250 people. The adjoining the Isla Verde Room were refined reception rooms which could have taken up to 325 persons for cocktails or pre-banquet meetings. At the time, these rooms were equip with the latest lighting, sound equipment and other conveniences at that time.



Images held by the Collection:

Luggage Label:
San Juan Inter-Continental Hotel Luggage Label, Neal Prince
This earlier image is another example of the detail graphics and designs that were created by the talents  of Charles R. Alvey and Richard Simpson, of the InterContinental Hotel Corporation's Department of Interior & Graphics Design. This image is another example of InterContinental Hotel's competitors copied for their own Graphic's applications. In some hotels, this image is used to this day.

Attached is an 1971 MEMO from Mr. Prince on the Process of Designing a Guest Room for an Hotel




InterContinental HOTEL




NEAL PRINCE, ca. 1961

The approach to hotel design differs greatly from interior design for an individual. The latter is dictated by the aesthetic environmental pleasures of one particular person or family, whereas hotel design is a coordinated effort between the functional requirements if IHC Hotel Management and Operations, the architectural concept and space allocation, the desires of the local hotel company, the limitations of restrictive budgets, and the harmony and market of the country in which a hotel is located – all combined to produce a profit marking plant reflecting the current international tastes of a widely diversified market.

Although standardization would appear to be desirable in a rapidly growing industry, experience indicates the most successful efforts are based on individuality related to the country of origin rather than standardization of design, but with an overlying emphasis of international standardization of quality and service.

Each hotel in each location produces its own surveyed, conceptual, and operational requirements of IHC, its own local interior designers, and its own problems of local availability and manufacturing; however, the following outline of goals is generally applicable:

A. To produce good design based primarily on the functional needs and requirements of IHC Operations in order that Management can merchandise fully the facilities provided and develop a high quality of service; this design to be approached simultaneously along the following avenues:

1. Concept (objectivity) – initiated by IHC Operations and local Hotel Company (where applicable).

2. Function (utility) – based on past experience and current consumption of practical innovation.

3. Construction (fabrication) – utilization of local market facilities and methods wherever possible.

4. Budget (feasibility) – dictated by market surveys indicating the initial expenditure warranted by projected profits.

5. Beauty (design) – a conglomerate result of the thinking and ideas of all parties involved coordinated into a smooth, compatible result.

B. To insure that the original design concept and subsequent development of each project is based not on the likes and dislikes of any one faction but expresses the taste and insures the comfort of the international guest; and also utilizes, wherever possible, the trades, manufactures and craftsmen as well as the arts and crafts, ornamentation, styles, and traditions indigenous to the country in which a project is located.



DISCLAIMER: A considerable effort has been made in good faith to ensure that all information accessible from this site of Archives and memoirs are accurate. Despite this effort, it is clear that errors are inevitable. Consequently no guarantees are expressed or implied as to the accuracy, timeliness, currency or completeness of any information authored by persons at or agents of the Neal Adair Prince Trust or its Estate Trust Holding affiliates, or accessible using links from this site. Nor is any warranty made that the information obtained from this Educational Archival site or that of an affiliate is valuable or useful for any purpose. A reader assumes full responsibility for any actions taken based on information obtained from this Educational Archival Interior Designer's web site. In particular, we emphasize that the information available through this site should not be interpreted as professional International Interior Designer advice. All information from these archives, from this or any other source, needs carefully to be reviewed with your own trusted License Interior Designer  provider before being acted upon in any way.

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Do not duplicate without express written permission by the Neal Prince Estate Holding Trust.