How a Columbus Artist and Mom Created a New Sleeve Design for DoubleTree’s Iconic Cookie

Frequent guests at DoubleTree hotels know they can expect a delicious and warm chocolate chip cookie when they check in. But starting last month, those cookies will now be received in a special sleeve. 

Through a contest last year, Sarah Allgire, an artist and mom who lives in the Columbus, Ohio, area, created a fresh design for DoubleTree’s cookie sleeve. 

Allgire said her typical work is for in-house creative teams, but she also works on personal projects on the side. Last year, she published a book with her mom and sister about how to make stained glass 

Allgire said she heard about the contest through an Instagram post on the DoubleTree page. 

Sarah Allgire holds up a DoubleTree cookie.

Sarah Allgire holds up a DoubleTree cookie.


The prompt for contestants was to show, in a doodle, “what a warm welcome means to you.” As Allgire was pondering that idea, she said she thought about communication and connection. That’s how the idea was sparked to include words of greeting in six different languages — spoken by cartoon cookies.

“I was thinking about feeling welcoming and how speaking to people in the language that they might speak would make them feel welcome,” Allgire said. “So I tried to incorporate that. I wanted it to be whimsical, and kind of have the cookies come to life and really be ambassadors that connect with travelers in those languages.”

English, Spanish, French, Hawaiian, Italian and Chinese are represented on the new design, Allgire said. 

A self-described procrastinator, Allgire said she took a while to think about the prompt before starting on her design. She began with some rough sketches, and then created draft after draft until she was satisfied with the final product. 

“I am a late night doodler — after I put the kids to bed, that is when that happens,” she said.”

The contest opened on August 4 — National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day — and was open for two weeks. From there, an internal judging period by DoubleTree by Hilton team members to narrow down the submissions to five finalists was followed by a public voting period on Instagram and Twitter. Allgire was announced as the winner in September, and her design was officially rolled out at DoubleTree locations across the country in January. 

The contest came about as a way to celebrate guests’ passion for the DoubleTree cookie, a spokesperson said. 

“The DoubleTree by Hilton chocolate chip cookie is a fan-favorite and has become a part of DoubleTree by Hilton’s identity in hospitality, providing guests with a warm welcome the moment they walk through the doors,” the spokesperson said. “Hilton wanted to launch a contest that would allow our passionate and loyal guests an opportunity to showcase their love for their favorite treat when traveling.”

When she found out she won the contest, Allgire immediately shared the news with her family. Her kids, big fans of the signature cookies that their mom’s design would soon adorn, were excited. 

“It’s overwhelming,” Allgire said. “At first you’re like, really? I was very honored to have been selected.”

Allgire’s rewards for winning the grand prize are one million Hilton Honors Points, five free nights at any DoubleTree property around the world, a $1,000 gift card from Delta Airlines and, naturally, free DoubleTree cookies for a year. 

Allgire will use these rewards to travel to all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums — her husband is a baseball coach and her kids play baseball — and take a family trip to Hawaii. 

“I just want my kids to experience different cultural things and just see the world and learn about different places and open their worldview,” she said. “So I’m excited to be able to do that a little bit more frequently.”

The Alloy, A Doubletree By Hilton, Debuts New Look

ROCKVILLE, MD– Jonathan Nehmer + Associates (JN+A) and HVS Design (HVSD), leading Architecture, Interior Design, and Project Management firms specializing in the hospitality industry, are pleased to announce the completion of the $18.5 million renovation of the Alloy, a Doubletree by Hilton, hotel in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. JN+A and HVS Design provided Architecture, Interior Design, and Branding services for the transformation of this property.

JN+A and HVS Design completely reimagined the hotel’s lobby, front desk, business center, meeting rooms, outdoor patio, fitness center, restaurant, guestrooms, and corridors. Located in the heart of King of Prussia, PA, the Alloy stands at a crossroads where historic meets modern, where high fashion encounters industrial production, and where the curious traveler finds local flavor. At the Alloy, the fusion of these things created something great that the brand, ownership, and design team embraced to transform this property.

As guests enter the Alloy, they are greeted by a warm, inviting lobby featuring rich wood tones, stylized marble tile, and mixed metals. Nodding to the idea of the crossroads, intricate tile inlays offer guests the choice to veer left and become acquainted with the Philly-inspired market or navigate to their right and experience the lobby bar, Hammer and Fire restaurant, and the expanded fitness center.

The freshly-minted, lifestyle hotel also features 27 meeting rooms with a total of 25,500 square feet of event space. This allows the property to host an array of meaningful moments whether it’s a corporate meeting, a large social gathering, or an intimate get together. Beyond the meeting spaces, the Alloy has a nursing room, an outdoor dining area, and a pool.

The 327 guest rooms at the Alloy have a casual style layered with fashion-inspired details. A delicate balance of existing furniture and curated new pieces intermingle to create a modern, yet comforting design. Living up to its name, the Alloy forges a new hospitality experience, mixing thoughtful spaces with warmth of character and an eye to detail for all to enjoy.

The Alloy, a Doubletree by Hilton, is owned jointly by Whitman Peterson and Concord Hospitality and managed by Concord Hospitality.

SB Architects Announces Harris As New Vice President And Principal

SAN FRANCISCO–SB Architects is proud to announce the appointment of Pinar Harris, AIA as Vice President and Principal. With over 15 years of experience at SB Architects, Harris brings a well-rounded perspective that has been instrumental to the firm’s growth in the mixed-use and multi-family markets.

Harris is a prominent member of the design team, working on a series of high-profile projects in Florida. Currently, she is leading the design for the St. Regis Longboat Key, a brand-new hotel and residential mixed-use project in Florida.  As Principal, Pinar will remain focused on continuing to deliver high-quality projects from concept to completion, whilst working alongside the Principal group to effectively manage the firm during its exciting period of growth.

“Since joining SB Architects in 2004, Pinar has been on an amazing trajectory, earning the respect of her peers, consultants, and clients along the way,” said SB Architects President and Principal, Scott Lee. “Evolving alongside SB Architects, she’s been involved in all aspects of the practice, culminating most recently with several large-scale, high-profile, mixed-use, and multifamily residential projects in Florida, including One Fort Lauderdale and One St. Petersburg, which have both claimed the title of the tallest buildings in their respective cities.”

“Extremely competent and always professional, Pinar represents SB at the highest level, consistently balancing both strength and compassion in all that she does,” said SB Architects Vice President and Principal, Jorey “Shosh” Friedman. “I couldn’t be more pleased and proud to have her at my side as a Principal in our Miami office, and look forward to many more years working together.”

At SB Architects, Harris has focused on urban mixed-use, high-rise residential, destination resorts and civic structures. From China to the Bahamas, her portfolio spans the globe as she has helped the firm build strategic client relationships in developed and emerging regions. Harris is involved in all aspects of the design process, responsible for managing the design documentation phases of multiple projects through to the construction phases, where she works closely with engineers on all technical aspects. She impressively leads a full team of architects on each project and has successfully forged a key partnership with The Kolter Group, a real estate development firm. With an emphasis on business development, Harris works closely with Kolter on several Florida projects, including those listed above, as well as ONE St.Petersburg and Hyde Park House.

Harris’ work with residential design is particularly impressive, with projects such as The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Sarasota, which she led as project executive. Despite technical challenges in residential planning, Harris tapped into her knowledge of project delivery and strength as a problem solver to manage client expectations, incepting an ingenious plan to create an elevated arrival area providing a parking structure that allowed for all units to face the water.

I am honored to further my career at SB Architects as vice president,” said Harris. “During my time at the firm, I have been trusted with a vast array of opportunities that have strengthened me as an architect. With each project, I face unique challenges and carry over that experience to the next one. I’ve had many mentors during my time at the firm, and I’m making a concerted effort to carry that forward by mentoring staff and giving them the same types of opportunities that helped me grow.”

Harris graduated with a master’s degree in architecture from University of Florida, and is a LEED AP accredited professional.

The Westin Stonebriar Re-Opens Following $30 Million Revitalization

Following a full-scale, $30 million revitalization, The Westin Stonebriar re-opens its doors as Dallas-Fort Worth’s premier luxury and wellness destination. Just minutes away from popular attractions including The Star, Legacy West and The Grandscape, The Westin Stonebriar is the only destination of its kind in the area, encompassing upscale accommodations masterfully blended with extensive gathering spaces, locally-inspired dining experiences and sophisticated amenities all in a serene and spacious setting.

Centered on expansive impeccably groomed grounds that showcase the natural bounty of Texas, The Westin Stonebriar brings a classic elegance and modern touch to its 302 guest rooms and over 26,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space. Included in the renovation is a new, on-site golf pro shop, state-of-the-art WestinWORKOUT Fitness Studio, TopGolf “Swing Suite,” an approachable daytime coffee bar and cocktail lounge, Beans & Barrel, and full-service Southern dining destination, Herd & Hearth. Still to come is a revived outdoor pool and adjacent bar, luxurious on-site spa, guided outdoor fitness activities, and Westin Family Kids Club opening in 2021.


Spearheading the transformation, Merriman Anderson Architects and MTA Urban Design Architecture Interior Design Inc. crafted an authentic place for guests to connect and experience laid-back luxury with plenty of room to roam. Guest rooms range from the Traditional King to the ultra-luxe Stonebriar Suite, with all featuring modern design and warm, earthy elements that provide a relaxing retreat just minutes away from the city. The architecture brings in elements of the surrounding nature with open connections to the patio and the outdoors. Exquisite art, warm wood finishes, vintage leather and stone complete a tactile and rich experience.


With a front row seat to sweeping scenery, guests can enjoy a variety of wellness-focused activities. Options include a fully equipped WestinWORKOUT Fitness Studio that overlooks the golf course, a well-fitted golf pro shop to score the latest must-haves and access to the neighboring Tom Fazio 18-hole golf course. The Westin wellness experience goes beyond physical fitness, with thoughtful touches including a WestinWORKOUT Peloton Guest Room that features an in-room bike and access to the latest classes, as well as health-conscious, Westin Eat Well menu items woven through each of the on-site dining experiences.

2021 will bring the addition of a spacious outdoor yoga lawn and exploratory running trail, refreshed outdoor pool oasis complete with luxe cabanas and kid-friendly water features, and a relaxing full-service spa to further enhance the wellness offerings available.


The Westin Stonebriar is introducing three new food & beverage concepts, each created as a tribute to elements of Southern culture. A day-to-night café, Beans & Barrel, offers an all-day grab & go of curated local bites and beverages, as well as a full menu of approachable cuisine and craft libations. Helmed by director of culinary & beverage operations, Christopher Ochiltree, Herd & Hearth celebrates the unique flavors and traditions of Texas. The mainstay dining concept combines Southern hospitality with artfully prepared wood-fired and smoked plates that utilize fresh produce from local purveyors to deliver a bespoke, farm to fork experience. Herd & Hearth is currently open for daily breakfast service and weekend brunch, with lunch, dinner and holiday programming to follow.

Opening Spring 2021 is Ranch Water, an outdoor oasis affectionately named after the popular Texas beverage that will feature craft cocktails with regional spirits and light poolside fare.


The Westin Stonebriar elevates the meeting and event space in the area with a variety of masterfully designed indoor and outdoor venues. Ranging from 500 to 6,000 square feet, each of the flexible spaces have been thoughtfully named as a memento to Texas history and can be tailored with additional AV services, tech amenities and catering options. The Westin Stonebriar’s revitalization includes the addition of elegant private dining rooms that overlook the pool area for memorable dinners and intimate celebrations of life’s special moments. The crown jewel of the private event spaces is the new Top Golf “Swing Suite,” with a screen for virtual multi-sport games, HDTVs, lounge seating and a frosted glass option for elevated parties and happy hours. Taking advantage of the property’s lush landscape and sprawling acreage, The Westin Stonebriar offers a vast outdoor venue with its Garden Grounds, accompanied by a smaller Garden Terrace, for pre-function events and happy hours.


The Westin Stonebriar is committed to ensuring the health and safety of all guests and staff, having earned accreditation from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council as a Star Facility. The hotel re-opens with increased standards and protocols under Marriott’s Commitment to Clean initiative.