One of the most prominent man-made features on the Monterey Peninsula is going to change its tone.
The 12-story Embassy Suites Hotel on the south end of Seaside has worn its colors in shades of pink since construction began in 1994 after a fierce community debate.
Those rosy coral "South Beach" hues may have been happening in the mid '90s, when the hotel finally opened after a decade of political and financial drama, but Embassy Suites' owners have a different palette in mind now.
On Wednesday, the Seaside Board of Architectural Review will consider a new paint scheme for the 225-room hotel with olives, beiges and browns. The new colors will "provide a refreshed, modern style ... that would complement the overall aesthetic appearance of the building," a board report says.
Moreover, the new building colors — six in all, including white Dover, curio gray, grassland and macadamia — would blend nicely with the open space of nearby Laguna Grande and Roberts lakes, the report says.
Project manager Ken Turgen said the overarching intent is to make the hotel "closer to home," with colors chosen to making it better blend with the dunes, ocean and other landscape features.
"It ties it all together, and it's not pink," he said.
While much of the controversy over the hotel was about size and location, the color scheme also was a source of aesthetic second-guessing.
"I've been wanting to do this project since I moved to the area," Turgen
While some may have preferred invisible paint or a clouds-and-blue-sky scheme, Turgen said the new building colors "will be a lot less less obtrusive."
City planner Rick Medina said notices were sent to neighbors, and no one offered any comments. The pink building may have made people see red in the past, but they likely "have gotten used to it," he said.
Still, the paucity of feedback is a little surprising, Medina said.
"We were expecting a lot of compliments," he said. The current color "does stand out distinctively," while the proposed colors "blend in with the background better."
Hotel officials are ready to start the project as soon as the city approves the design. Turgen estimated it would take 10 to 12 weeks to complete the job. Hotel interiors will also reflect the new "Steinbeckian theme," he said.