Prior to breaking ground and onboarding an operator for the new hotel, Ensemble Partners wanted to identify a concept for a signature restaurant, bar and cafe for the highly anticipated Hotel Nia. With over 14,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space, having a strong reputation as a restaurant was important as a differentiator for private events and conferences. af&co./Carbonate was brought on as an early collaborator. Our project began nearly two years before opening with a market study. We focused on identifying opportunities for styles of food and cuisine that weren’t represented in the market. After presenting several options, ownership selected a vibrant modern Mediterranean concept for the restaurant. They wanted a strongly chef-driven concept that would ultimately be operated by the hotel operator, so our team identified a consulting chef to create a concept menu that would help guide the kitchen design, as a hotel operator hadn’t yet been identified. In addition to supporting the development of the restaurant, we also managed the concept development and proposal process for a coffee operator for the lobby coffee bar. As we moved closer to opening, we then collaborated with the hotel’s designer to name the new restaurant and create a visual identity that connected to the physical design. Once the hotel operator came on board, we worked with their team to further flesh out the concept before turning it over for launch and on-going execution.

Market Study
Concept Strategy
Menu Consultation
Verbal Identity Development
Visual Identity Management


Hotel Nia offers a modern luxury in the heart of Silicon Valley. Dramatic blue doors hanging from the ceiling became the inspiration for the restaurant’s name, “Porta Blu” and inspired the logo design. Both the the logo and collateral design imparts a mix of old-world comfort and contemporary innovation. The Verve cafe offers a crafted approach to top-notch coffee. It’s a stunning property, part of Marriott’s Autograph collection.