MAPEI makes a splash

The Kartrite Resort and Indoor Waterpark – Monticello, NY, U.S.A.

MAPEI’s tile and stone installation and waterproofing products are used throughout the indoor waterpark and adjoining hotel at one of the Catskills’ newest resorts – thanks to intuition and persistence.


In an area known for resorts, New York’s Catskill Mountains, the Kartrite Resort and Indoor Waterpark is unique. In fact, the Kartrite is unique in the world of resorts in general. Not only is it the largest indoor waterpark in the state of New York, it is one of the largest in the world. According to the resort’s website, the waterpark is comprised of 80,000 square feet, featuring 11 water attractions – which run 318,000 gallons of water through them. And, even in the dead of winter it is always a balmy 84º F inside thanks to the structure’s transparent Texlon roof, which ensures that sunlight is filtered in and that the comfortable heat stays in as well.

The fun at this state-of-the-art waterpark is included for guests of the Kartrite Resort, the luxury hotel/spa that is attached to the indoor waterpark. The all-suites hotel features 324 rooms with all of the expected high-tech conveniences. The hotel also features a spa, restaurants, and shopping and fitness activities designed to fill a weekend or an entire vacation with adventure. And, the resort and the waterpark both feature MAPEI products. But, the story behind how MAPEI came to be included on the specification is as wild as any tale from an adventure novel – and highlights the importance of perseverance and trusting your instincts.

MAPEI on the job

As MAPEI sales representative Darin Shocker related, prior to coming to MAPEI, he used to install tile. He said, “One day I received a call about a large job asking if I was interested in installing some tile on a 100,000 sq. ft. project. I explained that I wasn’t installing anymore. And that was that. But the project still was on my mind. I thought that I should go and see if maybe it could be an opportunity for MAPEI. When I arrived at the jobsite trailer, it turned out that MAPEI wasn’t even on the specification. Since I was new to the company, I contacted my supervisor, Matt Hess, Sales Director – Northeast Area. We were able to get equal representation on the spec. From that point, BK Tile, the project’s installing contractor, began using MAPEI products on the project.”

He continued, “They began by using MAPEI products in the hotel bathrooms and foyers. At this point, BK primarily used another manufacturer’s products in their installations. But, when they began to use our products on this job, we began to gain their trust. They proceeded to use MAPEI products in all areas of the hotel until eventually this job was 100% MAPEI systems throughout both the hotel and the waterpark.”


What were those “or equal” products that Shocker’s persistence got included on the spec?

The specification called for large quantities of products to be used between the hotel and the waterpark: 430,000 sq. ft. of waterproofing to be installed in the interior floors and shower walls of the hotel and the waterpark (Novoplan 2 and ECO Prim Grip self-leveling as needed, Mapesil T and Mapelastic Aquadefense), as well as 100,000 sq. ft. of ceramic/porcelain/quarry installation products (Ultracolor Plus FA Grout, Mapelastic Aquadefense, Ultraflex 2, Ultralite, Ultraflex LFT, Kerapoxy CQ, ECO Prim Grip to prime for Novoplan 2 Plus). “The hotel has 324 suites with restrooms and kitchens all using MAPEI systems. It also has a large lobby and other foyer areas,” Shocker said.

Located in a rural area of Sullivan County, New York, the large-scale commercial construction project required a 15-man crew and a year’s work to complete.

Shocker explained that whether working on the hotel or the waterpark, to complete this massive project, the BK Tile & Stone, Inc. crew, “trowel-applied the thin-set materials and used rollers and/or spray equipment to apply the waterproofing depending upon the application.”

The project ran from July 2018 to January 2019, with the resort and waterpark officially opening on May 10, 2019. “This project uses a complete MAPEI system,” Shocker said. “It is also a great example of providing customer service and product deliveries to a remote location. Both the contractor and the owners are happy with the MAPEI experience – people and products.” 

But perhaps the main lesson of this project is to trust your instincts and to visit those jobsite trailers. Shocker concurred, “Boy, am I glad I took the ride to check up on the jobsite that day!” 

Element Dallas Downtown East location provides high-end hospitality experience with custom design aesthetics from Marazzi

The lobby of the Element Hotel features a custom installation of Classentino Marble in Imperial Brown and Corinth Beige.

When the doors of the Element Dallas Downtown East publicly opened in December 2018, not only were visitors to Dallas offered a high-end hospitality experience, but they were also greeted with an outside-of-the-box approach to the design of the short-stay hotel experience. 

Prior to this location’s conversion, it provided senior citizens a place to rest their heads as the Baylor University Medical Center’s Memory Care Center. The journey from healthcare to high-end hospitality is one that required a ground-up approach and custom curation to strike the right balance of accommodations and internationally-inspired finishes to delight the business and entertainment-focused guests, alike.

The building’s owners, brothers Salim and Perry Molubhoy, own and manage more than 20 high-end hotels across the United States and saw this location as a challenge to bring a unique hospitality experience to the Dallas area. Salim Molubhoy oversaw the more-than-two-year building transformation beginning with demolition down to the structure’s concrete, and rebuild of the hotel. With one of the primary goals of this Element location being to remove the feeling of a prototypical short-stay hotel, so much time and planning was dedicated to designing bright and dynamic spaces where details feel thoughtfully hand-picked.

Element Hotel, Dallas, TX exterior façade.

Given the nature of the building being hospitality with high-traffic, the Molubhoy brothers knew durability would be key, making tile the best solution for the central surfaces. After being presented with several tile options by their interior designer, the brothers ultimately opted for Marazzi over a different brand because of the total amount of options as well as a previous partnership. Salim Molubhoy raved about the customer service he experienced with Jarrod Smyth, the Anaheim Branch Manager for Marazzi, thus beginning the process for materials selection. The Anaheim team hosted Molubhoy, and in one day, he selected all the tile needed for the project.

The hotel’s dining area features a custom installation
of Classentino Marble in Imperial Brown and Corinth Beige.

The hotel’s elevator bank wall features Classentino Marble Classic Weave Mosaic, complemented by Classentino Marble in Imperial Brown and Corinth Beige on the floor.

“Jarrod provided the ultimate in customer service,” said Salim Molubhoy. “Personalized service is key and the fact that Marazzi not only provides the bold, internationally-inspired designs I’m looking for, but that the sales team is available at all hours, goes so far in continuing the excellent impression,” he continued.

Upon entry, guests immediately notice Classentino Marble™ on the lobby floors. This particular collection provides the bold, realistic look of marble in a porcelain tile for the durability the design team was seeking for a busy hotel entrance. 

Classentino Marble is what Marazzi calls, a Colorbody™ Porcelain, which means that the tiles are created with continuous colored stains from the glaze surface throughout the body of the tile. This is important for high traffic areas in the case of any impact chipping that may occur, visibility will be lessened due to the consistent color throughout. 

As guests make their way to the second floor lobby, they encounter Castellina™ Trellis that adorns the wall behind the buffet. This stunning natural stone offering features a combination of stone and porcelain mosaics, with contemporary color tones. Attractive patterns vitalize with beautiful abstract shapes. A curated selection of elegant mosaic patterns brings bold design complementing the entry flooring.

Hotel lobby featuring a custom installation of Classentino
Marble in Imperial Brown and Corinth Beige.

As guests progress to their rooms, they are visually impacted by the stunning Classentino Marble Weave Mosaic that accents the elevators which distinguish it from other area hotels. “People love it” says Salim Molubhoy. “Whenever people come in they love the wow factor.”

Not only are the Marazzi collections featured front-and-center for guests to enjoy, but these bold palettes and timeless designs are also featured in the Hotel Penthouse. “I am a big fan of great products and as a world traveler I want guests to enjoy the best,” added Salim Molubhoy. 

The Penthouse features Materika™ and boasts muted, powdery hues of concrete fashioned into elegant 16″ x 48″ over-sized wall embellishments with a texture for added visual intrigue. Castellina Diamond natural stone mosaic enhances the drama for a dramatic accent wall with classic design.

Cafe area feature wall showing Castellina Trellis in Gray.

In total, more than 8,300 sq. ft. of Marazzi tile is featured in the hotel in both floor and wall applications, pushing the envelope on tile capabilities and capturing the form and function with exceptional quality.

Located within a brief walk of Downtown Dallas lies one of the newest hotels in the area – with a history all its own. The public response has been positive since the public opening in December. The hotel is a comfortable setting for business and leisure travelers alike who want to feel at home in modern accommodations. Molubhoy and staff invite you to visit and enjoy your stay as you travel for business or explore Downtown Dallas during your next trip.

Backsplash features Castellina Modern Arabesque in Gray and Fawn.