The inside story of InterContinental Hotels’ quest to export 1960s American glamor to the world

(CNN) — Every time InterContinental Hotel interior designer Neal Prince stepped off a Pan Am aircraft in a new destination, he’d head straight to the city center for inspiration.

Prince would dip in and out of local galleries, stores and markets, befriending collectors and local artists, looking for objects, art and ideas to incorporate into that city’s InterContinental outpost.

Texas-born Prince was director of interior and graphic design at InterContinental from 1961 to 1985. Tasked with imagining interiors for more than 135 hotels across the globe, Prince wanted each hotel, in each destination, to feel specific, beautiful and evocative.