First look at new luxury hotel Chancellor's House

(The owners of the 31-room Chancellor’s House hope it is the first of a number of high-end hotels in college towns throughout the country.)

A new luxury hotel brand is on its way to Mississippi. With an opening date tentatively set for mid January, the 31-room Chancellor’s House is the first in what its ownership group, Chancellor’s House Management Group, hopes to be a prominent fixture in college towns throughout the country.

David Porter, a Texas businessman with a background in oil, decided Oxford, Miss., was in need of a high-end hotel after visiting his son play football at the University of Mississippi. As the story goes, Porter couldn’t find a room in any property, and on game day it took him and his wife 90 minutes to make it to the field. Fred Alias, president of the Chancellor’s House Management Group, said that once Porter decided to build a hotel in the town it was necessary for them to have nothing but the best.

Pictured from left to right: Fred Alias, president of the Chancellor’s House Management Group; Michael Donoghue, managing director of the Chancellor’s House Management Group; Jim Hoover, Steinway & Sons historian; Simon Mulligan, concert pianist for Steinway & Sons; and and Eric Feidner, SVP, Steinway & Sons.

“We are preparing to open in January, but that is after three delays,” Alias said at a media event to showcase the company's association with piano manufacturer Steinway & Sons. The hotel's most recent delay is the result of imported Italian marble found not to be a match with the rest of the property. “We decided to take a stand and hold out for a replacement. It’s our philosophy at the hotel to have nothing but the best.”

That philosophy extends to service; guests at the hotel will have access to butlers, chambermaids and a 24-hour concierge. The hotel is also pet friendly, and comes with mahogany dog kennels fitted with Ralph Lauren beds. Your dog’s name can be emblazoned on the kennel, and then turned into a custom collar during check out.

Chancellor's house most recent partnership is with luxury piano manufacturer Steinway & Sons. The company’s new Spirio player piano will be found in the lobby of the Chancellor’s House, playing music up to 20 hours per day whether there is a live musician at they keys or not.

Simon Mulligan performed a piano medley to showcase the new Spirio from Steinway & Sons.

“When our graphic designer came up with a rending for the property it had a piano in the lobby, and we knew it had to be a Steinway,” said Michael Donoghue, managing director of the Chancellor’s House Management group. “We approached them, and they told us they had a new model coming out in a few months. Now it’s in our hotel.”

While the hotel’s ties to the University of Mississippi are strong, (Alias is also a graduate of the hotel), there are plans to expand outside of the city. An estimated 20-25 towns have been earmarked but the hotel’s management group for future development, but Alias said the hotel needs more than football to keep it afloat.

“Football only lasts for seven weeks out of the year, that’s why any town we develop in has to have character,” he said. “Oxford is the birthplace of William Faulkner and John Grisham, they have their estates there and there are many other attractions. They don’t have to be small towns, but they do have to be college towns.”