Notable brands have opened hotels in the midwest and in New York City in recent days.
The 119-room Graduate Evanston has opened in Illinois, close to the Northwestern University campus and Lake Michigan. Designed in homage to Evanston literary figures, the hotel has a residential design.
“We’re honored to bring our signature hospitality and placemaking experience to a university community in our own backyard,” said Ben Weprin, Graduate Hotels CEO and founder. “The Graduate Hotels brand has grown extensively since launching in 2014 and returning to our hometown of Chicago is an exciting and humbling moment for us. We look forward to opening our doors and serving as a gathering place for both Northwestern students and Evanston locals, but also our friends in Chicago looking for a convenient and nostalgic getaway.”
Initially opened in 1928 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the former Homestead property has been restored in partnership with Chicago-based DMAC Architecture to maintain the building’s local history and significance. Design elements throughout the hotel weaves the narratives of Evanston’s past and the legacy of Northwestern University students and faculty into the decor.
On the ground floor of the hotel, Graduate Evanston will offer Trophy Room, a signature Graduate Hotels food and beverage concept rooted in nostalgia, serving up classic American dishes with a youthful spin. Trophy Room will offer guests and locals alike an all-day dining destination complete with menu items reflecting regional Illinois flavors and local Evanston and Northwestern University influences.
IHG Hotels & Resorts has opened the first Voco hotel in the Americas. The 50-room Voco - The Franklin New York, originally built in 1930, has completed its renovation on Manhattan's Upper East Side, the hotel is near top attractions like Museum Mile, Central Park and Madison Avenue shopping. Owned by Flintlock Construction and managed by Aimbridge Hospitality, the hotel is meant to demonstrate the brand's ability to convert properties efficiently.
Voco also will enter the St. Augustine, Fla., and Columbia, Mo., markets soon with openings expected in early 2021.
“We’re thrilled to bring the Voco brand to the critical American market," said Ginger Taggart, VP, global Crowne Plaza and Voco Americas, IHG. "The historic design, modern upgrades and inviting ambience are a perfect blend of old and new. Our guests will love the fresh, modern design that still honors the iconic heritage property, and also will appreciate the cleanliness and sustainability measures that ensure a responsible stay.”
Flintlock Construction founders Andrew and Stephen “Chip” Weiss Jr. added: “It has been our privilege to restore and enhance this historic property. The hotel has been reimagined as a modern classic. The renovation is an artful blend of restoration and original modern touches and state of the art electronics in the rooms. Our goal was to create a world-class hotel for the Upper East Side, and by partnering with IHG to launch the first voco in the Americas, we’re making that goal a reality.”
First Hospitality has opened the Residence Inn by Marriott Columbus (Ohio) Airport. The 122-room hotel is the first extended-stay property at John Glenn Columbus International Airport and expands First Hospitality’s existing hotel presence in the Columbus area.
“We’re proud to partner with Columbus Airports and Rockbridge Capital on this project,” says David Duncan, president and CEO of First Hospitality. “Our talented team in Columbus has nearly a decade of experience managing hotels in this market, which includes the Fairfield Inn & Suites Columbus-Airport, and they saw a need for an extended-stay property. The Residence Inn Columbus Airport will be a valuable addition for all travelers.”
The hotel is a pet-friendly, all-suites property with studios and one-bedroom suites. Guests can walk to all terminals or take advantage of the hotel’s complimentary shuttle, which operates within a 5-mile radius from the hotel and runs to the Easton Town Center shopping complex. Residence Inn Columbus Airport also has guestrooms with full kitchens, an indoor pool, fitness center, grocery service and a full-service lobby bar.
As a nod to its location, Smoot Construction centered the hotel’s design around an aviation theme, which features historical photos from the Ohio History Connection throughout the property.