El Paso's Camino Real Hotel to join Marriott's Autograph Collection

Florida's Meyers Group has begun renovating and rebranding the Camino Real Hotel as El Paso's first hotel to join Marriott's Autograph Collection Hotel, El Paso Inc. first reported. The renovations are set to be completed by summer 2018, but the hotel will remain open during the process.

The real-estate development company purchased the 17-story hotel in October 2016. Meyers Group COO Alan Losada said in a statement, “We looked at different hotel flags, but everything we looked at were four and four-and-a-half stars. We were not willing to go below.”

Meyers Group and Marriott reportedly agreed to rebrand the hotel as an Autograph Collection property last year. The companies signed the contract in April.

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Marriott International's fact sheet states, “Hotels are chosen by Autograph because they are inspired by and reflect the locality, are champions of its history, culture and future. These hotels are part of the social fabric of a locality. They play a meaningful role by adding something unique to the area.”

Meyers Group is planning to restore the hotel to its original architecture. In doing so, the company has brought back its original name: Hotel Paso de Norte. As part of the renovations, the original 10th floor rooftop will be restored. It will include a ballroom, a pool lounge, a full-service spa and a gym. Also, a bar room next to the rooftop terrace will be expanded to overlook the Franklin Mountains, the El Paso skyline and Juárez. The company has appointed architect Kobi Karp to manage the building's redesign. However, the hotel developer is offering local artists and craftsmen the opportunity to contribute to the project, Karp said in a statement. 

Famed Southwest architect Henry Trost designed the 100 year-old Camino Real in the early 1900s. In 1912, the hotel had 195 guestrooms. That room number increased in 1986 by 356 rooms when a 17-story building was constructed next to the hotel. However, it has fallen into disrepair since then. Convention and tourism officials in El Paso had to tell the former owners the hotel could no longer be open to visitors because it was in such a bad condition.
  
Marriott Autograph has two other locations in Texas. One is the 12-story Hotel Icon in downtown Houston. Built in 1911, the Hotel Icon was originally the site of the Union National Bank Building. The existing building was converted into the hotel, but it has maintained its authentic period details and neoclassic architecture. The other is the 22-story Adolphus Hotel in Dallas. It's located in a building constructed in 1912 and modeled after the beaux-arts German castle.

Meanwhile, El Paso lawyer and hotelier Jim Scherr is building a 140-room Marriott Courtyard Urban Hotel up the street from the redesigned Hotel Paso del Norte. 

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