Hotel Phillips Undergoing $20M Renovation

KANSAS CITY, MOExecutives from Arbor Lodging Partners, the company that owns the historic Hotel Phillips here, has planned a $20-million gut renovation that includes every aspect of the building. The goal is to bring the hotel back to its original 1930s elegance while elevating the food and beverage experiences, comfort, amenities and modern details, according to the company.

“We bought this hotel because it reminded us of the grace and elegance of the 1930s, but we also wanted it to match the vibrant and modern sensibility of Kansas City today,” said Sheenal Patel, co-founder and principal of Arbor Lodging Partners. “Everything is getting an update with a nod to adding fun, elegance and refinement to the hotel, with three new exciting restaurant concepts, completely renewed guestrooms, an expanded lobby and new places to gather.”

The Art Deco-style building, located at the corner of 12th St. and Baltimore Ave., is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Following the renovation, which is expected to be completed in late 2016, Hotel Phillips will join Curio by Hilton.

The renovation will include three new food and beverage concepts. The current 12 Baltimore restaurant is being replaced by Tavernonna Italian Kitchen. Tavernonna is being developed in partnership with DMK Restaurants, a Chicago-based hospitality company founded by industry veteran David Morton and five-time James Beard Award nominee Michael Kornick of Marché and mk.

A new speakeasy called P.S. will be built on the lower level of the hotel and will call to mind the classic underground bars of the 1920s and early 1930s, according to the company. Filled with booths and lounge chairs, P.S. will feature small-batch beers and whiskies as well as signature cocktails and a late-night menu. Barrel & Hatchet, a local Kansas City hospitality company that currently manages the Manifesto cocktail bar, is consulting on the development of P.S.’s concept and menu and will be involved in the lounge’s operation. On the first floor, a new coffee bar, Kilo Charlie, will face the street. The space will be highlighted by large glass and brass pendant light fixtures, tile walls and a parquet floor.

The renovation team will keep and restore the Art Deco details that remain in the hotel, such as the bronze and nickel metalwork, walnut paneling, light fixtures and black glass on the ceiling. In addition, the renovation plans include the replacement of every element in guestrooms, from beds and linens to carpeting, bath fixtures and finishes. New features will include flat-screen televisions, complimentary internet and plenty of outlets and charging locations.

Other renovations include updated technology throughout the hotel; upgraded air and heating systems and noise-reducing windows; repair of the building’s facade, keeping historical elements intact; and expanding and reconfiguration of the hotel lobby. The original staircase, marble walls and floors, and 11-ft. gilded statue of “Dawn” that has graced the lobby since the hotel’s opening will remain intact. The new lobby will also include a game area where guests can enjoy classic entertainment from the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s.

Hotel Phillips is located in the heart of downtown close to the city’s arts and entertainment districts. Guests can stay at the hotel during the renovation.