U.S. Openings Mark Some Firsts

NATIONAL REPORT—Some recent and planned U.S. hotel openings will include industry firsts.

The MGM Springfield, an integrated five-story resort and casino development—the first of its kind in the state—is set to open here later this year with 250 guestrooms, no two of which will be the same.

The rooms, designed by MGM Resorts Design & Development, reflect the surrounding historical architecture that spans nearly three centuries. The hotel will feature designs that highlight the city’s literary and industrial foundations, and the hotel’s exterior will display 45 varying window types and details.

“The extraordinary details in these rooms reflect the sense of curiosity and wonder of Springfield’s history,” said Mike Mathis, president of MGM Springfield. “There was a lot to work with as it related to the city’s vibrant legacy and we hope the guestroom experience will capture that and inspire our guests to explore the resort and the city at large.”

For example, in the Queen rooms, quotes by poet Emily Dickinson will adorn the pillows, while the carpeting in the room corridor will spotlight excerpts from her works. On gallery walls, artwork will depict animals printed on dictionary sheets.

AC Debuts in NC

In North Carolina, the four-story, 123-key AC Hotel Chapel Hill Downtown has opened and is the first Marriott-branded modular construction project on the East Coast, according to the company.

“AC Hotel Chapel Hill melds modern sophistication with the traditional warmth of Southern hospitality,” said Corry Oakes, President/CEO of OTO Development, the Spartanburg SC-based Johnson Management company that developed and operates the new property. “More than simply somewhere to stay, this hotel is an opportunity for guests to experience the essence of Chapel Hill, a place locals call ‘The southern part of heaven.'”

“The AC brand’s philosophy is to focus on essentials—and only essentials,” added General Manager Andrew Strickland. “So there’s nothing unnecessary in the rooms, but what is there is better. There’s extra focus on functionality.” He cited details such as adjustable reading lamps, USB charging ports, free WiFi and individual climate controls.

Aloha to the Alohilani Resort

In Honolulu, HI, the Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach has opened following a $115 million transformation of the former Pacific Beach Hotel.

Touting “Aloha-Chic,” the resort features collaborators including Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, New York architecture and design firm Rockwell Group, which designed the resort’s lobby, restaurant, amenities, pool deck, guestrooms and suites; and architectural firms WATG and Pacific Asia Design Group.

The 839-room property is located on land held by the Queen Lili’uokalani Trust, and the property’s new name of Alohilani—Hawaiian for “The Heavenly Brightness”—was chosen to honor Hawaii’s last reigning monarch.

General Manager Rob Robinson said, “The debut of Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach underscores the exciting growth and development in Waikiki Beach, and our elevated resort experience will further its status as a sought-after destination to visit now.”