Family-owned and -operated Drury Hotels Co. opened its first location in the Richmond area earlier this month.

The 217-room Drury Plaza Hotel in western Henrico County is the St. Louis-based company's first entry into Virginia. It opened Aug. 8.

The eight-story hotel is at 11049 W. Broad St. near the Interstate 64 interchange on a parcel adjacent to the SunTrust Center, formerly called WestMark office park. The hotel is across West Broad Street from the CarMax store.

"Virginia is a market we’ve wanted to enter for a long time, and after careful consideration, we selected Richmond as the perfect location for our first hotel," Chuck Drury, president and CEO of Drury Hotels, said in a statement.

Brian Brown, the local hotel's general manager, said the company considers markets for its hotels based on suggestions from guests.

"We get a lot of feedback from our guests about our locations," Brown said. "Based on guest's requests, we look at locations and do the analysis and plan a hotel based on the best location we can find."

The new hotel includes 35 bedroom suites, three separate meeting rooms with a total of 3,600 square feet and an indoor/outdoor pool.

It offers a hot breakfast, including fresh waffles, biscuits and gravy and eggs. In the evening, there is a reception from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. - the company calls the gathering the 5:30 Kickback - that includes appetizers and alcoholic beverages.

Drury Plaza Hotel's local property also has a unique feature - a lobby bar. This is the company's first one constructed with a new hotel. The company has three others that it retrofitted the lobby to add the bar and grill.

The lobby bar has been appealing to guests since the property opened earlier this month, Brown said. Guests can buy beverages and food in the evening until midnight. The menu includes burgers, pizza, salads, other appetizers and desserts.

"It is a new addition to Drury's offering of services," said Brown, a native Virginian who has worked for the company for five years.

The company, Brown said, is known for its top-notch customer service. The hotel employs 55 full- and part-time workers and six managers.

J.D. Power recently ranked Drury Hotels the highest in guest satisfaction among upper midscale hotel chains in its North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study. The recognition marks Drury’s 14th consecutive award.

Family-owned Drury Hotels, founded in 1973, owns and operates more than 150 hotels in 25 states. It operates the properties operate under the names of Drury Inn & Suites, Drury Plaza Hotel, Drury Inn, Drury Suites and Pear Tree Inn by Drury.

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