The Richmond Marriott hotel in downtown Richmond is undergoing a major multimillion-dollar face-lift.
It comes a decade after the hotel, owned by Richmond-based Apple Hospitality REIT Inc., completed a $15 million renovation in 2009.
But it was time for another revamp, said Neil Buffington, who has been the hotel’s general manager for the past two years.
“In the life of a hotel and in keeping up with your competition, it is very important to do. Once you get to 10 years, it is time to do it and our owners are committed to doing it,” Buffington said. “This is a very large scope as far as this project is concerned.”
The hotel, at 500 E. Broad St., will remain open during the renovations, which should be completed by May.
All 410 guest rooms will get a makeover. That began in October on the 17th and 18th floors, and the first renovated rooms should be ready in the next several weeks. All guest rooms should be finished by the end of next year’s first quarter, he said.
One of the biggest visual changes will be to the lobby area, where T-Miller’s Sports Bar & Grill, the Liberty Bar and the hotel’s Starbucks café will close in mid-December.
A new unnamed restaurant and concept will replace T-Miller’s next year. It will take the standard hotel restaurant to a new level, he said.
“It’s going to be a unique, intimate eatery,” Buffington said. “We’re going to bring elevated comfort food with a Richmond flair. The restaurant will compete with all of the other restaurants that Richmond has.”
The name and concept of the restaurant and lobby bar will be announced in mid-December, he said.
Starbucks will be redesigned and get bigger space, complete with an entrance off East Broad Street. It also will have an outdoor patio with seating.
During the renovation, meanwhile, a temporary restaurant will be created in part of the hotel’s meeting spaces while a Starbucks kiosk will be set up near the parking garage’s entrance.
As part of the lobby renovation, Richmond Marriott also will introduce an M Club space — similar to an executive lounge — that will give guests a place to retreat, recharge and refocus with 24/7 access to premium Wi-Fi, beverages, snacks and concierge service.
The hotel’s fitness center will be updated as well. That project will start sometime during the first quarter.
The hotel’s ballrooms and meeting spaces were renovated in 2014.
Apple Hospitality REIT, a publicly traded company, has not disclosed a price tag for the renovations, Buffington said, except he said it will be a multimillion-dollar project.
“They are very proud of the hotel and have always been committed to the city,” he said. “The multimillion-dollar project will revitalize the hotel with a modern approach to the guest experience. We are going beyond the typical project of this size.”
Apple Hospitality owns a portfolio of 235 hotels with more than 30,000 rooms in 34 states, including the Courtyard by Marriott and Residence Inn by Marriott in Shockoe Slip. It recently bought The Berkeley Hotel, also in Shockoe Slip.