Hotel Duval opens after two-year renovation

The crowd was blown away as Hotel Duval was revealed at the ribbon cutting ceremony.  Mayor John Marks, Chamber President Sue Dick, hotel managers, residents, visitors and staff filled the eight levels of the hotel.

The $10 million project started in early 2007. Hotel Duval, Tallahassee’s only boutique hotel, adds a special feature that the city has never seen before.

“It’s been two years of blood, sweat and tears,” said Chad Kittrell, owner of Hotel Duval.

The lobby area has marbled floors with luxurious black and white leather seats; intricate paintings with dramatic colors hang above the furniture. Tall, fancy chairs are arranged close enough to hear music playing from the lobby.

“This is a resource for an entire region in the United States,” said Ron Sachs, president and CEO of Ron
Sachs Communication.

Not only did well-groomed staff greet the guests, a pleasant aroma welcomed them as well. Each floor has a painting with the thematic color scheme.

The different color theory elements include soothing neutrals, serene green, uplifting yellow, energizing citrus and vibrant red. Guests have the option of which color-themed floor they want to stay on.

The hotel staff calls it “color therapy.” There is also an express elevator in the rear of the hotel.

With 7,500 square feet of premiere space, Hotel Duval features Shula’s 347 Grill that will open Thursday. Another feature includes LeRoc Bistro, a breakfast and café bistro lunch bar that serves Starbucks Coffee and fresh produce.

The hotel has 117 guestrooms and suites, a 24-hour fitness center, and the Level 8 lounge on the rooftop that provides an amazing view of downtown Tallahassee.

Kittrell, along with his two partners, went out into the community and asked the people what they wanted. He says the hotel gives everybody a place to come and gather.

The rooms are equipped with ICE interactive concierge service. Hotel guests can make reservations, order shampoo bottles, order food from Shula’s, arrange spa appointments, search maps and print boarding passes by just logging in from the 37-inch black flat screen televisions in the rooms. The hotel also includes free wireless Internet access.

Only two hotels in Florida have ICE service and only four have the service in the United States.

Marc Bauer, the general manager, said the hotel had 2,000 employee applications this summer. They have received about 3,000 more since then. He said it was a “long, hand-picked search.” There are 125 employees; most of them are students.

“I feel great about the team,” Bauer said.

The hotel also has a Mahogany room, a room that the original 1951 Hotel Duval had in its venue.

The pebbled-showered floors and rainmaker showerheads compliments the hotel’s caliber.

“Everything [in the hotel] is state-of-the-art,” Bauer said.