Business

New hotel on Bass Road preparing the amenities and putting out the welcome mat for upcoming opening

When the new Homewood Suites Hotel opens on Bass Road later this month, the management wants guests to feel like they are at home.

The 80,000-square-foot hotel with 99 rooms is the anchor for a planned mixed-use village, Providence Village North Macon. The hotel is a Hilton product, and it is expected to employ 25-30 workers.

In addition to amenities found in many hotels such as coffee pots and alarm clocks, each room has a fully equipped kitchen with a refrigerator (including ice maker), microwave, dishwasher, disposal as well as dishes, silverware, pots and pans and even measuring cups. Each room has a 32-inch flat-screen TV and DVD player.

The hotel is an extended-stay hotel geared toward corporate travelers, said Tom Hunt, president of PHD Hotels, a hotel management and development company based in Auburn, Ala.

“It’s geared toward that person here on assignment for one or two weeks,” Hunt said. “It’s like being at home. The rooms are typically 25 percent larger than most hotel rooms.”

For guests who don’t want to cook, the hotel will provide a hot meal in the lodge 5-7 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, Hunt said. A hot breakfast will be served seven days a week, and all meals are included in the room rate.

The majority of the hotel rooms are two-room suites, some have two bedrooms and two baths. Ninety percent of the rooms have a king-size bed with queen size in the remaining rooms, and all rooms have a sleeper sofa. Rates will begin in the low $100s a night, and the per night rate is reduced the longer a guest stays.

The hotel also features wireless and wired Internet service, a meeting room that will seat about 60 people, a business center, guest laundry facilities and dry cleaning pick-up service.

A small in-house convenience store, called a Suite Shop, will stock items guests may have forgotten to bring and will include snacks, frozen microwave meals and ice cream. A movie library will be available for guests to check out movies.

The hotel has contracted with local artist Betty Bivins Edwards to provide some of the artwork for the facility.

The hotel already has booked 33 rooms for Labor Day weekend, said Middle Georgia native Laine Bolton, who was hired as director of sales in August. While corporate travelers are the focus, the hotel’s style would also be attractive for reunion groups and out-of-town wedding guests, she said.

The style of the hotel is prototypical to others in the company, but adjustments were made to the exterior to match the rest of the village planned at the site, Hunt said.

The pool, surrounded by a wrought iron fence, is on the front of the hotel, which is considered the main street of the development, to better integrate it into the village atmosphere, said Rob Ballard, owner of development company Placemaker LLC. Ballard’s company is developing the mixed-use village and it developed the adjacent Providence subdivision.

Other plans for the village include a 50,000-square-foot office building and a building with retail and restaurants on the first floor with condos or leased lofts overhead, Ballard said. A lake and walking trails also are planned on the property.

“This isn’t just a stand-alone hotel,” Ballard said.

While the sluggish economy has slowed down the rest of the development, “we are making a lot of headway with that,” he said. Construction of the first building should begin this spring.

To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.

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