Written by Aaron-Michael Fox.
The building that is now home to Huntington’s new DoubleTree hotel has been a familiar structure to residents of the Jewel City since it first went up in 1973. The hotel, which occupies the entire 1000 block of the south side of Third Avenue, was first opened as a Holiday Inn, then became a Radisson, then the Pullman Plaza before its currently incarnation as a franchise of Hilton Hotels.
But for a few finishing touches, the interior renovations are nearly complete. The bulk of the remaining work concerns the exterior which will get a fresh paint job within the next 60 days, as well as completing renovations to the pool area, tiki bar, and back deck. “We will be completely finished within 60 days because that’s the timetable Hilton gave us,” said General Manager Stella Barr. “Hilton’s standards are very high.”
The renovations have been extensive. Originally budgeted at $7.1 million, the total costs have now exceeded $8 million. “From the basement to the roof, there is not a square inch that has not been renovated, updated, or freshened up,” Barr told the Herald-Dispatch.
A grand opening will be scheduled for some time in August once the transmutation is complete.
In addition to totally renovated private rooms, the hotel also boasts several conference and meeting rooms, a restaurant called Doppio Albero (“Double Tree” in Italian), a bar called Bootlegger’s, and a bakery called Baker Joe’s. Doppio Albero has also brought back the old Pullman hotel’s popular daily lunch buffet at a cost of $14.99 per person.
No detail was overlooked, including the artwork that is featured extensively throughout the hotel. Most notably, there is a large coal-themed mural in the lobby and a Marshall/WVU rivalry mural inside Bootlegger’s.
“The owner really wanted to give [the hotel] a West Virginia touch and that’s one of the best things about Hilton, they encourage you to personalize,” said Barr.
Barr said the ownership and management are particularly proud of the coal mural in the lobby as it shines a light on West Virginia’s coal miners who may not have gotten such positive treatment in recent years.
The Hilton name and luxury status of the DoubleTree has also allowed the hotel to capitalize on Huntington’s relationship to Marshall University and the visiting athletic teams they regularly bring to town. “The old hotel had gotten so bad that visiting teams were staying in Charleston,” Barr said. “But we’ve gotten just about everybody back now.”
The Huntington DoubleTree currently employees 69 people with expectations to hire as many as 15 more. Rates start at $169 per night. You can make reservations for your out-of-town guests at Hilton.com/DoubleTree/Huntington. Photos by Aaron-Michael Fox below the ad.