Hotels debut across the country

Two Marriott-branded hotels have made their debuts across the South, while Red Roof has opened an extended-stay property in Indianapolis.

Rockbridge opens Marriott Knoxville Downtown
Rockbridge has debuted the Marriott Knoxville Downtown (pictured above), located at World’s Fair Park.

The 302-room, full-service hotel has undergone an expansive renovation that touched nearly every aspect of the property. Also unveiling is the Maker Exchange—a gathering space, artistic showcase and culinary scene designed to highlight and embrace Knoxville’s creative maker community. Rockbridge, also owners of the neighboring Tennessean Hotel, led the revitalization of this destination that was originally built for the 1982 World’s Fair.

Rockbridge purchased The Tennessean and the adjacent hotel with the vision of transforming the venue into a hub and gateway to Knoxville.

“The hotel is ideally located at the center of World’s Fair Park, the Knoxville Convention Center, the University of Tennessee and the downtown district,” said Jim Merkel, CEO, Rockbridge. “We are proud to reinvent this destination for the community.”

Located in the heart of the destination is the Maker Exchange—a gathering hub for the community—encompassing a grand Hearth Room with an oversized fireplace; an independent restaurant and bar; a local, independent coffee shop, the Curio; and meeting and event space, all offering a unique destination dedicated to the makers of Knoxville.

Hotel development company RBHD led the extensive hotel renovation with a team including local architect McCarty Holsaple McCarty, construction manager Blaine Construction and New York-based interior design firm Stonehill Taylor collaborating to create a completely new destination, spotlighting local nuances and goods throughout.

Each of the 302 guestrooms features views from floor-to-ceiling windows and all offer either single, king or double king options. Furnishings contrast dark and light wood tones, and dark blue carpets feature motifs and textures reminiscent of glassmaking tools and patterns. Customized sconces and soft goods designed by local textile artists introduce subtle craft elements and create an inviting space throughout.

Rockbridge is working with Robin Easter Design to create the 12,000 sq.-ft. Maker Exchange space and has engaged Knoxville’s Dogwood Arts Alliance to bring the concept to life and connect with the maker community.

Aimbridge Hospitality will operate the new hotel.

Mississippi’s first AC Hotel debuts
The AC Hotel by Marriott Jackson Ridgeland, the brand’s first property in Mississippi, has opened. The design-driven hotel is a collaboration between local developer Kerioth Corporation and hospitality manager McKibbon Hospitality.

AC Hotel Jackson Ridgeland adds a sophisticated, urban-inspired lodging option to the Township at Colony Park, a mixed-use neighborhood in the heart of the Ridgeland community. The hotel reflects an urban-inspired development with its use of modern, premium materials and textures with the use of wood, metal, ceramic, fabric, steel and glass. Upon entering, the lobby features multi-functional spaces in warm tones and rich finishes. Carefully curated works of art adorn the walls and surfaces with sensible lighting and distinctive touches that create a sophisticated environment that is both contemporary and warm. Jackson-based architect Barron Studio was selected to oversee the design of the project, along with hospitality design specialists at Design Force Corporation.

The five-story structure features 132 guestrooms and suites that were mindfully curated to embody elegance and comfort to match the needs of both leisure and business travelers. Guestrooms feature sleek furnishings, an open closet system and hardwood floors. Free of traditional hotel room distractions, the neutral color palette and artfully designed layout offers the ideal lodging for remote work and relaxation, the developers report.

Hometowne Studios by Red Roof opens in Indianapolis
The 73-room HomeTowne Studios by Red Roof in Indianapolis has made its debut.

The extended-stay property features kitchenettes with full-sized refrigerators, free in-room WiFi, HD flat-screen TVs with cable, coin laundry and weekly housekeeping. Free private parking and a business center are also available, as well as a 24-hour front desk. All guestrooms are non-smoking.

The hotel is close to downtown Indianapolis, the Indianapolis International Airport, The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.