After a 16-month construction period, the $23 million, eight-story SpringHill Suites by Marriott hotel, offering a panoramic view of the Manatee River and a rooftop swimming pool, is set to open Friday in downtown Bradenton.
The Oak & Stone tavern and rooftop bar will take a little longer, possibly opening this summer.
David Cocco, president and CEO of North Star Lodging Management, gave the Bradenton Herald a tour of the glistening new hotel, the single largest construction project in downtown Bradenton, where more than $50 million of work is underway near city hall.
“It was always our intent to bring a first-class project to Bradenton,” Cocco said. “This is a custom SpringHill.”
Among the custom touches are Bradenton and Tampa Bay art references throughout, including a mural on an exterior wall of friendly, waving people set against palm trees and the beach. The caption across the top reads: “Bradenton. The land of your heart’s desire.”
Upon entering the lobby, guests will see artwork of a large sea turtle swimming in effervescent waters on one wall, above comfortable seating. The lobby is equipped with an interactive wall display that guests can touch to find local attractions, shopping and restaurants.
“The local artwork was created specifically for us,” Cocco said.
On each floor, guests will step out of the elevator to see wall-size art and a large number identifying the floor. On the seventh floor, there is a closeup of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. On the eighth floor, are large stylized letters spelling out Bradenton.
General manager Lyndsay Barnhart, a former Manatee High School student, said the hotel opens at 3 p.m. Friday, and the first reservations for Friday night are already on the books for the 131-room hotel, which is located at 102 12th St. W.
“We started taking reservations for this week on Monday,” she said.
Friday is considered a soft opening, with a more formal ribbon cutting planned when The Oak & Stone tavern and rooftop bar open later this year.
Guest parking is available this week in the new City Centre Parking Garage, located south of city hall.
Much of the hotel was furnished in partnership with the West Elm company, a branch of Williams-Sonoma Company. The company has an increasing focus on hand-crafted, sustainably sourced, fair-trade certified products.
All accommodations at SpringHill Suites by Marriott are suites and will initially be available starting at $149 a night.
“We expect that rate to increase significantly in the season,” Cocco said.
There are five balcony rooms overlooking the Manatee River and two executive suites, complete with two full baths each.
The expansive rooftop deck seems certain to be a prime attraction with its dramatic views, swimming pool and a foosball machine.
At night, the deck will be ringed with ever-changing lighting that seems to chase itself around the perimeter of the hotel.
For more information about SpringHill Suites by Marriott in downtown Bradenton, call 941-226-2200 or visit marriott.com/hotels/travel/srqsr-springhill-suites-bradenton-downtown-riverfront/.