The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Hyatt Place set to open in Eagle Village in Fredericksburg
By CATHY JETT
A corporate team flew in recently to give the Hyatt Place in Eagle Village its final inspection.
It approved the building, tested the temperature of the café’s lattes, even checked to make sure the ends of the toilet paper in the bathrooms were folded into a perfect point.
Now about all that remains is for the staff to finish training before the 93-room hotel in the Fredericksburg shopping center officially opens its doors on Jan. 21.
Eagle Village’s Hyatt Place is owned by the University of Mary Washington Foundation and will be managed by Interstate Hotel and Resorts.
It features not only the global hotel chain’s latest almost Zen-like design, but tweaks representative of the area, said Jeff W. Rountree, CEO of the foundation and Eagle Property Holdings LLC, during a preview tour Thursday.
Local photographer Christopher Rok’s photos of the university, for example, hang on the walls next to the elevators for the five-story building, in many of its bedrooms and in the boardroom.
The custom teak touches were done by Creative Dimension Group, a Spotsylvania County millwork company. And Carolyn Helfrich, a Fredericksburg floral and landscape designer, landscaped the courtyard.
“We always try to source locally when we can,” Rountree said.
Hyatt Place hotels, according to the company’s website, are designed for multi-tasking business travelers and can host meetings. The one in Eagle Village is also expected to appeal to out-of-towners with loved ones in Mary Washington Hospital as well as parents of UMW students, alumni, donors and other university VIPs.
The main area just inside the front doors, known as the “gallery,” is designed to make people feel as if they’re guests in someone’s home, said Michelle Hardy, the hotel’s director of sales.
There are comfortable seating areas done in terra cotta, sage, blue and brown to the left of the check-in desk, and a café to the right where anyone can place an order anytime from a menu of casual fare and beverages, including wine, beer and cocktails. There’s also a refrigerated case filled with grab-and-go snacks, sandwiches and bottled drinks.
“You can show up from the airport at 4 a.m. and still get something,” Rountree said. “It’s open 24 hours.”
The hotel also provides a complimentary breakfast that includes sandwiches, cereals and fresh fruit in the “guest kitchen.” Plates are stored on open shelves, similar to how they’d be found in a real kitchen, and breakfast sandwiches are kept warm in skillets.
“Familiarity can bring some comfort level to guests who are away from home,” Hardy said.
Like all Hyatt Places, bedrooms in the new hotel will have either queen-size or king-size beds—no doubles. They also have an L-shaped sofa that can be converted into an extra bed if needed.
Other amenities include free Wi–Fi and TVs with a place where laptops and other media devices can be plugged into the TV.
The hotel’s tower contains three executive suites and one presidential suite. The presidential suite has its own balcony, and includes a kitchenette and dining table, which also can be used for interviews or meetings.
Room prices range from about $99 to $289, but can vary due to the season, discounts and other reasons, Hardy said.
The hotel also has a board room that can seat eight to 12 people, and the Hyatt Meeting Place—three meeting rooms that can be opened into one large space that will accommodate up to 120 seated or about 150 standing.
Rountree said that there is a need in the area for small meeting spaces like the hotel’s boardroom. Mary Washington Hospital officials also asked for such a space where doctors could meet privately with their patients’ families.
The Hyatt Meeting Place rooms are equipped for conferences, but can also be used for such things as wedding receptions. The rooms all have doors leading out to the courtyard, which features two waist-high fire pits and a stage where bridal couples can exchange vows or bands can set up to provide live music for events.
“When we built the Jepson Center, we found that indoor and outdoor events were very popular,” Rountree said. “We wanted the ability to hold them here.”
Other hotel amenities include a fitness center, saltwater pool and shuttle service within a 3-mile area. There’s also a 1,600-square-foot retail space that has yet to be leased.
“We’ve interviewed a few possible tenants,” Rountree said. “A day spa would be nice.”
Cathy Jett: 540/374-5407