Downtown’s new Westin, which opened Oct. 9, had a favorable launch—booking up rooms, attracting events and drawing crowds to its sky bar.
“We opened on Monday, and we were almost sold out Wednesday and Thursday,” Director of Sales and Marketing Richard E. Pauley said. “We opened [with] a bang.”
The 10-story Pine Street hotel is in the former BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee headquarters.
DeFoor Brothers Development transformed the building, which is near a block of other projects the company is working on.
The Westin has 260 guest rooms, 24 of which are suites, including some that have private outdoor patios. The presidential suite is “over the top” with fantastic views, Pauley said.
The hotel also features 5,000 square feet of meeting space.
“The really unique thing is there’s about another 15,000 square feet of outdoor space,” he said.
The hotel’s 10th-floor sky bar, Alchemy, has an indoor bar with seating, including couches, and it opens up to an open-air terrace with views of Lookout Mountain.
“The sky bar is a fun place to come and have a cocktail,” he said. “It’s just a great location.”
Dorato Cuisine and Spirits and Dorato Lobby Bar offer guests meal and drink options, and there’s a marketplace with grab-and-go options.
The Gold Leaf Tea Room and Lounge at the hotel may also be able to fill the void left when The English Rose Tearoom closed in August, Pauley said.
The tearoom is open daily and offers a variety of teas and pastries.
“It’s a really fun experience,” he said of Gold Leaf. “With the unfortunate closing of The English Rose Tearoom, it’s great to have us offering [this] to the community.”
Pauley said he thinks Alchemy, Dorato and the tearoom will attract both hotel guests and locals.
Local developers Ken and Byron DeFoor worked with teams at Starwood Hotels and Resorts to create an exceptional experience, Pauley said.
According to the Westin’s website, some upcoming dates, such as the last weekend of October and first weekend of November, are sold out. Rates for the second weekend in November start at $180 a night. Later dates had lower starting prices of about $150, according to the hotel’s online booking system.
“I do think people are going to have to have the expectation to pay a little more to stay at the Westin,” Pauley said.
So far, customers have given positive feedback, and Pauley said they see the facility and understand the cost.
The short-term feedback from customers has been, “Wow, we get it,” he said.