Sources indicate Annapolis, Maryland-based Thayer Lodging Group will soon announce that they will convert the Hotel Palomar in midtown Atlanta into a Marriott property. Days ago, Thayer purchased the leasehold interest for the 21-story, 304-room hotel that was completed in 2009. Thayer already dismissed San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, the management company behind the Palomar hotel as well as Pacci, the in house Italian restaurant and ALTOREX, the accompanying rooftop lounge. Kimpton's dismissal from the property, and with it likely the Palomar brand, left the door open for Thayer to seek Marriott's involvement.
Last month, Orlando-based Tavistock Group purchased the 151-rooms and 30 residences of the St. Regis Buckhead, a hotel that opened April, 2009. Last year, Bethesda, Maryland-based Pebblebrook Hotel Trust purchased the 422-room InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta. The InterContinental is the brand's North American flagship and was opened in November, 2004.
Late last year, I broke news that the planned Hotel Indigo in downtown Atlanta's Carnegie building would instead be opened under the Courtyard by Marriott flag. While the Indigo, the boutique hotel offering from IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) has been well received in most locations, the ownership group of the property decided they wanted the immediate brand recognition that comes with Courtyard. United Kingdom-based IHG is the largest hotel company in the world, by number of rooms with over 640,000, but clearly some investors prefer Marriott brands over IHG's size.
According to Thayer's website, they currently have 15 hotels in their portfolio, but 7 are Marriott brands. Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott International, appears to be a favorite of the group and may further explain their planned conversion.
While Pacci will supposedly close sometime late this month, no word as to what if anything will be made of ALTOREX. Pacci is helmed by Executive Chef Keira Moritz, who last week was said to have made multiple calls to local chefs hoping to secure jobs for her staff. The restaurant was named one of Esquire Magazine's best new restaurants when it opened in 2009 along with Paces 88, the in house restaurant of the aforementioned St. Regis.
With the openings of numerous Marriott brands in Indianapolis recently, each sporting sophisticated and updated looks, it will be interesting to see what brand the Palomar Hotel is reflagged. The Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Atlanta was built to be a Hotel Indigo, a boutique brand, but as I discussed was changed to the Courtyard at the last minute. Judging from what's already in the midtown area, my guess would be a Marriott Hotel, but official word should come by months end.