Monday, November 22, 2010

Diplomat Drops Hotel Indigo in Favor of Courtyard, Downtown

Atlanta-based Diplomat Companies will soon announce they have dropped Hotel Indigo in favor of Courtyard by Marriott for branding of their upcoming hotel at 133 Carnegie Way in downtown Atlanta. This is an intriguing move as the Hotel Indigo, the boutique hotel brand from InterContinental Hotels Group, would seem to be a better fit for the historic Carnegie Building than Courtyard, a mid-scale brand by Marriott International. The building is triangular in shape, a strange configuration for any hotel, but particularly as structured and generic a brand as Courtyard by Marriott is. The hotel has been plagued by delays throughout the year and was originally scheduled to open in the spring but is now not scheduled to open until at least January of next year.

Oddly enough, a similar situation occurred in south Florida earlier this year, where a would-be Hotel Indigo was re-flagged pre-opening. Delayed repeatedly as the Hotel Indigo Miami Beach, the hotel opened in May as the Wyndham Garden South Beach.

About a mile from the would-be Courtyard, at 175 Piedmont Avenue, there once was a Courtyard as well as a Fairfield Inn, but both closed a fews years back and became a Wyndham Garden Hotel and Baymont Inn & Suites. Earlier this year, the property was sold to Georgia State University, which plans to convert the two hotels into student dorms. Interestingly, a similar transaction occurred in midtown where a Courtyard and Fairfield Inn were sold and converted into a student housing for SCAD. There remains a Courtyard in midtown near Georgia Tech at 1132 Techwood Drive, but Marriott has sought to again have a downtown Atlanta presence. A few years back, the owner of the Days Inn at 300 Spring Street downtown was in talks to re-flag as Courtyard but a deal was never finalized.

Now, Marriott will again have its Courtyard brand represented in downtown Atlanta. The hotel is located adjacent to the Ellis, a non-affiliated boutique hotel in the historic Winecoff Hotel building and caddy corner from a Residence Inn by Marriott in another historic building, the Rhodes-Haverty Building.

While Atlanta-based Hotel Equities was previously announced to be the management company in charge of the property, that is no longer the case though the fourth local Cafe Intermezzo will still open in the hotel's first floor and is said to be opening by the first week in January.

As this change has not yet officially been made, the hotel remains listed on the Hotel Indigo website and says its accepting reservations after February 1, 2011 but a search online and a call to central res finds them with zero availability throughout 2011. Not only is the thought of them being sold out every day of the year a far cry from the truth, its an amusing tactic to keep customers from booking whilst not all out vacating the reservations system. ToNeTo Atlanta

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Ben Smith said...

There are some non cookie cutter Courtyards out there. One of the pleasant surprises from a trip to Portland was the Courtyard was masquerading as a boutique hotel, probably more in the style of a Hotel Indigo.

Anonymous said...

The brand image of a Hotel Indigo is personally better in my mind than a Courtyard by Marriott but Diplomat Companies could be concerned that many visitors to Atlanta may have never even heard of Hotel Indigo?? Everyone knows Courtyard by Marriott so maybe they feel like a familiar brand would be more successful...just speculating.

Atlantan99 said...

Hey Anon,

I too think the brand recognition may have payed a large part in this decision. The Indigo brand did launch here and does have the backing of InterContinental Hotels Group but I don't think it has matured as much or as fast as W from Starwood. I personally don't care for any of the local W properties in town but they seem to do ok. (The condo units @ the W Downtown is what took that property into foreclosure)

Marriott is definitely "a name" in the hotel industry and I'm sure, if the rooms are as nice as they were when they were going to be the Indigo, the property should do well.

midtownblue said...

I work right around the corner, and it seems like this is the only part of town where things are still happening. This will add nicely to an otherwise desolate (and a tad foreboding) corner after the sun goes down.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know if the Cafe Intermezzo (I think I read that one was being built here) is still going into this building?

Atlantan99 said...

Hello Atlurbanist,

Yes, from what I'm told, the Cafe Intermezzo WILL still open within the hotel. The restaurant may in fact open before the hotel itself, perhaps by the end of next month or early January.

Thanks for the question and interest in the blog!

midtownblue said...

Work is going on inside the building. Workers are there nearly every night.

Anonymous said...

As of late December, the Cafe Intermezzo looks as if it should be opening in a few weeks.

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