After more than two years of construction, The Hotel at the University of Maryland, slated to open in July, is now accepting reservations for stays between August 22 and April 30.
Four new restaurants — Old Maryland Grill, Bagels 'n Grinds, Potomac Pizza and Kapnos Taverna — as well as multiple conference rooms and a parking garage will be available to guests when The Hotel opens, with a spa to come in the fall, said Ken Ulman, chief economic strategy officer for the university's College Park Foundation.
"This is the first luxury hotel to open in College Park in a long time," said Mayor Patrick Wojahn. "I'm looking forward to seeing how it helps enliven our midtown area."
Along with the four restaurants nestled within its 10 stories, The Hotel features 297 guest rooms and 18 meeting rooms, with a total of 43,000 square feet of conference space. It saw high demand for reservations over the past few months, spokeswoman Mindy Bianca wrote in an email.
Reservations for this university's May 2018 commencement will be available starting Aug. 22, Bianca wrote.
Additional features of The Hotel, including a Red Door Salon and Spa and an 850-space parking garage, will open in the fall, Ulman said, adding that the first floor of the garage will be leased to private businesses to promote more street activity. The Hotel will also provide its guests with a free shuttle to and from the College Park Metro Station, among other local sites.
At one point, reservations for The Hotel were intended to be available in April, as the building was set to open later in the spring. But due to the scale of the $140 million project, delays had to be made to make sure it was ready to house guests, a process that took years to complete, Ulman said. The project is a main feature of the Greater College Park initiative, a $2 billion public-private investment toward the revitalization and redevelopment of Route 1.
"It's just a really complex project … and you don't want to open until you're ready," Ulman said.
With many of College Park's usual residents — this university's students — away from the campus for the summer, The Hotel officials have time to prepare for the fall. During the academic year, there are more current and prospective students, researchers, alumni and fans attending sporting events, who could demand The Hotel's services, Ulman said.
"Opening in July … is a really important milestone for our Greater College Park initiative," Ulman said.
Over the next decade, Ulman said, other Greater College Park initiative projects will partner with The Hotel to complete the project's main goal of revitalizing this university's campus and the surrounding area.
One of the planned projects is The Hall CP, designed by university alumnus Scott Plank's development company, War Horse. The 15,000-square-foot food, performance, entertainment and entrepreneurship venue did not open adjacent to The Hotel in fall 2016 as was originally planned.
Other buildings to be constructed near The Hotel, which will be announced soon, will form a "vibrant streetscape" in the area, Ulman said.
"This is the first milestone of many to come," he said.
CORRECTION: Due to a reporting error, a previous version of this story incorrectly stated The Hotel's guest parking garage would open in the fall. It will open in July. This story has been updated.