From an array of dining options to movies and ice cream, those staying at the new Delamar West Hartford hotel at the corner of Memorial and Raymond roads have plenty of things to do within walking distance.
On Friday, the six-story luxury hotel opens its doors to guests.
The 114-room hotel offers guests a complimentary glass of champagne at check-in, according to the Delamar's website, valet parking, chauffeured transportation within a 5-mile radius, a nightly turn-down service and an electric vehicle charging station and other amenities.
Rooms vary in size, from the 375-square-foot deluxe king room to a 1,300-square-foot two-bedroom presidential terrace suite, according to the website. Stays range from $239 a night to $409 a night, according to the website.
The farm-to-table Artisan restaurant is on the ground floor of the hotel. A spa, Robert Dinucci's Lane & Lenge flower shop, Bob DeGemmis' Connecticut Custom Clothing Company, and a 5,000-square-foot event space for up to 400 guests are also included in the hotel.
At Cook and the Bear, a barbecue restaurant caddy-corner to the new hotel, executive chef Ed Jones III and assistant general manager Vanessa Walsh said the restaurant staff is looking forward to their new neighbors, who bring "a little bit more of an artistic feature" to the neighborhood, Walsh said.
"We offer chef-driven barbecue and a really comfortable atmosphere, some of the best cocktails in town and a really relaxing place for you to have full-service barbecue and be taken care of and hangout," Jones III said.
Down Memorial Road, specialty clothing and accessory store Ooh La La Boutique owner Darlene Salonia said she's looking forward to walking around the garden outside Delamar.
"I think, first of all it's beautiful," Salonia said. "I think its nice because it'll bring a lot of vibrant people down here, people that are going to discover West Hartford maybe for the first time and then make this their home."
And around the corner on Isham Road, World of Beer boasts an over 500-beer selection specializing in local craft beer, general manager Matt Sousa said.
"The Delamar Hotel will bring in a lot of people to the area who may not have a place to stay," Sousa said. "There's nothing really like this in the West Hartford area so it's definitely gives them an option and it looks like a great spot."
And just past World of Beer is the Cinepolis movie theater.
One of the newer crazes to hit West Hartford — Milkcraft — is within walking distance, too, located on Farmington Avenue.
"You don't see liquid nitrogen ice cream everywhere," Milkcraft general manager Sean Brennan said. "It's a great place to come, we have great local restaurants surrounding us and a spot to stop after for dessert."
A local breakfast option, Hartford Baking Company, offers fresh baked bread and pastries made "in the old tradition by hand," assistant manager Tobey Aubert said.
"We have free Wi-Fi, seating upstairs, you can stay here all day," Aubert said "It's a great place to hang out and enjoy some good food."
West Hartford Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Barbara Lerner said there's more than restaurants and bars for travelers to check out while staying at the Delamar.
"It's not just coming to eat and shop, it's really people come to the center as an activity to stroll, they bring their dogs, their strollers, their families," Lerner said. "It's really a nice place to walk around — Farmington Avenue, LaSalle Road, Ellsworth, Main Street, Blue Back Square, you can really get a lot of exercise."
For the community, the towering hotel added about $16 million to this year's grand list, which saw a 4.3 percent or nearly $259 million boost overall, town officials said earlier this year.
The project began in June 2012 when the town sought proposals to build a hotel on 4 acres of town-owned land previously used as dump fill from Blue Back Square construction. The town selected Delamar in December 2012, a partnership between Greenwich Hospitality Group and The Matos Group, and approved plans for the project in June 2014. Greenwich Hospitality Group owns and manages six hotels which operate independently.
It was estimated as a $30 million project.
Early sets of plans for the project indicated a target completion date of December 2015 and a target opening of July 2016 but some delays – minor design changes like material changes to the facade, window placement site landscaping and a change in parking as well as a red-tailed hawk nesting in a to-be-removed tree – contributed to the later opening, officials have said.
The hotel will host an opening celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 12 from 5 to 7 p.m.
"The opening of the Delamar Hotel is really a big deal for West Hartford," Lerner said. "We've never really had a boutique, high-end hotel in West Hartford at all. When we have people call us and they're looking for a certain type of hotel with the amenities we have to send them, unfortunately, to Farmington or Avon or Simsbury and we like to do that because those are beautiful hotels, but we really like to keep people in town, too."