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You are here: Home  September 2009 $30 million reno ups convention space

$30 million reno ups convention space

The Westin Ottawa hotel’s renovated lobby includes 22-foot high windows and a sky bridge.
OTTAWA—A three-storey 14-foot-wide gas fireplace with a contemporary design in the front lobby is one of the striking features that have been added to the Westin Ottawa hotel by new owners who took over four years ago.

They have spent more than $30 million on renovations to the hotel, as they increased meeting and convention space from 28,000 to 44,000 square feet.

The new additions include an 8,000-square-foot ballroom on the fourth floor next to a terrace which was covered over and is divisible into three sections.

The lower lobby has an executive meeting facility of 6,300 square feet with six high-end board rooms and an executive meeting centre.

When renovations of the lobby finished last year, the second level had been removed and there was a new sky bridge behind the fireplace. At the front stood  22-foot-high windows filled with German glass.

Alabaster panels have also been added to the lobby décor.

The entrance to a new restaurant is also in the lobby. (See accompanying story.)

Outside, the front of the lobby is clad in brown marble.

The guest rooms have all been renovated at a cost of $30,000 per room, the main expense being the bathrooms. All the units with king beds, making up about 60 per cent of the guest rooms, had tubs replaced by walk-in, glass-enclosed showers with granite walls and floors.

General manager John Jarvis told CLN many guests said they were not using bathtubs because they were afraid they were not clean; these people will only use tubs if they are separate from showers.

The rooms with double beds still have tubs. These are generally booked by seniors, Asian tour groups and people with children, all of whom are more likely to use bathtubs.

The lobby and all public areas were designed by a New York firm, Ronnette Riley Architect, while the rooms were designed according to Westin corporate standards.

The Shore Club moves east

OTTAWA—Keg Restaurants is reported to be spending $5 million on a 9,000-square-foot, 200-seat  restaurant to open in the Westin Ottawa early next year. This will be the Vancouver-based restaurant company’s second unit of The Shore Club, which opened at a reported cost of $8 million in Vancouver last year.

Westin Ottawa general manager John Jarvis told the Ottawa Business Journal earlier this year that The Shore Club will offer higher end seafood dining that is currently lacking in Ottawa.

The Ottawa unit, with its entrance off the ground floor lobby of the hotel, is taking the space formerly occupied by Hartwell’s nightclub which closed four years ago. One of its striking features is a 16-foot high ceiling.

The restaurant is in a prime location, beside the new Ottawa Congress Centre scheduled to be completed in 2011, and a short distance from Parliament Hill and the ByWard Market.

Keg president and CEO David Aisenstat says the restaurant will have clean lines, with steel, wood, glass and marble. The design is by Elaine Thorsell of Bureau of the Interior in Vancouver, who did the Vancouver restaurant.

The 275-seat Shore Club on the West Coast, with a high ceiling and large windows, offers grilled seafood and big steaks, at very premium prices.

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