Behind-the-scenes look at new hotel in downtown Toledo

Published: Jul. 10, 2017 at 5:02 PM EDT
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Another vital piece of downtown revitalization is almost finished.

The massive renovation of the Renaissance Toledo Hotel is in the home stretch. The owner has invested tens of millions in the project, and the big reveal is right around the corner.

In addition to the major renovations that are easy to spot, there are also lots of little details that have gone into the revitalization. For example, the front desk is made of locally-sourced glass molds. Glass art from a local studio also hangs above the front desk.

Jeff Hassan is the General Manager,"The space has gone from looking like a construction site to a hotel again.It has been exciting to see the changes every day."

It was originally the Hotel Sofitel. It opened in the mid 1980s. A lot of work and money have gone into bringing this space back to its former glory. Haley Gronenmeier is the Director of Sales and Marketing, "We've undergone a total renovation from top to bottom. We have gutted the entire building down to the studs.The hotel had good bones, we just put our own stamp on it.The design is modern industrial, with a lot of nods to Toledo's rich glass and manufacturing history."

Hassan says doing that has required millions of dollars, "Our owner has invested about $30 million in the project. We are putting the finishing touches on things like the elevators, the guest rooms, the meeting rooms and the kitchens. We are also finishing the lobby. It is all beautiful "

The investment has taken shape. From the 10 floors of guest rooms, to The Brim House restaurant that features private dining space and a special culinary spot, "We have a table where the chef will do interactive culinary experiences and tastings for the diners."

There's a rooftop bar called The Heights, "It will feature multiple gas fire pits and furniture outside. It will be open air,so the breeze will move through out the space. It will have an emphasis on cocktail programming and small plates will be featured here."

Hassan says a group was in the rooftop space for the Fourth of July and the views are spectacular,"Its a great place to go to see 360 degree views of the city of Toledo, the river and everything around here."

Back to the rooms, Gronemeier says they were designed with a glass blower's studio apartment in mind, "Even the chaise lounge has been modeled after what the glass blowers would wear. The chair has a denim fabric because they would wear jeans, and they wore leather to protect themselves from sparks, so the magazine holder has a leather pouch on it. Our homage to the Glass City continues in the bathrooms. There is glass tile in the shower and etchings in the mirror that say the glass is always half full. We have lots of fun little details."

The project created a lot of construction jobs and hundreds of people will be working at the hotel. Hassan says dozens of them were in training today, "We have hired almost 240 people already, and most of them have already started training and getting ready for the grand opening."

The Renaissance Toledo will open in the next two to three weeks, which means it should be ready for business by the end of July. The hotel is already taking reservations.