With hotel space still at a premium in Pittsburgh, The Priory Hotel on the North Side recently completed an addition and now has 42 rooms. The addition was built on the site of a former apartment building. "Since we are in a residential area we designed the exterior of the new wing to look like a separate building, like one of the Victorian-era mansions facing West Park," says John Graf, director of operations. The original hotel and the new addition are connected inside on all three guest floors.
The addition has 17 guest rooms, a new fitness center, a business center and meeting space on the ground floor. "In the new rooms we wanted to create an experience that blends the best of the old and new," Mr. Graf explains. They re-created the woodwork from the guest rooms in the original building, but when it came to decorating they took a different tack. "We went for a classic look that is not bound by a certain time period."
All rooms contain wireless Internet, iPod docks and flat-screen TVs. As for the original building, all the rooms have been freshly painted and refitted with new mattresses, carpeting and furniture. "We also added a new bar, 'The Monks Bar,' which is open to the public," he says. For more, go to www.thepriory.com.
January saw the opening of Cambria Suites Pittsburgh right next to Consol Energy Center. The 142-room hotel is the official hotel of the Pittsburgh Penguins, which owns 25 percent of the property. The impressive presidential suite is 1,820 square feet with three bedrooms and 31/2 baths. There is also a concierge lounge on the seventh floor with a flat-screen TV and a wet bar. It's a perfect place to perch if you can't score a ticket to the game.
The all-suite hotel provides free Downtown shuttle service, an indoor pool and a state-of-the-art fitness center. The suites are equipped with a refrigerator, a microwave and a Wolfgang Puck coffee service, and some also have hot tubs and wet bars.
The sleek, two-story lobby features a club lounge and media wall with a 50-inch plasma TV. A bistro-style restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, has been getting rave reviews and is open to non-guests as well.
Go to www.cambriasuites.com.
-- Patricia Sheridan