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Monday, March 24, 2014

Landmark Algonquin Resort Welcomes First Guest Following Expansive Renovation

Officials with New Castle Hotels and Resorts, Southwest Properties and Marriott International, Inc. 
(NASDAQ: MAR)  unveiled the greatly anticipated renovation to New Brunswick's landmark Algonquin Resort

The iconic resort is the nation's first Autograph Collection hotel, Marriott International’s exclusive portfolio of independent hotels. The Southwest/New Castle team purchased the hotel from the provincial government in 2012 to undertake the "rafters to registration" refurbishment.
“To those of us who hail from this part of the country, the Algonquin is more than just a hotel, it is part of our heritage, our history," said Jim Spatz, chairman and CEO of Southwest Properties.  "It's where generations of Canadians have come to make memories with family and friends, and we took that responsibility very seriously as we set out to restore this treasure to its rightful place among our nation's very best.  The challenge was to preserve the authenticity of the historic hotel while simultaneously meeting modern building standards, as well as guest expectations for luxurious accommodations. Guests will judge for themselves, but I dare say they'll be impressed."
“We are thrilled to welcome The Algonquin into our exceptional portfolio of independent hotels," said Manlio Marescotti, vice president for Marriott International, speaking at the event.  "With its remarkable sense of place, this extraordinary hotel represents an ideal opportunity to introduce the Autograph Collection to Canada.”
The vision behind the Autograph Collection is to offer an evolving group of passionately independent hotel experiences ranging from a 15-room boutique hunting lodge in the mountains of Colorado to a 19th century neoclassical palace in the majestic city of Prague.  Exactly like nothing else, each hotel is thoughtfully chosen for its quality, originality, bold character and capacity to offer today’s modern traveler a range of unique experiences suited to their individual sense of style and adventure. While still relatively new, the distinct portfolio has proven to be a highly successful venture due to its discerning selection process and unique ability to create memories through enriching travel experiences.
The Algonquin's guest rooms and public spaces were completely reimagined by Toronto designer, Robynne Moncur of Moncur Design.  The hotel's décor reflects, without recreating, its Victorian origins, with a gracious, living room-style lobby that invites lingering around the two-sided fireplace.  The lounge and newly-inspired Braxton's restaurant now open to an outdoor patio that allows guests the chance to take in the spectacular nightly sunsets.
With the renovation, the Algonquin is now more welcoming to year round visitors.  Guest baths now feature radiant heat flooring to increase guest comfort in the winter and the hotel's brand new Natatorium includes a three-story waterslide and fitness center. The luxurious spa has been expanded to include a salon.
“The Algonquin served visitors for more than a century, and with this renovation, it's legacy going forward is assured,"  said Trevor Holder, New Brunswick’s culture, tourism and healthy living minister. “Our beloved landmark is in excellent hands as it pursues the next chapter in its far-reaching history."
“This has been a tremendous undertaking on the part of so many; the Province, hundreds of crafts and tradespeople, the town of St. Andrews, and of course the new owners, and the results are spectacular," said Curtis Malloch, MLA, Charlotte-Campobello.
"Over the years, we've developed a passion for Canada's most original hotels and the history they represent," said David Buffam, New Castle's CEO who rescued the shuttered Nova Scotian in 1995 and repositioned it as the country's first Westin franchise.  Shortly thereafter, the Province of Nova Scotia engaged New Castle to operate its three owned historic resorts, the Keltic Lodge, The Pines in Digby and the Liscombe Lodge. "Projects such as these are the pride of a developer's portfolio. Having the opportunity to set the course for the Algonquin's next century of service is truly an extraordinary mission for everyone involved."
“The Algonquin's management team is led by one of the most creative hoteliers I've ever met," said Gerry Chase, president and chief operating officer of New Castle.  “During the pre-opening phase, Tim Ostrem and his team earned a reputation for putting their distinctive signature on special events and day-to-day operations that guests will appreciate as authentic and truly engaging.   They've incorporated the Charlotte Coastal Region into every aspect of this resort, from the food that's served to the activities and programming that are planned.  Every detail of a guest's stay has been imagined through a regional lens to create an experience that is as unique as this hotel and the community around it."
The 233-room Algonquin Resort overlooks the picturesque Passamaquoddy Bay from St. Andrews-by-the Sea, New Brunswick, Canada.  Each guest room and suite was carefully renovated to reflect The Algonquin’s original Victorian style.   Modern conveniences and amenities include luxurious pillow-top mattresses, plush bathrobes, MP3 players, 32-inch flat screen televisions, in-room coffee and complimentary, in-room movies and WiFi. The 17 suites provide a separate, private seating area, and select guestrooms and suites feature a spacious balcony or patio.
The resort features two restaurants, Braxton's Restaurant and Bar and the Clubhouse, as well as in-room and anyplace dining, 19,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, a lounge with outdoor patio, fire pits with loaner guitars, an indoor pool and waterslide, outdoor pool and hot tub.  Now in its second century of service, the Algonquin also is home to the award-winning seaside Algonquin Golf Course, opening in April.  Ranked among Canada's top 100 courses and adjacent to the Bay of Fundy, the Algonquin Golf Course is home to two of the top ten golf tees in Canada.
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