The hotel is owned by LL Pro Hospitality Baltimore LLC. As of February 2 of this year, the hotel is being managed by Commune Hotels & Resorts as part of its Joie de Vivre portfolio.
The improvements range from new furnishings in the guest rooms and public spaces to new mechanical systems throughout the building.
According to Gretchen Shaffer, the Business, Travel and Corporate Sales Manager for Commune, the planned renovations are so extensive that the owner decided to close the hotel temporarily rather than try to work with guests in the building. The street level restaurant, George’s, also will be closed during construction, she said.
The number of guest rooms will not change.
Schamu, Machowski + Patterson of Baltimore is the architect for the improvements.
“We’re excited to take this hotel to the next level with the support of our talented Commune Hotels & Resorts team,” Shaffer said in a recent letter.
Every part of the hotel will be touched by the renovations, and the building is scheduled to reopen in March of 2017, Shaffer said Monday. “Everything is going to have a major overhaul…It’s going to be gorgeous.”
This is the first Joie de Vivre hotel and the first Commune-managed hotel in Baltimore.
Shaffer said the hotel is now called the “Mount Vernon Baltimore, a Joie de Vivre hotel,” and reservations can be made under Joie de Vivre’s chain code: JV.She said the hotel will get a new name when it reopens next year.
Joie de Vivre was founded in San Francisco in 1987 and says it strives to offer “eclectic experiences rooted in local culture.”
After assembling a large collection of boutique hotels and resorts in California, it added properties in Chicago and Honolulu. Now it is establishing a foothold on the East Coast with the Liaison Capitol Hill in Washington, D. C., and The Hall in Miami Beach, Florida, as well as the Mount Vernon hotel.
The Monument Street building dates from the 1920s and was originally an apartment building. It was converted to a hotel called the Peabody Court more than 20 years ago and has had several name and management changes.
Baltimore’s preservation commission approved exterior changes to the building last fall. The most significant exterior alteration, according to the plans presented, is that the glass solarium on the top level, once home to the Citronelle restaurant, will be replaced with a new glass solarium.
The current glass rooftop has curved edges, and the glass has gotten foggy. The new solarium will have more of a rectilinear shape. Shaffer said the new top level most likely will be used as meeting space rather than a restaurant, but the hotel will continue to have a full-service restaurant at street level.
Shaffer said the hotel is operating with a “skeleton” staff until it closes for renovations. She said all of the employees will be invited to reapply for jobs when the hotel reopens in early 2017.
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