Hanover Inn to fully open in November
By Jenny Che, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Tuesday, June 26, 2012
After several delays, renovations at the Hanover Inn are still ongoing, with construction activity throughout the space above the former Gap store and in the Zahm addition, which is located between the Hanover Inn and the Hopkins Center, according to Amy Olson, senior media relations officer for the College. In August, the next stage of renovations will focus on an extension of the building over the garage and construction of four executive meeting rooms on the lower level. The Inn is scheduled to fully open in November.
The Hayward Room, a 1,761-square-foot conference room, will open in August, featuring floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the Green. The room will have a capacity of 150 people and will include extensive audio and visual equipment, Olson said.
The Minary Conference Center will open during the Inn’s grand opening in November and will be one of four executive meeting rooms on the lower level. The center is named after the former Minary Center on Squam Lake, a venue for conferences and meetings that was sold by the College in 2010, and will feature a 3,933-square-foot space that includes a large ballroom that can accommodate up to 330 people.
A new fitness center is being constructed, and the addition of 14 guest rooms will bring the total number guest rooms to 108. The Inn’s 132-seat restaurant, designed by a well-known New England chef, will also open in November on the corner of Main Street and Wheelock Street. As a result, the current dining space, located off the hotel’s lobby, will offer only breakfast and serve as an event space.
Howard Romaine, a writer who is currently staying at the Inn, complimented the enhanced dining area.
“It’s a lovely space and I had a great time,” Romaine said. “There was great service and people around.”
Although not all facilities are currently open for use, 94 guest rooms are available and meals are served in the small dining room. The Inn was open for Commencement and some family members and guests of graduates were able to reserve rooms on a first-come, first-served basis, according to Olson.
The interior layout features new colors and furnishings that reflect the College’s campus and its natural surroundings.
The Inn made efforts to work with local firms, including Engelberth Construction, Amoskeag Millworks, Cole Electric, Pompanoosuc Mills and Simon Pearce, in the design process, according to Olson.
“It’s well-appointed and the rooms are comfortable,” Kevin Premore, who is in Hanover on a business trip, said.
Premore said he heard from a hotel manager that the outdoor patio was also being renovated.
The total cost of the renovations, which were originally projected at $21.5 million, remains at approximately $40 million after unexpected expenses were announced in February.
The renovations underlie the College’s need for modern conference facilities as it aims to uphold its reputation as a world-class educational and research institution, according to Olson.
Complementing the College’s architecture, the Inn will balance classic forms with modern design elements and will include a greater number of amenities.
The newly-renovated hotel will “embody the sense of community, warmth and personal attention” at the College, Hanover Inn general manager Joseph Mellia said in a previous press release.
The Inn directed clients to neighboring hotels such as Six South Street Hotel during construction, according to Olson.
Six South Street manager Don Bruce did not respond to requests for comment by press time.