Kimpton Opens Historic Blackstone in Nebraska as Cottonwood Hotel

By Paul Riegler on 19 November 2020
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Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants announced the reflagging of the historic Blackstone Hotel in Omaha, Nebraska, as the Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel.

The 205-key hotel, which the chain says is a “reinvention” of the original Blackstone, which opened in 1915, is an Omaha Landmark, and is on the National Register of Historic Places, underwent a $75 million renovation that started in 2018.

The new name pays homage to the Cottonwood Room bar in the original hotel, which featured a cottonwood tree. The original name could not be used due to legal issues that cropped up midway during the restoration project, the hotel’s developers, GreenSlate Development, said.

The hotel’s owners restored original hand-carved terra cotta columns, a marble staircase, most of the original tile and hardwood flooring, and all of the hotel’s 800 windows, while adding modern furnishings and amenities.”

“This rebirth represents a renewal of the Blackstone’s historic role here,” Jay Lund of GreenSlate Development told local reporters in 2019.

At the time the Blackstone opened in 1915, guests rented rooms by the year and received the hotel’s services.  Most units were suites of six to eight rooms. The hotel had its own fleet of Pierce-Arrow automobiles used for transporting visiting dignitaries and VIPs, as well as its own magazine, the Blackstonian.

Guest rooms feature a décor based on a white-and-grey palette, and many offer views of downtown.

Guests have multiple options for dining including the Orleans Room, a restaurant that goes back to the 1920s when it was the hotel’s most famous and when it received Holiday Magazine’s Award for Excellence for 16 years in a row.  Other options include Petit Orleans, a café, the Committee Chophouse, a steakhouse, and the Cottonwood Room, a speakeasy named after the original Cottonwood Room bar in the Blackstone.

Guest amenities include a swimming pool, solarium, and rooftop terrace, and a 50-piece collection of artwork by Nebraska artists.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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