The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Grand opening of Hotel Grinnell

At the grand opening of Hotel Grinnell, the public was given tours of the entire establishment, from rooms to the lobby. Photo by Andrew Tucker.

After nine years of construction, Hotel Grinnell had its grand opening to the public Thursday Sept. 7, featuring tours for the public. The S&B’s Kate Irwin attended the event and spoke to the owner and operator of the hotel.

The outside of Hotel Grinnell emulates the modern, industrial look that is a feature throughout the entirety of the building. Even the logo of the hotel displayed near the front doors encapsulates this aesthetic.

Once I entered the hotel I was struck by a backlit, 10-foot-tall version of the Hotel Grinnell logo. If I did not know which hotel I was inside, there was no way I could forget now.

The modern, industrial look carried over to the lobby. Large canvas prints that could only be described as the epitome of modern art decorated the walls alongside light fixtures that gave off the perfect degree of ambient lighting. The lobby spoke to the high-end aesthetic that radiated from the building.

Once inside, I noticed exposed pipes on the ceiling, giving a classy warehouse vibe — rather Costco-esque, if you ask me.

Next, I followed along a black and white tiled hall to the gym. Even the gym had class. A basketball court was illuminated by small lights dotting metal strips hanging along the ceiling. 

After leaving the gym, I walked down the hallway in search of the rooms. The color scheme inside Hotel Grinnell is a tasteful gray and black. 

I did not think it was possible, but the rooms at Hotel Grinnell took the class factor that runs through the hotel to a whole new level. The rooms were slightly smaller than I would have preferred, but for what they lacked in width they made up for in height. Each room had a high ceiling and large windows that made the space feel open and inviting.

Marble sinks and open shelving units greeted me as I walked in. A large chalkboard hung near the bed, maybe placed there just in case a guest thought of an important thing as they drifted to sleep. More modern art hung in the rooms. Artsy, multi-colored prints added color to the primarily white and black design of the room.

At the grand opening of Hotel Grinnell, the public was given tours of the entire establishment, from rooms to the lobby. Photo by Andrew Tucker.

Comfortable seating was readily available. A stool with a faux cow hide design accompanied the desk. A plush chair perfect for reading was nestled in the corner, with a light positioned at the perfect angle for reading a book.

Hotel Grinnell also features bar and restaurant The Periodic Table. The space doubles as a common room, with games and comfortable seating throughout the space. The Periodic Table offers reasonably-priced food of a wide variety, along with a long list of adult beverages. The bar area contains high tables with mismatched bar stools, giving the space a classy, eccentric vibe.

Succulents were not a rarity at Hotel Grinnell. The space as a whole had a Pinterest-like feeling, like the tasteful aesthetic one sees while perusing Pinterest but can never quite attain.

The space that Hotel Grinnell occupies is perfect for the vibe. This building is close to all the hallmarks of Grinnell, making the space ideal for a downtown hotel.

“This site really drove the project,” said Angela Harrington, owner and operator.

Harrington hopes that Hotel Grinnell will not only be a space for visitors, but for the community as well. The hotel offers space for events, a patio area perfect for casual dining, and a lounge area perfect for studying.

Harrington wants Hotel Grinnell to be a place for college students to frequent.

“This patio is open twenty-four hours, so at two in the morning, you can get a cup of coffee,” Harrington added. Not only does Hotel Grinnell offer the much-needed cup of coffee, but Harrington has also strategically placed outlets throughout the space to foster the perfect environment for the studious college student.

The modern, industrial look was also something that Harrington desired.

“I wanted it to look like Grinnell, but also to be very sexy and sophisticated and feel like you’re in downtown Chicago,” Harrington said.

The iron furniture displayed throughout the entirety of the hotel has more than just functionality purposes. “The iron furniture kind of gives you a sense of the industry of the town’s past,” Harrington said.

Harrington wants Hotel Grinnell to be able to give back to the city of Grinnell. All the iron furniture in the hotel was produced in Iowa. Hotel Grinnell uses local businesses in Grinnell for items such as rentals, printed materials and even art.

“All that revenue [from people staying at Hotel Grinnell] is able to come into Grinnell. And that’s a really important part,” Harrington said.

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