Medina Journal-Register — There’s nothing else like it in Orleans County.
Hart House Hotel, on West Center Street near Main, has the potential to become a true local commodity.
Located above the Shirt Factory Cafe, the Hart House Hotel features several loft-style rooms of varying size boasting modern amenities with a vintage small-town feel.
The rooms, available for nightly rental (two-night minimum) or for extended stays, provide a unique hotel experience in Orleans County. Building owner Andrew Meier said the rooms are good for local families or businesses hosting guests from out of town.
“Anyone who wants to visit and needs space, this works,” he said.
There are two extended stay lofts and several smaller rooms. The lofts are essentially “fully stocked apartments,” Meier said, furnished with everything except food. Indeed, they include a kitchen and a washer and dryer.
Every room in Hart House Hotel also features custom tiling, historic lighting and fixtures and, in some cases, different types of artistic accents.
Meier called Hart House Hotel a place that gives off a “retro feel” but still offers very modern amenities, such as heated bathroom floors in several rooms.
Kyle Zunner, the hotel manager, said he expects guests to be “surprised” by the accommodations during their stay.
“There’s still some work to be done with the fixtures and the artwork, because we want to make it feel more like home,” he said, “but as a space it works and so far we’ve had great feedback.”
Hart House Hotel is continuing to add rooms to its inventory. Currently all of the rooms available are on the third floor of the building. As the year continues, Meier and Zunner hope to complete more work on the second floor and add an elevator. The elevator is a necessity, Meier said, and a space has already been earmarked for it.
The building itself has been in Meier’s name for the past seven years. He said his original goal — apartments — changed for a simple reason.
“I thought this would offer more of a benefit to the community,” he said.
One thing the hotel offers the community is an improved chance at recruiting new enterprise, according to Gabrielle Barone of the Orleans Economic Development Agency. Previously when businesses scouted for new locations in the area, their representatives often were forced to stay overnight in neighboring counties.
“You can’t begin to quantify the advantages (the hotel) could have,” Barone said. “They want to see an area where they can host clients and an area that has other resources available. Many like the charm of a small town, but the convenience of a metropolitan area. ... The hotel starts to bridge that gap.”
Zunner said word of the hotel has already started to spread. A representative of FMC suggested it would be a convenient rest stop for visitors to the Middleport plant.
“The need is there not just for Medina but for relatively local businesses who need to host people,” Zunner said.
Along with helping local businesses, Meier said the hotel can aid local tour trade.
“We want the hotel to be an asset to the Niagara Wine Trail and to tourist stops like the Medina Railroad Museum,” he said. “Plus, having its location downtown means that it can be a resource to the business district and also benefit from having so many amenities close by.
“It’s like a mini-version of a bigger city hotel,” Meier said.
The building that hosts Hart House Hotel was built as a hotel, bearing the same name, in 1876.
“We’re just reviving it, really,” Meier said. The building’s namesake, Elizur Kirke Hart, was a prominent Albion businessman at the time.
Paying further homage to the building’s history, some rooms in the new hotel do not have numbers. Instead, they’re assigned the name of a famous customer of the Newell Shirt Factory. The Churchill room honors Sir Winston Churchill.
Barone praised Meier’s efforts in refurbishing the Hart House Hotel.
“Anything that’s upgraded like the way Andrew has done with that building, it always looks attractive,” she said. “There’s nothing (else) like it in Orleans County.”For more information find Hart House Hotel on Facebook or go to harthousehotel.com.