Tuesday, April 23, 2024

New owner of Doubletree by Hilton plans renovations for conference-style hotel

The Doubletree, located at 50 Kingsmill Road, will be Shamin Hotel’s 55th hotel. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Shamin Hotels)
The Doubletree, located at 50 Kingsmill Road, will be Shamin Hotel’s 55th hotel. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Shamin Hotels)

A Virginia-based hotel company is planning to rejuvenate a Williamsburg-area hotel near Busch Gardens.

Last week, Chester-based Shamin Hotels purchased the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Williamsburg, a hotel and conference center located at 50 Kingsmill Road.

Neil Amin, Shamin’s chief executive officer, said the hotel company plans to invest money to renovate and update the hotel’s public spaces.

While some hotels in Williamsburg are closing or redeveloping, Amin said both the Doubletree’s location and the large amount of communal space inside were selling points for Shamin.

The Doubletree is Shamin’s first Williamsburg-area hotel. Shamin Hotels is among the nation’s 20 largest hotel companies and owns properties in Virginia, New York, Maryland, Florida, North Carolina and Colorado.

“We like that this hotel is central between Hampton Roads and Richmond,” Amin said. “It is a convention hotel and has a tremendous amount of meeting space. There’s a large demand for people who want to meet between Hampton Roads and Richmond.”

Ron Kirkland, president of the Williamsburg Hotel & Motel Association, said the hotel’s proximity to Busch Gardens, Kingsmill, Water Country and Interstate 64 means the hotel can attract a fair share of business.

Additionally, the Doubletree may also provide Shamin space for its own regional meetings. While Shamin owns and operates hotels in six states, the company owns hotels in the Richmond area, Hampton, Newport News, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth and more.

Kirkland said numerous conference-style hotels have closed in the Williamsburg area, meaning the area lacks high-quality meeting spaces such as the Doubletree by Hilton.

“We look forward to supporting [Shamin] in any way we can,” Kirkland said.

With renovations, the Doubletree will likely bring the hotel “to the forefront” of the area’s conference business.

With the purchase, Amin said the company plans to improve the hotel’s public spaces, including the lobby, meeting areas and restaurant.

Some minor upgrades will also be made in the hotel rooms.

The updates will likely be during the slow season next winter, Amin said. The hotel will not close for renovations, and operations are expected to continue as usual.

Shamin has also rehired the hotel’s existing staff, Amin said.

Amin said the hotel purchase was lucrative because building a conference-style hotel is “cost prohibitive” in today’s market, although there is a demand for hotel meeting spaces.

“The trend [in new-build hotels] is limited service and select service with very little food,” Amin said.

As a full-service hotel, the Doubletree has a setup for success, Kirkland said.

“People like to be able to have everything under one roof,” Kirkland said. “In Williamsburg, that’s a good thing.”

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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