For 90 years, the Ivey’s building at the corner of Tryon and Fifth streets was home to Ivey’s department store, which finally closed in 1990.
Now, the beautiful old building is getting new life as the home of Charlotte’s newest boutique hotel, The Ivey’s Hotel, which is set to open to the public in April.
MRK Property Development is behind The Ivey’s Hotel. It also opened The Windsor Hotel in Asheville and The Marlin Hotel in Miami Beach, Fla., among other projects.
And let me tell you — this place is over-the-top fancy. The Ivey’s Director of Sales and Marketing Janal Montagna showed the C5 team around the still-under-construction space Thursday. While it’s still waiting for some finishing touches, the level of thought and detail put into every inch of the hotel is astounding.
Forty-two guest rooms will fill the second floor of the building, with residents continuing to live on floors 3-6. The hotel is also totally renovating the first floor, adding a cozy guest check-in area and sprucing up a common area that can be used by guests and residents, and rented out for events. Three massive photos of the old Ivey’s department store hang on the walls of the common area.
Sophia’s Cocktail Lounge (named after Queen Sophia Charlotte) will open on the ground floor, with an entrance off Fifth Street. A yet-to-be-determined restaurant concept will eventually open in 5,500 square-food space at the front of the building.
The hotel is teeming with unique touches, like the new chandelier at the entrance, the custom columns and light fixtures in the hallways, and the high-tech doorbells.
Now, let’s talk about these rooms.
Once you stay in one you may never want to leave. The rooms ooze elegance, from the exposed brick walls and the sleek, custom-built furniture to the 400-year-old reclaimed wood floors that came from a vineyard in France. Each room is unique with one-of-a-kind decorative touches, like original vintage photos, a map of sixth-century Paris and 150 deconstructed clock pieces scattered throughout the hotel.
“We want to make people feel something when they touch things,” Montagna said.
The rooms also feature plenty of modern touches, like an HDMI port to plug into the TV, a Bose sound system, and outlets and USB ports built into the bedside tables.
The hotel will have four room types: Atrium (facing the interior atrium), Executive Suites (featuring a living room area and dining table), City View (offering views of Fifth Street, so you can watch people stumble out of Roxbury and Dandelion Market) and, my personal favorite, the Balcony Suites.
I want to live in one of those Balcony Suites. The one we saw sits in the corner of the building and overlooks the intersection of Fifth and Tryon. A sliding door opens onto a balcony over Tryon Street, and the claw-foot tub also overlooks Tryon. And you don’t have to worry about noise from the street. The hotel implemented five sound-proofing measures, making you forget the city life on the other side of the glass.
As you’ve probably gathered by now, this kind of decadence doesn’t come cheap. Base rates will range from the mid-to-high $300s, possibly reaching to $500 or $600 on high-demand weekends.
”The way I’m comparing these rooms is that you’re going to the richest friend that you have, their house, and you’re staying in their guest suite,” Montagna said. “That’s kind of how I feel when I’m looking at our suites and our rooms.”
The Ivey’s Hotel: 127 N. Tryon St.
Photos: Sallie Funderburk