Welcome to the Hotel Carmichael

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Welcome to the Hotel Carmichael
Mayor Jim Brainard and General Manager Jamie Hopwood

Originally posted July 2020 revised October 2020

There is much that has been said—and debated—about the architectural marvel that is welcoming guests and visitors through its doors. But what hasn’t been adequately shared are the more intimate details about the hotel and its amenities and how these will contribute to our city, not just from an economic standpoint but in the way of cultural, entertainment and dining experiences as well. The Hotel Carmichael officially opened August 27, 2020.

Inspired in part by the work of 18th-century architect Robert Adam, the hotel’s design serves as a transition from the Palladium across the Monon Trail to the west and the rest of the adjacent City Center development.

Join us as we take you for a tour of the Hotel Carmichael!

About the Hotel Carmichael

We had the extraordinary opportunity to tour the 111,234-square-foot project at various stages of construction and speak with Mayor Jim Brainard, Hotel Carmichael’s General Manager Jamie Hopwood and Carmel Redevelopment Director Henry Mestetsky on the various components of the Hotel Carmichael that is putting the city of Carmel on the map, not only as a beacon of arts and entertainment, corporate headquarters, state-of-the art amenities with exceptional schools and neighborhoods but also for its brand-new 122-room (114 rooms, eight suites) boutique hotel that delivers a distinguished hospitality experience perfect for the discerning traveler.

The Hotel Carmichael contains an abundance of meeting space, including the Paul Dresser Meeting Room, James Hanley Boardroom and the Noble Sissle Boardroom. The opulent Cole Porter Grand Ballroom is an ideal and picturesque space for banquets and weddings. Surrounded by expansive windows, guests of the ballroom will enjoy extravagant views of the Palladium and surrounding amenities.

Cole Porter Grand Ballroom

Though the ongoing pandemic has impacted the timeline for highly anticipated shows and select entertainment, guests will be able to enjoy—while observing safety protocols—a cabaret show at Feinstein’s at Hotel Carmichael—a partnership with two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy award-winning musician Michael Feinstein. Feinstein’s at Hotel Carmichael is modeled after the legendary Feinstein’s/54 Below in New York.

Feinstein’s at Hotel Carmichael

Guests and visitors can enjoy delectable light fare menu items and/or craft cocktails created by expert mixologists as the wood fireplace crackles in the background at Adagio (slow tempo)—the lobby lounge. Also featured in Adagio is a state-of-the-art Steinway and Son’s grand piano that can record a musician’s performance to be played back and enjoyed for decades to come.

The incomparable views throughout the hotel, both in its interior and exterior, are positively spellbinding. And the attention to detail are impressive to even the most seasoned traveler. The handcrafted, wrought-iron railing, made in Anderson, Indiana, that leads guests along the elegant grand staircase, and every inspired light fixture, window treatment, piece of elaborate furniture, accessory, on down to the signage throughout the hotel, is congruent to the overall theme. It’s a masterful blend of architectural design from a classical era with modern amenities and technology. Beautifully appointed—yet comfortable—spaces throughout the hotel pay homage to the Great American Songbook and music, as does the original artwork that is on display throughout the hotel.

Redefining Standard and Accessible Luxury

Guests can choose from 122 rooms and luxury suites, each featuring classical decor and decadent accents, with pet-friendly rooms and suites with balconies overlooking the Carmel City Center, Carter’s Green and the Center for the Performing Arts. Each room—including the standard—is outfitted with luxurious furnishings, such as exquisite chandeliers, and cutting-edge amenities, such as complimentary Wi-Fi, a smart TV and Amazon Alexa assistant, bathrooms that feature separate water closets, tiled, walk-in showers and stately Brizo faucets by Delta.

The Executive and Presidential Suites are perfectly suited for the discerning executive traveler and distinguished guests. These spacious suites feature all of the standard amenities plus extra conveniences, including balconies.

Also included in this issue is a more comprehensive overview of Vivante French Eatery, the hotel’s French restaurant, and its distinguished Executive Chef Joseph Hsu.

Vivante French Eatery

A 25-Plus-Year-Old Vision

Once we toured the hotel and its remarkable amenities, we learned more about its inception, ownership and the journey from planning to its impending grand opening from Mayor Brainard, Jamie Hopwood and Henry Mestetsky.

“This all started when I first ran for mayor in 1995, and I heard from people that they wanted a ‘downtown’ Carmel …We knew that what was formerly called ‘Old Town’ and is now the Arts & Design District was not enough landmass to be the designated ‘downtown’ for our eventual size. So, when the Redevelopment Commission was constituted, one of the first things we did was buy 88 acres where City Center and the Palladium are. We began master planning and putting together public-private partnerships to create a walkable, pedestrian-friendly downtown anchored by arts facilities.”

Jim Brainard
View of Palladium from Hotel Carmichael

Brainard continued, “We introduced the City Center Plan to the public in May of 1997, and in that plan and general area was a hotel. So, this [current project] is a continuation of that plan. There have been many revisions of that plan, and I like to think it got better each time. We knew then [1995] that a hotel was going to be an integral part of having a successful downtown.”

The public-private partnership developing the hotel is a joint venture between Carmel and City Center developer Pedcor. According to Mestetsky, Carmel will receive 66% of profits for 10 years and 50% of profits thereafter, and that it’s the city’s goal to sell its stake in the hotel to the private sector at some point in the future.

“Boutique hotels [such as the Hotel Carmichael] will offer guests ‘experiences’ versus the thousand-room, large downtown convention hotels. The hotel is positioned well even in this [current] uncertain COVID-19 world that we’re living in.”

Brainard added, “Carmel has been highly successful in building many quality projects that have had a tremendously positive impact on our city’s economic development. And this hotel will have the same positive impact.”

Who Is CCC Boutique, LLC, and Coury Hospitality?

CCC Boutique Hotel, LLC—the public-private partnership between the city and Carmel-based development company Pedcor—owns the hotel, and the hotel is managed by Coury Hospitality of Kansas City, Missouri.

Founded in 1999, Coury Hospitality is a hospitality management company skilled in every facet of hotel, restaurant, venue operations and development. Known for historic renovations, exceptional guest service and new, curated build design and construction, Coury Hospitality employs cutting-edge management techniques, ranging from accounting and revenue management to e-commerce and asset management, to transform buildings new and old into world-class, full-service boutique hotels that deliver unforgettable travel and dining experiences. Currently, Coury Hospitality operates a total of six AAA four-diamond properties.

Brainard explained that the CCC Boutique Hotel, LLC, is a corporate entity that is half city, half Pedcor. “We’ve entered into a contract with Marriott—a franchise contract—that allows Marriott to say the Hotel Carmichael is a Marriott Autograph Hotel. The city and Pedcor is not going to manage the hotel, so we entered into another contract with Coury Hospitality to manage the hotel. So CCC Boutique Hotel, LLC, is the entity that the city and Pedcor have formed as the franchisee with Marriott, and we have a management contract with Coury Hospitality.”

A Grand Opening Amid a Pandemic

To say that a global pandemic was not part of the hotel’s overall plan is a gross understatement. As a result, there were obvious delays in construction and in the grand opening that was originally planned for May 2020.

“We’ve already booked several weddings, and I do anticipate that demand will continue to increase,” Hopwood said. “Our tagline is ‘Always live, never scripted,’ meaning we are very versatile, as is our unique function space.”

Hotel Carmichael interior

Brainard added, “We have the neighboring Palladium with function rooms as well and the Main Hall. In addition to those beautiful spaces, we can do even larger events—corporate or otherwise—at the hotel. For instance, we’re bringing an international conference to Carmel, and we will be using both the [Carmichael] and the Palladium. And then we have Feinstein’s club, which we can use for meetings and events as well.”

In conclusion, after having toured the guest rooms, the on-site dining and lounge areas, the spectacular views of Carmel from within the hotel at each of its six levels, enjoyed delectable samples of Chef Hsu’s brilliance in Vivante’s kitchen and perused the original artwork that tells a story in every room and corridor of the hotel—we believe the minds behind the Hotel Carmichael have achieved design perfection.

Hopwood concluded, “I walk the property every day and am amazed by the attention to detail. What a great experience [Hotel Carmichael] is going to be for so many people.”

For more information or to contact the Hotel Carmichael Autograph Collection, visit hotelcarmichael.com and be sure to follow its social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all of its most up-to-date announcements. Learn more about the most interesting places in Carmel Indiana.