KINGSTON, N.Y. — Hotel Kinsley has welcomed its first guests, both in its rooms and its restaurant.
The first of four boutique hotels being opened Uptown by Charles Blaichman and his Hudson Valley Kingston Development group, Hotel Kinsley welcomed visitors to the restaurant on Tuesday evening and had its first paying overnight guest on Friday.
“We’re okay with just opening up slowly,” Blaichman said Thursday, adding that he hopes to be busier soon. He said the restaurant is fully open, but the hotel has had more of a soft opening. Blaichman said online booking for the hotel will go live on Friday, June 28.
The hotel, in the former Chase Bank building at Wall and John streets, features 10 guest rooms on the upper floors and a restaurant and bar on the ground floor. The restaurant is currently open Tuesday through Saturday, with the kitchen serving guests from 5 to 10 p.m. and the bar remaining open later. The restaurant is expected soon to be open seven days a week and offer brunch.
Taavo Somer, a partner in the venture, said the restaurant can seat 50 people with nine more at the bar. A second-floor mezzanine would serve as a private dining area or additional seating, accommodating an additional 18 diners, he said.
The kitchen for the restaurant is exposed to the dining room, with the bar located behind it. The dining room itself features a lot of natural light and materials, with velvet sofas and a rug in the center to serve as both restaurant seating and a hotel lobby and lounge space. The bar features a lot of oak materials.
Somer said a mural in the restaurant was painted by illustrator Happy Menocal, who also provided illustrations for the hotel’s website. For the decor, he added, the developers worked with interior designer Robert McKinley.
The developers wanted a clean and simple look that was also warm, Somer said. He said the light was very important.
All the lighting in the restaurant has a pinkish color, so at night, the whole room has a rose-colored glow, according to Somer.
“So it’s very flattering,” he said. “It’s a pretty space.”
As for the food, it is somewhat rooted in European tradition but also pulls from dishes people are more familiar with and expect to find in a hotel, Somer said.
“The food is what we’re calling ‘seasonal new American,'” he said. Somer also said the menu includes hamburgers, roast chicken, pasta, and salads.
It currently features dishes like a lobster salad, Kilcoyne strip steak and a vegetable curry.
“But the idea is that it’s very accessible and inviting because we have to bridge the gap between … local customers as well as people that are visiting,” Somer said. “Which is kind of what’s exciting about the hotel/restaurant.”
Somer said the restaurant has about 25 staff members and will be adding to that number to make it possible to be open all week. The hotel has eight staff members, he added.
Guests to the hotel enter the building from John Street, while restaurant-goers can enter through the main entrance at 301 Wall St. There is also access to the restaurant from the hotel rooms to accommodate guests, though room service will not be offered.
The rooms cost $250 and up per night. The average entree in the restaurant costs $21-$22, while the average appetizer is $10-$11.
To check in at the hotel, guests enter the building at 55 John St., walk past the oak bar at the back of the restaurant and enter the old vault that remains from when the structure housed a bank. All overnight guests must check in at the John Street location, whether they are staying at Hotel Kinsley or one of the other three locations that are to be opened, or use a phone app that will allow self-check-in. The app will also serve as their room key.
Blaichman said work on the location at 41 Pearl St. is 50 to 60 percent complete, and he is hopeful it will open in September. Meanwhile, work is in the beginning stages at 270 Fair St., and work will not start until sometime in the fall at 24 John St., he said.
“Each building is going to have its own character,” Blaichman said.
In the Hotel Kinsley, the six rooms on the third floor of the building feature buttery yellow and orange hues in the decor, while the four rooms on the second floor are in blue and green. The bathrooms have marble features, while some of the rooms have seating areas, depending on their size. There is also a private sauna and massage area that guests can rent for treatments.
Somer said the name for the hotel came about after some research. He said “Kinsley” means kings meadow or kings field, as well as being a girl’s name. Somer said it just seemed appropriate for the space.
Blaichman, who owns a home in Woodstock, said he has been coming to the area for more than 30 years and has always enjoyed Kingston. He said its historical buildings are what spurred him to invest.
“I like restoration of historical buildings,” Blaichman said. “It’s something that’s always been an interest of mine.”
He said the time was also right to invest because he felt Kingston was on an upswing, with more people moving to the area and bringing in a new energy.
For more information about the hotel and restaurant, visit https://hotelkinsley.com.