Some of you may know that I am in an office hallway with the team from The Horton Hotel & Rooftop Lounge. As an entrepreneur myself, I am encouraged to see this child be born, get some legs underneath it, and see it start running. Since I am somewhat of an independent third party to the actual team, I want to share with you all my visions and hopes for The Horton Hotel & Rooftop Lounge.
Downtown Boone, with its rich tradition of boutique shops, savory restaurants, and prominent establishments, is excited to welcome a new friend to the mix. The revival of the lodging experience in Downtown Boone, and boy do we ever need it. Downtown Boone is in need of this economic development catalyst. A prime example of taking a historic building and investing in it, as well as the environment to which it is a part of. For a moment, imagine closing your eyes, taking a deep breath, and walking with me through this new experience.
611 West King Street, the old Artwalk building, located strategically on West King Street, mid-block between busy Depot Street and Appalachian Street. The building was originally constructed in the 1920’s and to keep with that period it is now decorated in an Art Deco theme, however, doesn’t overdo it. From the moment you walk in the front doors, you feel a sense of comfort, a welcome, a knowledge that there is both fun and relaxation to be had. Rich plum colors are combined with natural earthy overtones of wood slabs and metallic designs. A front desk staff member provides you with impeccable customer service while further reiterating that you are home, a new home in which no detail is too small. Attention to the guest is personal but not overbearing. After checking in, the guest walks through to the main level parlor area, prior to taking the elevator to a number of rooms, fifteen to be exact. The main level parlor area is well-appointed with copper bar tops, comfortable seating areas, presenting itself for a number of activities. In the late afternoon, one can enjoy a drink at the parlor area along with small plate features. In the morning, guests are presented with local treats and fresh fruits. To rise to the day, a guest can have fresh Bald Guy Brew coffee, a nod to the local connection that the hotel strives to make.
While there are a wide variety of rooms, my favorite to date and that to which I would elect to stay, is one of the third-floor suites. These two suites may just have everything that a guest is looking for. The only space where the view is only second to the rooftop lounge. One is immersed in the hustle and bustle of Downtown Boone. With views of Mast General Store and the Jones House, you know exactly what everything you want or need is only a few steps away. This suite, by the way, is beautiful. A well-appointed space that echoes cozy, not extravagant luxury. A comfortable bed with clean linens, a bathroom with ornate tile work, a headboard that is unique and hand-crafted. I even heard that one of these suites is going to have a claw foot soaking tub. Rooms, after all, are only a place to rest, for being in the center of activity is the desire of a guest of The Horton. Walking to campus, choosing your favorite downtown eatery, finding the perfect outfit or accessory, shopping for yourself, this is the mindset of a guest.
The best feature, thus last in my overview, is the Rooftop Lounge. This is not a bar, but a place to start your evening, a place where one might meet their old college buddies or a parent might spend time with their college student. The views are incredible. The cool breeze reminds you that you are home, back in a place that you love. Views of campus, downtown and Howards Knob surround you. There are places to sit and relax. Your bartender offers you a signature cocktail or an old favorite. Small plates are available to curb afternoon cravings but won’t ruin a reservation at another establishment. Food is simple, tasty and light, a surprising twist on what you might think of when one says ‘small plate’.
You leave your stay at The Horton Hotel & Rooftop Lounge with gusto and excitement. One might say, “I wish this was here sooner”. Well, it is here now, in front of you, still a child but one that will grow up to be a wonderful and giving adult. A staple to our beloved Downtown Boone with an experience that will certainly exceed expectations. The Horton Hotel & Rooftop Lounge is a place that has an urban feel without the big city presentation. A favorite saying that I hear often is from Denise Lovin, one of the owners, “meet me at the Horton”, I, for one, am looking forward to that day.