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Already Acclaimed

New Ashland hotel scores raves since opening

At 10 a.m. the aroma of coffee wafts across the lobby of Ashland’s new hotel or, as it is officially called, Delta Hotels by Marriott-Ashland Downtown.

The fragrance is from Starbucks, open from 6-10 a.m. and 3-5 p.m. across from the front desk. As a bellman pushes a rack of clothes to a car sitting outside, he calls out to a guest sitting on a club sofa upholstered in gray and brown.

“How are you doing, Sir,” he says. “Glad to see you. Thank  you so much for staying with us.”

The guest nods and goes back to his newspaper that is illuminated by drop globe lights hanging overhead.

On the wall to his left is a flat screen TV, broadcasting CNN’s coverage of the New York City ticker tape parade for the U.S. women’s soccer team.

As the bellman pushes the now empty clothing rack back into the lobby, he tells his colleague at the front desk, “He said he enjoyed his stay. The shower was hot and the television worked.”

This is the latest renovation of the Ashland lodging, originally built in the 1980s and having undergone various updates, none lasting.

So far, the Delta has scored raves from Ashland that are hoping the hotel is a keeper.

The 10-floor building on the corner of Winchester Avenue and 15th Street offers 152 rooms, four with balconies, 4,000 square feet of office space, a fitness center, two bars and a restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The bars and The Winchester, the dining room, are open to the community as well as hotel guests.

Each guest room has a single-serve Keurig coffeemaker. Each floor offers a hydration station with ice and water.

Guests registered with the elite designation have access to the pantry, where there are yogurts, sweet rolls, muffins and fruits throughout the day.

The first floor Guitar Bar takes as its motif that musical instrument.

“There is so much to look at,” Cara Hedrick, director of sales, said. “So many interesting aspects of design.”

The second floor Bourbon Bar offers a variety of Kentucky’s signature drink from the Buffalo Trace Distillery, including 23-year-old Pappy Van Winkle.

Across from The Winchester is the Twin Bridges ballroom that can be sectioned off into three rooms or a single large one.

“Yesterday, we had a luncheon for 50 people,” Hedrick said.

To reserve the ballroom, the hotel asks for a three-month window.

“But if you have a luncheon that you need next week, if we have the availability and the restaurant has the availability, we can do it,” Hedrick said.

The Winchester’s specialties are steak and seafood. Steaks are cooked via the sous-vide method.

“This is a very neat process where  you put the meat in a cryovack and let the meat retain the juices,” Chris Mackey, manager and partner, said.

The breakfast menu features three-egg omelettes from Western with green peppers, ham, onion and pepper jack cheese to Veggie with onion, mushrooms and pepper jack.

Eggs Benedict ranges from traditional to lox and bagels to Crab Bene with crab cakes, spinach and tomatoes topped with creamy crab meat sauce.

Lunch and dinner menus always feature the “bottomless salad,” with The Winchester salad dressing, a spicy Ranch with Parmesan.

Soups are she-crab, creamy spinach and steak and ale.

“We’re not fine dining,” Mackey said. “This is where any person can take a meal and not spend a fortune. This is nice and you can afford it.”