News

New Ameswell Hotel opens in Mountain View following COVID delays, paying homage to city's history

The entrance of Ameswell Hotel in Mountain View on July 21, 2021. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Inside the Ameswell Hotel is a fusion of two eras. Modern-day amenities catering to millennials -- like heated saltwater pools, games of cornhole and restaurants staffed by robots -- sit alongside nearly century-old aeronautics equipment and grainy photos capturing Mountain View long before the city became a tech hub.

It's a careful balance that Ameswell is hoping to strike, giving more than just a nod to the city's rich history while appealing to a modern luxury style that attracts business travelers and staycationers alike. The hotel, which officially opened last week, is decorated from top to bottom with art and amenities harkening back to Moffett Field and NASA Ames, all the way down to the "A" logo in the shape of Hangar One.

Ameswell has been a long time coming, approved back in 2016 as part of the so-called Moffett Gateway project. The 255-room hotel on Moffett Boulevard neighbors Highway 101 and a newly developed office building, which was constructed alongside Ameswell and is being leased to Google.

It's the latest in a recent surge of hotel development in the city, and the first to open its doors since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Opening a hotel during such a tumultuous time was difficult, said Philip Maritz, managing director with the developer Broadreach Capital Partners.

"We had mandated construction stoppages, supply chain challenges and a variety of delays causing an approximate one-year opening delay, but here we are!" Maritz said.

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Everywhere you go in the hotel, there's a reference to Moffett Field or NASA. The fast-casual cafe next to the lobby is called the "Flyby" and is decorated with dirigibles, and the meeting and event spaces are all named after NASA missions like Voyager, Pioneer and Orion.

Next door is a library devoted to aeronautics and space flight, decorated with a test pilot's helmet, a piece of a jet fuselage and 1930s-era aircraft designs. An old promotional print of Moffett Field's 25th anniversary in 1958 touts aircrafts ranging from "lighter-than-air to faster-than-sound," referring to dirigibles and high-speed jets.

"Azimuth Series" by artist Ala Ebtekar is a cyanotype on canvas made using images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, in the lobby of the Ameswell Hotel in Mountain View on July 21, 2021. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

The goal is to always tie the art and features of the hotel to Mountain View and its history of technology, said Keith Battaglia, Ameswell's director of sales and marketing. But outside the aesthetics, it's still a sleek modern-day hotel, he said, with a 1-gigabit internet connection and perks that appeal to a younger crowd. Room service has been ditched in favor of a fast-casual dining experience, and there's an emphasis on outdoor activities with hula hoops and glow-in-the-dark bocce ball.

There's also a conscious effort to keep Ameswell from feeling like an exclusive development cut off from the community around it. Though the room rates are priced a little bit higher -- starting at $329 -- the downstairs food services are open to the public and priced around the same level as downtown Mountain View, Battaglia said. What's more, the hotel is working on the permits required to build a bike and pedestrian bridge between the hotel and Stevens Creek Trail, with a goal of attracting people from the community.

"This is not a stuffy, high-end hotel," he said. "This is an experience for the community."

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Mountain View has been on a mission since 2013 to convert the 10-acre property off Moffett Boulevard into a mixed-use hotel and office project, with a goal of using the property to generate cash. The city owns about 7 acres of the site, containing the five-story, 200,000-square-foot office building and six-story parking structure, while Broadreach purchased the land under the hotel from Caltrans.

A 200,000-square-foot office building that Google will occupy stands across the Ameswell Hotel lawn in Mountain View on July 21, 2021. The city owns the land the office is built on. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Though Ameswell is opening with the worst of the pandemic behind it, leaders in the hotel industry say a full recovery will take a long time. A report released Tuesday by the American Hotel and Lodging Association revealed that occupancy rates are at 55.9% this year, up from 44% in 2020 but well below the 66% occupancy rates prior to the pandemic. The report does not project a full rebound in 2022.

Across all 50 states, California saw the biggest loss in hotel jobs during COVID-19, with more than 75,000 fewer jobs this year than in 2019.

Mountain View's hotel tax revenue took a massive hit during the pandemic and only generated about $1.4 million during the 2020-21 fiscal year, less than one-fifth of what was projected before the pandemic hit, suggesting that local hotel occupancy and revenue generation sank even lower than the countrywide average.

Hangar One at Moffett Field is visible from the fourth floor of the Ameswell Hotel in Mountain View on July 21, 2021. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

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New Ameswell Hotel opens in Mountain View following COVID delays, paying homage to city's history

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Thu, Jul 22, 2021, 12:53 pm

Inside the Ameswell Hotel is a fusion of two eras. Modern-day amenities catering to millennials -- like heated saltwater pools, games of cornhole and restaurants staffed by robots -- sit alongside nearly century-old aeronautics equipment and grainy photos capturing Mountain View long before the city became a tech hub.

It's a careful balance that Ameswell is hoping to strike, giving more than just a nod to the city's rich history while appealing to a modern luxury style that attracts business travelers and staycationers alike. The hotel, which officially opened last week, is decorated from top to bottom with art and amenities harkening back to Moffett Field and NASA Ames, all the way down to the "A" logo in the shape of Hangar One.

Ameswell has been a long time coming, approved back in 2016 as part of the so-called Moffett Gateway project. The 255-room hotel on Moffett Boulevard neighbors Highway 101 and a newly developed office building, which was constructed alongside Ameswell and is being leased to Google.

It's the latest in a recent surge of hotel development in the city, and the first to open its doors since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Opening a hotel during such a tumultuous time was difficult, said Philip Maritz, managing director with the developer Broadreach Capital Partners.

"We had mandated construction stoppages, supply chain challenges and a variety of delays causing an approximate one-year opening delay, but here we are!" Maritz said.

Everywhere you go in the hotel, there's a reference to Moffett Field or NASA. The fast-casual cafe next to the lobby is called the "Flyby" and is decorated with dirigibles, and the meeting and event spaces are all named after NASA missions like Voyager, Pioneer and Orion.

Next door is a library devoted to aeronautics and space flight, decorated with a test pilot's helmet, a piece of a jet fuselage and 1930s-era aircraft designs. An old promotional print of Moffett Field's 25th anniversary in 1958 touts aircrafts ranging from "lighter-than-air to faster-than-sound," referring to dirigibles and high-speed jets.

The goal is to always tie the art and features of the hotel to Mountain View and its history of technology, said Keith Battaglia, Ameswell's director of sales and marketing. But outside the aesthetics, it's still a sleek modern-day hotel, he said, with a 1-gigabit internet connection and perks that appeal to a younger crowd. Room service has been ditched in favor of a fast-casual dining experience, and there's an emphasis on outdoor activities with hula hoops and glow-in-the-dark bocce ball.

There's also a conscious effort to keep Ameswell from feeling like an exclusive development cut off from the community around it. Though the room rates are priced a little bit higher -- starting at $329 -- the downstairs food services are open to the public and priced around the same level as downtown Mountain View, Battaglia said. What's more, the hotel is working on the permits required to build a bike and pedestrian bridge between the hotel and Stevens Creek Trail, with a goal of attracting people from the community.

"This is not a stuffy, high-end hotel," he said. "This is an experience for the community."

Mountain View has been on a mission since 2013 to convert the 10-acre property off Moffett Boulevard into a mixed-use hotel and office project, with a goal of using the property to generate cash. The city owns about 7 acres of the site, containing the five-story, 200,000-square-foot office building and six-story parking structure, while Broadreach purchased the land under the hotel from Caltrans.

Though Ameswell is opening with the worst of the pandemic behind it, leaders in the hotel industry say a full recovery will take a long time. A report released Tuesday by the American Hotel and Lodging Association revealed that occupancy rates are at 55.9% this year, up from 44% in 2020 but well below the 66% occupancy rates prior to the pandemic. The report does not project a full rebound in 2022.

Across all 50 states, California saw the biggest loss in hotel jobs during COVID-19, with more than 75,000 fewer jobs this year than in 2019.

Mountain View's hotel tax revenue took a massive hit during the pandemic and only generated about $1.4 million during the 2020-21 fiscal year, less than one-fifth of what was projected before the pandemic hit, suggesting that local hotel occupancy and revenue generation sank even lower than the countrywide average.

Comments

Free Speech
Registered user
Martens-Carmelita
on Jul 22, 2021 at 3:41 pm
Free Speech, Martens-Carmelita
Registered user
on Jul 22, 2021 at 3:41 pm

How "exclusive" can this hotel hope to be? Despite room rates at $329 plus, it's right on Highway 101. Call me old fashioned but I'd rather see trees than tarmac from my hotel room window.


PeaceLove
Registered user
Shoreline West
on Jul 22, 2021 at 3:48 pm
PeaceLove, Shoreline West
Registered user
on Jul 22, 2021 at 3:48 pm

"Room rates starting at $329" seems pretty high-end to me.


iBob53
Registered user
another community
on Jul 22, 2021 at 4:27 pm
iBob53, another community
Registered user
on Jul 22, 2021 at 4:27 pm

What a nice amenity and resource to the local community. Very fitting for Silicon Valley. With Ames, USGS, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Carnegie University and the local military units located nearby and at Moffett Field, not to mention all of the out of town business travelers, this new hotel will be booked in no time. I predict that there will be a waiting list before we know it. I’m a retired NASA Ames federal employee with 21 years of service and I can tell you that there was always a shortage of hotel accommodations over the years. Between conferences and business meetings, this hotel is going to stay busy year round. Congratulations Ameswell Hotel!


Bernie Brightman
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2021 at 9:33 am
Bernie Brightman, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Jul 23, 2021 at 9:33 am

Why do so many articles in this "paper" read like ads? Every new hotel or restaurant that opens gets an article?


ivg
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2021 at 7:15 am
ivg, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Jul 25, 2021 at 7:15 am

Before COVID, colleagues visiting my office by SJC airport had a hard time getting a room for under $400. We have a guy who lives in Oregon, who would joke that when he visited, it would be cheaper for the company to fly him home every night than put him up in a hotel.

Welcome to Silicon Valley, folks. $329 is not that much.


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