If all goes as planned, Statesboro will see the opening of its newest hotel, the SpringHill Suites, on Sept. 19. Located on the southwest corner of the Veterans Memorial Parkway and Highway 67 South, the SpringHill Suites will be the largest hotel in Statesboro with 113 rooms.
The SpringHill Suites Statesboro university area will operate as a Marriott franchise, owned and managed by Southern Hospitality Group, LLC of Springfield, Georgia. Spokesman for the group Wendel Wilson said there is one thing about the Statesboro property that is unique to the SpingHill Suites chain of hotels.
"We will have several of our suites equipped with California king mattresses," Wilson said. "These are longer than standard mattresses and are perfect for taller individuals. No other Marriott property has these."
Wilson said he decided to put them in when he heard how difficult it is for some athletes to get a good night's sleep when they travel.
"Statesboro is a university town with many sports teams," he said. "It hosts a lot of athletic events and tournaments. We wanted athletes to have a place to stay with mattresses that were long enough for them."
Other innovations include fire pits for gatherings both out front and adjacent to the swimming pool. In addition, the décor chosen for the 66,000 square foot hotel is contemporary.
"Young people do a lot of traveling these days, and they like a contemporary feel with state-of-the art conveniences and technology," he said. "From flat screen televisions that swivel to internet and specialty reading lamps on both sides of the bed, it is the way you have to equip a hotel today."
Adjacent to the hotel is the 8,000 square feet Southern Hospitality Conference Center. SpringHill general manager Kris Hamilton and assistant manger Jennifer Nunn are responsible for the operations of the conference center and booking events and groups there.
"This is going to be a great facility for Statesboro," Hamilton said. "It is designed to host groups from as few as 15 people to as many as 400. It has facilities for caterers to use. The groups can hire and contract their own catering for events. We do not have a full service kitchen at either the hotel or the conference center, so groups can do their own thing and hire who they want. It gives them a lot of flexibility."
Hamilton said the conference center will be available around the first of October, just a couple of weeks after the hotel itself has opened.
Nunn graduated from Georgia Southern with a B.S. in hotel and restaurant management. She is very excited about bringing in Georgia Southern students to work in the hotel.
"We want to give students in the hospitality program experience in their field," Nunn said. "We want them to have a real life look at the hotel business from the front desk to house cleaning. It is an added bonus to be so close to the university."
Launched in November 1998, the brand currently has over 200 locations in the United States and Canada. Guest suites in SpringHill Suites hotels are up to 25 percent larger than traditional hotel rooms and feature separate areas for sleeping, working/eating and relaxing.
“We’re delighted that the SpringHill Suites Statesboro university area is the latest addition to our growing number of properties across the United States," said Tim Sheldon, senior vice president, brand management, Marriott International. “This is a hotel for business and leisure travelers who want affordable lodging with the freedom of spacious accommodations and the comforts of home-like amenities, such as mini-refrigerators and microwave ovens.”
The hotel will offer complimentary Suite Seasons BreakfastSM buffet, business services, same-day dry cleaning, guest laundry facilities, valet service, an outdoor swimming pool, exercise room and express checkout.
Wilson is a graduate of Georgia Southern and is a member of the executive committee of the Georgia Southern Boosters board.
"Marriott is the elite of all motel properties, and their standards are very high," Wilson said. "My partners and I are very happy to build a facility with those standards in Statesboro. With strong ties to Statesboro and Georgia Southern, I am excited and look forward to serving the needs of this community."
To learn more about the SpringHill Suites brand, go to www.springhillsuites.com.