Robert Symonds, operations manager of the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Albany, stands in the section of the lobby that in January will become a Starbucks coffee shop. Symonds said the hotel is also undergoing a number of other improvements.
ALBANY -- For all those folks near downtown who need their special caffeine fix, it's coming -- a Starbucks coffee shop at the Hilton Garden Inn.
"You'd be surprised how many of our guests come down and ask if we have a Starbucks," said Robert Symonds, operations manager of the hotel.
There will be no enlargement of the existing facility. According to Symonds, the lobby's south side, now filled with sofas and chairs, will accommodate a 250-square-foot Starbucks. Work on the new coffee shop is scheduled to begin in 30-45 days. Symonds said the majority of the work will done during the "slower" upcoming holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas, with an expected completion time of early 2013.
"The architect for the hotel upgrades will David Maschke," Symonds said, "with as much of the work as possible done by local people."
In addition to the Starbucks, Symonds said the lobby and bar will be almost entirely redone, including new carpet and chandeliers. The fitness room will also receive a facelift, with all-new equipment, wall coverings and TVs.
One of the greatest single upgrades, Symonds said, will be the high-speed Internet for guests. According to Symonds, when the $30,000 upgrade is completed, there will be 40 Internet "hot spots," or eight for each floor. Currently there are only eight hot spots for the entire hotel.