An extensive, multimillion-dollar makeover has given The Ballantyne a fresh look going into its 18th year of operation.
Owner Northwood Hospitality recently wrapped a six-month project at that Marriott-branded hotel, which revamped guest rooms, its meeting spaces, lobby and spa.
The goal was to create a sense of being, place and purpose with its contemporary luxury feel, says Raj Radke, general manager.
“We’re trying to become that platform where people come together,” he adds.
That starts in the lobby, where guests are greeted with a more neutral color palette — think grays, whites and golds — and minimalistic decor.
“I believe what greets them sets the tone,” Radke says.
The project also added a new lobby bar, called Ryal.
Upgrades revamped The Ballantyne’s 199 guest rooms and nine suites. The design looks to capture a more residential feel, melding antiques with new pieces and the same soothing color scheme.
Approximately 20,000 square feet of indoor event space was refreshed, with the South Lawn being renamed The Rose Garden to reflect its setting.
Updates stretched to The Lodge at Ballantyne, which offers a private group retreat with 35 rooms.
The property also boasts the Cottage, which has attracted high-profile visitors including former presidents and sports figures. It was not renovated as part of this project.
This is the first extensive renovation since the facility opened, says Christina Thigpen, vice president, marketing and communications for Northwood.
“We always want to have an enhanced product for our guests,” she adds.
The Ballantyne was part of Northwood Investors’ $1 billion-plus, 41-piece acquisition that encompasses most of Ballantyne Corporate Park.
The record-setting real estate sale closed back in March 2017. At that time, CBJ reported the Ballantyne hotel traded for $60 million.
The project incorporates numerous touches to pay tribute to Tar Heel State history as well as that of the Ballantyne community, Radke says.
For example, the lobby chandelier offers a take on North Carolina’s place as first in flight, with its overlapping rings mimicking airplane wings. Carpet in the hallways represents a Scottish tartan.
Two bronze Dalmatian statues pay tribute to the pets who roamed the original hunting land that was developed to create Ballantyne.
Gold fabric on the walls and hand-painted gold accents in the lobby hint at the state’s history of being the first where gold was found.
The Great Room gives a nod to the Carolina Emperor, the largest-cut emerald ever found in North America, which was uncovered in North Carolina. The space incorporated pops of green with a geometric rug and emerald furniture.