The Best Western Premier Hotel in Southfield, the first of its kind in Michigan, is now open after completing its first phase of construction, which included a $12-million renovation of a 16-story circular tower that was originally a Holiday Inn when it opened in the 1980s. The property was acquired in 2015 by New Zealand-based Kiwi Hospitality Detroit.
The hotel offers 206 rooms, the Nomad Grill operated by Detroit-based, The Epicurean Group, a business center, a fitness center, 20,000 square feet of conference and meeting space, a spa and sauna, and free parking and wireless internet services. The hotel is located at 26555 Telegraph Rd., just south of I-696.
“We have three large ballrooms, and the largest, the Grand Ballroom, can accommodate a seated dinner for up to 450 people or up to 1,000 people for a cocktail reception and strolling meal,” says J.C. Chaturvedi, managing principal of Kiwi Hospitality Detroit. “We also have a roll up door in the Grand Ballroom so that vehicles can be brought in and put on display, plus a mezzanine and separate green rooms for weddings. The space is wide open with no support columns blocking your view.”
The top floor of the hotel offers eight penthouse suites, while the 15th floor has executive suites and standard suites. All of the rooms, which have been completely renovated with new furniture, fixtures, and furnishings, offer a unique multi-media connectivity panel that accommodates HDMI, VGA, Audio/Video, S-Video, USB port, RJ45 port, and AC power sockets.
The Nomad Grill, which is now open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, offers an 80-seat main dining room, a 20-seat bar, and two, 40-person private rooms. The bar top contains wood blocks sourced from the Packard Plant in Detroit, while reclaimed metal panels line the bar front and pipes serve as the bar stool.
“We hired a local designer, and we sourced most everything in the Nomad Grill from Michigan,” says Eric Djordjevic, president of The Epicurean Group. “One of the design highlights is the original wood floor from the Packard Plant, which the late Check Muer had sourced years ago for Charley’s Crab. We also operate our own bakery and pastry shop, and we have a chef’s table in the kitchen that can accommodate up to eight people.”
The menu includes many locally sourced ingredients, including Faygo Root Beer Braised Short Ribs, Jambalaya Risotto, Wagyu Meatloaf, Sautéed Perch, Veal Porterhouse Oscar Style, Grilled Lamb Chops, and Pan Roasted Chicken Breast. Entrée prices range from $15 for a 10-ounce dry aged burger with hand cut fries to $50 for a 14-ounce, 21-day aged New York Strip.
There’s also four salad selections, lobster corn dogs, hand chopped steak tartare, marinated shrimp, and French onion soup.
Desserts include Detroit Float Flight made with Faygo Root Beer, Vernors Panna Cotta, Mason Jar Cobbler, and Blackberry Thai Basil Soufflé. A happy hour menu also is available. An extensive wine list includes selections from Michigan, California, Oregon, Washington, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Australia, and South America, among others.
The next phase of construction includes the renovation of an adjoining building at the west end of the 7.3-acre site into a 54-suite Best Western Executive Residency, which is scheduled to open by the end of the year. It will be followed by the construction of a five-story, 100-room La Quinta Inns and Suites, which is scheduled to open in 2019.
Kiwi Hospitality and its associates operate hotel properties in Denver, Cincinnati, Houston, Chicago, and Florence Ky. It also receives operational and development consulting services from New Zealand-based VR Group, which owns, operates, or manages hotel and resort properties in New Zealand and Australia.
“We’ve already booked three weddings, hosted Southfield’s State of the City Address, and we have several business functions coming,” Chaturvedi says. “We will ramp up our marketing program shortly, as we wanted to get our staff experienced with the property. But people have been finding us, especially when all the hotels are booked downtown.”