Downtown Holland is not exactly a hub of modern architecture and design. Most of Holland’s cityscape consists of traditional older brick buildings, but the bold, modern design of CityFlats Hotel is not.
The glass and steel walls of CityFlats, which also contain the hip urban CitySen bar and the high-rise restaurant, CityVu Bistro, tower over the rest of Holland’s skyline. The hotel’s height and design stick out, but in a good way. It’s this uniqueness that draws so many visitors and diners to CityFlats.
The rooms at CityFlats are stunning, luxurious and unique. According to Marketing Director Sarah Lilly, “we had a staff of 14 designers, and each designer took a stack of guestrooms to design.” There are 56 rooms in all, and no one is like another. The layout, paint, furniture, lighting and materials all vary, though every room maintains a modern European style.
The hotel is only a small part of CityFlats. It’s all of the other parts that make this place truly awesome. The CitySen bar is right in the lobby. The tall bar chairs and tables, along with some couch and armchair seating creates a classy lounge feel, and their beer, wine and liquor selection is top notch. Every Thursday night beginning at 7PM a sushi cart is set up across from the bar, and some of the best sushi around is rolled and served to hungry customers.
If that’s not enough to get you excited about CityFlats, there’s also a fantastic rooftop restaurant, the CityVu Bistro. CityVu is located at the top of the hotel and offers just what its name implies: spectacular views. All of downtown Holland and nearby Lake Macatawa are visible through nearly 360 degrees of glass. There’s also an outdoor patio for the summer months. CityVu’s menu offers mostly gourmet flatbreads, a pizza-esque dish with toppings like “Carolina” pulled pork, green onions, cole slaw, pine nuts and pesto. The flatbread itself “is actually made from flour that is ground in Windmill Island, which is the last wind powered working windmill in the U.S.” Every day from 11:30 to 1:30 they offer a “Flat Free Lunch,” all you can eat soup, salad and flatbread for $7.99. If you do visit CityVu, you have to also try the carrot cake with a side of cream cheese frosting. It’s buttery perfection.
Why did CityFlats choose downtown Holland over a more urban area, like nearby Grand Rapids? “We were attracted to downtown Holland not only because it is a thriving downtown…but we also felt that Holland had an opportunity for a boutique hotel for both leisure and corporate travel,” explains Lilly.
It also made green sense, something CityFlats “considered all throughout the designing and building process,” according to Lilly. The hotel was designed and built in 2008 by Charter House Innovations (CHI). CHI is located just down the road from CityFlats, making it easy for local designers to collaborate and for all of the hotel’s sleek furniture, which was also designed and built by Chi, to be transported to the hotel.
For many businesses, going “green” is nothing more than a marketing tool. This is not the case for CityFlats, and they’ve got the numbers and the certification to prove it. During the
construction of the hotel, 38% of the materials were obtained locally, 81% of the construction waste was recycled, and 58% of the wood was extracted from sustainably managed forests. By installing low-flush toilets in every room, fluorescent light bulbs and other green technologies, CityFlats uses 30% less water and 26% less energy than hotels of a similar size. All of this adds up to a LEED (Leadership in Enviornmental Energy and Design) Gold certification, making CityFlats the first gold certified hotel in the Midwest and the second in the world! ~Mike Guisinger, Regional Director
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