By Carol Kim | Vaask
Visitors to the village of Versailles, Ohio, are often impressed by the distinguished history of the small town, which dates back to the early 1800s. This includes the stories behind Hotel Versailles, located in the town’s epicenter on a site that has held a hotel for more than 150 years.
So when a fire in 2019 forced closure of the hotel, then known as the Inn at Versailles, owner Midmark knew rebuilding was important for both historical and sentimental reasons.
“It’s been the site of so many weddings, baby showers and retirement parties, many people have emotional ties to the location,” said interior designer Kimberly Orr, whose design firm Sketch Blue worked on the project, along with architectural firm DK Architects.
Hotel Versailles managing director Jack Olshan wanted the new hotel to use architectural elements that retained the building’s character and authenticity. At the same time, he wanted to modernize the hotel and offer amenities and design features that today’s guests would enjoy.
A modern take on a historical building
The result is a 30-room hotel featuring French influences interwoven with industrial accents and nods to the village’s past, all with a more modern flair. Details such as the high, arched, metal-framed windows adorning the hotel mimic the architecture of the Palace of Versailles with a contemporary twist. Furniture designed with simple, clean lines is combined with rich, plush upholstery that hints at historical European accents.
“The design incorporates the grandeur and artistry of the past, while also connecting each guest with an authentic experience rooted in small-town, Midwestern values,” Orr said.
Olshan noted how they made a special effort to incorporate local companies, vendors and artisans throughout the hotel, further reinforcing the connection to the surrounding area.
The hotel’s restaurant, Silas, takes its name from Silas Atchison, who founded the town of Versailles in 1819. Silas offers dishes with locally sourced ingredients, such as blue crab salad and curry smoked BBQ carrots. It serves cocktails, including a Golden Eagle Old Fashioned and Esther’s Scotch Bonnet, that harken back to the town’s heritage, with a present-day twist.
The restaurant even features a locally crafted table in its private dining room. (By the way, fittingly, Atchison was among the first innkeepers in the area.)
Other examples of local sourcing throughout the hotel include the custom doors and metal bar shelves, wood cabinetry in the guest rooms, centerpiece window banquet chandelier and artwork.
Even the snack and beverage bar found in every room is stocked with locally sourced products.
Perfect for the space
Along with the updated décor elements, the hotel features modern technology to provide guests with comfort and convenience. Each room has an iPad compendium with fitness classes and access to more than 100 news publications.
The hotel also installed permanent hand sanitizing dispensers that combine stylish design and exceptional functionality.
When Olshan saw Vaask’s hand sanitizing fixtures at the 2021 HD Expo hospitality trade show, he knew it was exactly what the hotel needed: sophisticated and low-maintenance.
“Sustainability was important, and so were upkeep and aesthetics,” Olshan said. “Vaask is the only hand sanitizer company that’s done something this beautiful. It looks like we designed around them.”
In placing the fixtures, Olshan’s team worked with Vaask experts to consider high-traffic areas, including the restrooms and restaurant.
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Photos by Catie Viox; courtesy of Hotel Versailles