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The Desmond Hotel Reopens as Crowne Plaza Albany After Major Renovation

The 47-year-old hotel, just a short ride from Albany International Airport, has gotten design updates and COVID-safe flourishes.

One of Albany’s best-known names in hospitality just got a major facelift—and a new name. The Desmond Hotel, now known as the Crowne Plaza Albany, has reopened following a full renovation.

The family-owned and -operated hotel, which has sat just minutes from Albany International Airport since 1974, has undergone a complete transformation. Design updates have been made to its 323 room and suite options, with spiral staircase duplexes, suites with private entrances and patios and ADA accessible rooms. The property now houses Crowne Plaza Workspace, the hospitality brand’s design-forward flexible work and meeting spaces, as well as nearly 25,000 square feet of meeting and ballroom space that has been adapted to fit the needs of a post-COVID world. The hotel’s pair of iconic indoor courtyards have also been fully renovated, featuring 30-foot and 36-foot-high ceilings with large atrium skylights, a koi pond with fountains and guest room balconies that overlook year-round, park-like landscaping. The hotel’s indoor heated pool has been modernized, and the 24-hour fitness center was completely redesigned and expanded to triple its previous size. Also with the “new normal” in mind, the hotel has invested in a state-of-the-art Aerus air filtration and purification system.

A peek inside the newly renovated Desmond.

Though the hotel technically has a new name, much of its architecture designed by original owner, John K. Desmond, Jr., remains intact to his original vision. Nods to Desmond’s affinity for aviation and the Capital Region can be found woven throughout the property’s new bright and open spaces. “The transformation of Crowne Plaza Albany–The Desmond Hotel demonstrates how a property with a rich history can modernize for the future of travel while maintaining its essence,” says Ginger Taggart, vice president, premium brands, global Crowne Plaza and voco Hotels. “This is an incredible example of how we are continuing to evolve to meet the needs of today’s modern traveler by creating a perfect balance of business and leisure spaces to connect, including flexible workspaces, a unique lobby area and rejuvenating, relaxing spaces throughout the property. When people are ready to travel safely, for work or leisure, The Desmond Hotel is a prime destination in the New York Capital Region.”

The hotel’s award-winning restaurant, Mr. D’s Restaurant & Lounge, will now feature a new menu, including staples such as the Pancetta Wrapped Shrimp and the famous off-menu  Desmond Bread Pudding. New dish standouts include The Drunken Clams with garlic ale house butter and the Grilled Grouper with tequila lime butter and parmesan cheddar polenta. The updated restaurant design features a fireplace, marble-top bar with built-in wireless phone chargers and several unique seating sections, including an outdoor patio.

The property will continue to be independently owned, and is managed by the third generation of the Desmond family.

Will Levith
Will Levith is the editorial director of Capital Region Living and Saratoga Living.

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