Wednesday, 27 April 2011

5 Days To Go

April 27, 2011

It was the late 1990’s and boutique hotels, although well known in Europe had yet to take off in North America.  It was at this point that a group of local business men approached Bill Mahoney with the concept of turning the Murray Premises into just such a thing.  The building was being operated at that time as commercial office and retail space – but this spectacular building was destined for more.  It had it all – wide corridors, a slanted roof and that elusive “feel” that converts a regular hotel into something special.

The concept intrigued Mr. Mahoney and before long architects, designers and engineers were showing up for consultations. 

From the start, it was agreed that this would not be an easy conversion.  The walls were not level or all!  Timber beams and slanted ceilings, although beautiful make for numerous challenges.  Plumbing, electrical and communications took on a “creative” feel some days.  Through it all though, everyone was agreed that the integrity of this building would be preserved. 

As Mr. Mahoney as said, “Installing the central air conditioning, new plumbing, electrical services and communications systems while retaining and profiling the historic character of the building proved to be a major challenge for the architects, engineers and contractors.  It was a challenge they faced successfully and the finished product was something everyone was very pleased with and proud of.” 

Not one to rest though, Mr. Mahoney, was soon back at it again.  In 2005 – Phase II.  19 Rooms on the 2nd floor.  And then.....our last phase in 2010.  Phase III.  20 Rooms in our Beck’s Cove Wing. 

And now, here we are.  Less than a week away from 10 Years!  10 fun, exciting, challenging and rewarding years.  The sky’s the limit!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

April 20 - 10 Days and counting

Thought you might like to hear from David Nixon - he's been here since the very beginning of the building......

28 + Success = 67

Whoa, Whoa!!  The BUILDING is over 160 years old.  I have been with the HOTEL since it opened.  I may not look my age but I like to think that I do not look that old!

On May 2, 2011 the Murray Premises Hotel celebrates 10 years of operation.  I am proud to say that I have been here since the beginning in 2001.  We opened the Hotel with only 28 rooms located on the 3rd and 4th floor of the Murray Premises but now have 67 rooms plus a meeting room (Briton Room) and a breakfast lounge (Calypso Room).   These changes did not occur all at once.

For the first few years a lot of people did not know we even existed.  We received awards and recognition for our achievements, but many people still did not know anything about the hotel.  Slowly we built up our reputation as being a premiere hotel with exceptional service and started to make a name for ourselves.  We had, and still do have, a unique property.  Every room is different, no two rooms are alike.  Bathtub massage tubs, electric fireplaces, towel warmers, exposed beam ceilings are just a few things that make our rooms stand out as different from the average hotel room.  Having a hotel located in a building that is over 160 years old certainly adds to the charm.  The building almost speaks to people as they enter, trying to show off some of its history and stories of previous tenants.

Have you ever wanted to return to a house or former work place that you used to live in just to see what was different?  Well, we had a number of people that used to have offices in the building return to see what became of their old office.  They specifically wanted to stay in the room that used to be their old office.  Falling asleep in your office just took on a whole new meaning.  There are many stories to tell but I will leave them for another day.

Until next time,

David Nixon - Front Office Manager
Here to stay!!!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Remembering when......

April 13 - 17 Days and counting!

At one point, Murray Premises was simply a collection of warehouses.  Time and necessity gave it direction as slowly but surely its purpose changed.  It was in 1970 that the true destiny began to take shape, when the renovations began to convert the building to what we know it as today – a collection of shops, restaurants and yes, a hotel.  That’s where we come in.  Our story began almost 10 years ago when we began what we know of as Phase 1 - The conversion of the 3rd and 4th floors of the property into 28 guest rooms. Imagine the challenge of taking a building that was at that time, 155 years old, keeping the beams, keeping the “feel” and keeping the history.  Which also means keeping the corners that aren’t square, the floors that aren’t level and the walls that aren’t straight – no matter how hard you try!  Dressers had to be levelled to stop them from sliding open all by themselves.  Bed-frames had to be propped up – sometimes in a few places because I’m sure you can imagine how uncomfortable it would be to have the right corner of your bed 3” lower than the left corner!  “Custom-built” took on a whole new meaning at Murray Premises Hotel!  When you look at the “before and after” photos, it really gives you a feel for the project.  Next week.....Phase II.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Let the Excitement Build!

April 6, 2011
Although it seems hard to believe, Murray Premises Hotel is coming up on its 10th Anniversary in May.  From the beginning, we all knew that this was going to be something special.  Taking the building such as it was and converting it into a hotel is difficult enough.  Add to that our commitment to keep the history and feel and it’s certainly been a daunting task.  But, 10 years later, here we are and we’ve done it.  Over the next few weeks we’ll try to take you through the last 10 years.  Where we started, the different phases and all of the changes that happened.  It’s been exciting and challenging and most especially – rewarding.  We hope that you’ll follow along as we approach the big day.  We have pictures to share and staff members who have seen it all.  We really hope that if you have a comment you’ll post it.  We want to hear from you.  Do you remember any changes or memories that have stood out?  Stay tuned and we’ll keep you posted on how we plan to celebrate – Murray Premises Style.  It’s going to be a great experience as we come up to the big day!
For even more information you can follow us on Twitter @MurrayPremises and check our Facebook Page.  We'll be posting details there as well.