AC Hotels by Marriott has opened the doors to its newest hotel in downtown Bethesda, Maryland, bringing the brand’s experience to an urban center near the nation’s capital. AC Hotel Bethesda Downtown has a design that strikes a balance of form and function.
OTO Development, part of The Johnson Group, developed and will manage the new hotel, which is adjacent to and shares amenities with Avocet Tower, an office building developed by Stonebridge.
“Like many travelers, we appreciate everything about the AC Hotels by Marriott brand, having opened properties in top destinations,” says David Ward, COO of OTO Development. “It’s a delight to provide the AC signature guest experience imbued with a particular sophistication and practical comforts.”
With the completion of the Bethesda project, OTO has opened six AC Hotels—in South San Francisco, California; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Spartanburg, South Carolina; Times Square, New York; and Washington, D.C.—with two more currently under development in Naples and Jacksonville, Florida.
The 18-story AC Hotel Bethesda Downtown comprises 220 guestrooms and more than 11,000 square feet of shared space complete with a restaurant. Other amenities include 3,500 square feet of top-floor meeting space with an outdoor terrace overlooking Silver Spring, Maryland; Tysons Corner and Arlington, Virginia; and downtown Washington, D.C., as well as a 5,000-square-foot fitness center with weights, cardio equipment, a yoga studio, and a spin room.
“AC Bethesda is filled throughout with the details that matter most to discerning travelers,” says General Manager Chris Raines, who heads up a leadership team that also includes Maria Bardos, CGMP, director of sales, and Jim Barnett, director of food and beverage. “From commissioned artwork to top-tier amenities to intuitive technology, even high-end toiletries, our hotel is designed to provide guests with everything they want—and nothing they don’t—in a well-designed, thoroughly considered space.”
The hotel’s art portfolio is highlighted, figuratively and literally, by two installations by German artist Anke Neumann of LichtPapier, who illuminates the hotel’s shared space with abstract, organic compositions created out of fiber optic lights and handmade paper. “The Fizz” comprises dozens of cloudlike forms scattered across the restaurant ceiling, where they comingle into a sense of movement and chaotic harmony. Meanwhile, “The Fizz Tree” branches out within a wall niche at the front desk.
Michael Sirvet leads the local coterie of commissioned artists with “Aeolian,” an ebony-stained wood sculpture he describes as mechanical in both the thought and the creative process. Other D.C. artists featured include Lori Katz, Madeline Stratton, Nicole Salimbene, and Kerry Hays.
AC Hotel Bethesda Downtown has crafted a food and beverage program. Corella Café & Lounge is named after the hometown of Antonio Catalán, the founder of AC Hotels. The venue is designed to flex throughout the day while serving morning coffee to late-night bites and cocktails. Seating is available inside, at the bar, and out on a street-level patio.
AC Hotel Bethesda Downtown is located at the intersection of Montgomery and Wisconsin Avenues, just a few blocks from Marriott International’s new global headquarters, and only seven miles from downtown D.C. The hotel is a short walk from the Red Line Metro Station and a three-minute bike ride to the Capital Crescent Trail; it is also located near the National Institute of Health and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Project partners include Cooper Carry, architect/interior design; Balfour Beatty, base building contractor; and Coakley & Williams Construction, general contractor. The artwork was sourced from Kalisher and Material Driven.