Watermark hotel opens in downtown BR
BATON ROUGE – The Watermark Hotel, once a national bank, officially opened on Wednesday in downtown Baton Rouge.
With the opening of the boutique hotel, downtown will have more than 1,000 rooms for guests to stay in. However, in the early 2000's that was not the case.
"Back then after 5 o' clock, downtown was quiet. You could hear crickets chirp," Mike Wampold, the owner of The Watermark Hotel, said.
Wampold said that guests will have the chance to get a glimpse of history during their stay.
"They're going to walk into a room, and they are going to go, wow," Wampold said. "If you are a dining guest, you are going to be able to see history. 90 year old history in this room. You are going to see artwork you wouldn't be able to see otherwise," he said.
The hotel adds unique charm to the original design with mail shoots to deliver letters, historic photos and 12-foot ceilings.
The building used to be a national bank in the 1900's. With the restoration of it becoming a hotel, developers hope it will bring more visitors and revenue to the area.
"People want to eat, get together, the restaurants they're presenting today, or the meeting rooms they have here, just a real common place to be. So convenient to everything around here and all the other attractions as well," Davis Rhorer, executive director of the Downtown Development District, said.
"I think downtown is on a roll, whether I did this or not, and I think that momentum is going to continue. We have set a new standard, raised the standard, in downtown hospitality with this hotel," Wampold said.
The average price of a room at the Watermark is $160 a night.