The Blake Hotel opens next week in Connecticut

Amy Horsfield By Amy Horsfield
24 January 2019 | Updated 24 January 2019

US: The Blake Hotel in New Haven, Connecticut, will officially open its doors next week.

The six-story 108-room hotel has is opening next week. But some customers have begun staying at the rooms, which rent from $250 up a night.

Up to five other boutique hotels are in the works for the city, starting a second wave of such hotels a decade after The Study opened 124 rooms and an upscale restaurant on Chapel Street.

City development administrator Mike Piscitelli said officials began noticing the "pent-up demand for hotel rooms" in New Haven several years ago. He went onto say that they're also tapping into the trend of "more unique, more interesting" locally themed, high-quality hotels.

The Blake features a first-floor bistro called Hamilton Park. Owner Randy Salvatore recruited Matt Lambert, a New Zealand-born chef who has run a five-star restaurant in New York called the Musket Room for the past ten years, to run Hamilton Park. The restaurant will have a staff of about 30; the hotel itself another 20.

Salvatore said his goal is to create a "meeting place" for New Haven, not just a hotel. The bistro opens onto a bar and then a spacious sitting room in the lobby. A second, rooftop restaurant with a retractable glass roof is under construction on the sixth floor.

The basement included a high-tech work-out room, with interactive machines that include virtual trainers.

The hotel is named after Alice Rufie Blake, the first woman to graduate from Yale. Claire Salvatore, who has been overseeing the project alongside her husband, said: "We wanted it to have some connection to New Haven; she was a pioneer."

The rooms are designed for extended stays as well as overnight visits and include kitchens with microwaves and ranges, pots and pans and dishwashers. The 108 rooms include nine suites and 99 guest rooms.

Salvatore turned around and sold his first successful New Haven project, The Novella, after completing it. But he said that he will not be putting the Blake up for sale.

He added: "The hotels are definitely something I'm doing long term. We're building a brand."

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