Site Visit: Embassy Suites Tuscaloosa

By Stephanie Davis Smith, May 24, 2015

Touches of Tuscaloosa, Alabama—home of the Crimson Tide—can be seen all over the city’s first full-service hotel downtown. Wilson Hotel Management opened the $31 million Embassy Suites Tuscaloosa Alabama Downtown in March. The company’s president, Kemmons Wilson Jr., is a graduate of The University of Alabama and made sure the hotel reflected the campus and community.

Although it’s not overtly decked out in crimson and white, there are touches of the university throughout, such as houndstooth carpeting in the lobby and images of campus favorites, like Denny Chimes on The Quad and the president’s mansion, peppering the walls. Eight stories high with river views and 154 suites, the property was a necessary addition to bring more meetings business to the West-Central Alabama town, says Heather Dill, director of sales and marketing for the property. For meeting space, the hotel has a 5,240-sq.-ft. ballroom, which divides into five flexible sections, and a 2,100-sq.-ft. prefunction space for registration.

“We have a lot of group business on the books already,” says Dill. “It helps that we’re only 2 miles from Bryant Conference Center too.” So far, the heavily gospel Heritage Music Festival in late June 2015 will be held at Tuscaloosa Amphitheatre, which has named the property its preferred hotel, and Gospel Fest is coming in January 2016. Just don’t try to book over an Alabama football weekend—rumor has it the rooms are sold out for every home game weekend for the 2015-16 football season.

Insider Tip: Thirty restaurants in downtown Tuscaloosa are within walking distance of the hotel. Try locally owned Chuck’s Fish, with fresh fish flown in daily, and a banquet room.

Photo Credit: Embassy Suites

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