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Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel lobby with velvet upholstered seating area in front of marble counter bar. Chandelier light fixtures
Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel

Distinctly Relevant Reinvention

Project Location

Omaha, NE






Interiors, experiential programming

From historic Farnam Street to its trendy restaurants and bars, the revitalized Blackstone District is now complete with this newly reopened legendary property, complete with a restored design and renewed sense of cool befitting its urban landscape. Steps away from the now swanky hotel lay microbreweries to recording lounges and renowned barista cafes, all catering this classic Omaha neighborhood to individuals from all walks of life. Storied with history and infused with a revitalized modern cool, the neighborhood can now welcome this contemporary reimaged beacon of history.

After a 3-year restoration and expansion, the original 1915 landmark has transformed into a modern 204-guestroom reprieve from the ordinary. Memories founded on the property still live on through reminiscent conversations although its new voice resonates through progressive contemporary design, world class service and activations, shining against its backdrop of remarkable historic detail.


Best Lobby Upscale

41st annual Gold Key Awards

2021 Judges’ So Cool Award

41st annual Gold Key Awards

2021 Platinum: Renovation

Muse Design Awards

2021 Gold: Historic Restoration

Muse Design Awards

2021 Gold: Hotels & Resorts

Muse Design Awards

Historical Spotlight

Restored, renovated, and reimagined, the Kimpton Cottonwood resonates with a reverent respect for the former Blackstone Hotel’s historic legacy in Omaha. The design goal was not recreation, but instead a celebration of the spirit and heritage of the original Blackstone Hotel. The design maintains the original tile and hardwood flooring and includes meticulously restored design details such as the marble staircase, translucent photo mural of the Missouri River, and eighth floor ballroom with sweeping views of the city. Hand-carved plaster columns, pilasters, and scrolling moldings once again adorn the social spaces, and like the original Cottonwood Room, the speakeasy cocktail bar features the original Art Deco sign and historically accurate circular feature bar highlighted by its metallic white Cottonwood tree canopy.

Built in 1915, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985, making this project eligible for historic tax credits. DLR Group and architect partner Leo A Daly documented the existing conditions for the Part 2 Submittal to the State Historic Preservation Office, which was accepted, enabling the project to receive tax credits. DLR Group provided interior design services.

Orleans Room and Palm Room

Once a thriving upscale restaurant and legendary birthplace of the Schimmel Reuben sandwich, the new reinterpretation returns the namesake venue in a refreshed lens of modern sentiments. The sultry Parisian-inspired bar meets a pioneer spirt as a destination within the hotel helmed by Executive Chef Ryan Arensdorf. The design team leans in as modern filmmakers with creating a “feeling” for the guest experience. Dark woodwork, ornate moldings, and contemporary vintage finds are pieced together with the only remaining character of the original mosaic floors. A proud bar acts as the main host with an Art Nouveau character mixing libations and sharing stories. The ochre-colored walls and columns paint the space in a golden dusk hue as if a night veil is upon you while a floating bar-cart serves table side entertainment. French modernist lighting and furniture throughout create a strong masculine character. The smaller bar is a bright mint café, dueling as busy evening overflow and morning wake-up cheers. One might have never gone to sleep enjoying all of what this room has to offer.

The Palm Room, a modern tea service lounge, is an unexpected jewel replacing the lost outdoor courtyard – during its 1984 renovation for office use. The mullioned glass and skylights create a connected yet separate activated social space and filters views to explorations such as the sultry ochre Orleans Room, the fresh Petit Orleans café, namesake speakeasy, meeting rooms, and pool club lawn.

Pastoral Dreams

Inspired by the calm and reflective lawns of the original Blackstone, the guestrooms feature restrained and serene finishes – a respite from the energetic main floor amenities. The design carefully restores the Cottonwood Hotel’s historic character and intertwines this legacy with contemporary details and patterns. A refreshed heritage palette includes bespoke nods to the Nebraskan prairie.

Custom wallcoverings in the guest baths are reflective of Midwestern prairie illustrations and reminiscent of the hotel’s early days, when wallpaper and cheerful patterns were aplenty.

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