OTO Development purchases, opens new AC Hotel by Marriott in downtown St. PetersburgMarch 1, 2023
AC Hotels by Marriott, part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 extraordinary brands, has opened its newest property in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, bringing the brand’s “perfectly precise hotel” experience to the heart of the Sunshine City.
AC Hotel by Marriott St. Petersburg Downtown checked in the first guests on Tuesday, February 28, welcoming them into a property that’s imbued with sophistication and filled throughout with practical comforts. From commissioned artwork to intuitive technology to thoughtful personal amenities, the hotel is designed to provide everything discerning travelers want — and nothing they don’t.
“This AC Hotel is the perfect complement to St. Pete’s lively downtown vibe,” says General Manager Ben Walters, who heads an executive team that includes Director of Sales Christine Moore and F&B Director Edelmira Delgado. “The overall design balances form and function, while small details provide an authentic sense of place. Whether you’re in town to work or play or a bit of both, we’re an easy walk to everywhere — but with our lively AC Lounge in the lobby and our rum-drenched restaurant on the roof, you might not want to go anywhere else!”
The new 8-story AC Hotel comprises 172 sleek, modern guest rooms — a dozen of them suites — along with 2,500 square feet of activated shared space, 1,800 square feet of meeting and event space, a well-equipped fitness center, and an outdoor pool.
The collaborative lobby includes the brand’s signature AC Kitchen for European-inspired breakfasts and an AC Lounge for craft cocktails, local brews and sharable plates in the evenings. The 8th-floor rooftop features Cane & Barrel, a Cuban-inspired restaurant and bar with an emphasis on all things rum. Designed to capture the colorful energy of Havana nights, the venue offers seating within an interior lounge as well as out on a spacious terrace overlooking the waters of Tampa Bay.
“The food at Cane & Barrel promises to be fun and flavorful,” says Delgado, “while the cocktail menu, heavy on rum, will pack a punch with a signature drink that’s communal in spirit and in fact.”
Indeed, Cane & Barrel features a signature daily punch bowl, serving up the large format cocktail with a twist of history. A blend of spirits, citrus juice, sugar, water, and spice, true punch was originally concocted in the ancient East Indies and brought west by the thirsty sailors of yore.
“Whether done with bourbon, rum, tequila or vodka — and at Cane & Barrel, we’ll do it all these ways and possibly more — a proper punch brings sweet, sour, strong, and weak into balance,” Delgado explains. “It also brings people together. From its first pour in the 1600s to the fresh batches we’ll be making here every day, punch is a communal drink designed to be shared heartily amongst friends.”
Located in the waterfront arts district, AC Hotel St. Petersburg Downtown is walkable to more than 100 local restaurants, breweries, recreation sites, and cultural venues. It’s the hospitality portion of Ascent St. Petersburg, a mixed-use project developed by Greystar Real Estate Partners and Concord Hospitality that also comprises a 36-story luxury apartment tower and 5,500 square feet of retail space. With Greystar serving as general contractor, hotel project partners include R2L:Architects, architecture; DLR Group, hotel interior design; and Ellis Adams Group, Cane & Barrel concept and interior design.
OTO Development, which is part of The Johnson Group, has purchased and will operate the hotel.
“Travelers love the AC Hotels brand, and our company does, too,” says Todd Turner, CEO of OTO Development. “Greystar and Concord have developed a fantastic property and OTO is privileged to add it to our portfolio.”
With this purchase — which was brokered by Preston Reid, formerly with Berkadia — AC Hotel St. Petersburg Downtown becomes the seventh AC Hotel in OTO Development’s owned portfolio. The others are in Bethesda, Maryland; South San Francisco, California; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Spartanburg, South Carolina; Times Square, New York; and Washington, D.C.; in addition, the company has AC Hotels currently under development in Naples and Jacksonville, Florida. OTO also manages AC Hotel Scottsdale North, which is owned by Host Hotels & Resorts.
AC Hotel St. Petersburg Downtown is located at 110 2nd St. North in the heart of Florida’s Sunshine City. For more hotel information and reservations, visit ACHotelStPetersburgFL.com; find restaurant details at CaneAndBarrelStPete.com. Connect on social @ACHotelStPetersburg and @CaneAndBarrel.