Posted: April 22, 2022
Downtown Macon’s only boutique hotel embraces historic roots while bringing its own flare to the city
MACON, Ga. (April X, 2022) – Earlier this year, Downtown Macon welcomed Hotel Forty Five: the 94-room boutique hotel named after its location on the iconic 45-degree angle formed where Cherry and First Streets meet the edge of Cotton Avenue. A member of Marriott’s Tribute Portfolio and owned and developed by Mainsail Lodging & Development and IDP Properties, the adaptive reuse reinvigorates a well-known historic high-rise while honoring Macon’s cultural heritage and Southern hospitality.
Although the hotel is a new addition to the community, Hotel Forty Five’s location is rooted deep in Macon’s history dating back to the 1800s. The angled street was a city design ahead of its time that made transportation of cotton barges to and from the Ocmulgee River possible. In 1941, Banker’s Health & Life Insurance Company – founded by Parks Lee Hay, the namesake of Macon’s historic Hay House – was built on the same street. Otherwise known as “Macon’s skyscraper,” the 11-story office tower was said to be the tallest building between New York City and Miami following the Great Depression. The building lived many lives, becoming the Southern Trust Building and most recently the Willie C. Hill Annex, before it was vacated in early 2018.
In 2019, Mainsail Lodging & Development and IDP Properties purchased the property and decided to rehabilitate the building. Key architectural elements, including the beloved bold terrazzo floor patterns and art deco finishes, have been preserved and incorporated in various spaces throughout the hotel. Thoughtful preservation was spearheaded by Dunwody/Beeland, Architects Inc, led by Eugene “Gene” Dunwody, Jr., whose great-grandfather, W. Elliot Dunwody was the first architect of the original building. With collaborative efforts from BRPH Interior Design, Hotel Forty Five provides guests with a modern twist on southern history.
“We were honored to be chosen for this project and to incorporate some of the original historical elements of the building to preserve its unique history as a Macon landmark,” said Margaret Brock, Principal Designer at BRPH. “Our design package tells the story of the building, the era in which it was built, and the community in which it resides through an intersection of soft textures with a variety of wood tones, natural stone and copper detailing.”
Throughout Hotel Forty Five, the décor acts as homage to the building’s past while giving the hotel its own character and spirit. Each area of the hotel contrasts earthy elements such as copper, walnut and blackened steel with soft cotton reminiscent of the street’s long history and importance in the cotton industry. The copper tones take cues from Macon City Auditorium’s dome, a landmark that locals claim as the largest in the world, located right across the street. Drawing inspiration from the oxidized copper atop the auditorium, Macon’s well-known cherry blossom trees, and the historically protected terrazzo floors within the building, Hotel Forty Five embraces a color palette of ivy green, cherry and ivory that acts as a motif throughout the hotel. Welcoming the surrounding beauty, the hotel offers outdoor spaces that serve as friendly gathering spots for locals and travelers alike. The Willie C. Hill Memorial Plaza, named after Macon’s first black resident elected to City Council, anchors the hotel with a lively green space in the heart of Downtown.
With a history as deep as Macon’s, Hotel Forty Five perfects the storytelling of the area’s historical significance. Each room, lobby and dining outlet at the hotel incorporates historic artifacts, books and art that navigate guests through its past and teach about the historical influences who left their mark on the city, including Otis Redding, The Allman Brothers Band, Little Richard, and more. Loom, the hotel’s signature restaurant, gives a nod to Macon’s roots in the textile industry and the many stories that are weaved throughout its history. Adorned in ivy green hand-glazed tiles and copper accents, the restaurant features a mural of workers inside a textile mill that is a replication of a historic photo taken in Macon. Dimensional scalloped ceilings and hanging globe lights add texture and visual interest. For alfresco dining, guests can enjoy the lovely patio out front.
The hotel comes complete with Hightales Rooftop Bar atop the sixth floor and Reckon Coffee & Wine Bar. Inspired by Macon’s iconic music scene, Hightales showcases Macon’s soul and southern rock heritage. Deep color tones accompanied by leather and copper furnishings and vinyl record displays create a private and intimate hideaway while still invoking a sense of community. The Redding Room, dedicated to Macon native Otis Redding, offers a private meeting space on the same floor. The local star left his mark on the city, with The Otis Redding Foundation established in his honor to empower, enrich and motivate all young people through programs involving music, writing and instrumentation. The stand-out feature at Hightales is its lively rooftop, providing guests with a picturesque view of Downtown Macon and beyond. Down below at the accessible street-level, Reckon Coffee & Wine Bar serves as an eclectic space while bringing elements of the city outside through its artistic displays within. Guests are greeted with a chain link mural that is printed with a cherry blossom graphic which provides an unexpected art moment drawing inspiration from the trees throughout the city. Additionally, Reckon boasts the same one-of-a-kind vintage terrazzo flooring that is complemented by social and intimate seating within this place of comfort. On a beautiful day, guests can head outside to the Willie C. Hill Memorial Plaza to enjoy an iced latte or a glass of wine.
Hotel Forty Five is located at 401 Cotton Avenue. Loom is open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., brunch Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and dinner daily from 5 – 9 p.m. Hightales is open Sunday through Thursday from 4 – 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. Reckon Coffee & Wine Bar is open all week serving breakfast from 7 – 11 a.m., light lunch from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and the wine bar is open until 9 p.m. To make a reservation, call (855) 840-9141. For more information please go to hotelfortyfive.com, loommacon.com for menus and reservations and hightalesmacon.com to view menus. Follow Hotel Forty Five on social media: Instagram, Twitter ,Facebook. Follow Loom and Hightales on Instagram: loommacon and hightalesmacon.
About Hotel Forty Five
Hotel Forty Five, owned by IDP Properties and Mainsail Lodging & Development, is a 94-room boutique hotel in Macon, Georgia. Joining Marriott’s Tribute Portfolio, an exceptional collection of independent hotels and resorts with unique personalities and spirit, Hotel Forty Five celebrates the building’s original character and historic significance. Each of Hotel Forty Five’s rooms and suites immerse guests in a timeless experience, providing the ideal space to rest and recharge. Vintage design elements with rich contrasting colors and copper metal accents are featured throughout creating a redefined yet classic finish. Hotel Forty Five boasts three different dining concepts, Loom, Hightales Rooftop Bar and Reckon Coffee & Wine Bar. Occupying one of downtown Macon’s few remaining historic high-rises, the boutique hotel is aptly named after its location on an iconic 45-degree angle, formed by Cherry and First Streets with Cotton Avenue. For more information please go to hotelfortyfive.com, or follow on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
About Mainsail Lodging & Development
Mainsail Lodging & Development is an award-winning, Tampa, Florida-based company specializing in hotel, furnished housing, and resort property management and development, marketing and sales. An established company with a dynamic entrepreneurial spirit, Mainsail prides itself in finding unique lodging opportunities with a purpose and applying its passion and expertise to each project. Founded by President Joe Collier with a combination of daring vision and dogged determination, Mainsail has built an impressive portfolio of top-branded properties throughout the southeastern United States and Caribbean. Each Mainsail property inspires guests with a distinct character and meticulously crafted, sophisticated style, from a private island resort, and urban culinary showplaces, to waterfront marvels, boutique southern hotels, and a historic jazz era icon. Stay Sojo, Mainsail’s newest brand, provides short-term furnished living options across the country, while Mainsail Vacation Rentals manages a collection of private vacation homes in Florida and the Caribbean. To ensure long-term success and profitability, Mainsail relies on the dedication of its high-performing leadership team, a growing group of enterprising investors, and a commitment to giving back, every step of the way. MainsailHotels.com
About IDP Properties
IDP Properties is a full-service real estate development firm headquartered in Valdosta, Ga that invests in and redevelops communities. The IDP team has completed over $1 billion dollars in projects and specializes in acquisition, property management, consulting and development. IDP takes pride that each project they develop is as diverse as the communities they serve. IDP Properties purpose is to strengthen communities and leave a lasting positive impact.
About Tribute Portfolio
Tribute Portfolio is a growing global family of characterful, independent hotels drawn together by their passion for captivating design and their drive to create vibrant social scenes for guests and locals alike. With more than 55 hotels open around the world, Tribute Portfolio has struck a chord with those who seek out independent experiences and crave a connection with the community when traveling. From boutique resorts like Inn at Rancho Santa Fe in California and urban hotels such as The Vagabond Club in Singapore; to hotels in indie-spirited locales like Noelle in Nashville and The Slaak in Rotterdam, each Tribute Portfolio hotel celebrates its individuality, offering travelers a fresh, often colorful, perspective. Tribute Portfolio is proud to participate in Marriott Bonvoy®, the global travel program from Marriott International. The program offers members an extraordinary portfolio of global brands, exclusive experiences on Marriott Bonvoy Moments and unparalleled benefits including free nights and Elite status recognition. To enroll for free or for more information about the program, visit MarriottBonvoy.marriott.com.