Hotel brings new look to old Holiday Inn
The Hotel Indigo Riverside, opening today in Newton between the MBTA station and Route 128, has 191 rooms, about the same as the old Holiday Inn had in the same building.
The similarities end there.
Indigo, the 12th to open in North America, is a hybrid — one of a new ‘‘boutique brand’’ being rolled out by InterContinental Hotels Group.
The Newton hotel, owned by Normandy Real Estate Partners of Morristown, N.J., and Bluehawk Investments LLC of Newton, is the first Indigo in New England.
Other than the concrete floors and walls and the wine-red brick of the 43-year-old structure, little of the old hotel exists.
A year of renovation included replacement of kitchen, heating, and air-conditioning systems, and installation of energy-saving cogeneration equipment. Bathtubs have glass doors and teak benches; floors are of dark wood; windows that were once floor-to-ceiling and later partially blocked off have been replaced with full-length insulated glass.
There’s WiFi throughout the hotel, and rooms have 32-inch flat-screen TVs, MP3 docking stations, Indigo’s Curl Up brand bed furnishings, and wall murals that are rotated with the seasons. Phi Bistro is there for a quick bite, and a large fitness center overlooks the pool area, which will be outfitted with fire pits and wind protection.
‘‘We recognize Newton will never be South Beach,’’ said Justin Krebs, a principal of Normandy Real Estate Partners, ‘‘but why have to go to Boston to get a high-quality experience?’’
The hotel’s design has a sophisticated look that appeals to an academically oriented clientele, said Jacqueline McGee, senior associate at CBT Architects of Boston, which redesigned the building.
The rooms are small, and an average rate for one with a king-size bed on a weekend night is $229, a little lower than business folks will pay during the week.
InterContinental, with almost 4,000 hotels worldwide, also owns the Holiday Inn brand.
(By Thomas C. Palmer Jr., Globe staff)