By Susan E. Campbell
The iconic Adelphi Hotel, which has graced Broadway in Saratoga Springs since 1877, finally has its grand reopening in view after a three-year process of renovation, restoration and redevelopment.
According to Toby Milde, a partner with Adelphi Hospitality Group, when the consortium purchased the building four years ago it always intended to run the hotel as-is for one season. But then the group would begin rolling out plans to transform the Adelphi into a first-class hotel and destination for guests from around the world.
There were many snags to overcome along the way that delayed reopening for months.
“The project kept growing as we recognized that the structural integrity of the building had been compromised, due to age and to some alterations that had been done by prior owners without the benefit of an engineer,” said Milde.
“We did not want to put a band-aid on this project,” he said. “Rather, the Adelphi had to be surgically fixed and rebuilt.”
The long-range goal was to keep the historic structure operating as a hotel and to bring in “first-class food and beverages to enhance a visitor’s hotel experience,” said Milde. To that end Adelphi Hospitality Group, whose first project was the Salt and Char restaurant next door at 353 Broadway—and who also own a hotel outside Washington D.C.—brought in exceptional international talent to tackle unique challenges, he said.
Phase one of renovation was have the refurbished rooms available to guests, open the restaurants to the public and make available a banquet facility seating up to 190 people.
The July 1 grand opening date will be marked by a weekend with a ribbon cutting, a gala and hotel tours.
The owners expect the restaurant, dubbed The Blue Hen, to receive top ratings among small luxury hotel critics worldwide.
“This is a reference to The Blue Toe Hen, the name of one of the first saloons in Saratoga Springs once housed on the site where Adelphi Hotel was built,” said Milde.
Guests and other diners can also enjoy lighter fare such as sushi and a raw bar at the lounge, called Morrissey’s, which salutes John Morrissey of local fame. Morrissey’s lived at Adelphi Hotel for a short time until his death in 1878.
Morrissey was a state senator, a U.S. congressman and a bare-knuckle boxing champion who was instrumental in bringing the now famous racetrack to Saratoga, along with the help of Cornelius Vanderbilt and William R. Travers.
A second phase is in the planning stages. When completed, there will be additional hotel rooms and a first-class spa.
Milde described the Adelphi Hotel project as one of the smaller projects he has undertaken. What makes this one special is its uniqueness and historic appeal.
“We are preserving an amazing historic property and designing it to provide the comfort and amenities of a modern project,” he said. “One walks a fine line keeping the integrity of an old building while adding first class accommodations.”
Milde is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University with a major in hospitality. About 17 years ago, he and his wife started a business of building apartment complexes and large multifamily developments in the Capital Region, such as The Paddocks of Saratoga and The Kensington of Halfmoon, he said.
In the last 12 years, the Mildes have been residents of Saratoga Springs.
“Good people live here in Saratoga and good people visit here,” he said. “We will deliver the best rooms Broadway has to offer, a step above. The end project is going to be an asset to Saratoga Springs.”