Wednesday night the vacancy sign lit up for the first time at El Campo’s Home 2 Suites by Hilton. Not long after, the first customer checked in to spend the night.
It took years of planning and 14 months of construction, for Vic and Sunny Desai of AUM Hospitality Inc., to say it was finally time to open the doors.
The four-story hotel at 25268 U.S. 59 (on the north side between Hwy. 71 and Palacios Street) offers guests 75 suites starting at $149 per night while adding 17 jobs to the El Campo economy.
It’s the only hotel in the city to offer rooms reached by an interior corridor. Amenities include a fitness center, barbecue grills on the patio, an outdoor pool, fire place and full buffet breakfast bar. There’s also a small pantry store with microwaveable cold items, candies and more, a coin laundry in addition to laundry service via a third party, and small business center.
“It’s a fairly new brand ... It’s a consistent hotel, everything looks the same (in each location),” Desai said.
The suites are designed to make people feel at home, there’s an airy feel to each room which includes a sofa and desk as well as large bathroom and a kitchenette with a microwave, refrigerator and dishwasher.
“These rooms are for the business traveler staying over for a period of time,” Desai said.
It also allows for extended stay for visiting friends and relatives who prefer a little more privacy that a borrowed bedroom, or those coming to town to stay for an extended event like, for example, a sports tournament.
Security is a prime concern for travelers, and the new hotel should make women traveling alone feel comfortable, he said. Only one exterior door, the one leading directly to the front desk, opens without a key card. Security cameras are placed at doors and throughout corridors as well.
He wants people to feel safe and welcome.
“We want to grow in the Wharton and El Campo community. If someone suffers a tragedy (for example) we will help them as much as possible,” Desai said, by for example offering a few days stay to those who have lost a home to fire or other disastrous event.
Four rooms are designed with full ADA compliance including roll in showers, four have doors allowing two rooms to be linked.
The hotel is 49,000 square-foot and is fronted by four lots on its entrance roadway with utilities ready to link up.
The City Development Corporation of El Campo provided $200,000 to the Desais.
“The purpose of this incentive is to encourage the development of four commercial ‘shovel ready’ lots with street frontage,” CDC Executive Director Carolyn Gibson told the newspaper.
“It will bring more people to El Campo and potentially more business which will potentially help El Campo,” CDC Director Anthony Garcia said.
AUM also owns the Lone Star Inn and Best Western in El Campo as well as the Holiday Inn Express in Wharton, giving the Desais the chance to offer a room to all levels of travels.
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