Bell Works in Holmdel taps Destination Hotels to operate fancy rooftop hotel

2018-09-07 | Asbury Park Press

Sept. 06--HOLMDEL -- The luxury operator will break ground this summer on a 186-room hotel on the roof of Bell Works, company officials said Thursday.

"Bell Works is one of the most pioneering developments of today, reinvigorating the economy and elevating the landscape of one of New Jersey's fastest growing regions," said Jamie Sabatier, chief executive officer of Two Road Hospitality, which owns Destination Hotels.

MORE: Bell Labs to Bell Works: How one man saved the historic site

It marks the latest piece in Somerset Development's bid to bring the historic Bell Labs site back to life.

In its heyday, the 2-million-square-foot facility housed part of the AT monopoly and its descendant Lucent Technologies before it was abandoned in 2007. A decade later, it is turning into a town center that includes not only fast-growing technology companies, but also a design center, gourmet food hall, library, fitness center, hair salon, dentist and financial planner.

See Bell Works' transformation in the video above.

Next up: Destination Hotels, which is expected to feature oversized rooms, a sprawling rooftop bar, a restaurant, a spa, game room and meeting space for conferences and events.

The hotel chain is owned by Two Roads Hospitality, a Denver-based company that was founded in 2016 and bills itself more as a lifestyle company than a place to plop down for the night.

Its Destination Hotels brand has 40 hotels, resorts and residences that try to capture the flavor of the community.

Orchards Inn in Sedona, Arizona, offers views of the Sedona Red Rocks (with prices ranging from $112 on an off-peak night to more than $400 on a peak night). Motif Seattle in the heart of downtown Seattle is more contemporary (with average prices ranging from $255 to $380 a night).

"It's only going to enhance development of the region and that part of the county," Monmouth Freeholder Tom Arnone said. "I think it's a huge plus."

Destination Hotels will have a customer base right below its facility at the outset.

iCIMS, a technology company with more than 700 employees, will turn to the hotel to house customers visiting for training and job candidates visiting for interviews, said Len Carella, vice president of corporate infrastructure.

Carella said he thinks its office -- and all of the growing amenities -- could give iCIMS an edge beyond its product and customer service.

The hotel, conference space and headquarters allows iCIMS "to do things in our facility that no other competitor can," Carella said.

Michael L. Diamond; @mdiamondapp; 732-643-4038; mdiamond@gannettnj.com