UPDATE (12:35 p.m.)—Renovations are under way at the Hilton Baltimore North, as the business transitions to a DoubleTree by Hilton hotel.
Beginning Dec. 3, visitors to the Pikesville hotel will get a warm cookie on arrival—Doubletree's signature greeting, said Bill Leonhardt, general manager.
There are $1 million in renovations ongoing, in the lobby, hallways and meeting spaces. Microwaves and refrigerators will be added to each guest room, which will be important to visitors to Pikesville who want to keep kosher, he said.
"It's still the same Hilton stuff, just $1 million bucks better," Leonhardt said.
Hilton is guiding its suburban hotels into the DoubleTree brand, he said.
Visitors will notice the new front desk, which has already be redone, Leonhardt said. And on the elevators, the older, gold cladding goes, to be replaced by brushed nickel.
Later, the business center will be part of the lobby, with an Apple computer added to the existing collection of PCs.
The restaurant, Fountainside, as well as some guest rooms, were renovated about 3 years ago, so those will not undergo changes, except for the addition of the appliances and maybe one piece of furniture in those guest rooms, he said.
Energy-efficient lighting will be put in throughout the hotel, Leonhardt said.
The Pikesville Hotel is owned by Mangioni Family Enterprises, which also owns the Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton Inn in Owings Mills, Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City, Hayfields Country Club, as well as 13 nursing homes in the Baltimore area, Leonhardt said.
Mangioni owns WCBM FM and WLG AM radio stations in the plaza offices adjacent to the Pikesville hotel; Baltimore Fitness & Tennis, which is also on the hotel land, as well as office buildings and landholdings, he said.
No increases in room rates are expected, at least until after Easter and Passover, Leonhardt said. And when that does happen, it will be minor—in the "single digits."
No changes in staffing are planned.
"We'll have the same menus, chef, updated equipment and logo," he said.