(Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, PA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) April 11--WILKES-BARRE -- The top two floors of the seven-floor Best Western Genetti Hotel and Conference Center will be converted into the new "Oyster Boutique Hotel," the hotel's owner announced Thursday.
Gus Genetti and his nephew, Thom Greco, will oversee the project, which will cost between $200,000 to $250,000 to upgrade the 20 rooms with new furnishings, additional turn-down service and technological upgrades for tech-savvy guests. The new-look offerings will be available this fall.
"Certain select travelers look for the 'boutique hotel' in each marketplace. Genetti's will satisfy that need in Wilkes-Barre," Genetti said. "We'll have amenities, I believe, that no other hotels in the Wilkes-Barre area has."
Currently the sixth and seventh floors are used for contracted, extended-stay guests, but the conversion will change that.
A boutique hotel is a collection of upgraded rooms with amenities that are not normally found in many of the upscale hotel brands -- a small intimate luxury hotel, the company's release announcing the changes noted.
"At Genetti's -- it will be a distinct and different hotel located within the same hotel tower," the release added.
The upgrades are the latest for the hotel that last year celebrated its 50th anniversary on Market Street.
A $2 million renovation of the hotel resulted in an additional diamond to its AAA rating and the property will soon be upgraded with a Best Western Plus designation.
Greco said he has been touting the idea for two years to Genetti "but we wanted to get through the large renovations first."
He said he is excited to offer something new in this market and to provide travelers, wedding guests and others looking for something a bit more luxurious.
"It will be a new hotel concept within a hotel," Greco said. "It's a small luxury hotel and there's a need in the marketplace for a luxury hotel."
He called the competition in the region "cookie-cutter hotels where you go to a Hilton Garden Inn here or anywhere, the rooms are the same. Everything is old and tired. Even the casino hotel rooms are small."
While rates haven't been finalized, Greco said compared to average marketplace rates the rooms will be about $40-$50 higher.
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