A Curated, Design-Driven Guest Experience Arrives to A Thriving Urban Center
AC Hotels by Marriott, part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 extraordinary brands, has opened the doors to its newest hotel in the heart of downtown Bethesda, Maryland, bringing the brand’s signature “perfectly precise hotel” experience to a thriving urban center near the nation’s capital. AC Hotel Bethesda Downtown welcomed its first guests on August 16, 2022, with a purposeful design that strikes the perfect balance of form and function, featuring curated artwork evoking a true sense of place.
OTO Development, part of The Johnson Group, developed and will manage the new hotel, which is adjacent to and shares amenities with Avocet Tower, a trophy-class office building developed by Stonebridge.
“Like many travelers, we appreciate everything about the AC Hotels by Marriott brand, having opened properties in top destinations,” says David Ward, COO of OTO Development. “It’s a delight to provide the AC signature guest experience imbued with a particular sophistication and practical comforts.”
With the completion of the Bethesda project, OTO has opened six AC Hotels — the others in South San Francisco, California; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Spartanburg, South Carolina; Times Square, New York; and Washington, D.C. — with two more currently under development in Naples and Jacksonville, Florida.
The 18-story AC Hotel Bethesda Downtown comprises 220 sleek, modern guest rooms and more than 11,000 square feet of activated shared space complete with a signature restaurant. Other amenities include 3,500 square feet of flexible, top-floor meeting space with an outdoor terrace overlooking Silver Spring, Maryland; Tysons Corner and Arlington, Virginia; and downtown Washington, D.C., as well as a 5,000-square-foot fitness center boasting a full range of weights, cardio equipment, a yoga studio, a spin room, and stellar views.
“AC Bethesda is filled throughout with the details that matter most to discerning travelers,” says General Manager Chris Raines, who heads up a leadership team that also includes Maria Bardos, CGMP, Director of Sales, and Jim Barnett, Director of Food & Beverage. “From commissioned artwork to top-tier amenities to intuitive technology, even high-end toiletries, our hotel is designed to provide guests with everything they want — and nothing they don’t — in a well-designed, thoroughly considered space.”
The hotel’s art portfolio is highlighted, figuratively and literally, by two dramatic installations by German artist Anke Neumann of LichtPapier, who illuminates the hotel’s shared space with abstract, organic compositions created out of fiber optic lights and handmade paper. “The Fizz” comprises dozens of cloudlike forms scattered across the restaurant ceiling, where they comingle into a unique sense of movement and chaotic harmony. Meanwhile, “The Fizz Tree” branches out within a wall niche at the front desk.
Michael Sirvet leads the local coterie of commissioned artists with “Aeolian,” an ebony-stained wood sculpture he describes as mechanical in both the thought and the creative process. Other D.C. artists whose creativity is featured in the hotel include Lori Katz, Madeline Stratton, Nicole Salimbene, and Kerry Hays — a D.C.-born native now living in Atlanta who showcases several abstract paintings with a sculptural quality.
AC Hotel Bethesda Downtown has crafted a food-and-beverage program on par with the city’s finer eateries. Corella Café & Lounge is named after the hometown of Antonio Catalán, the founder of AC Hotels. With minimalist aesthetics featuring soaring 23-foot ceilings, the light-drenched venue is designed to flex throughout the day while serving everything from locally roasted morning coffee to late-night bites and creative cocktails. Seating is available inside, at the bar, and out on an expansive street-level patio.
Corella’s signature cocktail — a tea-infused gin martini — celebrates Bethesda’s Madonna of the Trail, the first in a series of 12 granite mother-and-child statues placed along a key 19th century migratory route stretching from Maryland to California. Corella toasts the indominable spirit of the pioneer women represented by the statues, those determined mothers who “didn’t stay but traveled through” on their quest toward a better life for their children. The cocktail ritual echoes the 12 Madonnas of the Trail with a spirited mix of 12 ingredients, including gin from Tenth Ward Spirits, a local, female-owned distillery.
AC Hotel Bethesda Downtown is located at the bustling intersection of Montgomery and Wisconsin Avenues, just a few blocks from Marriott International’s new global headquarters, and only seven miles from downtown D.C. The hotel is a one-minute walk from the Red Line Metro Station and a three-minute bike ride to the Capital Crescent Trail; it is also conveniently located near the National Institute of Health and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Project partners include Cooper Carry, architect/interior design; Balfour Beatty, base building contractor; and Coakley & Williams Construction, general contractor. The curated artwork was sourced from Kalisher and Material Driven.
For hotel reservations, call +1 (301) 656-2260 or visit www.ACHotelBethesda.com. Connect on social @ACHotelBethesda. For information about Corella Café & Lounge, visit www.CorellaBethesda.com and connect on social @CorellaCafeAndLounge.
For high-resolution images please visit AC Bethesda Downtown image library.
About AC Hotel by Marriott Bethesda Downtown
AC Hotel Bethesda is an 18-story hotel tower comprising 220 sleek, modern guest rooms; a well-equipped fitness center complete with a yoga studio and spin room; and Corella Café & Lounge, a signature restaurant serving everything from locally roasted morning coffee to late-night bites and creative cocktails, with seating inside, at the bar or out on an expansive street-level patio. Flexible event space includes top-floor meeting rooms with an outdoor terrace overlooking Silver Spring, Tysons Corner, Arlington and Downtown D.C. Guest rooms and shared spaces strike the perfect balance of form and function, with curated artwork evoking a true sense place. Find AC Hotel Bethesda at 4646 Montgomery Ave. in the heart of Bethesda, Maryland. For information and reservations, call +1 (301) 656-2260 or visit www.ACHotelBethesda.com. Connect on social @ACHotelBethesda and @CorellaCafeAndLounge.
About AC Hotels by Marriott®
AC Hotels includes over 210 hotels in 30 countries and territories. At AC Hotels, every moment has been designed, refined, crafted, and considered to create a seamless guest experience. Each AC Hotel features purposefully designed signature spaces that strike the perfect balance of form and function. Most notably, the AC Lounge® invites guests and locals alike to collaborate during the day, or to enjoy signature cocktails and tapas in the evening. The AC Kitchen offers a European-inspired breakfast each morning. All AC guest rooms, and public spaces evoke a particular sophistication, featuring sleek furnishings, curated artwork, and intuitive technology. The brand is dedicated to the details that matter most to guests during their travels with a mission to deliver The Perfectly Precise Hotel™ experience. For more information, visit www.AC-Hotels.com and follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. AC Hotels is proud to participate in Marriott Bonvoy®, the global travel program from Marriott International. The program offers members an extraordinary portfolio of global brands, exclusive experiences on Marriott Bonvoy Moments, and unparalleled benefits including free nights and Elite status recognition. To enroll for free or for more information about the program, visit www.MarriottBonvoy.com.
About OTO Development
OTO Development, part of The Johnson Group, is an award-winning, fast-growing hotel development and hospitality management company. Founded in 2004 and partnering with the Hilton, Hyatt, IHG and Marriott brands, OTO's industry leadership position is anchored by a portfolio of excellent hotels staffed by exceptional people. The company currently owns and/or operates ~70 hotels comprising approximately 9,600 room keys. OTO's growth is focused on developing new hotels in high-barrier-to-entry markets; purchasing and repurposing existing hotel properties; and expanding management contracts with clients ranging from publicly traded REITs to private equity firms to high-net-worth individuals. For more information, visit www.OTODevelopment.com.