The wait for the hotel portion of Live! Casino & Hotel is over. The Cordish Companies opened the doors to the 310 guest rooms and suites of the 17-story luxury hotel June 6.
The hotel and an accompanying events center substantially changes the complexion of the casino property in Hanover, Md., from being somewhere where gamblers go to try their luck for a few hours to more of a destination that offers an upscale vacation-style escape. Plus, it'll certainly serve as a convenient retreat for customers who want to rest after late-night sessions on the casino floor since an entrance directly connects the casino to the hotel at the rear of the gaming floor.
David Cordish, chairman of The Cordish Companies, said the hotel is the result of listening to customers.
Explaining how his company has operated successfully over the decades, Cordish said, "The only way to do it is to constantly reinvest, connect with your customers, your loyal customers, to see what they want you to reinvest in."
Almost from the very start -- when the casino near the Arundel Mills Mall first opened in 2012 -- Cordish said, "one of the things they wanted was a world-class luxury hotel."
That's what Live! has delivered.
There are 258 deluxe guest rooms (king and double queen) that measure about 400 square feet, 33 signature suites that measure about 450 square feet, and 20 ultra-suites that prospective guests will have to arrange for through the casino. Even guests who aren't high rollers are likely to feel pampered in the rooms, which feature roomy walk-in showers, 55-inch HDTVs and hotel-supplied tablets.
The hotel also has a spa with a menu of massage therapies, body wraps and nail and hair services.
The hotel also adds two new eateries to Live!'s dining options. One is a 24-hour restaurant named David's that offers comfort food with an international flair.
"I can eat breakfast for any meal, so that's something I wanted on the menu -- breakfast all day," Cordish said.
In keeping with that thought, diners will find offerings such as Hong Kong-style French Toast (made with Challah Bread infused with vanilla and covered with maple syrup and fruit garnish) or buttermilk pan "cakes" (a hybrid pancake-actual cake stacked eight inches high) both day or night. Plus there are lunch/dinner items such as bacon cheeseburgers, crab cakes and sea bass in a spicy broth.
Also a new addition is a pastry coffee shop called Luckies with freshly made fancy baked goods and Italian gelato.
However, what lends the new hotel a distinctly sophisticated air is the collection of artwork in the public spaces that were curated by Cordish's wife, Suzi Cordish. She spent more than three years choosing the more than 40 pieces displayed throughout the hotel.
Among the most startling is a video wall art display by Jennifer Steinkamp of flowers swirling on a digital canvas behind the hotel reception desk.
"It's an example of the philosophy we planned together about wanting [the hotel] to be exciting and beautiful and energetic, and fun and inspirational," Suzi Cordish said. "You look at [the Steinkamp piece] and you say, 'How is that done?'"
The art collection literally makes the Live! Hotel a fine arts gallery with wall pieces including a tapestry, sculptures and hanging overhead installations.
Even for those who are not staying at the hotel or are not even casino customers, there will be the opportunity to attend entertainment and sports events at the new events and concert center. It currently seats 1,500 and in 2019 will be expanded to 4,000 seats. It's also expected to be the site of community activities such as graduation ceremonies.
"Every once in a while," David Cordish said, "you do a project where you exceed your own expectations and this happens to be one of them."