By John McDevitt
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- It took 18 months and $89-million to rehab a historic Old City office building and make it Philadelphia's newest luxury hotel. Hotel Monaco, adjacent to Independence Mall, opened on Thursday.
The Lafayette building at 5th and Chestnut Streets is now the Hotel Monaco. It was originally built in 1907 by sailor, philanthropist and banker Stephen Girard's estate. There are subtle nods to honor Girard incorporated into the hotel's decor, including a crystal chandelier in the shape of a ship and a column with rope wrapped around it for a nautical feel.
Nick Gregory, the hotel's General Manager, invites guests into the colorful eclectically decorated lobby, or what they like to call living room, complete with hand carved stone fireplace.
"The more that this building came together, what we saw is an adventure for your eyes you can walk into several times and keep finding new features," Gregory says.
Listen to John McDevitt's full interview with Nick Gregory in this CBS Philly podcast:
There are 268 guest rooms, featuring 17 one-bedroom suites.
There is a ballroom for two-hundred, a street level restaurant called Red Owl Tavern, and the city's largest and tallest outdoor rooftop bar called Stratus.
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