Note: This week we welcome guest writer Sommer Sharon. She has written a 2- part blog series for us. In this series Sommer will talk about the new Stoney Creek hotel in Independence, MO. The first blog is about J. Thompson Builders’ involvement in the building of the hotel. The second blog is about her experience staying at the hotel.
When J. Thompson Builders invited me to stay at the newly opened Stoney Creek Hotel in Independence, MO, I have to admit I was thrilled. The Stoney Creek line of hotels is luxurious yet built with families in mind. It’s like a resort within a hotel.
Wait, hold up! What? You’re probably wondering why J. Thompson Builders would invite me to stay at a Stoney Creek property?
Fun Facts: Jeremy Thompson, the owner of J. Thompson Builders, has helped in the building of Stoney Creek hotels since 1997. In 2002 Jeremy started J. Thompson Builders, and because of his past work with Stoney Creek, his new business continued to work with the hotel line. In 2009 J. Thompson Builders started their custom fabrication shop so they could take over engineering ALL of the interior trim and finish work (wainscoting, furnishings, cabinets, etc.) for the hotel line. They do all of this by partnering with an interior designer who conceptualizes the design, and J. Thompson Builders brings those ideas to fruition.
You know the saying, “it’s all in the details?” Well this is what Stoney Creek (with the help of J. Thompson Builders) does well; Details!
The Independence, MO Stoney Creek is the 14th hotel opened as part of the Stoney Creek line. In the last few years the hotel line has transitioned from using a northwoods theme in their designs to an urban lodge theme. Urban lodge is best described as fusing contemporary style with rustic elements. And J. Thompson Builders has had to evolve with the hotel, offering trim pieces suited for both styles.
I can’t possibly highlight all the J. Thompson Builders work seen in a Stoney Creek hotel, because it’s A LOT, but here are a few fun pieces I spotted on my recent stay (much of it via an educational, interesting tour the hotel staff took me on).
I’ll start with the room I stayed in…
A nice office space is crucial for someone like me who works from the road when traveling. J. Thompson Builders’ finishing touches make this is a unique space, and gave me something more interesting to look at than a drab, plain white hotel wall. That’s real barn board paneling behind the desk. J. Thompson Builders buys barn wood straight from the demolition, either by taking it down themselves or getting it from the people who take it down. It’s dirty, raw and beat up when it comes to J. Thompson Builders, but then they clean it up, run it through some power sanders, make it usable and then finish it.
Now let’s see some of the other parts of the hotel…
I didn’t get to spend any time in the bar on this trip (with kids in tow), but I was treated to a tour (in the next blog I’ll tell you more about how cool this bar is). The first thing I noticed when entering the bar was the bar door. Again, details count, and the iron mini window (technically called a speakeasy door) is a fun accent. The door, again, is made of reclaimed barn board. J. Thompson Builders designed the door down to the last detail, including the fun “speakeasy door,” and then custom made the door in their fabrication shop.
J. Thompson Builder’s custom finish touches are seen throughout the bar. Check out the wainscoting! J. Thompson Builders used a milk paint finish on it; it’s also hand distressed and hand sanded. It’s cool to see hear how much effort goes into making these unique pieces.
My tour included several hotel room bathrooms so I could get a good sense of how much detail goes into creating each and every individual space. All included these neat custom, tub surrounds, and many also had barn board paneling on the wall behind the tub. All, again, custom made in the J. Thompson Builders fabrication shop.
Another fun fact: J. Thompson Builders has a custom finish they use specifically for Stoney Creek Hotel products. No insider secrets were revealed to me, but they did tell me they use a line of custom colors and a combination of glazes, stains and paints, including milk paint. Many products are hand distressed. Imagine the time it takes to hand distress all the products needed for an entire hotel?!
The fun, stylish cupboards in some of the rooms made me feel like I could live here permanently. Such details are especially enticing for someone staying at the hotel for an extended length of time. When your home is a hotel, who doesn’t want to stay in a room which mimics the style of a custom home builder. Considering J. Thompson Builders IS also a home builder, it’s obvious they’ve taken their skills and applied them to the hotel industry.
One of the last stops on my tour was what Stoney Creek calls their “Presidential Suite.” Wow, is about all I have to say, and the picture says the rest! The hotel maintains the reclaimed lumber look throughout, and they took this up a notch in the Presidential Suite. A unique design of barn board paneling runs horizontally along the wall. The back and front bar are also built with the same barn board paneling.
Stay tuned for the next blog when I’ll give you even more reasons to stay at Stoney Creek Independence, besides the fact they’ve got great style.
Sommer Sharon is a freelance writer. Her writing has been seen in USA Today, Iowa Living, Trails.com and various other national and regional, print and online, publications. She is a seasoned traveler who specializes in solo travel and solo family travel (i.e. traveling alone with kids). You can find out more about her at www.sleighconsulting.com.