Downtown San Jose’s Fairmont Hotel gets big revamp

SAN JOSE — The Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Jose, an iconic lodging in the city’s urban core, has been revamped with a wide-ranging makeover of the lobby and bar.

The renovation will usher in a new bar, lounge, and dining experience at the hotel, which is a cornerstone in downtown San Jose’s convention and theater district.

The renovation cost nearly $10 million, according to Fairmont executives.

A portion of the renovated Fairmont San Jose hotel lobby, lounge, and bar area. Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group

Rockwell Group, an award-winning architecture and design firm that has designed numerous Planet Hollywood, Nobu Restaurant, and W Hotel sites, as well as eye-catching projects in Manhattan, designed the Fairmont’s makeover.

“It was a pleasure to partner with Rockwell Group on this tremendous transformation of our lobby,” said Dan McGowan, general manager of the Fairmont San Jose.

The upgrades also included the main entrance foyer and the guest registration areas.

The Fairmont San Jose lobby and lounge area following a nearly $10 million renovation. Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group

The lobby bar will reopen as Arca Bar and Lounge, hotel officials said.

The upgrade is particularly welcome in the wake of the economic devastation and uncertainties unleashed by the coronavirus, in the view of Matthew Martinucci, an executive with Team San Jose, which manages the San Jose Convention Center and four city-owned cultural theaters.

An updated lighting scheme is part of the renovation of the Fairmont San Jose hotel lobby and lounge areas. Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group

“Fairmont San Jose’s new renovated public spaces are an asset to downtown,” Martinucci said. “The debut of these new spaces could not have come at a better or more important time in San Jose’s downtown recovery.”

The fallout from the deadly coronavirus has badly jolted the hotel sector worldwide and locally.

Hotel and local tourism officials believe the combination of the wood, marble, and new lighting treatments will make the lobby and lounge areas more inviting to visitors.

A section of the revamped lounge and lobby of the Fairmont San Jose hotel. Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group

“The Fairmont’s new aesthetic is fresh and welcoming,” Martinucci said.

The Arca lounge and transformed lobby are slated to reopen this spring or summer.

“We know this new bar and lounge will be a favorite for both visitors and locals as we begin the efforts to rebuild the strength of this community,” McGowan said.

Fairmont San Jose hotel on South Market Street in downtown San Jose. Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group

Located at a key spot in San Jose on South Market Street, the performance of the Fairmont hotel is deemed to be a key to the downtown’s prospects.

“The hotel is already an established prime meeting location walkable to all downtown restaurants and attractions,” Martinucci said. “Now, groups and visitors can enjoy the revamped bar and lounge as a start or end to their San Jose experience.”