Originally debuting on Thanksgiving 1912, the 351-room Hotel Paso del Norte, an Autograph Collection property by Marriott, has reopened in El Paso, Texas, following a multimillion-dollar renovation. The hotel has the largest amount of event space in the city: 33,000 square feet of refurbished meeting space that includes a board room and private dining areas. The two largest spaces — the 7,344-square-foot Black Jack Pershing Ballroom and the 3,268-square-foot Pancho Villa Ballroom — still sport old-world décor and their original chandeliers. According to the El Paso Times, about $70 million was set aside for the renovation.
The historical hotel offers panoramic views of the Franklin Mountains and terraces that overlook the Mexican border. Across the street are the Abraham Chavez Theatre and the Judson F. Williams Convention Center.
"Once in a great while, you happen upon a place that captures time and everything that is good about life," said Carlos Sarmiento, general manager of the hotel. "That's the feeling people experience at Hotel Paso del Norte. Here, everything that is good about life abounds: impeccable architecture, exquisite dining and drinks, friendly people, and the comforts of luxurious amenities."
Once known as the "Showplace of the Southwest," the hotel was the vision of local businessman Zack White. Guests in the early 20th century would gather for drinks while watching the Mexican Revolution from the 10th floor. Several flourishes were preserved during the renovations, such as a Tiffany-style, stained-glass dome ceiling.
Drink and dining outlets serve up pre-Prohibition-style cocktails in the Dome Bar and enchiladas rolled with handmade tortillas at Sabor. Opening in the coming months are the 1700° Steak House, with a menu of hand-cut steaks and world-class wines; El Mirador, a 10th-floor lounge featuring craft cocktails, fine wines, craft beer, a tapas menu of small plates and live entertainment several nights a week; and Dulce, which will dish up house-made gelato and fresh-baked goodies. Menus are seasonal in order to take advantage of the best provisions from the Texas mountain and basin region. Other hotel amenities include the 10th-floor rooftop pool, a boutique, a cigar bar and a fitness center. Soon to open is a spa that will feature a salt-therapy room.
Mindful of the pandemic, Hotel Paso del Norte has installed a virus-killing air-filtration system throughout. The state-of-the-art Plasma Air system has been shown to kill 99 percent of bacteriophage in the air after 10 minutes of use. Common areas, bars, restaurants, hallways, ballrooms, meeting rooms, spa and fitness rooms, and all guest rooms use the filtration system.