The contrast between “What a college town ought to be…and what Waterville actually was” caused President David Greene began to think about revitalizing downtown Waterville in 2014.
The College announced its plan to build a new hotel in 2016. Projected to open in 2020,, the hotel delayed its opening because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It served as a temporary residential space for Colby students from 2020-2022.
On Aug. 15, the hotel, managed by Charlestowne Hotels, opened to the public and has already had a few sold-out nights.
As a boutique hotel with 53 rooms in total, the hotel has more flexibility to accommodate customers’ needs.
Jordan Rowan, the general manager of the hotel, explained, “Boutique tends to refer to an independent property where you’re not getting that cookie-cutter branded approach.”
Rooms are various sizes, including traditional rooms and suites. Meeting rooms and a 24-hour fitness room are also available to guests. Each window features either a view of the Kennebec River or Main Street. The hotel is also pet-friendly and LEED Silver-certified for its eco-friendly construction.
As an integral part of Downtown Waterville, it is more than a place for people to drop off luggage and rest.
Front & Main, a highly rated restaurant on the ground floor of the Lockwood Hotel, expanded its hours to include breakfast, lunch, and dinner when the hotel opened. It also features a 14-seat private dining room, floor-to-ceiling glass windows, and outdoor dining. Customers can get a taste of Maine with the restaurant’s food from local farms, seafood from the Maine coast, and New England natives working inside.
Built on the site of the former clothing store, Levine’s guests can also get a sense of Waterville’s history. The store was known for its exemplary customer service and deep connection to local residents. A small park with a plaque titled “Levine’s Park” at the south of the hotel was built in August this year to memorialize the Levine family.
“We’re trying to really infuse elements of Maine into every corner of this property,” Rowan said in his interview with the Morning Sentinel newspaper.
“It’s important to preserve the history of Waterville,” he added. “We want to move forward, but [we] can’t do that unless [we] have an eye toward the history.”
~ Kristen Shen`24