The Admiral Semmes Hotel, a landmark of Mobile’s LoDa landscape since 1940 and one of the triumvirate of locally renowned historic edifices downtown, per USA Today (Battle House, Malaga Inn being the others), has been purchased by Alabama Hotels LLC. based out of Hattiesburg, Miss.
This is possibly the first of several purchases in the area according to one of the company’s principals, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Cost and future investment plans slated for the property will also be announced in the near future according to the source.
Whether or not the Admiral Semmes will retain its historic name remains unknown. The restrained architectural style of the Depression-era structure is fully apparent from the outside since opening roughly three quarters of a century ago. The hotel’s founder and namesake, Raphael Semmes, was not only a noteworthy local attorney, editor and writer, but was the first and only commander aboard the Confederate ship, CSS Alabama, which capsized in 1864 off the coast of France. The city of Semmes was even named after him.
In recent times the location has lost some of its historic luster. A quick look at Tripadvisor.com shows a guest approval rating of 45 percent, with the majority of reviewers rating their stay as very poor.