It’s a landmark of downtown Mobile, and since its renovation in 2005, the stately Battle House is more than a hotel. Connected to both the modern and soaring RSA Tower and a parking deck and rooftop spa and pool across the street, the Battle House’s amenities comprise an entire city block.
No stranger to the Nappie Awards, this year it takes home honors for Best Hotel, Best Day Spa and Best Place to Hold a Reception or Event. Separately, employee Adam Yunker of the Royal Street Tavern won Hottest Bartender, and the Royal Street Tavern itself won for Best Martini and Best Bar Bathroom.
General Manager Margo Gilbert said Yunker and the Battle House’s other 180 employees deserve all the credit for their dedication and attention to service.
“I think the Battle House is an anchor for downtown Mobile — we do have a lot of new competition coming in with different price points — but what I want to emphasize is our staff,” she said. “I’ll put them up against anyone in the country for customer service and taking care of guests. They do a fantastic job of execution on all levels.”
The Battle House team, which includes hotel, food service, loss prevention, engineering and spa employees, consistently rank within the Top 5 for guest service scores in Marriott’s Renaissance brand hotels, Gilbert said. Yunker, who is also an active-duty member of the Alabama National Guard, is currently on deployment in Romania.
Opened in 1908 after the original structure burned down, the Battle House currently features 239 guest rooms, a full-service day spa, a modern fitness center, and an outdoor pool. The Trellis Room is downtown Mobile’s only AAA Four Diamond restaurant, and in addition to the Royal Street Tavern, its Joe Cain Café offers lighter fare in a more casual environment.
There is also more than 26,000 square feet of flexible venue space for meetings or events, including the building’s historic Crystal Ballroom. The salon, which is open seven days a week, features estheticians and massage therapists, offering manicures, pedicures, hair and makeup services. Gilbert said while weekends tend to stay booked in advance, weekday appointments can often be made the same day.
Besides frequent wedding receptions, the Battle House also accommodates the Mobile Area Mardi Gras Association’s annual ball, as well as the Downtown Mobile Alliance’s annual meeting. It’s decor only changes during the Christmas season, but Gilbert said rooms can be outfitted for any occasion.
Gilbert herself is a graduate of the University of Denver’s Hospitality Management program. With a degree in hand, she was recruited by Hilton and spent 15 years on the West Coast working as a manager in training. Her first position as general manager was in Anaheim, California, before she was recruited to Mobile in 2004 to help open the newly remodeled Battle House. She also briefly served as resident manager of Mobile’s Riverview Plaza Hotel.
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