Vintage Elegance meets Modern Luxury at the Elyton
While there are plenty of buildings being restored in Birmingham, one stands out from among the rest. The Elyton Hotel is located in the beautifully restored Empire Building on what history remembers as “The Heaviest Corner on Earth.” In 1902, this one street corner held the four tallest buildings in the South which were made of heavy concrete and steel. Some people actually wondered if the earth below could withstand the weight of these towering structures.
Fast forward nearly 120 years and the buildings still stand tall. While they didn’t sink into the earth as some had predicted, they did fall victim to Birmingham’s post industrial decline. Luckily, The Elyton, its restaurant The Yard, and rooftop bar Moonshine, have breathed new life into the once abandoned Empire Building.
We were lucky enough to have a staycation at The Elyton during Sloss Tech and Sloss Fest this year. Since we don’t live downtown, this was SUPER convenient during those onerous weather delays at Sloss Fest. Staying at The Elyton allowed us to enjoy being downtown without having to worry about when we would have to commute home each day.
From the moment you walk through its doors, The Elyton makes you feel like you are somewhere other than the Birmingham we’ve all grown accustomed to. It’s ornate lobby has a sleek modern look that still emphasizes parts of the original structure. You also notice the concierge desk. The Elyton is the only hotel in the Birmingham area that offers a full concierge service that will rival anything you will find in Manhattan.
Once we checked in, we headed up to our room to settle in. The room was painted in bright colors and the furniture was white with a modern twist. We especially appreciated the USB outlets and the smart tv that allowed us to log into our streaming accounts like Hulu and Netflix!
To top off the modern features, each room comes equipped with a tablet that is personalized with your registration info. It has information on local attractions, the menu to The Yard & Moonshine, as well as a quick way to contact the front desk.
The bathroom setup was convenient as well. The shower was on one side of the vanity, which had a stylish backlit mirror, and the toilet was on the other side with its own door. This allows for one person to use the restroom with added privacy while someone else is taking a shower.
The elevator that takes you to the rooftop is decked out to look like something from prohibition era Birmingham and even has a glass ceiling if you’d like to watch your ascent to the Moonshine Bar! Moonshine has plenty of indoor seating and two separate patios with comfortable sofas and chairs. This is probably the best place to view a Birmingham sunset over the city’s western horizon as you enjoy cocktails and various small-bite appetizers.
Be sure to get a look at the sculpted faces, or “medusas,” that adorn each corner of the building. I’m sure if they could talk, these concrete faces would have a lot of stories to tell about what they have witnessed over the past century. Now, they gaze upon beautiful Railroad Park!
Complementing the rooftop bar is The Yard, a phenomenal restaurant and bar located near the lobby on the first floor. While the bar on the roof is geared towards vodka based cocktails, the bar in The Yard focuses heavily on bourbon and whiskey!
You can see an immediate change in design and decor as soon as you transition from the hotel lobby into the restaurant. In place of the sleek, modern, feel The Yard has brick walls, natural wood accents, and a vintage ceiling. If you look closely, you’ll notice that the legs of some of the tables are made from parts of the original freight elevator! Dining in The Yard gives you a feel of what parts of the building were like in the early 1900’s.
Chef Haller Magee always ensures that there’s a menu full of exquisite dishes to choose from. We could do an entire post on Chef Magee, The Yard, and its incredible food, but we recommend that you try it for yourself during this year’s Birmingham Restaurant Week!
Another perk of The Elyton is its central location. You are just a quick walk from The Food Hall at The Pizitz, historically photogenic Morris Ave., and all of the new venues at Founders Station! Both The Essential and Pilcrow just opened up at Founders Station. The Essential is a great option for a delicious breakfast on the patio, while Pilcrow is perfect for cocktails!
From a rich history, delicious food, top tier service, and amazing amenities, The Elyton truly is a sanctuary in the city! It allowed us to escape our day to day worries without us ever having to leave our city! If you have family or friends visiting from out of town, this is a great way for them to experience the best parts of our city! As we mentioned before, The Elyton is also perfect for turning a weekend festival (like Sloss Fest, Secret Stages, or Sidewalk Film Fest) into a fun staycation!
Click HERE for info on scheduling your rejuvenating stay!
* Our room was provided by the Elyton Hotel, but as always, all of our opinions are our own.