Historic Osler building becomes boutique Ambassador hotel

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Historic Osler building becomes boutique Ambassador hotel

By Tim Farley

The Ambassador, a unique boutique hotel in the heart of Midtown, offers an expanded menu of amenities, personal service and history that is foreign to most of its competitors.

The 54-room hotel has a style of architecture that dates back to 1928 when the first three floors were constructed. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the former Osler Building is the best example of the Mission and Spanish Eclectic architecture in Oklahoma City, said Ambassador General Manager Jeff Erwin. It’s also one of only three U-shaped buildings in Oklahoma City.

The fourth, fifth and six floors were added in 1929 and the top floor was built in 1946, according to author Bradley Wynn’s book, “Images of America – Oklahoma City’s Midtown.”

The hotel, which now caters to travelers and local residents, once housed 44,000 square feet of medical offices. Among the physicians was Dr. Ray M. Balyeat, a pioneer in allergy and asthma medicine. Balyeat established the Oklahoma Allergy and Asthma Clinic, which is the oldest and most respected in the nation.

Decades later, the Ambassador Hotel, located at 1200 N. Walker, opened in March 2014, surpassing expectations in its first year of operation, Erwin said. The hotel’s restaurant, bar, catering operation and room reservations showed an increase each month.

“It’s gone really, really well,” he said.

The hotel’s developers took possession of the gutted building in 2011 and transformed it into an elegant and attractive hotel surrounded by an emerging, energetic and vibrant neighborhood. The Ambassador also offers a contemporary twist of traditional furnishings with a rustic look that features a scraped-wood look.

The Midtown area surrounding the Ambassador is considered by Erwin as “organic,” a place where people come to live, work and play.

“The atmosphere of this neighborhood is different than anything else,” he said. “There is so much happening outside our front door.”

One of the many amenities offered to Ambassador guests is a complimentary shuttle to any event or place within a three-mile radius, which includes the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Civic Center, Cox Convention Center or Bricktown.
The Ambassador is part of a regional chain that includes similar operations in Tulsa, Kansas City and Wichita.

“It has a residential feel like you’re in someone’s living room,” Erwin said. “If a guest stays here and makes a suggestion, we don’t have to go to Marriott and get an exception. We can just go ‘that’s a great idea’ and do it. This is a place for the traveler who wants a different experience because of the cool neighborhood.”

Part of the charm is the ability to go to nearby restaurants, bars, bowling alley or visit attractions like the Oklahoma City National Memorial or the Overholser Museum.

“They can also jog Mesta Park and Heritage Hills, which is absolutely beautiful,” Erwin said.

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