West Volusia Properties is pleased to announce that the Artisan Inn in downtown DeLand is the Spring recipient of its quarterly "Restoration Award." Once an eyesore, its present owners, John and Chryst Soety, with John's brother Brett, took on a gargantuan project in 1996 when they purchased the property with an eye toward restoration and adaptive rehabilitation. After months of labor the Artisan Inn gleams majestically at 215 South Woodland Boulevard, adding a rich dimension to downtown DeLand. This award is accompanied by the book Images of America: DeLand, a gift certificate to Feasels Paint and Glass, and a framed photo and certificate.
Constructed in 1924, the Artisan was originally known as the DeLand Hotel then The Landmark Hotel. With a long history of providing shelter to snowbirds, then locals in need of a residence, the old hotel of yesteryear has graduated to a higher level of service thanks to the Soetys. Today the Artisan Inn offers delicious cuisine surrounded by gracious decor, soft music, and original artwork. The lounge sports lively entertainment and yummy hor'dourves, while the restored bedrooms have been transformed into luxurious suites.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Artisan Inn was designed by Medwin Peek, the architect who drafted plans for numerous homes in DeLand's prestigious University Terrace. The local contractor for the Athens Theater, Andrew Bradshaw, built the hotel. The building's architecture is Mediterranean, popular throughout Florida during its "Land Boom Era," and features traits characteristic of the style: arcade facade; parapets; pent roof with terra cotta tiles; and stucco walls. These features were also used extensively by Peek in his DeLand homes.
"Because most of the hotel was compartmentalized with numerous smaller rooms, plans were made to open up space," explains the Soetys. "That entailed additional structural support, causing one wall at a time to be jacked, shored, demolished, and then installed with steel." This slow process went on for months with the entire building eventually being gutted and brought up to code. The patio, a roof top terrace, and an elevator also were added.
The Artisan Inn has won numerous awards since its restoration including: the News-Journal's "Best of the West Chef;" "2nd Best Bed & Breakfast" and "Best Banquet Facilities" in Florida in 2001; 4th in the state for commercials restoration in 2004; and named one of Florida's "Most Romantic Get-A-Ways" by the writers and publishers of Florida's Most Romantic Getaways Vol. II. Numerous couples definitely agree with that last honor as the Artisan has been the location for romantic wedding ceremonies and receptions.
"Our restoration was a labor of love," acknowledges Chryst Soety, "and a project that my husband and brother-in-law thoroughly enjoyed. Chryst wasn't involved in much of the remodeling work; her work came after the restaurant and hotel opened. Chryst loves the restaurant business and although it's hard work she makes it look easy by the efficient service and exquisitely presented cuisine for which the Artisan is well known.
The restaurant is open Mondays through Thursdays from 11am until 9pm, Fridays 11am to 10pm and Saturdays from 4pm until 10pm. The lounge rocks Mondays through Saturdays from 11am until close. Happy Hour goes from 11am until 7pm with a free buffet at 5pm and lasting until the food disappears due to hungry appetites. Hotel check-in is from 4pm until 10pm Mondays through Saturdays and Sundays by appointment only. Check-out is 11am.
For restaurant or banquet reservations or to book a suite for an out-of-town guest, call 386.736.3484. Additional information can be found by visiting the Artisan's website at www.delandartisaninn.com. Better yet, stop by and say "Thanks" to Chryst and John for all the hard work and money they put into this project that forwarded the historic restoration renaissance in downtown DeLand.