Michelle Keller wants guests at Brickhouse Loft, a boutique hotel, to feel the hospitality from the moment they book to the moment they leave. The effort she and her staff have put into making their guests feel welcomed in a clean and caring environment shows not only through the personal messages they receive long after that guest has left, but on the reviews they leave online as well.
Brickhouse Loft recently received this year’s Traveller Review Award from booking.com, one of the largest online travel agencies. Brickhouse Loft has a ranking of 9.4 out of 10 on the site. The award states that this score makes Brickhouse Loft one of the best-rated properties and showcases the times the hotel has gone above and beyond, its hard work and dedication.
“I didn’t even know I was going to get this award,” Keller said. “We were having a bad day and I was told, ‘wait until you read this.’ Sometimes it’s hard not to focus on the one person out of 500 who says any kind of negative comment, but then you know that 99 percent of people have loved their stay. Booking.com is a well-known online travel agency so having that award is going to help get our name out further. We will pop up first on their search. It’s an honor to know that we represent Martinsville, Indiana and we’re doing something good to shine a light on it.”
Reviews on booking.com range from complimenting the cleanliness, the relaxing environment, the proximity to their destination and even proximity to downtown to places to eat or grab a coffee in downtown Martinsville. “All I can say is WOW,” wrote one reviewer on the booking.com site. “10+/10 all the way around! The building is beautiful, quiet, and right in town. Through our entire stay Michelle went above and beyond for my dad and I. I have never experienced this level of customer service!”
Another stated, “It is no wonder after staying here why it solidly has 5 star reviews. Very upscale stay in quaint town close to Bloomington which is where we were traveling to during the day. Very comfortable bed, clear check-in and check-out instructions texted and also in the room, tastefully decorated really every thought planned out.”
HOW IT ALL STARTED
As a Martinsville resident herself, Keller said she’s proud of the Martinsville community, having seen the positive changes that are being made and wanting others to see that as well. That’s why she decided to open her newest businesses there, the same place she calls home.
Keller was previously a hairdresser for 28 years, owning her own salon in Bloomington until 2019. She opened her event venue, Brickhouse on Main at 128 N. Main St., Martinsville, in May of 2019. Brickhouse on Main offers event planning services for weddings, events and galas, parties and other celebrations. Upon opening the venue, it quickly became apparent to her that the venue needed a bridal suite.
The Artesian Group and Fenneman Enterprises approached her and asked if she had any interest in starting a boutique hotel, which would provide that bridal suite and more. It took nearly a year and a half to transform an older, rundown apartment complex into the eight-suite, modern hotel that’s now located at 240 N. Jefferson St. In that time, Keller was researching how to run a hotel, picking out décor, every single fixture and planning the design of each room. She wanted it to feel comfortable as a bed and breakfast but with all of the amenities of a hotel. She and her staff started vision boards to come up with color schemes and took off from there. They wanted every room to be different, but still cohesive. “That’s how it all started,” Keller said. “I love hospitality. I want to make sure everybody is having fun, comfortable and like family.”Read the Full March 2023 Edition Here