Selma, Alabama’s historic St. James Hotel reopens after extensive renovations

The historic St. James Hotel in Selma, Ala., has reopened after lengthy renovations.
The historic St. James Hotel in Selma, Ala., has reopened after lengthy renovations.

SELMA Ala. – The renovated St. James Hotel has recently reopened in Selma, Ala., adding to an already historic element of the state.

Sitting adjacent to the Edmund Pettus Bridge and the Alabama River, the main building of the hotel was constructed in 1836. It is the only riverfront pre-Civil War-era hotel still in existence.

Rhaglan Hospitality acquired the property in 2018 and began renovating the entire property, adding 13 guest rooms overlooking the Edmund Pettus Bridge. From the original oil paintings in the guest rooms to the period antiques in the common areas to the brick courtyard, the St. James has been redesigned to retain the historic features of the property while incorporating contemporary design elements throughout.

The St. James has a full-service restaurant and bar, Sterling, which was named after a former slave who operated the hotel in the 1800s, Benjamin Sterling Turner. Guests can begin their evening with a cocktail in the hotel’s gas-lit courtyard, followed by dinner in the cozy bar area by one of the two original fireplaces or in the mirror-lined main dining room.

The opening of the St. James is a milestone for the economic development of the city. The property will provide nearly 50 new jobs.

Rhaglan CEO Jim Lewis noted, “This project could not have gotten done without the unwavering support of the City of Selma and its citizens. We feel so privileged to be a part of this special community. At a time when our nation is so divided, it is nice to see people from all walks of life come together to produce a positive result for all.”

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