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'Ferncroft' Gets New Name, New Rooms

The largest hotel in Danvers completed it rebranding last week with the conversion to DoubleTree.

The hotel known to many as the Ferncroft has a new name – DoubleTree by Hilton Boston North Shore.

The conversion from CoCo Key Hotel Water Resort to DoubleTree by Hilton Boston North Shore was completed last week, according to Saga Hospitality, the hotel operator for the past five years.

“They chose us to stay on and manage the hotel,” said Jim Darter, Sage’s senior vice president of the full-service division.

The Lighthouse Group owns the hotel. The plan to convert it from CoCo Key Hotel Water Resort to DoubleTree by Hilton Boston North Shore was announced in January. The hotel was known as the Crowne Plaza Boston North Shore before that, and was longtime known as the Sheraton Ferncroft.

It sits atop a hill on Ferncroft Road, just off Route 1 and I-95 on the Middleton town line.

Sage has been managing the hotel since it was known as Sheraton Ferncroft. It managed the hotel when the CoCo Key Water Resort was added on.

“That was a very exciting transformation,” Darter said.

The water park will continue to be part of the hotel, under the name CoCo Key.

The water resort will continue to be open to day users and also hotel guests. For guests arriving with a water park package, they will even have their own check in area, Darter said.

Darter said other changes have been made to differentiate the hotel from the water park, plus upgrades in the water park itself. A new arcade has been added with new machines with swipe cards, Darter said.

And chocolate chip cookies – synonymous with the DoubleTree brand – are now available in the hotel lobby.

“Those cookies are being handed out as we speak,” Darter said during an interview last week.

At the hotel, besides new signs, upgrades will include improvements to the entrance façade, landscaping and parking lots, plus a redesign of the lobby and a new look for the ballrooms and meeting space. All of the work will be complete in the next one to two months, Darter said.

The hotel says that CoCo Key is the largest water park in the state and that the hotel has the largest ballroom outside of Boston. The hotel will also contionue to be home to Atlantis Sports Club.

Darter said the improvement totaled more than $10 million in work. In a written announcement last week, the company said the work was worth $16 million.

The hotel also include several dozen “family style cabana” or “guesthouse-style” rooms that includes two bedrooms, including one with bunk beds designed specifically for families.

The hotel continues to have 364 rooms – each one was redesigned and renovated in the past 10 months.

The improvements to the hotel were determined through an “extensive” process by Hilton and the company approved all the new designs.

The renovation also included the installation of new 32 inch high-definition flatscreen TVs in every room plus 50 megabytes high-speed Internet connections.

This article has been updated to correct the spelling of the last name of Jim Darter.

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