Hilton Garden Inn Mobile Downtown
In 1906, successful pharmacist, real estate developer and cotton mill owner Orville Cawthon built one of Mobile’s three luxury hotels with accommodations for 400 guests, a mission style lobby with a balcony for the house orchestra, a Ladies' Parlor, a billiard room, a "Tap Room" and a barber shop with a mirrored curving wall reflecting the barber chairs atop a blue and white tiled floor at the corner of Conception and St. Francis Streets facing Bienville Square.
In the 1920s with the arrival of Prohibition the bars were closed but a rolling cart provided cocktails for thirsty guests. In the event of a raid the bar cart was simply placed inside one of the elevators locked between floors. The agents apparently never thought to check the elevator marked “Out of Order.”
Orville Cawthon Jr. and his sister, Estelle Cawthon Buck, inherited the hotel. Neither had children and Mr. Cawthon, who served as King Felix III over the 1905 Mardi Gras celebration, died in his hotel in 1962.
As developers tore down mansions along Government Street to build motor hotels and motels during the 1960's traditional hotels like the Cawthon, the Battle House and the Admiral Semmes suffered. All three closed after serving more as residences for senior citizens than the traveling public.
Thankfully the pendulum has swung the other way. Downtown is once again flourishing and both the Admiral Semmes and Battle House have been refurbished. The motels have met the wreckers with one or two sad exceptions. Unfortunately the Cawthon closed its doors in 1971 and after being stripped of its furnishings was demolished in 1973. After more than 40 years as a parking lot the new Hilton Garden Inn brings back a contemporary form of the earlier luxury accommodations on the exact location and features something even the Cawthon lacked: a ground floor terraced bar overlooking Bienville Square with viewing stands for hotel guests during Mardi Gras parades. Orville would be pleased.
The Hilton Garden Inn Mobile Downtown provides an upscale lodging experience in a premium location. Intimate and personal. Opened in 2017, it is a boutique hotel filled with a locally inspired, stylish interior design theme celebrating the natural surroundings in the Mobile Tensaw Delta.
Stunning meeting rooms featuring high tech audio visual, loads of natural light, and comfortable furniture.
A one-of-a-kind location on the Mardi Gras parade route where guests can enjoy views of Bienville Square from rooms, balconies and exclusive parties on our covered and heated terrace overlooking the iconic Bienville Square.
Surrounded on all sides by the nightlife and restaurants of Mobile. Walking distance is measured in feet instead of miles.
This is the ideal location for small groups, business or leisure travel, and wedding blocks.