The former Holiday Inn Express in SLO has a new name — and upgraded look

The Kinney Hotel, a newly named operation in San Luis Obispo, has completed renovations to its 100 rooms and added a new restaurant and meeting space.

The hotel at 1800 Monterey St. was formerly the Holiday Inn Express SLO, but established its new name in October while remaining under the ownership of Pacifica Hotels, according to Kate Morgan, director of marketing at Pacifica Hotels.

The remodel, which began last year, included upgrades to room interior design, the lobby and communal areas, Morgan said.

The upgrades capture “an elevated college flair” with plaid carpet, a wall collage of classic California prints and hoodie-style bathrobes, according to a Pacifica press release.

The rooms include new 55-inch HDTVs and updated bathrooms, furniture, carpet, artwork and more. Room prices begin at $134.

The Kinney, which remained open during renovation, is located about a mile from Cal Poly.

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“The Kinney is designed to be a lively, social hub for locals as well as provide a good dose of SLO’s collegiate and beach town culture to both leisure and business travelers visiting the Central Coast,” Morgan said.

The business added a new on-site restaurant and bar, called Leroy’s, and two new meeting and event spaces of a combined 2,000 square feet.

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Leroy’s Restaurant at the Kinney Hotel in SLO. Courtesy photo

The restaurant is open to the public from 6 to 11 a.m. and from 3 to 9 p.m. daily. Leroy’s menu features dishes such as tri-tip bahn mi, IPA smoked bacon mac n’ cheese, a Shiitake basil turkey burger, along with a nine-seat bar offering handcrafted cocktails.

The hotel also has an outdoor lounge space, called the Quad, which is open to the public, featuring fire pits and games. And the business has free Wi-Fi.

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Outdoor space at the Kinney Hotel in SLO. Courtesy photo

The hotel seats 77 throughout the dining room and lounge, as well as 22 outdoor seats.

Company officials also hope to attract users of their new meeting spaces that can accommodate up to 160 people between indoor and outdoor areas.

The Motel Inn once hosted the famous and glamorous, like Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe, who stopped there during their honeymoon. Plans have been announced to rebuild the world's first motor hotel.