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Getting a First Glimpse 

by Michael Bowen

While the Davenport is booked for opening night -- all 160 rooms available have been reserved for July 15 -- mere mortals can still get a glimpse this weekend of the renovated and ornate treasures within. The public can tour the lobbies and everything that's been renovated on Saturday, July 13, from 9 am-4 pm and on Sunday, July 14, from 10 am-4 pm. The tours, which will last 45-60 minutes, will run continually, leaving from the east side of the hotel at the Post Street entrance. Guides will relate the building's history; vintage cars will be on display, along with other exhibits; tour participants will be able to gawk at the grandeur of the Spanish Renaissance-influenced main lobby, the Italian neoclassical Isabella Room and with the French neoclassical Marie Antoinette Room.

While the Grand Pennington Room and floors 9-14 will not be open until September, this weekend's walk-throughs offer views of the new Palm Court restaurant (with seating for 90), the Peacock Room (the new lounge) and the seating area in the Lobby Fireside. Guides will also allow a peek at a couple of the rooms, with their flat-screen TVs and Travertine marble showers and bathrooms.

Guests will begin arriving around 4 pm on Monday, July 15, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for that hour. In addition, those who stay during the Davenport's first night will receive their own pair of scissors -- for cutting the ribbons draped across each room's door.

Rooms (which can be reserved by calling 455-8888) range from the $129 so-called bunkhouse rooms on the third floor, on through the Parlor suites ($199) and Penthouse suites ($239), all the way up to the 1,500-square-foot Governor's Suite ($950) and the 3,000-square-foot Presidential Suite ($1,950), with its baby grand piano, see-through fireplace and hand-carved mahogany four-poster bed.

The Palm Court restaurant is open for business starting July 16 as well.

The Davenport Hotel , 10 S. Post St., Call: 455-8888 or (800-899-1482) , [email protected],

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