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MJR Development and the Branded Lodging Co. Building a $45 million Destination Hotel at
 Woodinville Village Near Seattle; Plans Include a Culinary Amphitheater for
 Demonstrations and Cooking Competitions
By Peyton Whitely, Seattle TimesMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Oct. 13, 2007 - An agreement to bring a top-end hotel to the Woodinville Village project includes a culinary amphitheater in which demonstrations and cooking competitions could be held.

The hotel deal was made between MJR Development and the Branded Lodging Co. to open the destination hotel, to be called Hotel Varenna, in the Woodinville Village project in summer 2009.

The 50-seat amphitheater will be specifically designed with dueling kitchens in the style of "Iron Chef," a popular Food Network series. The amphitheater would have broadcast and production capabilities.

Culinary and wine education with an emphasis on Washington state food and wine will be the major focus of the amphitheater.

Woodinville Village is a Tuscan-style mixed-use development being built by MJR along the south edge of the city, in the center of the area wine industry.

Along with the amphitheater, the $45 million hotel will include a 75-seat destination restaurant, 14,500 square feet of ground-level retail space, 7,000 square feet of meeting space and an outdoor "Piazza" venue, MJR announced this month.

Each of the 100 guest rooms and suites will be more than 480 square feet and include an indoor/outdoor fireplace, deep soaking tub and glass-enclosed shower.

The hotel is being designed by Seattle's SKB Architects, with overall project management by CB Richard Ellis.

"We believe the future of tourism in Washington state is culinary, wine and agritourism, and we will develop a hotel, restaurant and culinary center that will complement the demand for these lifestyle products," said Patrick McFarlan, developer and manager of Hotel Varenna, who previously was with the Four Seasons Olympic Hotel in Seattle and Willows Lodge in Woodinville.

Woodinville Village is an 840,000-square-foot project expected to open in 2009.

Peyton Whitely: 206-464-2259 or


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