Get ready to experience the brand new, state-of-the-art, Tony & Libba Rane Culinary Science Center, home to the Laurel Hotel and Spa. The center brings a brand-new array of experiences, revolutionizing the hospitality management program at Auburn. From the luxury spa to the Hey Day Market, this new facility is the only one of its kind in the world.


The Laurel Hotel and Spa

The Laurel was designed to be an exciting destination where hospitality, education, and elevated service come together in a flawless fashion. From the cosmopolitan 1856 restaurant to the rooftop garden and pool, you will relish every moment of your stay. There are 16 ultra-luxurious rooms and 10 spacious suites. The sixth floor is home to amenities, including a fitness center, the Library, and spa.

Start your day with an efficient workout in the fitness area equipped with cable machines, free weights, and Peloton bikes. After your workout, head to the Library for breakfast. 

The Library was created with the intention of being the hotel’s living room. It is a space available exclusively for residents and guests of The Laurel Hotel and Spa.

“It is nice when you have the hotel room and the Library's communal space,” said Hans van der Rijden, founder and CEO at Ithaka Hospitality Partners. “It creates a stunning experience, with a beautiful view of Samford since you are on the sixth floor.”

You will be able to indulge in complimentary breakfast, lunch, afternoon snacks, and dessert at their respective times. After enjoying breakfast with a view, get ready for a spa day. 

The spa has six treatment rooms, a relaxation lounge with a beautiful view, steam rooms, and various treatment options, such as the live oak breath of nature treatment. Breath of nature is a comprehensive and deeply restorative service rooted in Shinrin-Yoku (forest air bathing), a Japanese tradition that you will begin by opening your lungs with eucalyptus steam followed by a massage using native forest essential oils and mild stretching.

After your spa treatment, venture to the rooftop to view campus and the downtown area from the best seat in the house sitting at 125 feet high. Grab a drink and stroll through the 4100-square-foot garden, or kick back in one of the six poolside cabanas with food and drink service.


1856, Hey Day Market, and more

The culinary science center is home to much more than the hotel and spa. It also houses classrooms, wine tasting rooms, 1856, the Hey Day Market, a coffee rotisserie/coffee shop, and a micro-brewery. 

“It is entirely an educational facility. The center has been designed to improve the student’s hospitality experience,” said Dr. O’Neil, department head and professor of nutrition, dietetics, and hospitality management. “We are engaged in a sequential scaffolding system. When students come in their freshman year, they will be introduced to all of the different aspects of the center.”

From that point on, students begin hands-on work in the building, and during their senior year, they take on supervisory roles across the facility. 

The center isn’t just teaching students. Tuesday night wine tasting, cooking, and coffee roasting classes are open to the public.

1856, named for the year Auburn was founded, is a welcoming chef-in-residence restaurant with rotating menu items. Students will learn the culinary arts in the kitchen and practice becoming fully fledged chefs and building menus from scratch. Underclassmen will be helping and refining the preparation of a small a la cart menu for lunch, while dinner will be a nine-course tasting menu prepared by upperclassmen. Each course is served with wine, spirit, beer, or other drink paired by Thomas Price, the master sommelier. 

The Hey Day Market is the perfect spot for those that have a varying food palette. The market is a multi-concept food hall with nine restaurants and one bar. It’s open every day for lunch and dinner. The green space outside is a beautiful place to enjoy one of the many restaurant options or have a drink. You'll want to spend at least one game day here as well.

“We think the market may be the center of Auburn University on pre-game Friday nights, and we want to use the greenspace on Saturdays for drinks and live music,” said Hans. 

Every amenity, experience, and detail added to the Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center was created with you in mind. Whether you are booking a relaxing stay or just in town for a gameday, the Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center has something for you!