GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Renovations at Grand Rapids’ most iconic high-rise, which were years in the making, have wrapped up.

The revamp of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel took 2.5 years and cost $40 million. 

One major part of the work was replacing all the glass panels on the west tower.

“All of these guest rooms have been replaced with floor-to-ceiling windows,” regional manager for AHC Hospitality Ross Bartlett showed News 8 in a first look at the updated hotel. “It’s absolutely beautiful.”

Some 6,600 glass windows were brought in to replace the old, less energy-efficient windows that were smaller and covered with a darker tint.

“We went more with the translucent glass, a little more clear picture of the downtown area,” Bartlett said. “Previously, there was a knee-high wall that kind of took away from the view, so we’ve been able to bury some of those mechanicals in the ceiling as well as expand the view. Obviously being able to look down is an amusement itself.”

Every one of the 287 guest rooms in the west tower have an updated view, and the suites include two rooms with a view. The remodel also added balcony rooms that were previously closed.

The crown jewel of the project is at the top of the tower at MDRD, a new restaurant that may offer one of the best views in the city.

“It was time for the Amway Grand to get a new refresh and obviously revitalize the skyline of Grand Rapids,” Bartlett said. “It has always been an iconic piece of the skyline.”

The rooms are ready for guests to reserve. 

The hotel is also planning to renovate its fourth-floor spa area, costing an estimated $200,000. A permit request submitted to the city last week states crews will demolish the existing facilities and some guestrooms to make way for new, larger spa facilities.

—News 8’s Christa Ferguson contributed to this report.