The Cook Hotel and Conference Center at LSU is a boutique hotel experience on the edge of the LSU campus. Located in the heart of Baton Rouge on the scenic University Lake, the Cook Hotel and Conference Center is Baton Rouge’s only independently owned and operated hotel and conference center and the only one wholly owned and operated by an alumni association. It opened in 2001 and was funded entirely by private donations. LSU alumnus and benefactor Lod Cook made the lead gift for both the conference center which was opened in 1994 (Lod Cook Alumni Center) and the hotel. Distinguished guests, including former United States Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush, were in attendance at the dedication of the conference center. In 2001 President George H.W. Bush returned for the dedication of The Cook Hotel.
The Cook Hotel has been in successful operation for nearly twenty years. It is home to business and leisure travelers and also plays host to many LSU guests, including the football and basketball teams prior to home games. It was built with a common vision – to encourage and support continued participation of alumni with their alma mater today, tomorrow, and “forever LSU.” It is open to the public and encourages travelers from across the country to stay and experience its true southern hospitality.
The Cook Hotel features 129 guest rooms; the Shelton Gift Shop, featuring LSU items and boutique merchandise; an outdoor swimming pool and whirlpool spa; a fitness center; business center; 24/7 sundries shop; and The Shaquille O’Neal lodge serving complimentary hot breakfast as well as a lunch buffet.
In 2017 The Cook Hotel completed a multi-million dollar renovation including upgrades to guest rooms, public lobbies, and the fitness center.
It offers a charming lobby with tastefully curated purple and gold influences, an original George Rodrigues blue dog painting, a rotating exhibit of LSU alumni artists, and a cozy bar just off the lobby which is open seven evenings a week. The hotel is known for its luxurious and spacious suites, most notably for the Shaquille O’Neal suite featuring a custom eight-foot-long king bed. The impressive eight-acre campus also includes over 11,000 square feet of meeting space which is perfect for social and corporate events. The Jack and Priscilla Andonie Sports Museum features a courtyard overlooking the lake with a full size “Mike the Tiger” statue. The museum is open to the public by appointment and is also a favorite for hosting retreats, business meetings, and rehearsal dinners.