Dahlonega: a Cherokee word meaning "golden"
The Dahlonega Square Hotel & Villas are the golden dreams of Johnny Ariemma and his family. When the entrepreneur and his wife, Catherine, moved their then young family to Dahlonega, Georgia in 1996, they dreamed their daughters, Sarah Beth and Caroline, would grow up in a loving southern town founded upon solid principles and faith. Dahlonega became that place.
Ariemma restored his first villa, The Historic Dahlonega Square Villa (ca 1880) on South Park Street in 2007. Due to the overwhelmingly positive success of the original villa, he built two villas on Choice Avenue in 2010. In 2012, he added two more villas on Choice Avenue, for a total of five villas. In 2013, Johnny and Catherine purchased the old McGuire House, which had been vacant for seven years. Johnny's vision was a small boutique hotel with a Victorian lobby to compliment the 1880 house.
The last property the Ariemma's restored is The 1888 House, known to many in Dahlonega as the Higgins House for the last owners of the home. This property took a year and a half to restore is now Dahlonega's premier events venue.
Oldest daughter, Sarah Beth, a 2012 graduate of Georgia College, was instrumental in helping to get the villas finished and The Dahlonega Square Hotel up and running. Youngest daughter, Caroline, graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Communication degree with a concentration in Public Relations in 2013 and came to work in the family business in 2014, as Sarah Beth headed to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue her writing passion. Caroline manages the properties that became a reality because of such a need for quality hotels and event spaces in this charming vacation and wedding destination town. In 2014, Catherine Ariemma who oversees the team at DSH, joined the family business after retiring from Lumpkin County High School where she taught social studies. In 2015, Katelyn Copeland joined the team as the business' marketing coordinator and was tasked with developing DSH Transportation. Kate now owns DSH Transportation. She graduated from Truett McConnell College with a degree in Marketing in 2015. Maria Sonora also joined the team in 2015 as head of housekeeping and is invaluable! She oversees all aspects of housekeeping and is assisted by Maria Bazan, who joined our team in 2018 and by Etleva Agalliu, who helps out as needed and has been with us since 2015. In 2016, Sarah Beth returned to the team and heads up hospitality and coordinates events at The 1888 House. January 2019, Ginna Bennett joined the team. Ginna received her bachelors degree from The University of Tennessee at Martin. Ginna is our resident artist and coordinates our Paint 'n Sips and Paint 'n Tea events held at DSH and at The 1888 House. She also coordinates the DSH Wine Tasting Room serving Kaya Wines, which was added in 2018. And then there is Pip our hotel cat!
Owners, Catherine and Johnny Ariemma
Maria Sonora, head of housekeeping.
Left to right: Kate Copeland, Caroline Werkheiser, Sarah Beth Wright