IN THIS ISSUE: Richard Petty Driving Experience races you to the finish line.
The London Symphony Orchestra rings in Christmas Holidays with music, dancing and dance.
Hot Deals If I had unlimited funds, I’d travel, travel, travel. At each location, I’d take cooking classes, shop farmer markets (the ones with more than produce), drink lots of locally-produced wines, and luxuriate in all the sensational hotels I see advertised. I get that urge to check out hotels every time I browse the DesignHotels.Com site. The photos of these hotels are meant to entice and intrigue. They’re categorized by country, but also by their individual niche appeal. Is it perfect for a romantic getaway or is the attraction the historical heritage of its architecture and décor? Is the hotel serene or colourfully vibrant? Is it perched atop a mountain or lazily kissing the endless sea? In all cases, it seems that what initially perks my interest are the enticements of incentives. Take for instance, the H15 Boutique in Warsaw, Poland. The 19th century building, originally constructed as a private residence, is located in central Warsaw. Descriptions of the 46-room hotel include that it once hosted secret meetings for Polish independence prior to WWI, was home to a Soviet embassy, and once held the headquarters for the Nazi party. Of course, that’s before the completion of its down-to-the-studs five year renovation that now marries its past through art works with its contemporary image. Best of all, book this property and you get 20% off… just like that. www.designhotels.com New and Soon-to-Be Hampton Inn & Suites Clayton/St. Louis-Galleria Area is the first hotel to open in the suburban Clayton area in the last 25 years. Clayton is home to many Fortune 500 companies and is the seat of St. Louis County government. The 106-room property was a complete redo, from adding a top floor of luxury suites to restoring the underground parking garage. There’s a lot of history stored in those walls. The Rolling Stones and Rod Stewart hid from paparazzi and fans alike in the 1960s and 70s. The hotel’s vicinity to area attractions, cultural centers, and Washington University’s main and medical center campuses draws both corporate and leisure groups. The hotel uses a contemporary palate of citrine, copper, chocolate brown, cream, steel and navy blue. The furnishings are custom-made reinterpretations of mid-century pieces. Complimentary shuttle service is available for destinations within three miles of the hotel. www.hampton.com; (314) 727 0700. Marriott International took over the management of Sawgrass Marriott Resort & Spa in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL on October 1. Lots of changes expected, but one thing that won’t change is the stature accorded the property’s two PGA championship golf courses as bucket list items. I’ll be writing more personalized info about this sprawling 63 acres, 510-room resort, located between Jacksonville and St. Augustine along Florida’s Atlantic coast, in another blog. www.sawgrassmarriott.com Harrah’s Atlantic City Waterfront Conference Center will be the largest hotel-conference center complex between Baltimore and Boston when it opens in August 2015. The destination will have 125,000 sf of meeting space. An Old-Fashioned English Christmas Celebration The London Symphony Orchestra invites you to their home for Christmas festivities in the U.K. Located on Old Street, LSO St. Luke’s is an 18th century architectural beauty swathed in modern amenities from a recent renovation. Holiday packages include a wine reception followed by a formal three-course dinner or reception options, with food by award-winning caterers, Moving Venue. The package also includes room rental, festive styling, cloakroom, security, DJ, disco and dance floor. The renovated Jerwood Hall boasts a new projection screen, moving lights, and updated technology. Jerwood Hall can accommodate 450 max. www.lso.co.uk/christmas
Richard Petty Driving Experience Ups The Speed On Its Passes Get your engines revving, race fans. The latest offerings from the Richard Petty Driving Experience (RPDE) includes two new seasonal passes that may get your heart pumping faster. For you diehard 600HP NASCAR-style stock car drivers, rookie or not, the new Petty Pass is available through November 9. If high-performance sports cars are more your ticket, the Speed Pass will include three exotic driving experiences. There are 16 RPDE tracks around the country. Details at www.Drivepetty.com; (800) 237-3889; and EDE at www.ExoticDriving.com; (855-822-0149). Caesars Solution For Small Meetings Who Say: Show Me The Love! Go direct: Caesars Direct, that is. Caesars Direct is a division of National Meetings and Events and will concentrate its attention on meetings for up to 30 rooms peak in Las Vegas or Atlantic City. “I want all of our customers to feel as important as they are,” says Vice President of Sales Jordan D. Clark, who created Caesars Direct. “Small meetings are a vital piece of our business, and they deserve the same level of importance as our larger business customers.” Smaller meetings can qualify for the same concessions, such as having one food and beverage minimum and enjoying the same VIP treatment that Caesars Entertainment’s top gaming customers receive through the Meeting Diamond program. firstname.lastname@example.org; (855) 633-8238 Karen Kuzsel is a writer-editor based in the Orlando area who specializes in the hospitality, entertainment, meetings & events industries. She is a Contributing Editor-Writer for Prevue Magazine and is an active member of ISES and MPI. She writes about food & wine, spas, destinations, venues, meetings & events. A career journalist, Karen has owned magazines, written for newspapers, trade publications, radio and TV. As her alter-ego, Natasha, The Psychic Lady, she is a featured entertainer for corporate and social events. email@example.com; www.ThePsychicLady.com; @karenkuzsel; @thepsychiclady