IT’S ALL ABOUT A NEW EXPERIENCE
With the holidays approaching as rapidly as I could pop the cork on a bottle of champagne (and if you know how badly I open any bottle of alcohol you’d be laughing at this vision), may I be the first to toast you the happiest of days ahead? If I was enjoying a corporate reception at the Conrad Miami (FL) during its Jack Frost Happy Hour, I’d likely be raising one of their special drink options—the Belvedere Pomegranate Royale to my lips. For an extra treat, the resident mixologist offers an exclusive group mixology class. After happy hour, smaller groups can reserve the intimate Wine Room at Atrio restaurant next door for one of Executive Chef Virgile Brandel’s Mediterranean-inspired gourmet meals. Throughout December, the Conrad Miami’s sky high Bar at LvL 25 also opens its Jack Frost Happy Hour December 1-30 to hotel guests and locals. Experience “snowfalls” over the bar every 30 minutes. Sample the menu, such as the Taste of Miami Cuban appetizer and the signature Kiwi Pineapple Caipirinha.
Brocket Hall is an elegant estate on the perimeter of London, UK. For the first time, the historic property offers Day and 24-Hour Delegate Rates for its Brocket Collection, a collection of halls that may remind you of Downton Abbey.
Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai‘I is celebrating its fifth anniversary by offering you discounts on stays this winter. Book an ocean view room for 5+ consecutive nights through February 13, 2017 and stay between January 2 through March 24 and save up to 35%. Experience the all new Lūʻau, an evening of song, dance, storytelling and a lavish Hawaiian feast.
Associated Luxury Hotels International has many promotional discounts for group stays. There are four beautiful properties, each with its own incentive and time frame to book. The resorts being featured are the Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara, CA, The Villas of Grand Cypress, Orlando, FL, Royal Sonesta New Orleans, New Orleans, LA, and Seaport Hotel & World, Trade Center, Boston, MA. Here’s an example of what Bacara has to offer. 70,000 sf of indoor/outdoor function space, including a 211-seat Screening Room and Executive Conference Center. Just had a $20 million renovation. Book a 2017 or 2018 meeting by December 31, 2016 and receive 15% allowable attrition; 1:40 COMP room ratio; 50% discount on WiFi for meeting space. New groups only. 100 room nights Sunday through Thursday.
Hurry, Hurry! You only have until November 6 to Book Austin, TX and save up to 43%.
Fourteen hotels among the Design Hotels international collection are offering a 10% discount and special holiday memories, such as a bottle of champagne presented on arrival. Book now through January 8, 2017 and stays between November 21 and January 8. Here are the participating hotels: Vander Urbani Resort in Ljubljana, Slovenia; Augarten Art Hotel, Graz, Austria; Hotel Topazz, Vienna, Austria; Les Bains, Paris, France; The Mandala Hotel, Berlin, Germany; Huus Gstaad, Gstaad, Switzerland; Hotel Urban, Madrid, Spain; Straf, Milan, Italy; Boundary, London, UK; Bohemia Suites & Spa, Playa Del Ingles, Spain; Hotel Uberfluss, Bremen, Germany; Hotel Lamee, Vienna, Austria; Hotel de Nell, Paris, France; and Standart Hotel Moscow, Moscow, Russia.
PUTTING ON PRETTY NEW FACE
The largest hotel in Rhode Island just finished $15 million of renovations to guestrooms, landings and public spaces. Connected to the Rhode Island Convention Center, The Omni Providence Hotel has been dressed in a warm palette of deep chocolates, champagne, and a touch of scarlet and crimson to reflect the feel of New England. From new vinyl wall coverings and geometric-designed carpets in the 564 guestrooms to new carpeting, décor, and artwork in the corridors and lobbies, the tone of the hotel has been amped. Breakout rooms and ballrooms received new wallcoverings and carpeting. Morsel’s, the hotel’s coffee shop, was been completely redesigned for more bar and table seating. The hotel’s indoor heated pool, one of the only pools in downtown Providence, was updated with lightweight wicker furniture and the decking was created from chilewich basket weave.
VIRTUAL TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY FOR PLANNERS
Don’t have time for a site visit? No worries. The Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (L.A. Tourism), in partnership with XplorIt (a leader in virtual technology), have launched Virtual Discovery L.A., a travel platform that provides meeting professionals with immersive 360-degree viewing experiences of more than 50 only-in-Los Angeles venues and locations. Virtual Discovery L.A. features distinct venues including L.A. LIVE, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Getty Center, The Studios at Paramount, Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood, Petersen Automotive Museum, and L.A. Memorial Coliseum, among many others. Venues contain current venue capacities and square footage, as well video vignettes. Virtual Discovery L.A. can be viewed directly on a smartphone, desktop, tablet, or used with a VR viewer such as Google Cardboard. It will also be available through
L.A. Tourism’s free MeetL.A. app, meetla.com’s mobile application.
HOLIDAY TRAVEL TIPS
Who wouldn’t like to save money on flying during the holidays, no matter your destination? Sojern analyzed more than 350 million traveler profiles worldwide before issuing their latest report on holiday travel. Here are some of their top tips. Friday before Christmas is always busy day, but this year it’ just two days before Christmas. Travel will be hectic. Sundays and Mondays are best for cheaper tickets and fewer people. Sojern’s report says only 9% of Americans book travel on these days vs. 23% on Fridays and 20% on Thursdays. Americans travel farther in December than other times of the year, averaging 3,177 miles. Miami remains the top destination (just like last year). Las Vegas and London have risen in popularity. For outdoors and active vacations, Orlando, Denver, Salt Lake City and Reykjavik are all in the top five for adventurous Americans.
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 and is now serving on the 2015 – 2016 MPI Global Advisory Board for The Meeting Professional Magazine. Karen writes about food & wine, spas, destinations, venues, meetings & events. A career journalist, she 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. firstname.lastname@example.org; www.ThePsychicLady.com; @karenkuzsel; @thepsychiclady