Hotel Zoo Berlin has been redesigned and is offering 15% off for bookings.

Hotel Zoo Berlin has been redesigned and is offering 15% off for bookings.

I don’t make resolutions at the start of each year. I know for many people that’s a ritual, a way of motivating themselves to work out more, be more accessible, lose weight, shop less, be more loving. I don’t have to motivate myself to do those things because they are a daily inspiration. Note I didn’t say goal. Goal would imply I am trying to reach a point. I simply do. What I do realize though, is that no matter how great the intentions, some days one simply cannot be all things to all people or accomplish all that one expects. Some days one simply has To Be. My wish in this New Year is for you to decide who you want to be, even if that image changes daily, and then just do it! As vintage Army recruitment ads once admonished: Be the best you can be.


It may be called Hotel Zoo Berlin, but the former official VIP hotel to the Berlin International Film Festival doesn’t evoke caged animals, but more an eclectic whimsy of design recreated by American design team Dayna Lee and Ted Berner.  Built in 1889 as a private residence and converted to a hotel in 1911, the grande dame has seen her share of celebrities. The building’s refurbishing includes restoring soaring ceilings and the original brick and steel work. Spacious rooms and suites feature bespoke furnishings, mixing vintage with contemporary pieces.

Book and stay by February 28 and receive 15% off with no stay restrictions.

August 9 is the expected open of Fairmont Austin in the Austin, TX Central Business District. Directly connected to the Austin Convention Center, the 37-story luxury hotel will have 1,048 guest rooms and suites with views of Lady Bird Lake, a dramatic cityscape and the State Capitol. Individual rsvps can be made beginning in March. Group Meetings and Special Events, contact (512) 580 0187;


Out with the old Oscar Niemeyer-designed resort with gardens by Burle Marx. and in with a 15% off promotion to introduce the new Gran Meliá Nacional Rio de Janeiro, a beachfront urban resort on São Conrado Bay set to open in 2018. The Historical Heritage site has 413 rooms, two restaurants, three exclusive bars, and a large Convention and Events center. Receive 2,000 welcome points. This is Rio’s only hotel with a heliport even though the property is near to the city’s airports. The redesigned terrace dazzles with 360º views from the Mirante Bar.

Book and stay by March 31 through, MeliáRewards or call 1-844 425 99 69

2017 will be a banner year for lodging expansion in Kissimmee, FL. The Comfort Suites Maingate East opens the newly-renovated 198-room hotel with free, high-speed internet, 24-hour heated pool, hot tub and poolside bar, no resort fees, complimentary breakfast buffet and scheduled transportation to Walt Disney World® theme parks through the Walt Disney World Good Neighbor® Hotel program. Also on tap: Red Lion Hotel-LBV South. The 412 room property will feature a Mexican restaurant, poolside sports bar, lazy river, pool and Jacuzzi, fitness center and 1,800 sf of meeting space. Also, the GreenPoint Hotel brand opens its first location in Kissimmee this Spring. The 200-room GreenPoint Hotel Kissimmee markets as a luxurious experience at a modest price point.

$40 million will buy extensive redos for The Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate. Work begins in 2017 with no date given for completion. The redevelopment is expected to include 23,000 sf of additional pool deck and recreational space, installation of Kissimmee’s only resort wave pool, a new 93-room property villa building and a redesign of Trevi’s Restaurant. The expansion will also include an additional 100,000 sf event lawn and conference center space.


By late 2017, the first phase of the $750 million vacation resort Margaritaville Resort Orlando, should be open. The resort will include the 187-room Margaritaville-branded hotel, 1,000 vacation homes and 300 timeshare units. The resort will feature three acres of swimmable freshwater lagoons and water-based activities will include a 12-acre water park, paddle-boarding, snorkeling and children’s play areas.

If you like fruity wines, you’ll definitely want to check this new wintery out. The Island Grove Winery Company at Formosa Gardens in the Kissimmee, FL area should open this Spring. The sustainable winery and microbrewery will feature a bistro, winery tours, tastings, over 3,000 sf of function space for corporate meetings, weddings and  events, and a theater room that can accommodate up to 30 people. The botanical garden will grow organic fruits and vegetables, while maintaining sustainable agricultural practices that include biodynamic practices, permaculture and hydroponics.

Karen Kuzsel is a writer-editor based in the Orlando area who specializes in the hospitality, entertainment, meetings & events industries. She is an active member of ILEA and MPI and is now serving on the 2016 – 2017 MPI Global Advisory Board for The Meeting Professional Magazine for the second consecutive year. 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.;; @karenkuzsel; @thepsychiclady.


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