Hotel ICON in Hong Kong


Book a suite or Above & Beyond Club room directly with Hotel ICON and enjoy a complimentary one-way private chauffeur ride in a Tesla Model S from Hong Kong International Airport to the hotel in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui East. Together with two electric shuttle buses and a BMW i3, Hotel ICON aims to lead the industry in switching to 100% electric transportation. Bookings made through other booking channels or an online travel agent would have to pay HK $800 one way. Multiple bookings on consecutive nights will also get a 20% discount on the departure airport transfer by Tesla. Bookings with this package include exclusive perks such as buffet breakfast at The Market, or a choice of Continental and hot food to order at Above & Beyond Chinese Restaurant; afternoon tea selection of pastries, desserts and sandwiches; open bar in the evening happy hour exclusive access to all-day refreshments of coffee, juices, tea, soft drinks and snacks. Use of private board room and meeting room (subject to availability).; +852 3400 1688.

Avanti International Resort in Orlando, FL

Summer is fast approaching and in Florida, that means tourists flock to bask in the sun and theme parks. Here are some of the Orlando resorts offering deals as long as you travel by December 31, 2020 and book directly.

Save 45% and get free breakfast for two each day at Avanti International Resort.; (866) 943-5597

Save 20% and free breakfast for two each day at boutique property, The Point Orlando.; (866) 811-4390

Save 20% off two and three-bedroom suites and breakfast for two daily at the family-friendly Floridays Resort Orlando.; (866) 607-4424

Save 20% and free breakfast for two daily at Avanti Palms Resort.; (866) 955-1673

The Chateaux Deer Valley in Park City, UT

You have until April 30 to book your next meeting or retreat at The Chateaux Deer Valley to receive multiple concessions dependent on the number of rooms per night for stays of at least two nights that are used before December 31, 2019. Perks can include discounts on AV, free spa treatment, or even a complimentary room for the planner.

Hampton Court Palace glamps 1520 Tudor Style


Two new exhibitions open this year at Kensington Palace and the Tower of London, preludes to next year’s “rematch” between Henry VIII of England and Francis I of France in the Field of Cloth of Gold at Hampton Court Palace. Historic Royal Palaces has events and packages for both tourists and group travel that take advantage of events honoring the area’s royal history.;; 020 3166 6311




After extensive renovations, Cilantro’s Restaurant at Pueblo Bonito Mazatlán has reopened. New design elements include blonde woods and unique wicker furniture, windows that wrap around the dining room providing water views. From signature breakfast dishes such as enchiladas potosinas or a salmoncito croissant to afternoon treats such as marinated fish served with risotto and fried plantains, the food reflects traditional Baja flavors.

Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) has added three Wisconsin properties to its extensive collection of luxury independent hotels and small luxury brands. In downtown Milwaukee, the 307-room AAA-Four Diamond iconic Pfister Hotel and the soon-to-open Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel will be added to the ALHI Boutique Collection. In Lake Geneva, it’s the AAA-Four Diamond Grand Geneva Resort & Spa. All three Wisconsin properties are owned and managed by Marcus Hotels & Resorts, a leading hotel management company based in Milwaukee.


The soaring wings of the Milwaukee Art Museum, designed by Santiago Calatrava, actually can move up and down. This is just one of the amzing sights seen when we stayed at The Pfister Hotel, a vintage beauty. photo by Karen Kuzsel

My husband, Russ, and I have stayed at The Pfister Hotel, a preserved Victorian era hotel built in 1893. We stayed on the first floor, surrounded by priceless Victorian art and able to overlook the lobby floor below, with gilded period architecture and décor. In contrast, the 7th floor has 24,000 sf of state-of-the-art conference and event space. The indoor swimming pool, Spa, Afternoon Tea Service, and the exceptional fresh-baked pastries in the restaurant are to be experienced. Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel (named for Saint Kate, opens late this Spring. The independent arts hotel will celebrate all arts, from music to dance, painting, sculpture, film etc. There will be 13,000 sf of flexible meeting and event space, on-site dining, high-tech AV, and fitness center. The Grand Geneva Resort & Spa (Lake Geneva) has 355 guest rooms, 29 villas and 222 rooms at Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark, overlooking a private lake and two championship golf courses. The resort has 62,000 sf of flexible meeting and event space, an indoor water park, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, spa, 10,000 sf fitness center, walking path, night club, and multiple dining options.; (866) 303-ALHI (2544).

After a $150+ million renovation and expansion, the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa will be ready for its close-up by early May in Austin, TX Hill Country. Ten miles from downtown Austin, the new resort has 76,192 sf of flexible meeting and event space, including a 5,556 sf private pavilion and new conference center. There will be seven restaurants, the award-winning Mokara Spa, three resort pools and four championship golf courses.


Global DMC Partners, serving more than 500 premier locations worldwide, and Balti Virtual, which specializes in augmented and virtual reality experiences, have joined together to launch new technology. The new AR brand mascot is Global Girl, who already trends with her initials, G.G. “AR and VR can help planners take their events to the next level and increase attendee engagement. G.G. is just one example of how we can do this,” said Global DMC Partners President Catherine Chaulet. The technology can be used to create augmented reality invitations, reality photo ops, augmented 3-D agendas, virtual augmented gifts and customized scavenger hunts. To meet and experience G.G, download the free App AR8 app from the iTunes app store or the Google play store, open and then scan the Global DMC Partners logo.


A new study by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professions (HFTP®), entitled “Pre-Opening Expenditures in Hospitality” by authors Agnes DeFranco, Ed.D., CHAE and Arlene Ramirez, MBA, CHAE, CHE, CHIA of the Conrad N Hilton College, University of Houston, and Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, CHIA, director of customer success at HotStats, investigates pre-opening budget timelines and procedures in the hospitality industry. The study aims to clarify understanding of the optimal pre-opening processes and components across hotels of a variety of types, sizes and geographic locations. “The researchers identified a significant blind spot in industry knowledge and took bold steps to fill that gap,” said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe, CAE. The Austin, TX-based HFTP researchers surveyed executives with experience in hospitality and/or finance to understand their experiences and unique approaches to the process. Respondents oversaw an average of 22 hotels each, which ranged across five continents. The majority of the properties represented were classified as Luxury/Upscale. Guidance based on contributors’ responses includes common practices for pre-opening budgeting: development, timeline and oversight. Within the budget planning is a chart of top expenses by property class and labor costs, with details on hiring timelines and employee relocation benefits. In addition, the report offers pre-opening timelines for the selection, installation and training for hardware and software systems. Download the full report at

Winston-Salem NC visitor guide 2019


The 2019 Official Winston-Salem Visitor & Relocation Guide is now available by snail mail upon request or download. The 88-page destination magazine highlights a blend of Winston-Salem’s rich history, nationally-ranked downtown, local arts, distinguished entrepreneurial ventures, evolving food and beverage scene, and growing nightlife options. The guide contains tips for themed itineraries, relocation-focused interviews, and completely redesigned destination maps.

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 2019 – 2020 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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