The year isn’t over and already deals are coming in for 2020. Great news for those planning ahead. For instance, at the English estate in London (U.K) called Brocket Hall, the 543-acre luxury venue has a Business Bloom package for a minimum of 20 attendees that is valid from Feb. 28 through Mar. 31. The offer covers all the meeting rooms, with tea, coffee and homemade treats throughout. Either a working buffet lunch or a two-course luncheon. There’s a three-course dinner in the Ballroom at The Prime Minister’s Table and a full English breakfast in the Dining room. Many more amenities than possible to list.
Looking to make some last minute travel plans? How about the Caribe Royale in Kissimmee, FL? Book a room between Dec. 11-25 and receive complimentary breakfast for four daily. November 28, 2019. Room rates begin at $120/night.
Their fifth anniversary is a gift to golf enthusiasts. Quivira Golf Club, the Jack Nicklaus-designed course at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, Pueblo Bonito Golf & Spa Resorts and ranked No. 2 on Golfweek’s list of the “Top 50 Courses in the Caribbean and Mexico,” has a golf package to commemorate their opening on Dec. 4, 2014. The 7,085-yard, par-72 tour de force at the adults-only, all-inclusive beachfront property located within Quivira Los Cabos, includes these amenities in their ‘5th Anniversary Package.’ Golf Director Antonio Reynante and his staff will instruct on how to play the course successfully. Make an ace at the par-three ninth hole, and you’ll win a complementary seven-night VIP golf vacation for four players. Imbibe in the celebration’s specialty cocktail: Pitaya soda, vodka and Damiana infusion, mango foam with smoked morita pepper salt. There’s even a specialty dish, Platillo: braised octopus with shrimp from the Sea of Cortes, chickpea hummus, pickled kabuchi and red onion. There are many more amenities with this package, which runs from now through April 30, subject to available.
COMING SOON TO A CITY (MAYBE) NEAR YOU!
Montréal (Canada) competes intensely for corporate meeting business, and this coming year, with a steady influx of new and renovated hotels, the metropolitan city has opened wide its invitation to book. Here’s just some of what you can expect. The Epik Collection continues its transformation of classic buildings. This time it’s the 37-room Hôtel le Lux, due to open sometime in the Spring. www. epikcollection.com. In September, look for Hôtel Humaniti, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection. Humaniti is part of Montréal’s first “smart vertical community.” Divided into hotel and condo, the $200-budget is expected to produce 193 rooms and meeting space for up to 4,000. www.humanitimontreal.com. Also that month, as part of a redevelopment of the Westbury quartier of the Côte-des-Neigesborough, the Westbury Montréal hotel (part Hilton Garden Inn and part Homewood Suites) will have 5,000 sf of event space to hold up to 350 people, including a 2,800 sf outdoor terrace. The Hilton garden Inn section will have 157 rooms and the Hilton Homewood Suites will have 133. www.westburymontreal.com. There aren’t any functioning websites yet, but also look for the openings of the 33-room Hôtel Mile-End in the fall and the 175-room Hilton Hampton Inn Chinatown by the end of 2020. Four properties are being seriously renovated, with three due for a big reveal in 2020 and one in 2021. Hôtel Bonaventure Montréal, known for has already unveiled their redone meeting spaces, but by April, all 397 rooms will have been refurbished, a bit at a time. www.hotelbonaventure.com. Marriott International has big plans. They have two hotels undergoing renovations in 2020 and one in 2021. April, look for the Hôtel le Centre Sheraton Montréal’s $50-mllion dollar budget to renovate the 825 rooms. The hotel has 31 meeting spaces. By October, the Montréal Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel’s 279-room property will have received flooring redos in the rooms and technological renovations throughout the hotel. Last, but certainly not least, the historic Marriott Château Champlain Montréal is getting an overall face lift, from the 25 meeting rooms to all 614 guest rooms. The common areas and transformation of the pool into a 3,400 sf wellness area is part of the $30-million renovationwww.marriott.com..
Caesars Forum, a 550,000 sf conference facility in Las Vegas (NV) isn’t expected to open until March, but already more than one million room nights and over $390 million is contracted for meetings and events. Some of the events industry leaders who’ve already selected Caesars Forum for meetings includes ConferenceDirect, Cvent, HelmsBriscoe, Meeting Professionals International and Professional Convention Management Association. The $375 million conference center will carry a LEED silver certification and will have the world’s two largest pillarless ballrooms: each allegedly the size of one football field with about 110,000 sf, two 40,000 sf ballrooms, six state of the art boardrooms, and will also be the first facility of this size built on one level. The adjacent Forum Plaza will be the first 100,000 sf dedicated outdoor event space in Las Vegas. The resort will be able to host up to 10,000 attendees in more than 100 break-out rooms.
New Executive Chef Jason Bamford has has altered menus and the cooking classes held in Tampa’s Epicurean Hotel in their Epicurean Theatre. Bamford has introduced an innovative “American fusion” menu at its signature restaurant, Élevage SoHo Kitchen & Bar, and Asian-inspired culinary offerings at EDGE Rooftop Cocktail Lounge. Élevage’s menu now includes such dishes as dry aged beef tartare, charred octopus and hand-pulled burrata. Vegetarian options range from grilled aubergine (eggplant) and charred avocado to whole roasted cauliflower and roasted roots. For the regulars, one foodie-favorite dish remains: the Homage to Bern’s pressed steak sandwich, a nod to their legacy, Bern’s Steak House. The new EDGE Rooftop Cocktail Lounge menu features chef-inspired small plates, such as Vietnamese Chicken Salad, falafel salad, and a fried chicken Bánh Mì . An updated cocktail program showcases well-made classics, while highlighting creative signature offerings such as the Snap Chat with sugar snap peas and A Head of Lettuce made with Reyka vodka, fresh lettuce and olive oil. Cooking classes in the Epicurean Theatre, which are open to the public, offers interactive and knowledge-based classes on wine and cooking, taught by Bramford or one of his skilled colleagues. The Theatre is also available for private bookings. The Epicurean Hotel was developed in collaboration with Mainsail Lodging & Development and the legendary Bern’s Steak House. It was the first newly constructed hotel property in the United States to join Marriott’s Autograph Collection.
www.EpicureanHotel.com; (855) U-AWAKEN (829-2536).
Grammy Award-winning global superstar Kelly Clarkson is taking up a Las Vegas residency at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. Clarkson and her band will offer VIP experiences that bundle with premium tickets. There will be a limited number of meet & greets possible. Zappos Theatre is a 7,000-seat state-of-the-art entertainment venue.
LOS CABOS TOURISM EXPANDS TO U.S.
Los Cabos Tourism Board announces the opening of its first trade office in Los Angeles. Located at the tip of the 1,000-mile-long Baja Peninsula, Los already has nonstop flights from the U.S., Canada, Mexico and now the U.K. Four new flights just begun are from Monterrey ( Mexico); Edmonton (Canada); Winnipeg (Canada); and a direct flight from London (England). The direct flight from London will be the first route outside of North America and will be operated by TUI on the 787 Dreamliner.
HOLIDAY FAMILY FUN RINGS OUT THE YEAR
Dress up (or not) in your finest and merriest Dickens-era apparel, grab a battery-operated lantern or candle, and join in the Dickens Illuminated Procession on Dec. 12 in Fernandina Beach (FL), the newest addition to the Amelia Island’s Victorian Christmas celebration, running Dec. 13-15. Step back in time to experience Charles Dickens’ early Victorian era Britain, with themed characters and entertainers, festive lights and holiday décor, period vendors, exciting seasonal entertainment, a petting zoo with goats, and tastes of the holidays. Returning annual favorites to the free family-oriented events include photos with St. Nick, Tiny Tim’s Kids Zone, the adults-only Dickens After Dark, and the Christmas Wish booth. New events for Dickens on Centre includes the addition of the “2nd Act Stage” to complement the main Wharf Stage and a new “Legend of St. Nick” stage show. Love to dress up and compete for prizes? There’s a new period piece costume contest.
Santa may be skiing on the slope next to you in Alpine Meadows/Squaw Valley (CA), but if you don’t want to wait to see what he may bring, spend $750 in the Village shops through Dec. 24 and receive a free adult lift ticket, valid for the 2019-2020 season. Just bring your receipts for all retail, online apparel store, and food and beverages in the area to the main tickets office at Squaw Valley or Alpine Meadows.
Everyone is welcome. That was a key message for “All Access Wake County (Raleigh, N.C), the first ever accessibility awareness and training summit for restaurants, hotels, attractions, retailers and event venues throughout Wake County. More than 150 hospitality industry employees participated in summit which was held at the Raleigh Convention Center. “We created ‘All Access Wake County’ to train, equip and motivate all Wake County hospitality partners to go above and beyond just being ADA compliant,” said Dennis Edwards, president and CEO of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Raleigh). “The hospitality industry here lives by the motto ‘All Are Welcome’ and we want those with all types of disabilities to know that includes them. The November training summit was kicked-off with an opening keynote presentation by Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray, authors of the book “I’ll Push You.” They were the subjects of the documentary by the same title chronicling their journey to become the first to complete the 500-mile Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail in Spain by wheelchair. This summit was the kickoff for a larger initiative, which includes a new accessibility resource portal at VisitRaleigh.com/allaccess. This training resource encourages hospitality partners to provide extraordinary customer service for people with disabilities by educating them on immediate and long-term steps to providing effective service to guests with accessibility challenges. Visit Raleigh and the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance (GRSA) also implemented a digital accessibility solution called AudioEye on their websites (www.VisitRaleigh.com and www.RaleighSports.org). AudioEye, the leader in cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) digital content accessibility solutions, is a leading web accessibility company with technology for sustainable compliance with ADA-related requirements and enhanced user experience to make enhancements to websites.
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. firstname.lastname@example.org; www.ThePsychicLady.com; @karenkuzsel; @thepsychiclady.