HOTEL HAPPENINGS & PROGRAM PROMOTIONS – DECEMBER 2020

GRAND OPENINGS & REOPENINGS!

Silver King Ocean Brasserie opened in November.

The restaurant is new. The seafood fresh and prepared classically in the new Silver King Ocean Brasserie in the Luminary Hotel & Co, the latest property from Mainsail Lodging & Development and the first Autograph hotel in the Fort Myers-Naples (FL) area. Centered on an open kitchen and overseen by Executive Chef Kiel Lombardo and Chef de Cuisine Matthew Mohler, the 60-seat restaurant has 40 additional outdoor seats. The décor includes modern elements such as a flowing silver and copper artwork installation inspired by the restaurant’s namesake, the “Silver King” Atlantic tarpon, as well as silver accents, rich woods, marble, and velvet. Chef Kiel has embellished the menu with Marinated Charred Octopus, East Coast Oysters, Potato & Caviar, New York Strip Dry Aged Prime, A5 Japanese Beef, and whole fish dishes.

HOTEL HAPPENINGS & PROGRAM PROMOTIONS – NOVEMBER 2020

Bobby Flay opens his new Amalfi Restaurant at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, NV

HOT DEALS!

The Cromwell is back. The hotel and casino is the last of Caesars Entertainment properties on the Las Vegas Strip to reopen. What makes this property unique is “In addition to The Cromwell being the only standalone boutique hotel, it is now the first adults-only hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip,” said Senior Vice President and The Cromwell General Manager Ken Janssen. Guests of all ages are welcome at GIADA, the award-winning restaurant of notable chef Giada De Laurentiis. Book The Cromwell by November 23 for select travel dates through September 2021 and receive up to 30 percent. Use code FALL20

HOTEL HAPPENINGS & PROGRAM PROMOTIONS – OCTOBER 2020

The 12-bedroom Casa Tau in the Rancho Estates, Punta Mita, Mexico offers long term stays.

HOT DEALS!

Journey Mexico, known for representing luxury villas in elite Mexican locales, has noticed that families and group of friends are being motivated to book longer-term stays, motivated by a need to get away to work and play without being surrounded by unwelcome company. Corporate and social clients are now asking for upgraded technology, technology purchases (e.g monitors, routers), private tutors, private transportation, extra-curricular activities for after school, and exciting weekend planning. Their recent offerings reflect that need. For instance, the 12-bedroom beachside Casa Tau in the exclusive Punta Mita area sleeps 27. Abutting a jungle, it comes with a bilingual staff of an estate manager, four butlers, sous chefs, and 12 full-time room attendants. An open-air palapa with front-row access overlooks the Pacific Ocean. The villa recently hosted the new Netflix reality series, “Too Hot To Handle.” There’s a 75” TV, fully equipped gym, and the stay includes access to nearby attractions and venues.

HOTEL HAPPENINGS & PROGRAM PROMOTIONS – SEPTEMBER 2020

Work From Paradise provides safety, designated work space, and time for fun later at TradeWinds Island Grand Resort.

Fall has dropped in the United States. I heard that in Denver, CO the temperature on the weekend was 101 and by three days later was to plunge to the 30s and snow. Where I am based, we are still dealing with the sauna bath known as Florida summer that sometimes seems like that last 10 pounds on a diet—nothing you do can make it disappear! For some reason, my husband keeps saying “It’s Fall… things should be cooling down from the humidity-soaking 100+ degrees we still face daily.” I remind him that I have worked Halloween gigs (as my alter ego, Natasha, The Psychic Lady) wearing sleeveless blouses because temperatures have barely taken a dip into the low 90s.

HOTEL HAPPENINGS & PROGRAM PROMOTIONS – AUGUST, 2020

Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina is one of many properties in the Fort Myers-Sanibel area that are offering incentives for meetings. Photo by Beaches of Fort Myers-Sanibel.

HOT DEALS!

Book your meeting by December 22 and stay by December 31, 2020 at any of these participating Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, FL properties and receive a $3 room rebate per actualized room up to $5,000. Created by the Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB), the program for new bookings (only) will also cover destinations besides those in Lee County. Fort Myers venues include Crowne Plaza Fort Myers At Bell Tower Shops, Holiday Inn Fort Myers Airport at Town Center, Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa, Drury Inn & Suites, and the new Luminary Hotel & Co., Autograph Collection (which is slated to open in September). Captiva Island properties include South Seas Island Resort and ‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort. Two Fort Myers Beach properties are Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina and DiamondHead Beach Resort. Other meetings properties are: Embassy Suites Hotel (Estero), Gasparilla Inn & Club (Boca Grande), Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa (Bonita Springs), The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village (Cape Coral), and Sundial Beach Resort & Spa (Sanibel Island).

HOTEL HAPPENINGS & PROGRAM PROMOTIONS – LATE JULY 2020

Ella Mae’s Diner is in the new Luminary Hotel. The hotel is hosting a job fair.

I’m making myself sit at my computer and write this blog today. What motivated me is a hotel that is hosting a job fair and they wish to have qualified candidates attend. When so much of the world is in turmoil, it makes me feel good to share the good news I receive. As I hear from both meetings & events, hospitality and leisure travelers, there is still uncertainty about hopping on a plane, attending an event or attraction, or staying at a resort. I have been using this column to highlight safety protocols undertaken by individuals and companies. We all want to work, travel, and to feel safe while doing so.

HOTEL HAPPENINGS & PROGRAM PROMOTIONS – JULY 2020

A second chance at new life for the Springmaid Pier in Myrtle Beach, SC. This was how she looked in 1953 when first erected. Look below for the newly rebuilt pier.

The most difficult job I have ever had as a writer is to get the first sentence written. That one simple idea encapsulates my path for where the remainder will follow. It’s like taking a journey, with one foot in front of the other, but until you take that first step, you will only idle in place and never move forward. So it is today, as I begin this next post.

Globally, we are still entrenched in Covid-19 or in the aftermath for those nations fortunate enough to have had strong leaders and the backbone to do what was strictly necessary to flatten that darned curve. Many of us though, are still seeing deaths soaring, jobs and businesses being lost (perhaps permanently), and entire industries having to reinvent themselves (and we thought online sales were outshining brick & mortar stores before Covid). My first attempts to begin this post all seemed too depressing, sad, and without hope. It is not what I want to convey.

HOTEL HAPPENINGS & PROGRAM PROMOTIONS – JUNE 2020

Journey Mexico and friends have been raising money to feed families.

Life as we knew it pre-COVID 19 is starting to reappear as far as travel, hotels, restaurants, gyms, hair salons etc go. As this blog is globally read, it makes no sense to tell you which places are reopen or will soon. What is of more value, is what they are doing to assure your safety as much is humanly possible, such as how the majority of theme parks worldwide will check temperatures at the entrance and anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be denied entry (as well as their family). As you all may be aware, how to safely reopen differs from city to city, state to state, and country to country. For instance, I just heard from a woman that a particular airline is not requiring masks for staff or travelers and that people were packed in to all seats (thanks to fewer flights). I have seen pictures of businesses, including restaurants, not requiring masks or social distancing. What do you think? Is that something we should discuss?

HOTEL HAPPENINGS & PROGRAM PROMOTIONS – MAY 2020

Russ, wearing mask made by Theresa Mulconry.

I look for the joy every day. Some days it’s as easy as putting on my favorite oldies station and diving into making a scrumptious dinner or dessert. Some days it becomes the moments when I read about selfless volunteers, or kids chalking rainbows onto sidewalks, New Yorkers clapping for hospital staff during shift changes, and sometimes it is by watching entertainers perform from their living rooms or on their driveway while neighbors dance or just listen.

Until the world is at a stage where COVID-19 isn’t ravaging bodies or depriving those who shelter-in-place of their ability to earn a paycheck, visiting with friends, eating out, or even getting our hair done, then I will continue dedicating my Hotel Happenings & Program Promotions column to some of the positive news I am sent or see for myself. There are many news outlets that share “good news” stories of bravery and random acts of kindness, so I won’t repeat those.

HOTEL HAPPENINGS & PROGRAM PROMOTIONS – APRIL 2020

Animal Rescue Relief in Atlantic City checks out donations from Caesars Entertainment

COVID19 has overtaken our lives. Hotels, restaurants, theme parks have closed. More industry jobs than I can count are lost, temporarily or permanently. Each day my email box is loaded with stories of facts and gloom, but there is also hope for our future. There are charming and funny parody songs, stories of heroes on the front lines, whether a grocery store or an understaffed, overworked, undersupplied hospital. We all know the little things in life (finding toilet paper, eggs, and sanitizer) have become priorities, while balancing suddenly having to be a parent, a remote worker, teacher, and guardian of safety protocols even when errant family members or friends choose to dismiss concerns as needless or hype.