Latest Hotels/Resorts News & Views...
Avalanche Bay Named Among ‘The World's Coolest Indoor Water Parks’ by Condé Nast Traveler
Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark at Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls, Mich. is attracting big attention from leading news sources. The indoor waterpark, the largest in Michigan, has been heralded as one of “The World’s Coolest Indoor Water Parks” by Condé Nast Traveler. The premier travel magazine featured an elite eight waterparks on their website designating them as the coolest in the world. Parks were featured from Beijing, Germany, Canada, and the United States. The story has also been prominently featured on MSN.com and FoxNews.com.
Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark, a $22 million dollar addition to Boyne Mountain Resort, opened in May 2005. Themed as a snowy Swiss-Austrian Village, Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark maintains a constant temperature of 84 degrees making it the perfect escape for spring break and year-round enjoyment. The 88,000 square foot waterpark boasts aquatic adventures for all ages including five amazing waterslides, Rip Zone surfing wave, four-story mountain water-play structure, shallow children’s pool and activity pool, lazy river, relaxing hot tubs, mega-arcade, and pub with food and a full bar. The park’s newest attraction is The Big Couloir, an extreme body slide that’s the first of its kind in Michigan. The ride features a launch capsule with a trapdoor that propels riders at G-force speeds up to 38 feet per second throughout the 360 degree SuperLOOP.
“The recognition that Avalanche Bay continues to receive is a testament to the great experience we offer our guests with the variety of rides and attractions, eateries, arcade, and more,” said Ed Grice, president and general manager of Boyne Mountain Resort. “Add in the four-seasons of fun we offer at Boyne Mountain Resort, and it’s a winning combination.”
Half- and full-day waterpark passes are available from $22 to $45 and discounts are provided to resort lodging guests. Spring Break Packages are now available starting at $197 per night for a family of four and includes lodging at Boyne Mountain and Avalanche Bay admission starting at 4pm on day of arrival. A hot and delicious breakfast buffet can be added for only $12 per person. Ski & Splash Packages are also available with the resort planning to ski and snowboard daily through Easter Sunday, April 20, weather permitting. For reservations, call 800.462.6963 or visit boynemountain.com.
Other featured parks include Kalahari Waterpark Resort in Ohio; Happy Magic in Beijing; Tropical Islands Resort in Germany; Massanutten Resort in Virginia; Great Wolf Lodge in Washington; and Sahara Sam’s in New Jersey.
Located in Boyne Falls, Michigan, Boyne Mountain Resort has been a favorite Midwest destination since 1948. The family-owned, four-season resort has earned TripAdvisor Certificates of Excellence, been named among the Top 50 Best Places to Ski and Stay in North America by Condé Nast Traveler readers, recognized as a Top 10 Indoor Waterpark by Budget Travel and is a Spa Magazine Readers’ Choice Favorite. Boyne Mountain offers 60 runs on 415 skiable acres, cross country skiing and snowshoeing, Michigan’s largest indoor waterpark featuring The Big Couloir extreme body slide, Solace Spa, Zipline Adventures, two golf courses, disc golf, lift-serviced mountain biking, beach activities, kids programs, lodging, meeting and wedding facilities and real estate. Boyne Mountain is a member of the Boyne Resorts family of resorts and attractions.
broughtonHOTELS Celebrated National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day on April 2 By Making 10,000 Sandwiches & Donating to Chicago Charities
In celebration of National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day on Wednesday, April 2, broughtonHOTELS prepared 10,000 sandwiches that were donated to St. Jerome's Ministry, Chicago Lights, Pacific Gardens, and several additional charitable organizations in Chicago to aid in the fight against hunger. The event took place on April 2 at the Majestic Hotel, 528 W. Brompton Ave. in Chicago. Volunteers from broughtonHotels, the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce and neighboring businesses assisted in preparing the sandwiches. The event was the largest sandwich donation ever attempted by broughtonHOTELS employees, who make sandwiches for St. Jerome’s Ministry three times a month, in addition to providing monthly monetary donations.
“The broughtonHOTELS team is committed to doing our part to help fight hunger in Chicago. We hope that making sandwiches to feed the hungry on National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day will help raise awareness and encourage Chicagoans to give back to their community by volunteering at a charity of their choice,” said CEO Larry Broughton.
broughtonHOTELS has recently completed stunning renovations at its three historic Chicago boutique hotels, The Majestic Hotel (528 West Brompton), The Willows Hotel (555 West Surf), and City Suites Chicago (933 West Belmont). Originally built in the 1920s in Chicago’s Lakeview and Lincoln Park neighborhoods, each property features a renewed grandeur that includes sophisticated new guestroom and lobby furnishings, enhanced lighting, window treatments, linens, carpeting and beautiful custom artwork throughout. iHome docks are now in all guestrooms, and fiber optic internet has been installed in every hotel. California-based design firm AF Canta created the concept for the renovation.
About The Majestic Hotel, The Willows and City Suites Chicago
Located in Chicago’s vibrant Lakeview and Lincoln Park neighborhoods, newly renovated historic properties The Majestic Hotel (528 West Brompton), The Willows Hotel (555 West Surf), and City Suites Chicago (933 W Belmont) offer guests luxurious comfort, timeless elegance and classic sophistication with first-class personalized service and amenities. Each broughtonHOTELS Chicago property offers a complimentary continental breakfast, 24-hour tea and coffee from local roaster Uncommon Ground, afternoon cookies, free wireless internet access, iHome docks in all guestrooms, luxury robes, and complimentary access to nearby upscale fitness centers.
Newport Beach, California-based broughtonHOTELS was founded in January 2001 by Larry Broughton. With nearly twenty hotel properties located throughout California and the Chicago area, and an eye on national expansion, the broughtonHOTELS team specializes in creating boutique hotel experiences with a distinctive point-of-view; putting the guest experience first by developing a warm, inviting atmosphere with service being paramount, and appropriate, for each property. Their portfolio of hotel properties continues to grow with an emphasis on the human component of the hospitality industry and not just the atmosphere and accoutrements of each hotel. To learn more about broughtonHOTELS visit www.broughtonHOTELS.com.
What’s New in Golf at Boyne
New this summer, golfers can play the newly redesigned Crooked Tree Golf Club, plug-in with new carts featuring USB ports at Bay Harbor Golf Club, get custom club fitting from the newest Scratch Golf Fitting Center at Boyne Highlands, and learn from award-winning instructors with the all-new BOYNE Golf Academy.
Crooked Tree Golf Club Receives Facelift from Arthur Hills
Work began last fall at Crooked Tree Golf Club in Petoskey when renowned golf course architect Arthur Hills was contracted to redesign Nos. 16, 17, and 18 to make the holes more playable. Hills and his associates at Hills & Forrest—International Golf Course Architects have made significant changes moving greens, reshaping fairways, and completing bunker work. The newly redesigned holes are expected to open on June 20, 2014. Crooked Tree Golf Club was originally designed by Harry Bowers and opened in 1991. The course is a favorite in the region for its challenging elevated terrain and blind-shots, yet also offers plenty of rewards with impeccable greens, centuries-old hardwoods, and breathtaking scenic vistas of Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay. For tee times, call 800.462.6963.
New Bunker Sand on The Moor course at Boyne Highlands Resort
An extensive bunker renovation project wraps up this spring on The Moor course at Boyne Highlands. The bunkers’ new sand improves player conditions and consistency, while also enhancing the course aesthetics.
Tech-Savvy Carts Come to Bay Harbor Golf Club
At Bay Harbor Golf Club you can expect the best and that includes while driving the course. This summer, Bay Harbor Golf Club has added 114 new EZ-GO TXT golf carts with the latest features including a USB port to recharge mobile phones, rangefinders, and other small electronics. The carts new design also allows for larger storage of devices with space enough for an iPad. Before a round, be sure to download Bay Harbor Golf Club’s App for a suite of tools including a GPS caddie, rangefinder, scorecard, weather conditions, and more. For tee times, call 800.462.6963.
All-New BOYNE Golf Academy and Award-Winning Instructors
The BOYNE Golf Academy, founded by PGA professional Brian O’Neill, is expanding this summer beyond Boyne Highlands Resort to offer new golf instruction programs at sister resort, Boyne Mountain. The programs are led by four PGA professionals including O’Neill who serves as director of golf instruction; Mike Fay, director of player performance; Barry Redmond, senior teaching professional; and Brian Schulte, director of golf fitness. The BOYNE Golf Academy’s programs have been revamped with a holistic approach to learning and development of golf skills and an emphasis on fitness, nutrition, and club fitting. The academy’s signature summer program is the Boyne Golf Performance Experience featuring a TPI Golf fitness evaluation, TrackMan ball flight analysis with drills, and a 3-to-1 student-teacher ratio. Other programs include one- and two-day short game clinics utilizing the resorts’ new wedge ranges and ladies only instruction, as well as Nike Junior Golf Camps, a junior elite program, private instruction, and season-long instructional membership.
O’Neill has been recognized by Golf Digest as one of the Top Ten Teachers in Michigan and is also a disciple of renowned instructor, Jim Flick. Fay has earned the Top 50 Kids Teacher Award from U.S. Kids Golf and was the first Golf Channel SwingFix Certified Instructor in Michigan. To contact the BOYNE Golf Academy, call 231.526.3848.
Scratch Golf Opens a Fitting Center at Boyne Highlands
Scratch Golf is opening a fitting and retail location at Boyne Highlands Resort in Harbor Springs. The new shop is expected to open in May and operate year-round. Scratch Golf has invested nearly $300,000 in the operation, which will utilize Boyne Highlands’ range facilities and putting greens to work with clients. Scratch Golf offers custom handmade clubs and wedges that are created to precisely match an individual’s unique swing dynamics, and also fits and sells clubs from Nike, TaylorMade, Callaway, Titleist, and Ping. An examination using Trackman, an industry leading precision swing and ball flight analysis system, is used during their fitting process. The shop has over 15,000 possible head and shaft combinations to find the perfect golf club and is the largest selection in northern Michigan. Fittings are available by appointment by calling 231.526.3811. Scratch Golf also has a fitting center in Berkley, Michigan.
New Course and Resort Awards
Bay Harbor Golf Club was named to Golfweek’s Best Resort Courses of 2014.
Bay Harbor Golf Club was named to Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play of 2014.
Boyne Highlands Resort's Arthur Hills course was named to Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play of 2014.
Hidden River Golf & Casting Club was named to Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play of 2014.
The Inn at Bay Harbor has been named to Travel + Leisure's Top 500 World's Best Hotels of 2014.
BOYNE offers the largest collection of golf courses in the Midwest with eleven courses and three resorts located in the Petoskey Area including Boyne Highlands Resort in Harbor Springs and Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls, and The Inn at Bay Harbor – A Renaissance Golf Resort in Bay Harbor. Golfers can take advantage of packing in up to 72 holes per day thanks to the region’s long hours of daylight and ideal summer temperatures. Combine the resorts bevy of golf and wide range of accommodations, and this destination is a premier choice for vacationing golfers.
Pre-season rates for 2014 golf packages are available now from $108 per person. For lodging reservations and tee times, visit www.BOYNE.com or call 800.462.6963.
Madison, Wis., Hotel Wins Top Marriott Award
Courtyard by Marriott Madison East Named Brand’s Hotel of the Year
Courtyard by Marriott Madison East recently won Marriott International’s prestigious Hotel of the Year award for the Courtyard brand, an honor achieved out of a field of 850 hotels around the world.
The hotel, located at 2502 Crossroads Drive in Madison, Wis., also won the Diamond Circle Award from Marriott, which made it eligible to compete for Hotel of the Year. Diamond Circle Award winners must be open for at least two years, obtain an overall satisfaction score in the top 5 percent for all Courtyard hotels, and achieve a Green level on Marriott’s Brand Standard Audit Operations Reviews.
“Being named Courtyard by Marriott Hotel of the Year is a testament to the high standard of service we uphold for our guests, and our team is honored to receive this distinction,” said Jeff Ryan, the hotel’s general manager. “We will continue in our efforts to satisfy our guests and make them feel as comfortable as possible while they’re away from home.”
The Courtyard by Marriott Madison East is a four-story property with 112 rooms, 15 suites and two meeting rooms. Open since 2003, the hotel has a fresh new look. A state-of-the-art lobby featuring the latest technology, in addition to food and beverage offerings, empowers guests while they are away from home. Rooms are contemporary yet comfortable, with plush bedding and spacious bathrooms, free Wi-Fi, and flexible spaces that allow guests to work and relax.
North Central Group, a hotel management company based in Middleton, Wis., owns and operates Courtyard by Marriott Madison East under a franchise agreement with Marriott.
About North Central Group
Built on enduring principles and an unbridled passion for hospitality and real estate development, North Central Group owns and operates “focused-service” hotels. It manages more than 25 hotels and seven brands throughout Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin. To learn more, visit www.ncghotels.com or call (608) 836-6060.
About the Courtyard by Marriott Madison East
The Courtyard by Marriott Madison East combines the latest technology with personal touches. Just a short drive away from downtown and the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, the hotel features a 24-hour market and business center for those working against the clock, and all-day dining at The Bistro. Guest rooms have a desk, mini-fridge, sofa, 32-inch LCD TV, cozy bedding and complimentary Wi-Fi. Popular with business travelers, the hotel offers two meeting spaces, a pool, a fitness center and a location near many companies, including American Family Insurance.
About Courtyard by Marriott
Courtyard by Marriott offers a refreshing environment that helps guests stay connected, productive and balanced. Intuitive services and design accommodate guests’ needs for choice and control. With more than 900 locations in 38 countries and territories, Courtyard hotels participate in the award-winning Marriott Rewards® frequent travel program. For more information, contact the hotel at 608-661-2700, call the Courtyard toll-free number at 800-321-2211, visit www.courtyard.com or become a fan at www.facebook.com/courtyard.
About Marriott International, Inc.
Visit Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) for company information. For more information, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.
The Commons Hotel Offers "Give Us Your Meeting and We'll Give You the World"
"GIVE US YOUR MEETING AND WE'LL GIVE YOU THE WORLD!" This one-of-a-kind meeting experience can be had at The Commons Hotel, located on the campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Inspired by its collegiate ties and the industrial history of the Twin Cities, the schoolhouse chic property boasts more than 20,000 square feet of meeting space, including two ballrooms, 10 meeting rooms and patio space. Ideal for wide range of events, the hotel can host such events, including large conferences up to 500 guests, grandiose wedding receptions or galas, corporate dinners or intimate receptions.
Embodying a sense of inner geek in a chic setting, the Commons encourages the inner geek in even the most serious of executives with themed geek chic wings, Jenga, spelling bee breaks, smarties and smart water on meeting tables and Mad Scientist Breaks designed to feed the mind, promote creativity, and engage groups with “experimental” treats.
GIVE US YOUR MEETING AND WE'LL GIVE YOU THE WORLD!
Book a meeting of 150 room nights or more at The Commons Hotel and get 3 days/2 nights for two at any Noble House Hotel and Resort property, along with $200 on-property spending. Plus, $1,500 off the cost of your meeting!
The Commons Hotel is conveniently located next to downtown Minneapolis and is the Twin Cities’ Smartest Hotel. The hotel offers 304 guestrooms and suites and 20,000 square feet of newly redesigned meeting space. Free Wi-Fi is available in all meeting rooms. The Beacon Public House showcases refined, locally inspired menus.
Let our team of meeting professionals assist you in planning your next successful meeting.
**Restrictions: This offer is based on availability and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. This offer includes a $1,500 credit for a meeting of 150 or more room nights. The $1,500 will be credited to your master account at time of billing. The $200 on property credit can be used toward massage, golf, tennis or food & beverage at a Noble House Hotel or Resort (with the exception of Little Palm Island). Free room nights at any Noble House Hotel and Resort (Except Little Palm Island) are valid for a party of two. Meeting must be booked by 12/31/2014.
This offer does not apply to previously booked meetings. Trip can be used for company holiday party giveaway. Does not include airfare. See website for more details at www.commonshotel.com.
Contact information for the director of group or convention sales:
Kelly Commerford, CHME
Director of Sales & Marketing
Noble House Hotels & Resorts
615 Washington Avenue SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
(O) 612.362.6607 | (F) 612-379-8682
For additional information, please visit www.commonshotel.com, or contact Molly Blanton at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 850.668.2222 ext. 350.
What's Cooking for Groups at the Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis? Fun, Unique Hands-On Barbecue Competition
The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis is serving up a new recipe for groups looking to cook up a fun and out-of-the ordinary team-building activity, and the chance to help those less fortunate, all while receiving value-laden amenities for their next meeting.
First, the Clayton, Mo. luxury hotel introduces a new flavor to group meetings with its “Barbecue Sauce Championship” concept.
Here’s how it works:
The group divides into several smaller teams. Each team will have a one-hour, hands-on session with a Ritz-Carlton chef to devise a signature sauce based on the ingredients provided by the hotel.
The teams do all the cooking under the watchful eyes of the hotel’s culinary experts. Depending on the size and number of teams, the preparation can be done right in the hotel’s kitchens or in conventional meeting rooms, such as The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom, the hotel’s showpiece 12,750 square-foot meeting space that is scheduled for a $1 million renovation later this year.
A team of judges – comprised of either the hotel’s chefs or representatives of the groups, depending on preference – will conduct a blind tasting of each sauce to determine the
group’s “Barbecue Sauce Champion.”
While the winning team gets bragging rights, all participants receive a Ritz-Carlton chef’s apron and the chance to spend some quality time quizzing the hotel’s chefs on barbecue or any other culinary subject. The entire group and organization also enjoy a fun diversion while benefiting from an effective recipe for team-building.
“The Barbecue Sauce Championship is not only fun but a unique goal-setting activity that can really help with team building. Devising a winning barbecue sauce is a task most participants have never tackled before, and having to work with others to pull it off provides enjoyable practice in essential teamwork and leadership principles,” said The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis Director of Sales and Marketing Christie Pink.
The cost of the Barbecue Sauce Championship group event is $50 per person. To keep the spicy theme running, the hotel also offers a group barbecue dinner, utilizing the winning sauce, at an additional cost.
Operation Backpack: Groups Can Help Feed Local Children
In addition, The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis is offering groups “Operation Backpack,” the chance for participants to provide local children in need the security of much-needed weekend meals.
The event is coordinated each school year by Operation Food Search, a St. Louis food bank. More than eight out of every 10 children in St. Louis city public schools rely on free or reduced-cost meal programs. Since 2008, Operation Food Search has been working with area school districts in providing backpacks filled with nutritious food for these children to take home for the weekend, sadly a time when food may not be available to them.
As part of its VolunTeaming® program, The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis offers groups the chance to participate in “Operation Backpack” at the hotel. For less than $10 per attendee, groups can stuff backpacks full of the weekend meals that are then given to participating school districts and passed on to grateful children and their families.
“Exclusive Meeting Package” at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis
Regardless of the event, The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis is also offering a number of appealing added-value options that are sure to whet the appetites of meeting planners. The
“Exclusive Meeting Package” at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis includes a menu of enhanced benefits from which meeting planners may choose. All newly contracted groups will receive discounted group rates and complimentary guestroom internet, plus these options:
Meeting planners may select five of the offerings with 250+ total room nights; three with 150-249 total room nights; and two with 25-149 total room nights.
The “Value Dates” on which these special package options are available are limited and are subject to change.
For more information about The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis’ Barbecue Sauce Championship and Operation Backpack group activities, call 314-719-1411 to speak with the hotel’s Director, Meetings and Special Event Planning. To secure the Exclusive Meetings Package, contact the sales team directly at 314-863-6300, ext. 510. More information can also be found at www.ritzcarlton.com/stlouis
About The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis
The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis is a four-star, four-diamond hotel with 300 guest rooms and suites, and 30,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 3,300 square-foot Amphitheater. It’s located in the heart of the St. Louis suburban business district of Clayton.
About The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. of Chevy Chase, Md., currently operates 82 hotels in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean. More than 30 hotel and residential projects are under development around the globe. The Ritz-Carlton is the only service company to have twice earned the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award which recognizes outstanding customer service. For more information, or reservations, contact a travel professional, call toll free in the U.S. 1-800-241-3333, or visit the company website at www.ritzcarlton.com. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR)
Historic Davenport hotel “defines the unique guest experience”
Hotel Blackhawk management is pleased to announce that it has officially taken its place in the progressive Autograph Collection hotel network.
The Autograph Collection® (www.autographhotels.com), launched by Marriott in 2010 is, “an evolving ensemble of strikingly independent hotels. Each destination has been selected for its bold originality, rich character and uncommon details.” Hotels are listed in different categories such as Artistic Getaways, Historic Explorations, Culinary Delight, Urban Excitement and Wedding Celebration. This new affiliation will also enable Hotel Blackhawk to offer and accept Marriott Rewards®.
Joining a network of properties that promotes individuality is another important step for Hotel Blackhawk’s role in gaining attention for the City of Davenport, Iowa, and the Quad Cities. This effort has been highlighted with notable achievements such as its recent status as a 2013 Recommended Property in the Forbes Travel Guide, 2012 AAA Four Diamond Award-Lodgings, 2012 TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence Award, the Bix Bistro’s 2012 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, as well as 2011 and 2012 Smart Meetings Platinum Choice Award recognition.
“One-of-a-kind hotels in the Autograph Collection serve the discerning tastes of those looking for travel accommodations beyond the ordinary, predictable routine of hotel chains,” said General Manager Tim Heim. “Hotel Blackhawk represents the type of singular, high-personality hotel that doesn’t just offer guests a unique experience – but actually defines it.”
Hotel Blackhawk re-opened in December 2010. The hotel retains its 98-year-old historic character while featuring modern conveniences throughout the 130 guestrooms and extended-stay suites, six meeting rooms, and up to 300-person banquet capacity in the signature Gold Room.
For more information, visit www.hotelblackhawk.com or find us on www.facebook.com (Search: Hotel Blackhawk).
Located on the Mississippi River in the Midwest, the Quad Cities is comprised of Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa; Rock Island and Moline/East Moline, Illinois; and surrounding communities.
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