Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Micro Hotels Still on the Rise

Micro hotels are becoming extremely popular in the hospitality world. There are numerous hotels popping up that offer just the basic overnight accommodations, including a small space to sleep and shower, and most times only one option for food & beverage. There are no signs of wasted space with only necessary furniture in these rooms, with some micro hotels offering guests nothing except a tiny bed and a vending machine. The trend began in Japan as a capsule hotel, and it slowly picked up all over the world. Now you can find variations of micro hotels almost anywhere.

The most recent version of the micro hotel is Marriott’s new millennial-focused brand, Moxy Hotels. While not a true micro hotel, Moxy Hotels are on the smaller and more affordable scale, with on-trend interiors and “instagram-worthy” themes.

They just opened their newest hotel in Times Square, making it the 3rd in the U.S. and the 14th around the world that is open for reservations. There are 5 more locations in the metropolitan areas around the U.S. that are projected to open, including one in San Francisco and one in Seattle.

As part of the micro hotel trend, these boutique hotels have everything you’re looking for, and nothing you’re not. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Curio Collection by Hilton Gains the Iconic Hotel del Coronado

The Curio Collection by Hilton includes a collection of individual hotels and resorts each exclusive in their own way, and the Hotel del Coronado is its' most recent addition. 

As part of The Curio Collection by Hilton, the Hotel del Coronado's unique aspects will remain the same. Hilton plans to have a plaque at the main entrance of the hotel displaying their logo, with the main changes to be taken place at an operations standpoint.

The most exciting news about the addition to The Curio Collection by Hilton, is for the Hilton HHonors Rewards Members. Starting August 2017, you will be able to stay at the Hotel del Coronado by using your Hilton HHonors Rewards points.

For the business travelers frequenting the San Diego area, prepare to stay at the Hotel del Coronado in the near future. The hotel continues to attract corporate meetings with their vast meeting spaces and 679 rooms on property. With their award-winning fitness activities, like their Beach Spin, Sunrise Yoga, and 24-hour fitness center, it is a breeze to get a workout in through the busy day of a business traveler.

For those wanting to experience the hotel in its entirety, the Hotel del Coronado is a perfect place to create unforgettable memories. From their delectable Roast with s’mores on the beach, to riding quad-bicycles down the Silver Strand, there are endless opportunities to enjoy.

Whether you are traveling to the hotel for business meetings, or are looking to spend a fabulous vacation on the beach, you’ll be able to use your Hilton HHonors Rewards Benefits all the same.

With the Hotel del Coronado becoming part of The Curio Collection by Hilton, there are only good things in sight! For more information on this recent acquirement, visit http://www.curiocollection3.hilton.com   

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Best Places to Celebrate The Fourth of July
 From all of us here at MSP, we hope you had a safe and fun filled 4th of July! If you are already counting down the days until next year's celebration, or want to get a head start on planning for 2018 here is a list of the best places to celebrate the holiday. 

  1.   San Diego, California
Arrive early and spend the day at the beach with good food, your favorite beverage and even better company. After watching the sunset over the Pacific Ocean, set up your blanket to watch the fireworks from multiple locations such as, Shelter or Harbor Island, North Embarcadero, Seaport Village, Ocean Beach Pier, Seaworld, and the Coronado Landing Ferry, just to name a few.

     2. Navy Pier, Chicago

Everyone in the city will gather along the shoreline of the historic Navy Pier to watch the fireworks over Lake Michigan. For only $15 (per adult), you can get spectacular views of the fireworks while riding on the ferriswheel or strolling down Dock Street.
   3. Seattle, Washington

From children's games to beer gardens, you can bring the entire family to celebrate at Seafair Summer Fourth. And the best ways to view the fireworks, either on a boat on the beautiful Lake Union or on the grass of Gas Works Park. Or take advantage of various Fourth of July deals and try out the great bars and restaurants in the downtown area.

    4. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

With its sandy shores and fun carnival rides, the festivities are ongoing in this great little beach town. Catch the boat parade in Murrells Inlet with numerous fireworks shows viewable from all along the shoreline. Pack blanket and some sparklers for the family to enjoy a warm July night under the stars. 

    5. San Francisco, California

Pier 39 will be buzzing with live music, street performers, and other festivities, while you explore this exciting city. For the best views, bring a beach chair and set up anywhere along the stretch from Pier 39 to the Aquatic Park. While you're waiting stop into the Ghiradelli Chocolate Factory for some of their world famous chocolates or a refreshing chocolate shake and if the night gets a little chilly head over to Aioto's for some incredibly delicious clam chowder to warm you up.

   6. St. Augustine, Florida

Stroll around the historic downtown area for the biggest event of the year. Arrive early to secure a good viewing spot to watch the famous Orchestra perform before the firework show or to stake out a spot on the Bayfront between Castillo and the Bridge of Lions to view the fireworks above the ancient Castillo de San Marcos and Mantanzas Bay. 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Don't Let Construction Threaten Your Meeting

Property construction isn’t always the first thing you think of when you’re planning your meeting, but it should definitely be high on your list. It is important to always ask, at the outset of the planning process, whether construction, renovations, or updates will be happening either over your meeting dates or in the time between contracting and program completion. Many planners overlook construction as an issue when they are initially told that the construction will be finished before their program arrives. However, it is very common for construction to get delayed, potentially causing changes to or cancellation of your meeting. Without contract language in place to protect yourself in these instances, a meeting could suddenly become very stressful and very costly.

When we know that construction delays are a possibility and our meeting may be affected, we generally ensure that the hotel is responsible for paying the other party for all increased costs it incurs to use a different hotel.  These costs can include refunding the deposit, food and beverage minimum difference, profit loss from lower attendance, air ticket changes, and more. Even with a clause such as this seemingly protecting you, we also need to make sure to be very aware of the language input elsewhere in your agreement. Some properties try to include relocation clauses requiring if alternate arrangements must be made, they must be made with a sister property. This means you could end up across the street, across the city, or in a completely different state depending on what hotel chain you are working with. It is important to make sure these clauses specify both the location of and the class of hotel you may be relocated to. It’s also a possibility that a property will later decide that they do not want to fulfill their part of the contract, in which case it can be very expensive to enforce your legal rights. It is imperative to include a provision that entitles the prevailing party to an award for all attorney fees and costs in the event of litigation. Protecting yourself isn’t limited to reviewing just one clause, but means creating a complete contract.

As a meeting planner, it is so easy to get so wrapped up in the details that we might overlook bigger issues. A well thought out plan is useless unless it can be executed successfully and a fully functioning venue is imperative to the meeting. Therefore, we always look to reduce any possible threats to your meeting. Starting with making sure we have complete information on who we are contracting with and negotiating an ironclad contract with them.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

West Coast Tops “Most Kid-Friendly U.S. Cities to Visit in 2017”

RewardExpert has just released their 2017 list of "Most Kid-Friendly U.S. Cities to Visit" and the West Coast has captured the first three spots. Topping the list are San Diego, San Francisco, Portland, Atlanta, and Washington D.C. Corrine McDermott mentioned that most families are gravitating towards destinations that are "clean, safe, and welcoming to children". Other notable mentions on the list include Miami, FL with the best amusement parks and Tampa, FL with the best kid-friendly hotels. 

1. San Diego

San Diego was ranked to have the best playgrounds in the RewardExpert article. The weather is perfect and sunny the entire year and it is close to many attractions like the World Famous San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, Legoland, Seaworld, and the San Diego Safari Park. In addition, it is only a few hours from Knotts Berry Farm, Disneyland, and Universal Studios. For more active families, San Diego has a variety of popular hiking trails.

2. San Francisco

San Francisco comes in second, and is also mentioned on the "top five" lists for kid-friendly hotels and kid-friendly museums. San Francisco is easy to maneuver with it's impressive transit system, ensuring all family activities can be checked off the list with ease. A notable mention is the Exploratorium, a science exhibit that has hundreds of exhibits for the entire family to enjoy. In addition, the Golden Gate Park offers over 1,000 acres of outdoor play space and there is free public access.

3. Portland

San Diego fit the beach and amusement park scene, San Francisco fit the city scene, and Portland rounds out the top three with a relaxing, laid back city atmosphere. Washington Park has one of the largest playgrounds in the city and Oaks Amusement Park is one of the oldest continuously operating amusement parks in the country. If that hasn't tired the kids out, take them to Playdate PDX, inside 7,500 square feet of playground fun. The city is easy to maneuver and it provides the same city experience, with an added down-to-earth quality.

To see the other top 12 cities that made the list, please visit the RewardExpert article here