Thursday, December 10, 2015

Isn't the Sheraton Grand?

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Introduces Sheraton Grand

The Sheraton Grand is a rebranding of Sheraton with a focus on excellence in service and guest experiences. The first 10 span from Bangalore to Beijing, Dubai to Edinburgh, Miyazaki to Seoul, Taipei to Bangkok, and Tokyo to Rio de Janeiro. By the end of the year, they expect to have 50 newly-designed Sheraton Grand Hotels around the world with plans for 100 by early 2017.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Recommendations for Productive Virtual Meetings

1. Send an agenda in advance with clearly identified topics, outcomes and timelines for discussion. Identify any prep work wanted from participants ahead of time.
2. Set ground rules for the call like reminding everyone to mute their phones when not speaking, to refrain from side conversations and multi-tasking while on the call. Also, remind everyone to identify themselves by name before speaking.
3. Follow the agenda on the call, solicit feedback from everyone (calling on anyone not volunteering feedback) and pay attention to audible cues.
4. Encourage a respectful dialogue free of friction by asking participants to keep their comments based in facts instead of opinions. Remind attendees to stay focused on the collective goals of the meeting instead of side-bar or personal intentions.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Marriott International to Buy Starwood Hotels

Did you hear the big news in the hospitality industry today?  Marriott International has agreed to buy Starwood Hotels for 12.2 billion which will create the largest hotel company.  Although it may seem like bigger is better, the new merge may be bad for our industry since it will inhibit competition for other hotel companies and may lead to higher rates.  What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

It's a Sellers' Market!

If you didn’t know it already, it’s a sellers’ market and hotels worldwide are reaping the benefits. With business booming again, it’s becoming harder for planners and groups find availability and harder still to negotiate the rates, space and concessions they are used to contracting. Many hotels say it’s the best market they’ve seen in 30 years with consistent bookings for the next 24 to 36 months. The Incentive Research Foundation started their “Pulse Surveys” in 2008 to track trends in the industry. During the recession, 86% of groups were reducing their number of rooms and/or the number of nights. Now, only 12% of groups are reducing their blocks while most are increasing.

It helps to know what is most important to your group. If you can be flexible on the location and/or dates/pattern, you might be able find an opening at great hotel that can offer more concessions. If your location and dates are fixed, you should expect to pay higher rates with fewer concessions. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Did you know?

China Business Travel to Skyrocket By 61 percent Over Next 5 Years.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Kimpton Instant Meetings - Big on Small Groups

Meet K.I.M. – Kimpton Instant Meetings. It’s a perfect tool for confirming a meeting for up to 50 guests; from 5 to 45 days out; from 6 to 25 guest rooms; and staying up to 7 days.  It’s quick and easy to use offering you the ability to choose your meeting room set up as well as a meeting package with the click of a button. It just doesn’t get easier than this. Thank you, Kimpton Hotels!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Welcome to Miami!

The Royal Palms Miami managed by HEI Hotels & Resorts is a Starwood hotels franchise. It is located in the heard of South Beach fronting the Atlantic Ocean. It’s has 393 guest rooms in an art deco style. Each guest gets a “Beach Box” as shown here which contains water, fresh fruit, and hand sanitizer. Personalized boxes can be created on request. It also comes with a “Sun Concierge” to remind you to turn over to ensure an even tan and offers buckets of water to help your feet stay cool in the sand. Check it out for yourself and see what you think.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

More Airports Offering Free WiFi!

 VINCI Airports is pleased to offer free and unlimited WiFi service in its 24 airports in France, Portugal and Cambodia.  Go VINCI!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Global Business Travel Spending Predicted to Hit Record High in 2015

Global Business Travel Spending in 2015 - Annual Global Report & Forecast, predicted that global business travel spending will hit a record $1.25 trillion USD in 2015, 6.5 percent growth over 2014. Growth will remain strong through 2019, with business travel projected to grow 6.9 percent in 2016, 6.0 percent in 2017, 6.4 percent in 2018 and 5.8 percent in 2019. For additional information, visit

Friday, July 24, 2015

Unique Meeting Destinations

Planning an incentive and want a unique destination? Try these. – Baccaret Hotel & Residences in New York can accommodate up to 40 for a meeting. It’s located across the street from the Museum of Modern Art, a few blocks from Broadway theaters and steps from upscale shops on Fifth Avenue. Four Seasons Orlando Walt Disney World Resort offers a distraction free 37,750 square foot conference center. It has its own Explorer Island featuring a 7,590 square foot pool, beach volleyball, outdoor movies, a lazy river winding around a mansion, and more. Montage Kapalua Bay in Maui can accommodate up to 80 for a meeting. It offers 50 residential style suites each with a large lanai and full gourmet kitchen where guests can whip up meals or a Montage chef can come prepare a special dinner for you.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Hotel Z Opening in San Diego Gaslamp

New Boutique Hotel in San Diego Gaslamp – Hotel Z has 96 contemporary suites and opened on July 6, 2015.


Friday, June 5, 2015

Starwood Branding Update

Starwood Hotels & Resorts introduced Sheraton 2020 this month, a comprehensive 10-point plan designed to put Sheraton Hotels and Resorts firmly back into the global spotlight. Sheraton 2020, includes several key goals to include the launch of the new premier tier (Sheraton Grand), and a goal of opening more than 150 new Sheraton hotels worldwide by 2020. The property pictured here is the Sheraton Huzhou Hot Springs Resort, China. For more, click the following link.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel

This coming May 8th, the Four Seasons Hotel will be taking over the management of Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat located on the peninsula on France’s Côte d’Azur. This hotel was opened over a hundred years ago and is placed on top of 17 acres of gardens with views of the Mediterranean. They will rename the hotel to be Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel. This hotel holds a variety of meeting rooms and could be a great location for incentive trips! For more information on the hotel, visit:

Friday, April 24, 2015

Hotel Gotham in Manchester Now Open

The five-star Hotel Gotham is now open in Manchester, UK. Housed in the former Midland Bank building on King Street, the 30's-era bank theme runs throughout the hotel. The design is a bold, art deco style with vintage touches in each room. The hotel features 60 rooms, one restaurant and one members-only rooftop club.

Part of the Bespoke boutique hotel collection, lead-designer, Oliver Redfern explained: “We wanted to pay tribute to a major building designed by ‘one of the greatest British architects’, Edwin Lutyens whilst injecting a distinct fresh personality. I’m sure the guests will have as much fun at Hotel Gotham as we have had in creating it”.

For more information, visit: or 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Loews Chicago Hotel

The Loews Chicago Hotel opened this past March being the first Virgin Hotel in Chicago. It is located in a convenient location just a ten minute walk from Navy Pier. It encompasses a 9,000 square foot rooftop with an indoor pool, bar, yoga terrace, and gorgeous views of the city. This hotel also holds over 29,000 square feet for meeting space with 2 ballrooms and 11 meeting rooms. Businesses should consider holding their next large meeting at The Loews Chicago Hotel! For more information please visit:

Friday, April 17, 2015

New JW Marriott Opening!

JW Marriott is opening a new hotel in Bodrum, Turkey on May 15, 2015. This beachfront hotel is located on top of a hill overlooking the beautiful Bodrum Peninsula. This hotel will have 5 breakout rooms and a large banquet hall making it a stunning location to hold your next meeting. For more information please visit:

Friday, April 10, 2015

Reservations for Ritz Paris Hotel will Reopen in June

The Ritz in Paris has been closed for renovations since July 2012. According to the General Manager, Christian Boyens, reservations will open this upcoming June. The major focus of the renovation was to reopen each bedroom with a separate bath and shower and dual sinks with heated bathroom floors. There are many additional features that they have upgrades and added to the hotel that they are excited to unveil soon. The renovation that is taking place is about a 212 million dollar job. For more information please visit:

Friday, April 3, 2015

Excellent Hotel for Business

 Take a look at the Four Seasons Hong Kong located in the heart of Hong Kong Island. While this is a major destination for business meetings, this beautiful hotel accommodates this with 21,528 square feet of meeting space. It encompasses 2 ballrooms and 7 meeting rooms. We highly recommend this hotel to be the location for your next business meeting. For more information please visit:

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Puerto Rico Hotel Renovations!

The Embassy Suites in San Juan, Puerto Rico just finished its first phase in renovating the hotel. This could be the perfect location to hold incentive trips or even your traditional meetings. The meeting space holds up to 525 guests with 12,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. It is also a short drive from the Puerto Rico Convention Center which can accommodate groups up to 10,000 people. For more information visit:

Friday, March 20, 2015

New Hotel Opening in Paris

Meliá Paris La Défense opened 2 short weeks ago in Paris, France. This hotel can host events for up to 400 people and offers stunning views of Paris from the sleeping rooms. The Skyline Paris Lounge & Bar is a must visit as well offering panoramic views of Paris. Prices start as low as $170.00 per night. For more information please visit:

Friday, March 6, 2015

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego

San Diego Update: The Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego revamped the 32nd floor which houses more than 7,000 sq feet of meeting space with expansive ocean and city views. This space is perfect for smaller meetings with a couple breakout rooms and the need for privacy. This exclusive venue could be yours; check it out: 

Four Seasons Orlando

Orlando News: Four Seasons Orlando opened this past year boasting just over 440 guest rooms with an over 56,000 sq foot conference center and a rooftop steakhouse with views of fireworks and the skyline. For more information;

The W Chicago Renovation

The W Chicago - Lakeshore just completed a $38 million dollar renovation/redesign. They are also offering a new farm-to-table restaurant which is also providing catering for on-site functions. For more information please visit: 

A New Upscale Hotel in Austin!

A NEW UPSCALE HOTEL IN AUSTIN: The JW Marriott Austin just opened last month. It's located in the heart of downtown boasting over 120,000 sq feet of flexible meeting and event space and just two blocks away from the convention center. For more information please visit:

Hilton Austin Updates!

AUSTIN UPDATES: The Hilton Austin located next to the convention center just completed a major renovation of all it's sleeping rooms in 2014.

Atlanta's Hot Meeting Spot!

ATLANTA HOT MEETING SPOT: The Cobb Galleria Conference Centre is conveniently located just 20 minutes from the airport and connects directly to the four-star Renaissance Waverly Hotel. Check it out at:

Miami Beach Edition Hotel

MIAMI BEACH EDITION HOTEL - This Miami hot spot opened it's doors late last year and is a new hotel brand and part of Marriott International. Check it out here!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Washington DC Hotels are Preparing for 2016 Election

As you could expect, Washington DC becomes incredibly popular during election time. Therefore, now is the perfect time to build new hotels and complete some renovations to older ones. Here is a highlight on some major renovations and new properties.

Trump International Hotel, Washington DC
The Trump International Hotel plans to open its doors in 2016. Trump Hotel Collection has been chosen as the preferred developer for the hotel in the Old Post Office in DC. This will be a $200 million redevelopment. Donald Trump stated that “"When completed, one of the finest hotels anywhere in the world. The building itself, which is totally irreplaceable, is going to be brought back to far beyond its original grandeur." While this hotel will offer the guests a view of the Washington DC skyline, it is also an ideal location for meetings holding 39,000 square feet of meetings and events space.

The Line, Washington DC
This new hotel chain first opening in Los Angeles now has a hotel opening in Washington DC. They have newly constructed a 110 year old neo classical church in Adams Morgan neighborhood. This hotel chain is focused on targeting millennial's by being the “cool hotel”. They are expecting to have around 10,000 square feet of meeting and event space. There is on confirmed time of opening yet, however they are hopeful to have it completed before the election.

The Watergate Hotel, Washington DC

Watergate Hotel in Washington D.C. is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for being the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. During the 2008 real estate problem, the property fell into foreclosure. Euro Capital purchased the hotel at an auction and has poured 125 million dollars into the property. They are expecting this luxurious property to be reopened in summer of 2015. They have designed it to be more accommodating to meetings with a 17,000 square foot meeting space, 7,000 square foot ballroom, and a rooftop bar. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort’s $85 Million Renovation

In April of 2013 Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort completed a $85 million renovation. This 1,350 acre resort opened back in 1972 and is the perfect location for your upcoming meeting or vacation. They have 80,000 square feet of meeting space along with 404 oceanfront guest rooms. Spend your time away from the meetings golfing at one of the “Top 121 Golf Resorts in the World” or receiving a massage in their full-service Spa & Salon. For more information please visit:

Friday, February 13, 2015

Aria Hotel Budapest to Open in March

Henry Kallan, founder of the Library Hotel Collection, has partnered with real estate investor Alexander Rovt to open the Aria Hotel Budapest next month. The newest Kallan venture will share the Library Hotel signature focus on high-end service and guest satisfaction. 

Budapest interior designer Zoltán Varro is bringing the 1870s building back to life with a music-inspired theme blending classical and contemporary styles. The hotel offers 49 guest rooms, each featuring a jazz, contemporary, opera or classical music theme. A music library suiting the theme of the room is available via iPads and flat-screen TVs supplied in each room. 

The Aria offers several intimate private meeting and event spaces including the breathtaking year-round Roof Garden, High Note Skybar and a private screening room seating up to 50 people.

The Aria Hotel Budapest is now accepting reservations beginning March 15. Rates start at €325.00+.

For more information, visit the hotel's website:
For information on meeting and event spaces visit: