Category Archives: Travel

United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce names Fernand Fernandez interim CEO and President

The Board of Directors of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has named Fernand “Fern” Fernandez interim CEO and President. Mr. Fernandez, former Vice President Global Marketing for American Airlines, was supported unanimously for this interim position.

“I’m humbled by this opportunity and look forward to working with the talented staff, partners and chambers who tirelessly foster Hispanic development,” said Mr. Fernandez. “The USHCC is moving ahead and intends to be stronger than ever, while building trust among our constituents. As an organization we will be inclusive, transparent, and have zero tolerance for sexual misconduct or financial impropriety. The USHCC board and staff is committed to strengthening our partnership with local chambers and our members, and help unite the communities that we serve.”

The USHCC Board of Directors has also established a Governance Committee that together will work with Mr. Fernandez to conduct a national search for a new, permanent CEO and President. “Our goal is to have a transparent and methodical process to ensure that the new CEO and President is representative of the countless Hispanic owned businesses and local chambers that the USHCC represents,” said Mr. Fernandez.

“The USHCC appreciates the overwhelming support we have received from our members and sponsors during this transition,” said Don Salazar, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “We recognize the importance of moving expeditiously to safeguard the credibility and integrity of our organization.”

The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce serves more than 4.4 million Hispanic businesses and is the voice of the Hispanic business community.

Source: USHCOC

Disney Chairman Bob Chapek announced plans for new attractions around the world

Celebrated stories are coming to life – from a new Marvel-themed attraction set for Disneyland Paris, to Star Wars and Pixar encounters around the world

Today at D23 Expo Japan 2018, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek shared exciting new details about the many ambitious projects underway around the world, from reimagined favorites to entirely new ways that guests can encounter Super Heroes, Jedi, classic characters and life-long Pixar pals.

Building on the tremendous excitement from D23 Expo in Anaheim last July, Chapek welcomed more than 2000 fans to learn more about some of the most anticipated projects in development for guests all over the world. D23 Expo Japan guests were the first to hear that the Marvel Super Hero Universe will come to Disneyland Paris. Guests were also treated to a sneak peek at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World Resort and Shanghai Disney Resort, and more.

“We are hard at work creating even more ways to experience Disney magic at our parks and resorts around the world,” said Bob Chapek, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “And with our incredible library of beloved stories and characters, we know exciting adventures and magical memories are in store for all our guests.”

Larger Than Life Super Heroes
Following the news that Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is preparing to incorporate popular stories and characters into Disneyland Paris, Chapek shared that the Marvel Super Hero universe will come to Walt Disney Studios Park, and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster will be totally reimagined as a high-speed, hyper-kinetic adventure where guests will team up with Iron Man and their favorite Avengers.

Fans also got a peek into one of the rooms that will open at Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel in 2020. And for those guests who just can’t wait to encounter Marvel at Disneyland Paris, starting this June, Marvel Summer of Super Heroes will bring guests face-to-face with Captain America, Spider-Man, Star-Lord and Black Widow.

Super Heroes have already descended on Hong Kong Disneyland with Iron Man Experience, the most popular attraction at the resort, and more is soon to come with an entire Marvel-themed area underway. Today, Chapek shared new details about the second new Marvel attraction set for Hong Kong Disneyland, where guests will be invited to team up with Ant-Man and The Wasp to fight Arnim Zola and his army of Hydra swarm bots in a thrilling new adventure.

Buzz is also building around Star-Lord and his fellow Guardians of the Galaxy coming to Epcot, where the real becomes fantastic and the fantastic becomes real. This one-of-a-kind family attraction will feature a brand-new, innovative ride system – and will be one of the longest enclosed roller coasters in the world!

Star Wars Comes to Life
After a groundbreaking Star Wars-themed hotel concept was announced last year, fans have been eager to hear more. It will combine a luxury resort with complete immersion into an authentic Star Wars story at Walt Disney World Resort. From the moment guests arrive, their journey through space will begin as everyone boards a starship and departs together for a multi-day Star Wars adventure. Today, Chapek announced it will be seamlessly connected to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Chapek also shared details on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge as it comes to life at both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. Fans caught a glimpse of the Millennium Falcon and an impressive fleet of life-size X-wing star fighters, which are being created for the opening of these jaw-dropping new lands. Imagineers are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible as they prepare to place fans in the middle of the action where they can live their own Star Wars stories next year.
Twenty Years of Pixar
For 20 years, Pixar has entertained guests at Disney parks all over the world – from the introduction of It’s Tough to be a Bug! and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin at Walt Disney World in 1998, to Cars Land at Disney California Adventure in 2012 – Pixar’s iconic storytelling has been a long-time favorite.

This year will surely be the “Year of Pixar” at Disney parks, with Toy Story Land opening at Shanghai Disney Resort in April, and at Walt Disney World Resort this summer. Today, fans were thrilled to learn the highly-anticipated Pixar Pier will open at Disney California Adventure on June 23, including the Incredicoaster and a future attraction themed to Disney•Pixar’s “Inside Out.” Fans also learned that a new Incredibles float will join Paint the Night this June. The popular parade returns to the Disneyland Resort – this time to Disney California Adventure – when Pixar Fest launches on April 13.

Just in time for the 20th Anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, fans also learned that a new, family-friendly show will debut April 22, featuring Russell and Dug from Disney•Pixar’s “Up,” as they discover species of birds from around the world.

Celebrating Classic Disney Stories
Soon, fans will be able to celebrate the mouse that started it all when Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway opens in 2019 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The first-ever ride-through attraction themed to Mickey Mouse will feature a new original story and lovable theme song as it takes guests on a journey inside the wacky and unpredictable world of Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts using new technologies that transform the two-dimensional cartoon world into an incredible multi-dimensional experience.

Even More Disney Magic Coming to Japan
Chapek shared that starting next year, Adventures by Disney will take guests to the beautiful and storied country of Japan. Guests are also excited about the new experiences coming to Tokyo Disney Resort as part of the biggest expansion since the opening of Tokyo DisneySea. The first-ever attraction inspired by “Big Hero 6” is coming to Tomorrowland at Tokyo Disneyland, where guests will ride around with Baymax. There will also be an entirely new area in Fantasyland themed to “Beauty and the Beast,” with an attraction set to the award-winning music guests know and love. The Fantasyland expansion will also include the first full-scale, live entertainment theatre at Tokyo Disneyland, and Toontown will see a new design studio where guests can meet the one-and-only Minnie Mouse. At Tokyo DisneySea, guests will soon be able to experience a version of Soarin’, one of the most popular attractions across all Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

With so much underway, Disney Parks all over the world continue to elevate the guest experience with one-of-a-kind attractions, lands, entertainment and lodging. For more information, please visit http://aboutdisneyparks.com.

SOURCE: WALT DISNEY

Omni Hotels & Resorts Announces The Opening Of Omni Hotel At The Battery Atlanta

Omni Hotels & Resorts announces the opening of its newest property, Omni Hotel at The Battery Atlanta. As the official hotel of the Atlanta Braves, the property is located in The Battery Atlanta, the city’s newest mixed-use development and home to SunTrust Park, the Coca-Cola Roxy music venue, shopping, dining and premier office space.

“The Omni Hotel at The Battery Atlanta is our latest partnership in a series of distinct collaborations with high-profile developments adjacent to iconic attractions,” said Jim Caldwell, chief executive officer of Omni Hotels & Resorts. “The Battery Atlanta has established itself as one the South’s most dynamic destinations, and we are honored to join this rich community alongside our world-class partner, the Atlanta Braves.”

Omni Hotel at The Battery Atlanta features 264 well-appointed guest rooms including 28 suites. All suites on the 16th floor, including the Presidential, have private terraces. To complement the endless culinary options within The Battery Atlanta, the hotel will be anchored by Achie’s restaurant from acclaimed Chef Hugh Acheson. As a regional epicenter for meetings and social events, there is more than 20,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including a grand ballroom. Unique amenities also include a pool deck steps from SunTrust Park home plate and a modern retail store featuring fashion and locally-curated art.

“We are thrilled to join an evolving neighborhood and are thankful for the warm welcome we’ve received from the local community and the Atlanta Braves,” said Ramon Reyes, general manager of Omni Hotel at The Battery Atlanta. “Our new Omni associates look forward to welcoming our first guests.”

Omni Hotel at The Battery Atlanta subtly captures the essence of the city of Atlanta and the traditions of the Braves. Shades of red, white and blue inspired by Braves colors accompany custom artwork throughout the hotel. Guest room numbers branded into wood paneling (reminiscent of a baseball bat) and framed antique scouting reports are a few of the details that reflect the local color. Sophisticated design pairs with state-of-the-art technology, as the area is powered by an all-fiber network with the highest-capacity serving any mixed-use community or ballpark in the nation.

The hotel debuts Achie’s, its highly anticipated partnership with James Beard Foundation Award-winning Chef Hugh Acheson. This signature restaurant offers Southern-inspired dishes with locally sourced ingredients. Guests can also enjoy 582 Waterside Lounge & Bar for classic American light bites and handcrafted cocktails. Located 582 feet away from home plate, this fifth-floor pool deck provides the most coveted views of The Battery Atlanta. The plaza level features the hotel’s Lobby Bar, which serves local coffee, cocktails and wine in a social atmosphere for guests and locals alike.

Additionally, Omni Hotel at The Battery Atlanta unveils a distinct retail shop that goes well beyond traditional gift shop selections. South End Trading Company showcases a curated collection of American craft art installations, retro Americana, whimsical baseball items, local art and fashion, a collection of music records and items inspired by the neighboring Coca-Cola Roxy music venue.

For more information, reservations or details on opening travel packages, visit www.omnihotels.com/hotels/atlanta-battery or call (678) 567-7327.

Visit Baltimore Hires Industry Executive as New Chief Operating Officer

Visit Baltimore, the official sales and marketing organization for Baltimore, today announced that destination marketing veteran Charles Jeffers II has joined the organization as chief operating officer.

Jeffers brings more than 20 years of hospitality and destination marketing experience industry to Baltimore, having most recently served as an industry advisor to destination marketing organizations and associations throughout the United States as principal of his own consulting firm The Jeffers Group. Through his previous roles as COO and SVP of Operations at Destinations International and the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, respectively, Jeffers possesses a wealth of leadership experience in all aspects of operations, technology, membership, strategic planning, and budget management.

While with the Atlanta CVB, Jeffers led dynamic projects helping to transform the city into an international destination through efforts surrounding the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games inclusive of implementing international exhibits at the city’s welcome center. Understanding the importance of a honed organizational mission, Jeffers led the development of a new strategic “innovation” plan during his tenure with Destinations International while also providing leadership through its CEO transition.

“Visit Baltimore is thrilled to welcome a well-known and respected member of our industry to the team,” said President and CEO Al Hutchinson. “We are confident in his proven ability to steer the operational side of a destination marketing organization, while innovating and creating tailored solutions specific to Baltimore. Charles will be a driving force as we look to expand our international presence, Visitor Center event capabilities, Certified Tourism Ambassador program, and membership growth.”

As COO of Visit Baltimore, Jeffers will lead and manage the Operations and Finance Departments, where he will oversee the operation of the administrative, information technology, research, human resources, accounting, finance and hospitality functions of Visit Baltimore. Jeffers will direct the company’s financial planning, treasury, accounting practices and internal control systems; as well as its relationships with lending institutions, stakeholders and the financial community. He will also be responsible for overseeing the annual Visit Baltimore and City budgets as a major tool of financial and performance management, and for the monthly preparation and analysis of financial reports.

“My new role with Visit Baltimore presents an exciting opportunity to put my personal and professionals passion to work for a bureau and community positioned for growth,’ said Jeffers. “I am honored to join this passionate team in their pursuit to positively impact Baltimore through economic growth generated from the city’s strong tourism portfolio.”

In his career, Jeffers has served on more than nine industry boards including the Meetings Mean Business Coalition, National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners and Destination Marketing Accreditation Program to name a few. He was named one of the ‘Most Influential African Americans in the Meetings/Tourism Industry’ by Black Meetings & Tourism magazine from 2012-2016 consecutively. Jeffers is also a strong civic steward, lending his talents to numerous organizations such as the Meetings Industry Fund, Theater of the Stars, Alpha Pi Alpha Fraternity, the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and more.

Jeffers earned a Masters of Public Administration from Georgia State University, and a Bachelor of Science in psychology and criminal justice from the American International College.

About Visit Baltimore
Visit Baltimore is the official sales and marketing organization for Baltimore that generates economic benefits for stakeholders through the attraction of convention, group and leisure visitors. For more information, please visit www.baltimore.org.

Source: Visit Baltimore » Read more

Meliá Hotels International Accelerates Its Growth In The Asia Pacific To Reach 45 Hotels In The Region With China, Vietnam, Thailand And Malaysia To Host new company hotels

Gabriel Escarrer Jaume, Executive Vice President and CEO of Meliá Hotels International, as well as the COO, André P. Gerondeau and the Global Development Managing Director Maria Zarraluqui, have completed another annual tour of Asia Pacific accompanied by the Regional Vice President Bernardo Cabot. During this trip, they visited several key destinations in China, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand, amongst others. Whilst in the APAC, Escarrer signed agreements for severalnew hotels with major local partners, taking the total number of hotels in the region to 45. Meliá has grown quickly in Asia Pacific, adding more than 30 hotels over the last five years and multiplying its portfolio in the region by five.

Of the 44 hotels in operation or in the pre-opening phase, 16 are in Indonesia, 10 in China, seven in Vietnam, four in Thailand, five in Malaysia, one in Mongolia and one in Myanmar. Meliá Hotels International has also developed a service program adapted to Chinese guests to ensure hotels all over the world are better prepared to meet the needs and expectations of this increasingly powerful market. The company expects to add new hotels by the end of the year.

In China, Meliá Hotels International will add a new hotel under the Meliá Hotels & Resorts brand, Meliá Xueye Lake, which is in Shandong province next to the prosperous city of Ji’nan where Meliá already operates the Meliá Jinan. In Thailand, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia, the company adds two new Meliá Hotels & Resorts: the Meliá Chiang Mai and INNSIDE Bangkok Sukhumvit.

In Vietnam, Meliá has signed another new property: Meliá Ba Vi Mountain Retreat, situated in the beautiful Vietnamese countryside to the west of Hanoi. Gabriel Escarrer, Executive Vice President and CEO at Meliá also signed an agreement for the future Meliá Bukit Tinggi in the state of Pahang in Malaysia. The company’s portfolio and pipeline already includes four hotels in Malaysia.

Gabriel Escarrer said: “The size of this market, the strong organic growth we are seeing in China and Southeast Asia, and the progressive growth in revenues in the region, lead us to predict that in the medium term the region will make a contribution as important to company results as Cuba represented after its addition 30 years ago.”

Committed to alliances with major partners
The company has been operating in Asia Pacific for 30 years, and the region is a perfect example of its business model, focused on the addition of hotels under management agreements rather than through acquisitions. This is a key feature of the company’s growth strategy. Bernardo Cabot, Senior Vice President in the Asia Pacific said: “Meliá has an attractive value proposition for hotel owners and investors, thanks to its know-how, its extensive portfolio of leading brands, and its human potential and service culture, which increase its appeal in such a demanding market as Asia.”

The relevance of the APAC markets is developing for Meliá Hotels International year-on-year, considering both the inbound and the outbound travellers. In line with the company’s strategic commitment to and importance of the Asian market, the new management agreements signed by Gabriel Escarrer will strengthen the relationships of the company with important financial and real estate groups in the region, such as Greentown China, TCC-Land in Thailand and Aurelian Land SDN BHD.

Source: Melia Hotels International

MEET WELL, BE WELL AT SHANGRI-LA HOTEL, SINGAPORE

Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore announces its “Meet Well, Be Well” meeting package to help corporate and MICE guests focus on wellness, even during business trips. Following the complete nature-inspired redesign and renovation of the hotel’s Tower Wing, the innovative holistic wellness meeting experience is designed to engage and energize. For bookings of at least 20 rooms or more in any of the newly-renovated events spaces at the Mezzanine level of the brand new Tower Wing, guests will receive the following privileges:

– Wellness-enhanced coffee breaks
– Option for participants to enjoy a healthy two-course “Super Food” lunch, instead of buffet lunch at The Line
– Option of a room-delivered Breakfast Power Pack or buffet breakfast at The Line
– A complimentary room with Horizon Club access per night for every 20 confirmed and paid guestrooms
– One complimentary meeting package for every 20 confirmed and paying participants
– 20% savings on treatments at CHI, The Spa
– A mindful meditation group session

With an advance notice of seven days, guests who are in the hotel for meetings may also register for any of the following morning activities:

– Morning run to Singapore Botanic Gardens led by a member of the hotel’s management team (45 minutes)
– Private yoga session at Banyan Deck (30 minutes)
– Singapore’s only AquaSpin class in the swimming pool (30 minutes)
– Neighborhood power walk (30 minutes)

The Meet Well, Be Well meetings package is in line with Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore’s wellness philosophy of taking into consideration guests’ well-being from a holistic perspective – physical, mental and nutritional. Business guests attending meetings and conferences can also look forward to breaks that energize and nourish the body and mind such as healthy food options and group meditation.

The wellness experience is enhanced by Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore’s Tower Wing nature-inspired renovation, which was unveiled in July 2017. The redesign embraces natural elements like water, wind, wood and stone, which act as a potent de-stressor, as plants can lower anx iety levels and improve well-being. The redesign can be found in all aspects of the wing, from art installations like a moss and stone wall in the lobby, to regionally-sourced sustainable material used in guestroom furniture.

Whether guests are corporate executives who need to sustain their energy for power meetings, or families on staycations, the wellness experience extends beyond meetings and dining. A comprehensive Eat Well at Shangri-La menu for adults and a healthy children’s menu called Junior Bites is offered at The Line, pool-side and in-room, designed to be balanced and contain nutrient-dense, whole foods to promote multiple health benefits. Guest rooms are stocked with healthy snacks in the mini bar, and Shophouse by Shangri-La offers healthy fruit and vegetable juices and other treats.

To integrate the overall wellness experience, the hotel also offers tailored stays, dining, meetings, spa and holistic activities to encourage a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

The wellness experience is enhanced by Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore’s Tower Wing nature-inspired renovation, which was unveiled in July 2017. The redesign embraces natural elements like water, wind, wood and stone, which act as a potent de-stressor, as plants can lower anxiety levels and improve well-being. The redesign can be found in all aspects of the wing, from art installations like a moss and stone wall in the lobby, to regionally-sourced sustainable material used in guestroom furniture.

The Meet Well, Be Well meetings package is valid for bookings until December 30, 2017. For group bookings and further information, please email the hotel’s meetings specialist hazel.lim@shangri-la.com, or call +65 6213 4919.

About Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts currently operates over 95 hotels with a room inventory of over 40,000. Shangri-La hotels are five-star deluxe properties featuring extensive luxury facilities and services. Shangri-La hotels are located in Australia, Canada, mainland China, Fiji, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sultanate of Oman, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. The group has a substantial development pipeline with upcoming projects in Australia, mainland China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka. For more information, please visit www.shangri-la.com.

LBA Hospitality’s Dual-Branded Hotel Now Serving Guests in Clearwater Beach, Florida

LBA Hospitality is proud to announce Residence Inn Clearwater Beach and SpringHill Suites Clearwater Beach are now open. Developed by 3H Group, Inc. who entered a joint venture with Key International upon opening, the Marriott dual-branded hotels will include 140-suite Residence Inn and 115-suite SpringHill Suites in Clearwater Beach. Located at 309 Coronado Drive, the hotels offer access to the Clearwater Beach Marina, downtown Clearwater, Pier 60, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Sand Key Park, the Cleveland Street District and St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport.

Co-located under one roof, the fusion of these two unique and powerful Marriott brands on Clearwater Beach allows guests to take advantage of a variety of room types, amenities and services at one address, while providing common social space for the ultimate experience. For example, the properties share an outdoor swimming pool with an expanded sun deck and marina views, a state-of-the-art fitness center and covered valet parking for the guests’ enjoyment.

To accommodate larger parties, the hotel features three separate meeting rooms including The Coronado Room, The Mandalay Room and The Gulfview Room, a total of over 2,400 square feet of meeting space. Both hotels are pet friendly and offer complimentary breakfast, free Wi-Fi and Marriott’s new MVP Guest Entertainment Technology featuring over 40 HD channels, an interactive guide and streaming capabilities for Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Pandora and Crackle. In addition, the property includes 7,000 square feet of ground floor upscale retail space for shopping and dining and ideal proximity to the marina, all ideal forms of entertainment while on the coast.

“We are pleased to offer two brand-new, centrally located hotels in Clearwater Beach,” said LBA President Beau Benton. “This new property marks LBA’s first time managing in the market and offers us the chance to serve more visitors, business travelers and families looking for an affordable, convenient and enjoyable stay in two outstanding custom-designed hotels.”

The Residence Inn Clearwater Beach is designed for stays of five nights or more and offers a variety of guest room options such as studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites featuring plush mattresses, crisp linens, a well-lit work desk, ergonomic chair and complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi. In addition, each Residence Inn suite has a fully-equipped kitchen with a coffeemaker, microwave oven and residential-sized appliances. Beyond the rooms, road warriors and families alike can enjoy the hotel’s grocery delivery service, 24-hour onsite food and beverage market, dry cleaning services and onsite guest laundry room.

Additionally, the new SpringHill Suites Clearwater Beach offers guests a fresh take on mixing business with pleasure by providing enhancements to help them enjoy their time away. Features include separate living, working and sleeping spaces with a modern, stylish design for flexibility and functionality highlighting an exclusive assortment of furniture and accessories from the hotel’s partnership with West Elm. From the guest rooms to the lobby, every aspect of design – from furniture and lighting to colors and fabrics – has been carefully designed to evoke calm and refreshing spaces that allow guests to relax and recharge. The lobby features a brand new design that adds depth and sophistication to the décor and therefore is a great venue for conducting casual meetings or to socialize.

To support the growth of these two hotels, LBA Hospitality has named Ron Bitz general manager and Kelly Clark director of sales. Bitz, who has over 35 years of hospitality experience, most recently served the southeast region’s Hampton Inn and Suites and Hilton Garden Inns as area general manager. As his complement, Clark brings 15 years of hospitality experience to her position at this new Marriott dual-branded property. In her last role of director of sales at a Hilton hotel in the area, she strategically grew revenue for the property and built long-lasting relationships with prominent members of the community.

For more information, visit LBA’s full list of properties on their website here, including Residence Inn Clearwater Beach and Spring Hill Suites Clearwater Beach.

About LBA Hospitality
Founded in 1973, LBA Hospitality is a full-scale hotel management, development and consulting firm. With more than 70 properties in 10 states, LBA Hospitality is the premier hotel developer for the South- east. For more information, visit www.lbahospitality.com.

Associated Luxury Hotels International Adds Three New Member Hotels to its Southeast U.S. Collection

Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) has expanded its worldwide portfolio and Southeast U.S. options with the recent addition of three new member hotels. This includes: the 450-room The Guest House at Graceland resort, which opened in October 2016 in Memphis, Tennessee; the oceanfront 404-room Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort on the Northeast Florida coast; and the grand new Hotel Bennett, opening in early spring 2018 in scenic Charleston, South Carolina. The ALHI Global Sales Organization now represents the hotels to the North American and European meetings, conventions and incentive market, according to ALHI’s Chief Sales Officer Mark Sergot.

ALHI features a distinguished portfolio of more than 250 luxury-level and upper-upscale hotels and resorts worldwide, plus 23 luxury cruise ships appropriate for meetings and incentive programs, and Destination Management Companies (DMCs) in 100-plus locations worldwide. All of ALHI’s member hotels and resorts are either independent or are with an independent hotel brand, and specialize in serving the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions/Conferences and Exhibitions/Events (M.I.C.E.) marketplace.

“These three new members are very special and unique in their own way, with terrific appeal to both meeting and incentive groups,” said Sergot. “Located on beautifully landscaped property just a few steps from the gates of Elvis’ renowned Graceland, The Guest House at Graceland is a wonderful new option for planners. Featuring a truly picturesque setting overlooking the Atlantic, Omni Amelia Island Plantation provides world-class accommodations, indoor and outdoor event facilities and on-site offerings. While the elegant Hotel Bennett will open this spring in historic and beloved Charleston. We are proud to showcase these fine properties to meeting professionals, incentive specialists and business executives throughout North America and Europe.”

Inspired by the iconic Graceland Mansion, the AAA Four-Diamond The Guest House at Graceland opened this past fall as the most significant enhancement to Graceland since it opened to the public in 1982, and was the largest hotel project in Memphis in over 90 years. In addition to the 450 beautifully appointed and spacious guest rooms and suites, the resort hotel offers more than 17,000 square feet of meeting space, which includes the 10,700-square-foot Grand Ballroom and a state-of-the-art 464-seat theater which is perfect for group presentations and live events. Known for its warm Southern hospitality, the resort also features two full-service restaurants with indoor/outdoor seating, a lobby bar, an expansive outdoor pool, and a manicured lawn space that can accommodate a 400-person tent for outdoor events. The resort is just three miles from Memphis International Airport (MEM).

Nestled on 1,350 acres at the tip of a barrier island just off the Northeast Florida coast, Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort features 404 oceanfront guest rooms, each featuring a private balcony or patio facing the ocean. The legendary destination resort also offers 80,000 square feet of versatile meeting space, which includes a new 16,825-square-foot ballroom, 13,200 square feet of pre-function space and a new 11,000-square-foot event lawn. In addition, the hotel features 10 restaurants, world-class resort pools, 54 holes of championship golf, a full-service spa, 23 tennis courts, kayaking, paddle boarding, and many other recreational options. The resort is 45 minutes from downtown Jacksonville, and 29 miles from Jacksonville International Airport. Private and corporate aircraft charters also can fly directly to Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport, just four miles north of the resort.

Slated to debut this spring, the exceptional new Hotel Bennett features an ideal location on picturesque Marion Square, the most famous green space in the city, which is the site for such events as the Charleston Wine + Food Festival and the popular Charleston Farmer’s Market. Blending unparalleled luxury with a prominent setting, the grand hotel is located on a historic site that formerly housed the Charleston Library and the original west wing of The Citadel. In addition to offering 179 finely-appointed guest rooms and suites with custom furnishings, the hotel will feature 9,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space, which will include a 6,600-square-foot ballroom, a terrace overlooking Marion Square, and event spaces with sweeping city views. Plus, the hotel will have a two-tiered restaurant offering outdoor dining, a rooftop pool, a spa, a retail shop and a lobby bar. Charleston International Airport (CHS) is just 20 minutes away.

The Guest House at Graceland becomes ALHI’s second member hotel in Memphis, joining the world-famous and legendary The Peabody Memphis. Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort becomes ALHI’s fourth option in Northeast Florida, joining the dazzling 193-room One Ocean Resort & Spa, the graceful and stylish 66-room The Lodge & Club at Ponte Vedra Beach and the AAA Five-Diamond, 249-room Ponte Vedra Inn & Club. Hotel Bennett is ALHI’s second member in Charleston, joining the sophisticated 434-room Belmond Charleston Place.

For more information about ALHI, any of its member hotels and resorts or Global Luxury Alliance members worldwide, contact your nearest ALHI Global Sales Office. For specific contacts, go to alhi.com to identify the nearest “ALHI Team” sales professionals in your area. Or, call the “ALHI Group Desk” toll-free in the U.S. at 866-303-ALHI (2544), and visit alhi.com .

About ALHI, with 250 Hotels & Resorts + Alliance Members
ALHI, established in 1986, is the leading independent Global Sales Organization serving the meetings and incentive marketplace, providing one-call access for its distinguished membership of more than 250 luxury-level hotels and resorts, which are either independent or are with an independent hotel brand. Hired and authorized by member properties, ALHI features a distinctive portfolio of exquisite resorts, luxury-level city center business hotels, historic grand landmark hotels, lifestyle hotels, and boutique hotels. ALHI’s portfolio also features a Global Luxury Alliance partnership including 23 luxury cruise ships appropriate for meetings and incentive programs, and Destination Management Companies (DMCs) in 100-plus locations worldwide. ALHI offers 21 Global Sales offices in the U.S., Canada and now London, providing extensive Global Sales services, valuable expertise, local connectivity, market intelligence, and account advocacy for meetings and incentive programs of any size and scope worldwide, at no cost to accounts. alhi.com

Sofitel Singapore City Centre opens as AccorHotels’ 800th hotel in Asia Pacific Ushers in new levels of luxury in the ‘Lion City’

AccorHotels has announced that the highly anticipated Sofitel Singapore City Centre will open its doors in October and will be the group’s landmark 800th hotel in Asia Pacific. Nestled amidst historic shop houses and towering skyscrapers, the 223-room luxury hotel is elegantly designed, reflecting Singapore’s rich cultural heritage with undeniable French flair.

“The unveiling of Sofitel Singapore City Centre marks an important milestone for AccorHotels as we continue to strengthen our presence in the region,” says Michael Issenberg, Chairman & CEO of AccorHotels Asia Pacific. “I am pleased to announce that this flagship hotel is our 800th property in Asia-Pacific and opens at a time when we are focused on strengthening our luxury credentials globally.”

An oasis at the heart of historic Tanjong Pagar, the hotel is strategically situated just 20 minutes from Singapore’s Changi Airport. It will be AccorHotels’ 13th hotel in Singapore and will be shortly followed by a combined 782-room Novotel and Mercure complex which will open on Stevens Road, firmly cementing the group’s position as the largest hotel operator in Singapore.

Guests entering Sofitel Singapore City Centre are welcomed by the shimmering Singapour Je T’aime, a stunning nine-meter chandelier designed by Lasvit. This stunning art installation of glass leaves that whirl through the lobby, comprises 700 hand-blown glass crystals.

Sofitel’s commitment to culture and design is brought to life with an outstanding collection of custom-made furniture and artworks including designer uniforms accentuated with floral prints, evoking the strong botanic theme that runs throughout the hotel.

The hotel’s interiors elegantly juxtapose vibrant rose gold accents with striking design features and botanical motifs, inspired by the sublime geometry of a traditional jardin à la française and the rich green spaces of Singapore, also known as the Garden City.

Guests may choose from 223 well-appointed rooms and suites featuring floor to ceiling windows; complimentary minibars serviced by the hotel’s very own droid butler – Sophie The Robot; Sofitel’s luxurious MyBed; a Handy Phone which provides access to free local and international calls to 10 countries and Wi-Fi on the go; Smart TVs and Bose Sound systems; large soaking tubs with separate rain showers and luxurious Lanvin or Hermes amenities
Sofitel Singapore City Centre offers several dining outlets including Racines, helmed by award-winning Executive Chef Jean-Charles Dubois, which will offer both French and Chinese cuisines prepared by two distinct culinary brigades across four open kitchens for a truly interactive culinary experience.

Following the tradition of barrel-aged cocktail-making and the simple sophistication of martinis, 1864 (homage to the foundation year of Tanjong Pagar’s docking industry) aims to provide the perfect after-work vibe. This bar will also be the home for the timeless ritual of Champagne sabering. Guests can enjoy Sofitel’s signature afternoon Hi-Tea and handcrafted gourmet bites and tapas throughout the day.

Guests of Luxury Club Rooms and Suites will enjoy the services of Club Millésime, including breakfast, evening cocktails and canapes, a library, intimate meeting spaces and a butler service.

Sofitel Singapore City Centre will offer 20,000 square feet of meeting spaces across 10 flexible venues including the 600 sqm Wallich Ballroom, named after Nathaniel Wallich, the founding father of the Singapore Botanical Gardens. The hotel has partnered with the award-winning Imperial Treasure to provide premium wedding and banqueting menus.
In addition to its own SoFit gym, Club floor guests can enjoy access to the adjacent Virgin Active Fitness Club – Tanjong Pagar which will offer a range of wellness programs. A specially-designed In-Room Fitness Kit complemented with a series of workout videos is available in all rooms and guests can also enjoy the 30m infinity pool and spacious Lawn for rejuvenating morning yoga. Guests looking for a holistic spa experience will be pampered at SoSpa located at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa.

Sofitel continues to expand its global portfolio with recent openings of Sofitel Baltimore in Paris, Sofitel Foshan and the latest Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara and Sofitel Guiyang Hunter. Upcoming flagship hotel soon to open in Asia Pacific will be the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour.

To celebrate the opening of Sofitel’s flagship property in Singapore, the hotel is offering a special opening rate of $800++ per room for two nights, in commemoration of Sofitel Singapore City Centre being the 800th Accor Hotel in Asia Pacific.

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