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Hotel News in Brief
Some current conversation starters...
California wins top spot in 100 Most Romantic Restaurant awards.
OpenTable, the online restaurant reservation site has announced the winners of its Top 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in the United States competition. The awards are based on the totaled opinions of over 5 million reviews that were submitted by diners on the site for over 15,000 restaurants in 50 states and the District of Columbia. California garnered the lion's share of winning spots on the list with 16 restaurant winners, followed by Hawaii with 10 winners and Florida with eight. OpenTable says a top crowd pleaser was fondue restaurants like The Melting Pot, extremely popular for the fourth year in a row. American regional fare also did well and accounted for almost half of the spots on the list. Other popular cuisines included Italian, European/continental, and seafood.
Karisma Hotels & Resort's El Dorado Royale on the Riveria Maya in Mexico has premiered this week a pop-up Target store with convenience items and momentos just steps from the pool and beach.
"We are excited to welcome Target on its vacation," said Mandy Chomat, vice president of sales & marketing for Premier Worldwide Marketing, exclusive worldwide representatives of Karisma Hotels & Resorts, including El Dorado Royale. "As one of the United States' most respected and recognized brands, it is a coup for Target to select El Dorado Royale to host the Target Pop-Up Store. We look forward to giving guests a chance to further enhance their Gourmet Inclusive vacations with this incredible resort addition."
A group of Marriott Hotel employees lent their expertise and knowledge to students from an Academy of Hospitality and Tourism high school by conducing "mock interviews" with each of the students.
The High School of Hospitality Management, located in Manhattan, is part of the National Academy Foundation's (NAF) Academy of Hospitality and Tourism (AOHT). It's designed to give students a general education plus a head start in learning about the hospitality industry. The mock interview sessions, of which nine Marriott professionals participated, were designed to give students a real life experience of what they'll be doing when they interview for internships, college and full time jobs. The Ritz Carlton Central Park was also involved in the event. According to Wayne Berning, a teacher at the school, the event was designed to give students confidence when they interview for their summer jobs. He noted that the students were very excited to meet with the professionals who not only helped them with their interviewing skills but also gave them hints on how to put together a resume. Overall, 24 students participated in the event and each received feedback in a one on one meeting to evaluate their performance.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments...
The Waldorf Astoria Chicago announced today that Kerri Stokes will lead the spa team as Director of the Elysian Spa & Health Club. Stokes, who previously served as the Assistant Director, will oversee all conceptualization and creation of programming at the Elysian Spa & Health Club, Chicago's most luxuriously indulgent spa. Stokes will also spearhead the extensive fitness offerings at the Elysian Health Club, including the Gyrotonic and Pilates programs. Stokes, who earned her cosmetology license at the Aveda Institute, has extensive experience in the luxury spa sector. Prior to joining the Waldorf Astoria Chicago team, Stokes was the Assistant Spa Director at The Peninsula Hotel in Chicago. When the Elysian hotel opened in 2009, Stokes managed the daily operations working closely with the former Spa Director to create the treatment menu, develop the service protocols, hire and train staff, and select product lines.
The Ritz Carlton, Los Angeles and JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE are pleased to announce the appointment of Anthony Olheiser as Director of Food and Beverage for the L.A. LIVE adjacent properties. With a vast knowledge of the hospitality industry and experience within the Las Vegas hotel and restaurant sectors, Olheiser is excited to have the opportunity to contribute to the ongoing development of the downtown L.A. and L.A. LIVE areas as food and beverage destinations. Olheiser brings with him an extensive background in hospitality, in which he has experience directing and managing major food and beverage programs at several noteworthy hotels and resorts in Las Vegas. Olheiser's career began in 2003 at Fusia Restaurant at the Luxor Hotel and Casino, where he served as General Manager. He then had the opportunity to work as the Ultra Lounge Operations Manager of Food and Beverage at Mix at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. In 2005, Olheiser was named Assistant General Manager at Tao at the Venetian Resort and Casino. Since 2006, Olheiser served as the Director of Entertainment and Development at the MGM Grand Resort and Casino.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Lauded for its stunning hotel-in-a-garden design concept and sustainable features incorporated throughout the building, PARKROYAL on Pickering opened its doors in the heart of Singapore on Wednesday, 16th January. Designed by internationally acclaimed local architectural firm WOHA, PARKROYAL on Pickering boasts over 15,000 square metres of lush four-storey tall sky-gardens, reflecting pools, waterfalls, planter terraces and cascading vertical greenery, amounting to twice its land area.
Choice Hotels International will debut in Guyana with its upscale Ascend Hotel Collection in early 2013. The global lodging company announced construction on a boutique 25-room member hotel in central Georgetown is advancing well. The Guyana hotel - to be called The Opus - will offer the same quality services for which Ascend has become globally recognized, and feature 23 standard guest rooms, two executive rooms (featuring wooded floors and jetted tubs), restaurant and bar, small meeting room facilities, free parking, quality linens, air conditioned rooms, free cable television, Wi-Fi and complimentary breakfast.
A rare jewel has surfaced in Cambodia's untouched Koh Rong Archipelago - Song Saa Private Island, an intimate 27-villa luxury resort spanning two pristine islands, Koh Ouen and Koh Bong. Connected by a footbridge over a marine reserve, the all-inclusive resort provides an oasis for sophisticated travellers seeking luxury and relaxation amid the simple beauty of its natural surroundings. Making its official U.S. debut in January 2013, Song Saa's commitment to community and sustainability shines through in its unique, highly individual design to ensure a guest experience as authentic as it is exclusive. Inspired by Cambodian fishing villages, the resort features over-water buildings, thatch roofs, rough-hewn natural timbers and driftwood furnishings.
Four Seasons Hotel Baku opened in Azerbaijan in September. The hotel, which is on a promenade by the shore of the Caspian Sea, has 171 rooms and suites. The property has a Beaux Arts-style décor.
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