As of late, we caught an opportunity to attend the Lexus Performance Driving School [LPDS] in Monterey, California at the iconic WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. This is the 4th year of this program helmed by legendary Nascar driver Scott Pruett alongside of world-class driving instructors. Under his direction, consumers as well as car enthusiasts can learn to become more confident and cognizant drivers with personalized coaching.
We flew into the Monterey airport to take in our cobalt blue RC 350 and headed straight to our accommodations at the Portola Hotel. The following dawn, we showered and worked out at the hotel gym. Within minutes, we pulled up to the prolific track to indulge in a snack bar-style breakfast. Upon check-in, we split into four teams which consisted of 10-12 people. Directly after, we met in a larger hangar to watch a video and were greeted by Mr. Pruett. Shortly after, we learned about the proper seating position, steering, throttle technique and helmet fitting.
The 8-hour course taught us about braking, line position, skid pad, autocross as well as lead and follow. Of course, like most AMG, BMW and Skip Barber racing platforms, we got to delve deep into how to drift (on wet asphalt) and ‘hit the apex.’
Towards the close of the day, all teams took to the slalom test to see who had the best time within their group for an assortment of prizes, including an F Sport watch and/or a hot lap with Pruett. After the announcement of the top three times, we were granted a certificate of completion which makes for a keepsake.
All in all, this was an awesome opportunity to learn more about dynamic performance vehicles in a safe and controlled environment. The LC 500 proved to be nimble, the RC F had a melodic exhaust note and the GS F was surprisingly agile (with its widebody).
In short, this is one of the best driving colleges offered on the Western Hemisphere and would constitute a memorable present for a celebratory moment and/or Christmas.
For the seventh year in a row, Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside has been recognized as the best ski hotel in Canada by consumers and leading industry professionals. Held on November 23rd, in Kitzbühel, Austria, the World Ski Awards – regarded as “the Oscars of the travel industry” – honoured the all-suite, lodge-style hotel for its impeccable and personalized service, outstanding amenities, and unrivalled location steps from gondolas to both Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.
The World Ski Awards were created to elevate standards within the ski industry, recognizing, rewarding, and celebrating excellence in ski tourism across the globe. Awards span across the world’s top 25 ski tourism nations, with categories that include ‘Best Ski Resort’, ‘Best Ski Hotel’, ‘Best Ski Boutique Hotel’, and ‘Best Ski Chalet’. Each year, hundreds of thousands of tourism professionals, skiers, and media cast their votes for their favourite ski tourism destinations and brands; and this year, winners were celebrated at the three-day awards gala that took place between November 22nd and 24th.
Pan Pacific Whistler overcame a strong mix of contenders from across the country, defeating properties such as The Fairmont Banff Springs, The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, The Rimrock Resort Hotel, and Post Hotel & Spa. Neighbouring properties, including Four Seasons Resort & Residences Whistler, and The Fairmont Chateau Whistler, were also nominated for the national award.
“Our team is so humbled and beyond thrilled to once again be named the best ski hotel in Canada”, said Julie Lanteigne, general manager of Pan Pacific Whistler hotels. “It’s so gratifying to have been nominated among such an elite group of properties across the world and to know that this prestigious title is a result of votes from our visitors and industry peers alike. An award such as this continues to motivate us to elevate the experience of each guest as they discover why Whistler is regarded as the world-class ski destination that it is.”
The property’s sister resort – Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre – located in the heart of Whistler Village, received a nomination for best ski boutique hotel. The property also has a selection of suites with a private residence feel, complimentary daily breakfast buffet for all guests, and easy access to all adventures Whistler offers. For more information or to book at either property, click here.
About Pan Pacific Whistler
Pan Pacific Whistler is a haven of comfort with two thoughtfully designed properties nestled between Whistler’s majestic mountains and anchoring its vibrant village. Both Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre and Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside invite guests to replenish and experience true contentment with an array of comforting and convenient amenities. Every one of its suites is a fully outfitted home-away-from-home with modern amenities, fully-equipped kitchens, and warm accents blended to create a comforting oasis. Visitors can enjoy the warmth of their in-room fireplace or take in breath-taking mountain and village vistas from their own private balcony. www.panpacific.com
For travelers and locals seeking a West Coast getaway this holiday season, Hyatt Regency San Francisco offers a variety of events and happenings to get everyone into the holiday spirit. Whether it’s festive fine dining, outdoor skating, gorgeous wintry décor, or exclusive deals on guest rooms, Hyatt Regency San Francisco has something for all. Please find more info below.
· Snow will fall in the atrium of Hyatt Regency San Francisco from Nov. 29 to December 31, making the world’s largest hotel lobby a true Winter Wonderland.
· In addition to the breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay, guests can enjoy easy access to an outdoor skating rink at the Embarcadero Center.
· The hotel is offering a Holiday Guest Room Package perfect for those looking to spend the holidays with friends and family. The ‘Friends and Neighbors’ package includes a special offer code ‘SEASON,’ including 15% off best available rates, subject to availability, 20% off upgrades to Bayview Balcony and luxury suites, and valet parking. The offer is valid from Nov. 22 through January 4.
· On weekends from Nov. 30 through Dec. 22, families can dine with Santa himself for a special breakfast featuring an extensive Kids’ Buffet at the Eclipse Kitchen & Bar.
o On Thanksgiving Day, the restaurant Is also offering a traditional five-course Turkey Dinner Plate will be served, featuring a Citrus Herb Brined Turkey, Sourdough Sage Stuffing with Butternut Squash, and a sweet Pumpkin Cheesecake to finish.
o A Prime Rib Dinner will be offered on Christmas Eve, as well as a festive Turkey Dinner on Christmas Day, followed by a course of sweet treats for families to indulge in.
o Eclipse Kitchen & Bar will be ringing in the new year with a unique menu on New Year’s Eve, featuring a decadent Grilled Filet Mignon, Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale Ravioli, and a Chocolate Laboratory for dessert.
Three, two, one… Happy New Year! From parties lasting late into the night to day-time celebrations for the entire family and more, the country’s Midwest cities are hotspots for some of the greatest New Year’s traditions and events. Forget watching the ball drop in Times Square from your hotel room – the Midwest Marriott properties allow travelers and locals alike to ring in the New Year at their choice of festivities with convenient proximity. Whether looking to have an intimate New Year’s Eve with close friends or attending the largest gala, guests need not look far for the best lodging accommodations, some even with popular celebrations all their own.
• Travelers looking for an upscale celebration in the Second City have options aplenty. The JW Marriott Chicago offers its own NYE Soiree, boasting two concurrent events throughout the hotel. Featuring Chicago’s hottest live music cover bands and DJs, multiple rooms of entertainment and a four-hour all-inclusive premium package available, JW Marriott Chicago invites guests to leave the worries of the past year behind and embrace 2020 with full enthusiasm. Gala fans may enjoy “NYE 2020” at the W Chicago – City Center, an extravaganza with over-the-top entertainment, all-inclusive packages, pre- and post-parties and more in the heart of Chicago, near the Magnificent Mile. For guests looking to enjoy Chicago’s Navy Pier, the Chicago Resolution Gala, which is held annually in the Aon Grand Ballroom, is a lively option, while those traveling with children may prefer the spectacular display of Navy Pier’s Fireworks or enjoy time together at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Zoo Year’s Eve and the Chicago Children’s Museum Noon Year’s Eve. Several top Marriott properties are located just steps from these events, including The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago, AC Hotel Chicago Downtown and The Westin Chicago River North.
• Those visiting the Twin Cities have prime pickings for luxurious and comfortable Marriott properties to stay at, no matter what their plans. All within walking distance or short driving distance from some of downtown Minneapolis’ most popular celebrations, Hotel Ivy, Elliot Park Hotel, Aloft Minneapolis, Le Meridien Chambers, W Minneapolis – The Foshay, Minneapolis Marriott City Center, Emery and Moxy Minneapolis Uptown are in the center of the action. One of the most notable events for New Year’s in Minneapolis is the Crystal Ball, which offers guests 21 years of age and older the opportunity to dance, sing, laugh and play the night away, with live DJs, Piano Karaoke Lounge, an arcade game room with interactive LED games and more. In a similar fashion, Countdown Minneapolis is held annually at The Minneapolis Club, the extravagant festivities occur on multiple levels of the club with top DJs and a midnight countdown. For music lovers, the Snowta NYE Festival is a must at the famous music venue, The Armory.
• New Year’s in Detroit often comes with its own Motown Twist. The luxe Aloft Detroit at the David Whitney is the perfect on-site hotel for those looking to attend the annual New Year’s Eve celebration at the historic David Whitney Building, which known for beautiful art deco architecture stylings and an enclosed five-story atrium covered in marble with a skylighted roof. The party features Epicurean catering, a champagne toast, balloon drop, hors d’oeuvres and live music for the evening. For travelers and locals looking to explore the city elsewhere, top celebrations include the classic Detroit Princess Riverboat New Year’s Eve Motown Dinner Cruise, which allows guests to “rock the boat” on the Detroit River, the Resolution Ball at The Fillmore Detroit, which is billed as the most exclusive NYE party in the Midwest, and NYE Bleuout at Bleu Detroit, all convenient celebrations under three miles from Courtyard Detroit Downtown, Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit and The Henry.
Kansas City and St. Louis,Missouri
• Whether in downtown Kansas City, the Crossroads Arts District or beyond the locals and visitors know how to celebrate. At the iconic Union Station, thousands of people gather each New Year’s Eve to countdown at the New Year’s Swingin’ Eve, big band style. Kansas City Marriott Downtown, Sheraton Kansas City at Crown Center and The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center each offer a relaxing haven after an evening out, just a mere seven minute drive from Union Station and within walking distance of the Power & Light District, which hosts NYE! Live at the KC Live! block of the popular neighborhood. A fan favorite for individuals looking to get their party on into the early hours of the New Year, The View hosts a premium event with gourmet food options, DJs and a see-and-be-seen environment. Children and adults of all ages are invited to enjoy Zoo Year’s Eve at the Kansas City Zoo and Noon Year’s Eve at Science City, which is also conveniently located at Union Station.
• Across the state in St. Louis, similar festivities are held including NYE Live! At Ballpark Village in the dining and entertainment district downtown that attracts thousands of tourists each year. The Marriott St. Louis Grand and Magnolia Hotel St. Louis are each conveniently located less than a mile from the heart of Ballpark Village and the Courtyard St. Louis Downtown West is about 10 minutes from the action.
Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati,Ohio
• The three “C Cities” in Ohio are each hotspots for New Year’s Eve, boasting their own can’t-miss bashes. The Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel’s New Year’s Eve Party is held every year until 2 a.m. With several rooms each with their own vibe and entertainment, attendees have their choice of live band entertainment, DJs and the opportunity to enjoy a premium open bar, while being on-site at the beautiful hotel, keeping the evening safe and fun.
• In Cincinnati, visitors may enjoy a “Happy Zoo Year” at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, which is ideal for “party animals” of all ages, and the Fountain Square New Year’s Eve Blast, which welcomes thousands of attendees each year for a family-friendly, free day featuring goofy games, dancing, delicious food, musical performances, an ice skating rink and celebration finale of fireworks. Adults may prefer New Year’s Eve at Winterfest or a pre-fixe dining experience at Nicholson’s Palomino, The Palace and more, with the Renaissance Cincinnati Downtown Hotel close by to rest before and after the festivities. The city’s Courtyard Cincinnati Blue Ash and Courtyard Cincinnati Covington hotels offer comfortable accommodations a short drive from the hustle and bustle of downtown celebrations.
• Upscale travelers looking for an elevated New Year’s Eve should make their way to Cleveland’s top events including the New Year’s Eve Gala on the Nautica Queen, which never fails to sell out each year due to extreme popularity and the Decades and Diamonds at The Vault, an upscale cocktail bar in the heart of downtown. After the night of lavish fun concludes, The Westin Cleveland Downtown and The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland offer accommodations sure to match the satisfaction of celebrating the start of a new year.
A combination of world-class snowmaking and favorable temperatures have allowed both Stowe and Okemo to start making snow at higher elevations during the first weekend of November. Sister resort, Mount Sunapee, in New Hampshire, will begin snowmaking soon as well.
Opening day for the 2019/2020 season at all three resorts is approaching quickly. Stowe and Okemo are targeting November 22 as the start of winter operations, while Mount Sunapee is aiming for November 27. All three resorts will commemorate their opening days with “First Chair” celebrations.
Last year, Stowe and Okemo opened for the season in mid-November with top-to-bottom terrain. Efforts are being made to accomplish that again this year.
Important Uphill Information At this time, with extensive snowmaking operations taking place, all uphill traffic is prohibited on Mount Mansfield. The use of heavy equipment and active high-pressure air and water systems around the mountain create a hazardous environment for anyone other than our snowmaking professionals. Uphill access on Mansfield will begin when the designated uphill routes become available. In the interim, uphill travel is only permitted on the Sterling trail at Spruce Peak. For up to date info about skinning or hiking please call 802-253-3690.
Now is the Last Chance to Secure an Epic Pass for the 2019-20 Winter Season Epic Passes are on sale now for a limited time only, and now is the last chance for skiers and riders to secure the best multi-resort pass deal in the ski industry. New for the 2019-20 season, Vail Resorts launched the Epic Day Pass allowing guests to ski world-class resorts for up to 50 percent off of lift ticket window prices. Starting at as little as $112 for one day of skiing at any of Vail Resorts’ North American resorts, the Epic Day Pass is perfect for those skiers and riders who may not need the unlimited skiing offered by traditional season passes. Guests can also lower their cost per day by adding more days.
For guests looking to ski more days in a season, the Epic Pass and Epic Local Pass continue to offer the best value and variety for unlimited skiing and riding. Currently priced at $989 for the 2019-20 winter season, the Epic Pass provides unlimited, unrestricted access to all of Vail Resorts’ owned and operated resorts and additional access to partner resorts around the world. For skiers and riders willing to navigate around a few peak dates, the Epic Local Pass offers incredible value with access to many of the same destinations, starting at only $739. The entire lineup of Epic Pass options is on sale now at epicpass.com.
About Stowe, Okemo and Mount Sunapee
Offering three distinctively unique experience across Vermont and southern New Hampshire, Stowe, Okemo and Mount Sunapee offer top-rated snow surface, plus everything from family friendly skiing and convenient Slopeside accommodations to best-in-class amenities and world-class skiing. Stowe offers premium lodging, dining, entertainment, skiing and off-hill adventures for every season. Stowe’s refined, authentic mountain resort and town and mountain are unequaled in the
Northeast, www.stowe.com. Okemo consistently receives accolades and wins awards for snow quality, grooming, terrain parks, family programs, slope side lodging, resort dining and its friendly and helpful staff. In addition to an on-snow lineup of family fun, Okemo offers a variety of winter activities: a mountain coaster, ice skating, snowshoeing, tubing, a pool and fitness center, spa services, and family events and activities. Visit www.okemo.com. Mount Sunapee is conveniently located in southern New Hampshire, close to two major interstate highways, and easily accessible from Boston. With a summit elevation of 2,743 feet and a vertical drop of 1,510 feet, the mountain offers 66 trails and slopes that make up 233 acres of skiable terrain, www.mountsunapee.com.
About Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN)
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading global mountain resort operator. Vail Resorts’ subsidiaries operate 37 world-class mountain resorts and urban ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada; Perisher, Falls Creek and Hotham in Australia; Stowe, Mount Snow, Okemo in Vermont; Hunter Mountain in New York; Mount Sunapee, Attitash, Wildcat and Crotched in New Hampshire; Stevens Pass in Washington; Liberty, Roundtop, Whitetail, Jack Frost and Big Boulder in Pennsylvania; Alpine Valley, Boston Mills, Brandywine and Mad River in Ohio; Hidden Valley and Snow Creek in Missouri; Wilmot in Wisconsin; Afton Alps in Minnesota; Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and Paoli Peaks in Indiana. Vail Resorts owns and/or manages a collection of casually elegant hotels under the RockResorts brand, as well as the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning and development subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com.
The new five-star Les Suites at The Cliff Bay with 23 luxury suites is the PortoBay group’s most exclusive property on the island of Madeira (Portugal). The experience combines comfort, luxury and history with elegant suites and a new designer restaurant, the Avista. Two century-old manors and a new wing set in lush gardens with amazing views offer an unforgettable stay.
Les Suites at The Cliff Bay is located just northeast of The Cliff Bay hotel, off of Funchal’s Estrada Monumental, and occupies a total area of 6,000 square meters.
Sitting atop of a promontory, the hotel incorporates two historic houses, both from the beginning of the last century: one hosts the check-in and two very exclusive suites; the other has a restaurant with different dining areas with a team led by Chef Benoît Sinthon. The new wing consists of 21 spacious luxury suites with large balconies. The buildings are connected by beautiful gardens with an infinity pool and unique views of the Atlantic and Funchal bay.
An idyllic location with access to all the facilities of the neighboring The Cliff Bay hotel, for the true comfort and convenience of the PortoBay hotels.
The new wing offers two different types of rooms — suites and duplex suites. Both are spacious and comfortable with a sitting room, bedroom and closet, living room, marble bathroom and large balconies with breathtaking views. The 15 Suites (60 m2 + 17 m2 balcony) overlook the Atlantic, and the nine located on the ground floor have access to a cosy private garden. The 6 Duplex Suites (66 m2 + 15 m2 balconies) have living and sleeping areas on separate floors. There are two bathrooms and one very exclusive detail; a private lift inside the room.
In the historic house, the Master Suite (85 m2 + 36 m2 balcony) has two bedrooms, kitchenette and an enormous balcony. The Artistic Suite (63 m2 + 16 m2 balconies), is a suite with a difference located on the top floor.
Every detail has been carefully selected to ensure added comfort. Natural and classic materials are to the fore: walnut wood for the floors, cabinets and other finishes, a Greek marble bathroom, double sinks, a large bath and shower cubicle, three mirrors and Bvlgari amenities. In the bedroom there are spacious beds (2×1 or 2×1.20 meters wide) with elegant natural leather headboards, natural neutral tone textiles and warm lighting. Balconies include comfortable furniture to enjoy the view.
In terms of technology, the entire hotel has wifi and the suites are serviced by two large, movable 49-inch Smart TVs with USB and HDMI connections.
BREATHTAKING VIEWS AND RELAXING LIVING AREAS
Its seafront location offers the framing of the lush gardens, the infinity line on the horizon and a viewpoint. The infinity pool with its unique setting, jacuzzi and harmonious solarium give Les Suites an idyllic feel. The other leisure facilities include gardens, lounges and terraces, gym and pilates room.
The Avista Restaurant & Lounges are set in one of the century-old houses with direct street access, which combines a contemporary wing and comfortable outdoor areas.
Inside, the neutral colors blend with some bold details, to frame the memorable landscape that is visible through the glass walls. The tile mural by artist Meinke Flesseman adds a distinctive touch to the ‘pavilion’. On the floor above, a panel by photographer Henrique Seruca represents the fresh local fish.
Here you can experience the sharing concept applied to different culinary experiences inspired by Mediterranean and Asian cuisines. The kitchen is open from 12 noon to 10pm, serving up food ranging from Josper’s grill menu, Asian options, snacks, menu of the day, pastries, afternoon tea, snacks and cocktails. Avista’s Mediterranean menu offers comfort food, combining the freshness of local ingredients with a more relaxed cooking style — the barbecue grill. Vegetables from the PortoBay garden, fish from the coast, seafood and different cuts of meat are prepared in a Josper oven, a type of closed grill that cooks at high temperatures, giving the food the unique flavor of the embers and a succulent texture. Local produces like the tropical fruits of Madeira, limpets, caco bread and local fish from the coast are all highly prized.
Avista’s Asian menu is designed with the Japanese concept of ‘raw food’ in mind. Sushi, sashimi and ceviche are prepared in the open kitchen, as are warm dishes such as poke bowl and ramen. They are made with refined techniques and local and oriental produce for an elegant and delicate result.
The Avista snack menu offers warm and cold options as you relax in the lounges. In the afternoon, you can personalize a tea of your choice with homemade scones, mini sandwiches and petit fours.
The wine cellar offers an original collection, with national and international wines carefully chosen by sommelier Roberto Drummond to match the chefs’ creations. Avista offers an extensive and daring cocktail menu by award-winning bartender Eusébio Silva. Guided by Chef Benoît Sinthon (The Cliff Bay, Il Gallo d´Oro restaurant, 2 Michelin stars), Avista’s Mediterranean menu is coordinated by Chef João Luz while the Asian-inspired menu is the responsibility of Chef Luísa Castro.
ACCESS TO THE CLIFF BAY
Les Suites is connected to The Cliff Bay hotel. The two hotels are comfortably connected by an interior corridor and guests at Les Suites have access to all of the hotel’s iconic services and facilities. Direct access to the sea, salt-water pool, indoor-outdoor pool, spa and restaurants, including the renowned 2-star Il Gallo d´Oro, bars and gardens.
About PORTOBAY HOTELS & RESORTS
The PortoBay group is a hotel chain comprising 15 hotels: 12 in Portugal (7 on Madeira, 1 in the Algarve, 2 in Lisbon and 2 in Porto) and 3 hotels in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro, Búzios and São Paulo). It has 3,350 beds in the 4- and 5-star segments in urban and resort settings. With its headquarters in Madeira, PortoBay Hotels & Resorts is the Portuguese group with the most international awards and a high level of loyalty and recognition from its guests.
The Brownwood Hotel & Spa, a new 215,000-square-foot facility located at 3003 Brownwood Blvd., The Villages, Florida, is planned to open within the first quarter of 2020 with reservations now being accepted for guests, banquets, and on-site catered events. In addition, officials with The Brownwood Hotel & Spa have announced the selection of the facility’s leadership executives, including Gilles Cassiani as general manager, Deanna Mangiardi as director of sales and Mary Yates as human resources manager.
A graduate from the Hospitality Institute of Nice, France, Cassiani joins The Brownwood Hotel & Spa after serving as area general manager for Wyndham Vacations in West Kissimmee where he oversaw Caribe Cove Resort and Bahama Bay Resort and Spa. Cassiani’s career has taken him to many parts of the world, including France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Turkey, and the Caribbean Islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe and St Lucia. Having over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Cassiani has held executive level positions with Club Med, Hyatt, Marriott and Hilton Resorts.
“I am honored to lead the team opening The Brownwood Hotel & Spa. Our guests will be treated to all finest attributes the hospitality industry has to offer,” said Cassiani. “The gorgeous amenities and design of the hotel and spa, not only fit its surrounding, but take into account the important historic aspects of Florida’s central region.”
While preparing The Brownwood Hotel & Spa for its opening, Mangiardi is also currently working with corporate and business clients interested in reserving banquet and catering services, and booking overnight guests. Before joining The Brownwood, Mangiardi served as director of sales for the Hilton Ocala in Ocala, Florida. She has experience with both independent and franchised properties, including the Cranwell Spa & Golf Resort in Lenox, Massachusetts. Mangiardi has also served on various travel industry boards.
Yates joins The Brownwood Hotel & Spa with extensive hospitality industry experience. She has served as human resources director for the Hilton Hotel in Manalapan, Florida, and led the human resource teams for the Embassy Suites and the Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Yates is currently planning The Brownwood’s upcoming job fairs, which will be held in December and January.
The Brownwood Hotel & Spa, located adjacent to the 285,000-square-foot Center for Advanced Healthcare at Brownwood, will feature 151 guest rooms and suites. A 10,000-square-foot banquet and conference center with on-site catering and state-of the-art technology is included within the facility. In addition to hotel and conference services The Brownwood will include a 7,000-square-foot dry spa, which will offer standard and medical spa services.
The hotel, spa, and banquet facility will house Wolfgang Puck Kitchen + Bar, a restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating for 150 guests. Wolfgang Puck Kitchen and Bar will also include two private dining rooms and semi-private outdoor space.
When opened, The Brownwood Hotel & Spa is expected to employ 180 individuals.
Reservations for hotel, catering, and conference and banquet facilities are currently being accepted by emailing email@example.com, or by calling 352-626-1246.
AHC+Hospitality is a management company specializing in customized hospitality solutions for a portfolio of major hotel and restaurant brands including Marriott International, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotel Corporation, Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Ruth’s Hospitality Group and more. AHC+Hospitality has a proven track record of identifying and implementing operational and revenue-generating efficiencies for its collection of top-performing hotels and restaurants through the creation of innovative alternatives to the traditional hospitality experience.
Dr. Khew-Voon Chin of Toledo, Ohio was selected as the grand-prize winner in the giveaway, which attracted more than 1,200 entries from across the country. He will receive two-roundtrip tickets from United Airlines and a 4-day/3-night stay at the TRYP by Wyndham Newark Downtown Hotel. From sunrise to sunset, Dr. Chin and his guest will discover all there is to do, see, sip and eat in Newark, New Jersey’s largest and third oldest U.S. metropolis.
This nationwide contest “Three Perfect Days: Newark,” brings to life the celebrated article of the same name that was featured on the cover of the March 2019 Hemispheres Magazine.
Hemispheres Magazine is United’s award-winning onboard publication and the story was complemented with the Hemispheres Travel Show inflight video which featured many of the finest restaurants and tourist destinations in New Jersey’s largest city.
“We’ve been hearing a lot about the revitalization of downtown Newark and the exciting cultural venues and restaurants the city has to offer,” said contest winner Dr. Chin. “We are looking forward to spending time in Newark and discovering first-hand everything this city has to offer.”
The contest signals the continuation of the great partnership between GNCVB and United Airlines. United, a hub at Newark Liberty International Airport, offers the New York/Newark region the most flights to the most destinations around the world as a global gateway.
“Our door is always open to welcome new visitors who will serve as ambassadors to Newark and share their great experiences while visiting,” said Karin Aaron, President and CEO of the GNCVB. “This contest vividly illustrates that there’s always something new and exciting to discover in Newark.” According to the GNCVB, tourism has more than a $2.3 billion annual economic impact on Newark, supports more than 25,000 jobs in the community, and welcomes more than 1.2 million overnight guests annually.
“United Airlines is thrilled to welcome Dr. Khew-Voon Chin, the winner, and his guest to enjoy all of the wonders of Newark from the iconic Three Perfect Days series featured within United’s inflight magazine Hemispheres highlighting the incredibly rich culture, food, and arts community that is located within our beloved hub city of Newark,” said Jill Kaplan, President of New Jersey/New York for United Airlines. “We are extremely proud to be able to share this vibrant city with our customers who fly in and out of Newark Liberty International Airport every day.”
Established in 1666, Newark has a rich history and plenty to explore. Contemporary Newark – which is home to an international airport, a large railway hub, and the nation’s third largest port – offers first-class entertainment venues, a wide array of dining options, and captivating art and cultural scene.
GNVCB also partnered with Advance Media to promote the Three Perfect Days contest in three markets: Dallas (TX), San Francisco/Oakland (CA) and Chicago (IL).
The Greater Newark Convention and Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization for the city of Newark, New Jersey. GNCVB is a private 501(c) (6) New Jersey non-profit corporation, primarily funded by Newark’s hotels through a Tourism Improvement District, which is committed to create economic growth and increase employment in Newark by marketing and developing the Greater Newark region as a year-round destination as well as increasing the number of overnight visitors staying at Newark hotels.
Established in July of 2008, the GNCVB was the first Destination Marketing Organization in the state of New Jersey to establish a Tourism Improvement District. During its tenure, hotel sales have climbed dramatically, new hotels have opened, and Newark’s visitation has grown to over 1,200,000 overnight guests annually. The Greater Newark Convention and Visitor’s Bureau is also charged with promoting and marketing the assets of the region, increase per capita spending in the tourism sector, as well as attracting new events, meetings and conferences to the region.
United’s shared purpose is “Connecting People. Uniting the World.” We are more focused than ever on our commitment to customers through a series of innovations and improvements designed to help build a great experience: Every customer. Every flight. Every day. Together, United and United Express operate approximately 4,900 flights a day to 358 airports across five continents. In 2018, United and United Express operated more than 1.7 million flights carrying more than 158 million customers. United is proud to have the world’s most comprehensive route network, including U.S. mainland hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. United operates 788 mainline aircraft and the airline’s United Express partners operate 560 regional aircraft. United is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 195 countries via 26 member airlines. For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter and Instagram or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United’s parent, United Airlines Holdings, Inc., is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol “UAL”.
Hyatt Regency San Francisco, situated across the street from San Francisco’s iconic The Embarcadero waterfront and Ferry Building, overlooking the San Francisco Bay, is pleased to announce the launch of 15 new guestrooms with premium Water Views. Designed by Looney & Associates, these newly introduced guestrooms feature stunning panoramic views of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge, historic Ferry Building and Treasure Island that encourage guests to sit and gaze out onto the glistening water. The new guestrooms are suited for today’s traveler, blending high-style and high-tech features with convenience and comfort.
Inspired by modern minimalism, Looney & Associates goal was to create a space evoking a functional, fresh and inviting atmosphere. Through utilizing neutral color palettes with contrasting accents, wall colors inspired by ocean-blue hues, as well as floor-to-ceiling windows, the design of the room encourages guests to fully immerse themselves in the views of the bay without interior distractions. The design additionally incorporates a painted trim applied to the wall, conveying a “bridge” art feature that pays homage to San Francisco’s famous landmark.
Guests staying in a Water View room will experience high-tech amenities at their convenience including a wide variety of “smart” features that offer seamless services. Amazon’s Alexa are exclusively integrated into the new rooms with voice-activated controls to alter thermostats, lighting and shades. A virtual concierge will be available with streamlined voice commands assisting guests with tasks such as contacting the valet or ordering in room dining. Additional technology amenities offered in the rooms include a 65” TV with integral backlight, a soundbar, desk lamps with charging ports, and electric bathroom mirrors.
The room’s smart design makes strategic use of the cozy, 185 square-foot space, complete with interior details that are purposefully incorporated within a compact footprint. Unique storage solutions include underbed drawers, ample shelving, as well as versatile open-closet systems. Flexible luggage benches doubly function as dynamic seats. The lighting that is built into the rooms’ furniture and architecture allow for additional usable surfaces, maximizing the space to evoke a warm and welcoming environment for unwinding.
“With our new Water View guestrooms, we wanted to present guests with a unique accommodation option that showcases the best of our outstanding San Francisco Bay views along with the latest in modern technology and creative use of space,” said General Manager Matt Humphreys. “San Francisco is such a vibrant destination complete with cutting-edge technology, outdoor activities, culture, food and more, with our hotel just steps away from the action. Ultimately we hope that these rooms function as a peaceful retreat, offering guests a comfortable and beautiful home base to explore the city and truly experience the best of what it has to offer.”
About Hyatt Regency San Francisco Situated on the Embarcadero waterfront, across from the historic Ferry Building, with ferries to Sausalito, Tiburon and Alameda, Hyatt Regency San Francisco is the city’s most accessible hotel. The hotel is at the beginning of the California Street Cable Car line, and is also adjacent to the Embarcadero Center’s shops and restaurants, walking distance to financial district, Chinatown, North Beach, Union Square, Oracle Park (home of the San Francisco Giants) and Embarcadero’s waterfront walking and jogging trail. As the city’s largest luxury waterfront hotel, Hyatt Regency San Francisco boast 821 rooms and suites, and 72,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. Guest services and amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi service throughout the hotel, 24-hour automated business kiosks and a well-equipped 24-hour StayFit @ Hyatt Fitness Center. Situated in the soaring atrium lobby of the hotel, Eclipse Kitchen and Bar serves breakfast, lunch and dinner featuring classic Californian cuisine. For more information, please visit hyattregencysanfrancisco.com
JA Manafaru Resort in the Maldives collaborated with local partners, guests and the community to undertake a plastic removal and sustainability initiative on a neighboring island
JA Manafaru Maldives recently collaborated with a local school and their ocean activity partner, Best Dives Private Limited, to collect more than 23 jumbo bags of waste from a neighboring island and Marine Protected Area; Gallandhoo for recycling through Parley Maldives.
Parley Maldives is the Maldives branch of Parley for the Oceans, a global collaboration network with a new approach to environmentalism. The mission of Parley is to end today’s major ocean threats through creativity, collaboration and eco-innovation. The private island resort of JA Manafaru itself is spectacularly beautiful and unspoilt, sitting in the crystal-clear waters of the most northern point of the Haa Alifu Atoll. Although the ocean and beach areas surrounding the award-winning resort are pristine examples awe-inspiring nature, other islands in the Maldives have issues with waste, particularly non- biodegradable materials like plastic.
Best Dives Maldives, a local diving, excursion and ocean activity company partnered with the JA Manafaru Resort and a local school – Hoarafushi School, to undertake a monumental task in cleaning up the western coastline of Marine Protected Area (MPA), Gallandhoo. The JA Manafaru Environmental & Sustainability team planned the clean-up with Best Dives, informed guests and arranged resort boats to collect volunteers heading to the island to clean the area. Together more than 50 staff, guests, students and parents filled over 23 jumbo bags of waste in one hour. Marine biologists asserted that Gallandhoo Island looked strikingly different after the team efforts and considerable potential damage to marine life was averted. All the plastic waste collected will be sent to Parley.
To address the fast-growing threat of marine plastic pollution, Parley have devised a strategy that can be scaled across private households, schools, businesses and governments: Parley AIR — Avoid, Intercept, Redesign. Guided by these pillars, they advocate avoiding the use of single-use plastics and promoting responsible disposal of single-use plastics. The goal in the Maldives is to boost the protection of the marine ecosystem through collective change. In collaboration with plastic interception partners, Parley has now exported 48 containers of plastic waste from the Maldives, preventing over 800 tons of plastics from entering the oceans. These plastics are recycled and upcycled to help create a new economy of eco-innovation and collaboration, beginning with reducing the use of raw virgin plastics in production processes.
School students and guests were presented with certificates of appreciation for their participation in the JA Manafaru event, and when asked why there was such an issue with plastic waste on Gallandhoo, the students explained there are low levels of understanding for many people regarding the disposal of plastic waste and of the environmental damage it causes. New General Manager, Karen Merrick commented;
‘JA Manafaru in collaboration with our ocean activity partner Best Dives is committed to improving upon and reducing our environmental footprint here in Haa Alifu, one of the most uninhabited atolls in Maldives. We are honored and humbled to live and work as custodians of this beautiful part of the world and assist with such initiatives whenever/wherever we can. Every day we continue our internal mission to ensure education and awareness play a part of life here at JA Manafaru’.
In order to preserve the coral reef, beautiful beaches and sea life, the JA Manafaru team has an ongoing commitment to environmental awareness and sustainability. The hotel no longer uses plastic bottles for drinking water and instead have their own glass bottling plant, which results in a huge reduction in plastic waste. The JA Manafaru ‘House Reef Cleaning’ also invites guests to give back in a fun snorkelling and underwater reef-cleaning exercise, which certified divers can join. All items collected are logged so that any notable pollution can be immediately addressed. Other initiatives in planning at JA Manafaru include upgrading the water desalination plant for residual water to be used for landscaping, solar panel installation and a campaign for associates that raises awareness about reducing energy consumption.
About JA Manafaru
JA Manafaru is an idyllic 5-star luxury island resort fringed with exquisite powder beaches in pristine, lagoon-ringed Haa Alifu Atoll, at the northern tip of the Maldives. Accessed by private seaplane, the chic tropical hideaway features 84 luxurious beachfront and over-water villas and bungalows, each with their own private plunge pool. Seven scenic dining destinations provide a culinary journey with traditional Indian Ocean cuisine, international fare and seafood feasts. China’s most renowned chef, Da Dong, brings his Michelin acclaim to White Orchid Asian restaurant with a collaborative menu launched in 2019. World-class recreational facilities include Calm Spa, a fully equipped dive, water sports and excursion centre, plus a Marine Research Centre to conserve local ecology. Once-in-a-lifetime wedding and honeymoon celebrations are also a specialty at JA Manafaru, which has been recognised as the Indian Ocean’s Leading Honeymoon Resort (2019 World Luxury Hotel Awards). ‘Legend’ hotels by Preferred Hotels & Resorts are the ultimate collection of extraordinary properties in the world’s most remarkable destinations and JA Manafaru is the only property selected in the Maldives. Ranked among the World’s Ten Best Hotels (TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2019), JA Manafaru is a tropical paradise where unique experiences can become unforgettable memories.
For more information on JA Manafaru, please visit;
A legacy UAE brand, JA Resorts & Hotels was born in 1981 and has a widely recognised reputation for excellence, in the management and operation of award-winning resorts and hotels. Taking its name from the original Jebel Ali (JA) Beach hotel, JA Resorts & Hotels portfolio now features 8 distinct properties across the UAE and Indian Ocean, each dedicated to curating unique experiences and creating unforgettable memories. Tropical escapes include JA Manafaru, the idyllic luxury island resort in pristine, lagoon ringed Haa Alifu Atoll, at the northern tip of the Maldives and JA Enchanted Island Resort, an ultra-luxurious hideaway of 10 exquisite villas on a private island, in the middle of the protected Saint Anne Marine Park. Within the UAE, guests can choose from the five-star JA Ocean View Hotel, as well as the deluxe hotel apartments of JA Oasis Beach Tower, both located along ‘The Walk’ in Jumeirah Beach Residence. Other attractive options include the acclaimed JA The Resort – Dubai’s largest experience resort, with 1 million square metres of thrilling activities and 3 unique hotels offering 795 suites and rooms between them– JA Beach Hotel, the all-suite JA Palm Tree Court and JA Lakeview Hotel, a stunning new Golf Course adjacent property due to open in September 2019. The JA Hatta Fort Hotel completes the portfolio as Dubai’s only mountain resort, a secluded getaway amidst the stunning Hajar Mountains landscape. JA Resorts & Hotels is a member of the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands, bringing together more than 30 brands with over 550 hotels in 78 countries.
For more information on JA Resorts & Hotels, please visit;