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Cover Story Luis Mendez, Director of Sales, Kimpton EPIC Hotels | 6 Kimpton EPIC Hotel announced the appointment of Luis Mendez as Director of Sales for the renowned Downtown Miami property. In his new role, Mendez will be responsible for planning and implementing sales and development programs for EPIC, focusing on new and existing markets.



Texas Meetings | 8 This summer, San Antonio, Texas, one of the nation's most historic cities, is offering overthe-top vacation packages during its 300th birthday celebration. Once a Spanish colonial outpost established in the 1700s, San Antonio has grown into the nation's seventh-largest city. Its story is woven through epic battles, bold artisans and bigger-than-life characters. During 2018, the city's brilliant culture is on display with events and activities for travelers to explore.

Features Destination Profile Washington, DC | 12 New & Renovated Properties | 14


International Destination | 18

In the Next Issue FALL 2018 •

Southwest Meeting Destinations

Where to meet in Vegas

The Great Northwest

Mexico Meetings

Departments Editor's Comments | 4 Travel Destinations | 20 Inside Cuisine | 22 www.hispanicmeetingstravel .com | HM&T



Editor’s Comments PUBLISHER Gonzalez Global Media, LLC.


4 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

EDITOR María de la Luz González FOUNDER & CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Margaret Gonzalez




his year San Antonio, TX se viste de fiesta celebrating 300 years of existence. The city was founded in May of 1718 with the establishment of the Spanish Mission San Antonio de Valero better known as the María de la Luz González Alamo. Soon after, the Publisher and Editor military post San Antonio de Béxar Presidio was founded as well as the Villa de Béxar. Three hundred years later, the city is throwing a yearlong fiesta to celebrate its' history, art, cuisine, culture as well as the city's future. Beginning with the Native American, Spanish and then Mexican influences, San Antonio is one of the country's oldest cities richly saturated in Hispanic culture. Our ancestors' legacies live on today in this beautiful Texas city. And when I say "our" I mean "our". My husband and son can trace their ancestors back to the original 16 civilian families from the Canary Islands who helped found the first civilian settlement in San Antonio on March 9, 1731. Two brothers, Felipe and Jose Antonio Perez, made the year long journey from the Canary Islands, across the Atlantic, landing in Veracruz, Mexico and traveling on land to establish the Villa de San Fernando where present day Main Plaza of San Antonio sits. As you can see the González family has a very, very long history with San Antonio, a founding history. This may be why we love to visit San Antonio every year - sometimes several times a year. My son has been traveling to San Antonio since he was 6 months old and after 13 years he hasn't stopped falling in love with

Steven Gonzalez

Maria Gonzalez


the city. On this year's trip he told me that he would not mind moving to San Antonio. I like to think the city, and perhaps his ancestors, are calling out to him. This year we visited the Mission San Francisco de la Espada, one of 5 Spanish Missions in San Antonio, where my husband's 3 times great-grandmother was born. This mission is situated on the south side of the city with beautiful grounds and a quaint Catholic Church. Seeing my son walk through the mission's ruins where his 4 times greatgrandmother was born was truly enlightening and heartwarming. It made me appreciate on a deeper level this Spanish/Mexican/Texan town that has been a favorite place to visit since I was a little girl. (I have family in San Antonio from my side of the family as well) In San Antonio this year I found myself truly appreciative of the sacrifices our ancestors made to leave their homes, their birthplaces, in order to come to this land/country to make a better life for themselves and eventually their descendents. And even though his year we have seen many being denied that opportunity on our southern border, we Hispanic Americans have a legacy far greater than most in this country, a legacy far older than our country itself. And for that, I thank you San Antonio for celebrating 300 years of our history. ¡A los siguiente 300 años San Antonio! María de la Luz González Publisher and Editor


PHOTOGRAPHY ALHI, CLEVELAND MARRIOTT DOWNTOWN, DESTINATION DC, FAIRMONT AUSTIN, KEMPINSKI HOTELS, KIMPTON EPIC HOTELS, OMNI HOUSTON, SOLAZ RESORT, ST. ANTHONY HOTEL, WESTIN ST. FRANCIS ADVERTISING SALES OFFICE Gonzalez Global Media, LLC. 2600 South Shore Blvd., Suite 300 League City, Texas 77573 Telephone - 281-245-3330 Fax - 281-668-9199 W E B PA G E WEB MASTER - Gonzalez Global Media, LLC. Hispanic Meetings & Travel ISSN #1527-8387 is owned and published by Gonzalez Global Media, at 2600 South Shore Blvd., Suite 300, League City, Texas 77573 C 1999-2018 All Rights Reserved. Hispanic Meetings & Travel cannot by held responsible for unsolicited material. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited material and will return only those accompanied by stamped selfaddressed envelope. We reserve the right to edit all copy. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior permission of the publisher. Subscription rates: $30.00 per year within the USA, $52.50 in Canada, and $75.00 elsewhere. All subscriptions must be paid in U.S. currency. Single copies: U.S. $5.00, Canada $8.75, and $12.50 elsewhere. Produced in the USA.



6 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel



impton EPIC Hotel announced the

rant and ZUMA, an internationally acclaimed restau-

appointment of Luis Mendez as Direc-

rant offering sophisticated fare inspired by the infor-

tor of Sales for the renowned Down-

mal Japanese dining style of Izakaya; a spa and fitness

town Miami property. In his new role,

center operated by Exhale, featuring a full array of

Mendez will be responsible for planning and imple-

innovative spa therapies, wellness options and trans-

menting sales and development programs for EPIC,

formational mind body fitness experiences; 31,000

focusing on new and existing markets.

square feet of meeting and event space; and a private

"We're honored to welcome Luis to the Kimpton EPIC

marina. For more information on EPIC and/or reserva-

family" said Eric Jellson, Area Director of Marketing

tions, please call (866) 760-3742 or (305) 424-5226 or

& Strategy for Kimpton Hotels Florida. "He brings an

visit Follow EPIC on Facebook

incredible amount of experience, especially knowl-

and Instagram: @epichotel.

edge of the Miami market, group sales, corporates sales and leisure, all which will be key to succeeding in this role. We are truly excited to have him onboard


leading the sales team."


New to the Kimpton brand, Mendez brings more than 25 years of international hospitality experience in the sales and marketing sector. Most recently, he served as Associate Director of Sales and Marketing at the InterContinental Miami, and before this post, he served as Director of Meetings and Incentives for Karisma Hotels. Mendez's career includes work with The Ritz Carlton, Renaissance and IHG properties in Puerto Rico, where he held various senior leadership roles.

San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is the original boutique hotel company, which pioneered the concept of unique, distinctive, design-forward hotels in the United States in 1981. Anchored in oneof-a-kind experiences, Kimpton now operates more than 60 hotels and 80 restaurants, bars and lounges across urban locations, resort destinations and up and coming markets in the United States, Europe, Caribbean and Greater China. Kimpton spaces and experiences center on its guests, offering inspiring

About Kimpton EPIC Hotel

design that evokes curiosity to forward-thinking fla-

A member of the San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels

vors that feed the soul. Every detail is thoughtfully

& Restaurants, EPIC - voted #2 Top Hotel in Miami

curated and artfully delivered, so that guest experi-

and #4 in the US by CondĂŠ Nast Traveler's 2017 Read-

ences remain meaningful, unscripted and ridiculously

ers' Choice Awards- combines the individuality of a


boutique hotel with the amenities of a resort to create

Kimpton's employees, empowered to provide heart-

a sophisticated oasis amidst metropolitan Miami.

felt service and experiences, have built a highly

Located at the edge of the Miami River and Biscayne

regarded workplace culture that appears consistently

Bay, EPIC's 411 rooms and suites are artfully designed

on FORTUNE magazine's "100 Best Companies to

to convey an understated sense of cool, complete with

Work For" list.

private balconies offering panoramic views of the city.

In January 2015, Kimpton became part of the Inter-

EPIC features include a 13,752-square-foot wrap-

Continental Hotels Group (IHG) family of hotel brands.

around pool deck with private cabanas; Area 31 restau-

For more information, visit

www.hispanicmeetingstravel .com | HM&T



The Ultimate San Antonio Tricentennial Getaway Explore the best San Antonio Has to offer during its 300th birthday


his summer, San Antonio, Texas, one of the nation's most historic cities, is offering over-the-top vacation packages during its 300th birthday celebration. Once a Spanish colonial outpost established in the 1700s, San Antonio has grown into the nation's seventh-largest city. Its story is woven through epic battles, bold artisans and bigger-than-life characters. During 2018, the city's brilliant culture is on display with events and activities for travelers to explore. "Ultimate San Antonio Tricentennial Getaway" packages are available May through December 2018, when Tricentennial celebrations culminate in educational, artistic and entertainment events that incarnate San Antonio's diversity and unparalleled history. The hotel of choice for the ultimate Tricentennial getaway is the city's first luxury hotel, the elegant and historic St. Anthony Hotel. Built in 8 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

1909, this lavish property overlooks Travis Park where travelers find themselves in the heart of historic downtown and within walking distance to the Alamo, River Walk and Tricentennial events. For over a century, its elegant grandeur has hosted political leaders, princesses and movie stars. A recent multi-million-dollar restoration has reinvigorated the style and service of a bygone era. As part of the "Ultimate San Antonio Tricentennial Getaway" package, the St. Anthony Hotel will curate a custom guest experience highlighting the sites and stories that have made San Antonio one of America's most iconic cities. Additionally, a year-long calendar of Tricentennial events makes this package an incredible option for summer getaways and cultural excursions for the rest of 2018.

"Ultimate San Antonio Tricentennial Getaway" package guests can enjoy: ACCOMMODATIONS • A three-night stay in The St. Anthony Hotel's John Wayne Suite. This almost 1,200-square-foot retreat pays homage to the Duke himself who stayed at The St. Anthony Hotel in 1960 while filming, The Alamo. The elegant sitting area and dining room offer inspiring furnishings and views of Travis Park, while artwork showcases the grand Texas landscape and a black and white rendering of John Wayne. After an exciting day celebrating in San Antonio, guests will retire to the stately bedroom with a plush, signature Luxury Collection pillow top bed dressed in 300-threadcount Fili D'oro linens. A Bose stereo, 42" flat screen LCD television, and high-speed wireless internet access keep guests connected. When it's time to unwind, travelers can escape to the mini bar or the spacious spa-like bathroom DINING • Daily breakfast for two overlooking Travis Park at the St. Anthony Hotel's restaurant. Travelers will experience the best of Texas farms and ranchlands at Loggia. In this stunning atrium with floor to ceiling windows overlooking historic Travis Park, Chef John Zaner has curated a memorable culinary experience that mirrors the hotel itself-traditional with a twist. • River Walk barge dinner catered by Boudro's Texas Bistro. Texas-centric cuisine is best served under a canopy of stars while floating in a private barge along the River Walk- a stunning destination built in the 1930s as part of the Works Progress Administration. Today, the River Walk is lined with colorful umbrellas, restaurants, theaters, shops and public works of art. • Dinner for two at Rebelle, by Chef Stefan Bowers, located within the St. Anthony Hotel. While in Texas, one should dine on coastal seafood and farm-fresh produce served in Rebelle's unique sharing style and personal plate experience. • Private chocolate-making class for two at Schakolad Chocolate Factory. Make delec-

table chocolates using a three-generation, European-style family recipe. Enthusiasts will even be able to make chocolate-dipped peaches. A perfect treat as The St. Anthony Hotel was built on a peach orchard. • Two drinks at The St. Anthony Club - Celebratory drinks are in order at the intriguing St. Anthony Club, the first place in San Antonio where liquor could be purchased by the glass. Once an exclusive member's only club, the interior was designed by Dorothy Draper and an expansive list of libations, including their signature drink, the Triple S, make this a San Antonio must-experience. TRANSPORTATION • Luxury Car Service. Guests will be picked up from and dropped off at The San Antonio International Airport in a luxury vehicle. Once at The St. Anthony Hotel, the rest of the experience is walkable, making the journey scenic and convenient. • Horse-drawn carriage ride through King William Historic District, the state's first historic district, comprised of elegant homes built by German merchants in the 1800s. Today, King William sidles up to Southtown, a local arts district where historic homes are seeing new life as shops, galleries and restaurants. • Valet Parking. Should guests opt to drive in, complimentary valet service will be provided. CULTURE & ATTRACTIONS • VIP Alamo Reality experience with all the add-ons. For the first time in almost 200 years, visitors will experience the Alamo as it was during its epic battle. This new augmented reality experience revives the historic setting and its people with a photo-real overlay of the site, restoring it to the way it looked in the 1800s. Guests will also receive an Alamo Reality Board set to take a piece of the experience home. This set includes 17 augmented reality experiences, allowing them to virtually revisit the Alamo whenever they like. • Two tickets to a show at the nearby Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, a stunning entertainment center on the banks of the River Walk that is home to the San Antonio Symphony, Opera San Antonio, and contemporary concerts and acts. Exact tickets will depend on

travel dates. Ticket offer dependent on travel timing and ticket availability. • Two tickets to the nearby Majestic Theatre, San Antonio's oldest and largest atmospheric theatre which is home to traveling Broadway shows as well as contemporary concerts and acts. Exact tickets will depend on travel dates. Majestic Theatre ticket offer dependent on travel timing and ticket availability. Limited tickets and performances • Tour the Witte Museum's exhibit, "Confluence and Culture: 300 Years of San Antonio History." This immersive and multi-faceted exhibit reveals the legendary and complex history of San Antonio with over 6,000 square feet of artifacts, paintings and documents, as well as interactive media that bring the story to life. • Xavier de Richemont's video art installation, "San Antonio|The Saga," projected upon the magnificent façade of San Fernando Cathedral which is the official heart of San Antonio and the oldest operating sanctuary in North America. FOR KICKS • Custom boot fitting at Little's Boot Shop. No trip to Texas is complete without a pair of custom boots. Established in 1915, Little's Boot Company is one of the most exclusive boot makers in America. • Shopping at La Villita Historic Arts Village. Originally established by soldiers stationed at The Alamo, La Villita was San Antonio's first neighborhood. Today, it has been reincarnated into a charming riverside district where historic homes see new life as art galleries and specialty shops. Guests will receive an ACEQUIA body care gift set from La Villita's Capistrano Soap Company with locally crafted luxe body wash, skin nourishing lotion and an exfoliating sponge. This once-in-a-lifetime package that has been 300 years in the making, is offered for $7,500. Restrictions with modifications apply. More information about the luxurious St. Anthony Hotel can be found at, while details on San Antonio's Tricentennial celebration are available at www.hispanicmeetingstravel .com | HM&T




Fairmont Hotels & Resorts debuts the brand's 2nd largest hotel in the world


airmont Hotels & Resorts introduced the Fairmont Austin, a towering icon bringing exclusive luxury to Austin, Texas. The highly anticipated hotel boasts 1,048 richly appointed guestrooms, five restaurants and bars, the largest outdoor pool and full service spa in Downtown Austin, a revolutionary fitness center, nearly 140,000 square feet of event space, and direct access to the Austin Convention Center via the Red River Canopy Walk. Fairmont Austin debuts as the largest Fairmont property in the United States, as well as the second largest Fairmont hotel globally, in both number of rooms and total meeting and event space. "A strategic opening for AccorHotels, Fairmont Austin is the first in a series of high-profile luxury developments marking a time of 10 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

significant growth for the Group and its brands in North and Central America," said Kevin Frid, Chief Operating Officer, North & Central America, AccorHotels. "Other notable openings anticipated in the next 18 to 24 months include the iconic Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles, Sofitel Mexico Reforma in Mexico City, Fairmont Costa Canuva in Mexico's Riviera Nayarit, Fairmont Saint Lucia at Sunset Bay in the Caribbean, and several soon-tobe-announced projects with the potential to introduce new brands into the region." Officially the largest hotel in Austin at 1,048 rooms, 37 stories and nearly 140,000 square feet of meeting and event space, Fairmont Austin is uniquely situated in the vibrant Central Business District, amid the lush greenery of Palm Park and Waller Creek, with exclusive direct access to the Austin Convention Center

via the Red River Canopy Walk. Debuting as the second tallest building in the city, the hotel adds a new dimension to the downtown skyline, with a "lighted crown" programmed with an array of color options and a 170-foot tall architectural spire that is illuminated in the evenings, making the building visible from throughout Central Texas. Each of the hotel's guestrooms and suites offer spectacular views and feature cool shades of blue, bright white and honey beige inspired by the Texas Hill Country landscape. Fairmont Gold, the brand's exclusive lifestyle hotel experience, features 131 rooms and suites located on the 32nd through 35th floors, and offers private check-in and checkout; complimentary deluxe breakfast and evening hors d'oeuvres in the Gold lounge; and dedicated concierge team.

Fairmont Austin is aligned with the top dining destinations Austin has to offer. Dedicated to open flame, wafting smoke and the highest quality meats, seafood and local produce available, Garrison is a Modern American Grill House ideal for culinary exploration. Revue's unique approach to dining includes the timeless cuisine of Italy, the epicurean and cultural complexities of Asia, and the delicacies of the Sea, topped off with delicious treats from the artisanal Pastry shop. Rules & Regs, located on the 7th floor and overlooking Austin's cityscape, is the best place in Austin to enjoy libations day or night. Located in the main lobby, Fulton pays homage to the musically buzzed streets of Austin with daily live music, local wine, beer and spirits in a relaxed dining scene with creative shared plates. Good Things offers coffee and tea, delicious snacks, food to go, and beverages to suit everyone. "This project has truly been a labor of love, and it has shown in every team member's passion and excitement leading up to opening," says Fairmont Austin Managing Director Tom Voss. "The city of Austin continues to grow, both in size and popularity, and we are elated to be bringing a new level of luxury and service standards to this already incredible community." "The opening of Fairmont Austin truly changes the economic structure of the Texas capital. With events such as South by Southwest and Austin City Limits growing in attendance year-over-year, new events popping up monthly, and groups targeting the burgeoning city for conferences and private events, Austin has a high demand for additional hotel rooms and event spaces," said Frid. "Fairmont Austin will give the city the opportunity to host larger conferences and conventions, bringing more tourists and business travelers to the city, and

employing more than 900 staff, continuing to bolster the Austin economy." With more than 75 hotels worldwide, Fairmont continues to expand globally with recent openings including Fairmont Quasar Istanbul, Fairmont Amman in Jordan and Fairmont Fujairah in the Middle East. New luxury hotels currently in development include Fairmont Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, Fairmont Abu Dhabi Marina Resort, Fairmont Citystars Sharm El Sheikh, Fairmont Wuhan in China and Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi.

About AccorHotels AccorHotels is a world-leading travel & lifestyle group and digital innovator offering unique experiences in more than 4,300 hotels, resorts and residences, as well as in over 10,000 of the finest private homes around the globe. Benefiting from dual expertise as an investor and operator, AccorHotels operates in 100 countries. Its portfolio comprises internationally acclaimed luxury brands including Raffles, Sofitel Legend, Fairmont, SO Sofitel, Sofitel, onefinestay, MGallery by Sofitel, Pullman, SwissĂ´tel and 25hours Hotels; as well as the popular midscale brands Novotel, Mercure, Mama Shelter and Adagio; the much-prized economy brands including JO&JOE, ibis, ibis Styles, ibis budget and the regional brands Grand Mercure, The Sebel and hotelF1. AccorHotels provides innovative end-to-end services across the entire traveler experience, notably through the acquisition of John Paul, world leader in concierge services. With an unmatched collection of brands and rich history spanning close to five decades, AccorHotels, along with its global team of more than 250,000 dedicated women and men, has a purposeful and heartfelt mission: to make every guest Feel Welcome. Guests enjoy

access to one of the world's most rewarding hotel loyalty programs - Le Club AccorHotels. AccorHotels is active in its local communities and committed to sustainable development and solidarity through PLANET 21, a comprehensive program that brings together employees, guests and partners to drive sustainable growth. For more information and reservations visit or

About Fairmont Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is where occasions are celebrated and history is made. Landmark hotels with unrivalled presence, authentic experiences and unforgettable moments have attracted visitors to Fairmont and its destinations since 1907. The Plaza in New York City, The Savoy in London, Fairmont San Francisco, Fairmont Banff Springs and Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai are but a few of these iconic luxury hotels, forever linked to the special places where they reside. Famous for its engaging service, grand public spaces, locally inspired cuisine and celebrated bars and lounges, Fairmont promises a special brand of thoughtful luxury that will be remembered long after any visit. With a worldwide portfolio of more than 75 hotels, Fairmont also takes great pride in its deep community roots and leadership in sustainability. Fairmont is part of AccorHotels, a world-leading travel and lifestyle group which invites travelers to feel welcome at more than 4,300 hotels, resorts and residences, along with some 10,000 of the finest private homes around the globe. www.hispanicmeetingstravel .com | HM&T




Washington, DC Offers a ValueAdded Approach for Meetings and Conventions New unique venues and upcoming developments draw Hispanic business community.


ashington, DC is a leading destination for meetings and conventions of all sizes. The city is dedicated to developing ini-

tiatives and investing in new opportunities by adding to its strong industries with $11.5 billion in development, 19 hotels in the pipeline, and many new and renovated special events venues in the works. DC's appeal and ease of access are unparalleled, making it a hot spot for the Hispanic business community. The nation's capital is filled with exceptional venues, from 17 Smithsonian museums to historic landmarks, tech-friendly venues and artistically-appealing buildings that cater to any meeting. As one of the top destinations to host a meeting, Washington, DC prides itself in its ever-changing landscape with new unique venues such as the popular innovative digital art gallery, Artechouse and DC's first winery, District Winery, a 17,000 sq. foot venue in Capitol Riverfront overlooking the Anacostia River. 12 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

New and upcoming developments that bring even more unique meeting and event space include: • Eaton Workshop Opening summer 2018 A pilot project aimed at inspiring social change, the new global hotel brand will debut with a 209-rroom property in downtown DC. Eaton Workshop boasts 10,000 sq. feet of event space, rotating art exhibits, and a coworking club that can accommodate up to 370 members. • International Spy Museum Opening 2019 One of the city's most popular museums will move from Penn Quarter to L'Enfant Plaza, a short walk from the National Mall. The new location will be 140,000 sq. feet, more than double the original space, and will feature a lecture hall/theater and event space with great views. • The Conrad Washington, DC Opening winter 2019 A 360-rroom hotel from Hilton Worldwide adds more luxury to CityCenterDC. Features include two outdoor terraces, a rooftop bar, conference rooms and 30,000 sq. feet of luxury retail space. • The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Expansion Opening spring 2019 The world-rrenowned DC venue will add 2,500 sq. feet of new performance space, 7,500 sq. feet of pre-ffunction and event space, new art installations and digital advancements. Outside, guests can utilize a new video wall, a terrace for up to 1,600 people and a scenic walk way to the Potomac River and nearby monuments and memorials. • SLS Hotel Opening late 2019 DC's first SLS-b branded property is expected to open at 5th and Eye Street NW. The designfocused 12-sstory building will house a 175room property on floors 2-8 8. The mezzanine and cellar will include amenities and a 5,500 sq. foot ballroom.

The ease of travel and anticipation of new renovations and unique venues continue to add to DC's appeal for Hispanic business travelers. The city recently launched direct nonstop air service into Dulles International Airport from key international markets, including El Salvador via Volaris, which began in May 2018 while the Walter E. Washington Convention Center will begin a fresh renovation this fall. Capital improvements include new seating, enhanced digital signage, a streetscape plan and mamava pod, nursing mother stations. "We welcome more business and hope the El Salvador flight, among others, and new hotels will help make it easy to choose Washington, DC," said Elliott L. Ferguson II, president and CEO of Destination DC. "Business travelers can access lawmakers relevant to their cause, meet in incredible venues and enjoy the city's captivating free museums and Michelin-starred restaurant scene." To learn more and submit an RFP, visit


N e w


R e n o v a t e d

CLEVELAND MARRIOTT DOWNTOWN AT KEY CENTER ANNOUNCES EXTENSIVE RENOVATION TRANSFORMATION C leveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center, 1360 West Mall Dr., Cleveland, has officially kicked off a multi-million dollar renovation of its lobby, meeting and all public space, which is slated to be unveiled in Summer 2018. All of the designated space will be redesigned in a modern, sophisticated style reflecting the property's vibrant downtown setting in the heart of a reinvigorated city. The 25-story, 400-room property with 15 suites, puts guests in prime position to explore the best Cleveland has to offer. Locals and travelers, alike, find themselves close to some of Cleveland's most notable sights, sounds, and destinations when visiting Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center. The Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame; Playhouse Square, the second largest theatre district behind New York; and the internationally renowned Cleveland Clinic, with world-class medical and university communities, are all within close proximity. Guests will enjoy the local nightlight and discover some of the region's best restaurants and retailers. For sports fanatics, the hotel is within walking dis14 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

tance to the city's major sporting venues, including Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians, Quicken Loans Arena, home court to the Cleveland Cavaliers and FirstEnergy Stadium, home of Cleveland Browns. "These are exciting times for both the hotel, our guests and downtown Cleveland," said Hartmut Ott, general manager of the Cleveland Marriott Downtown. "Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center is the premier destination in Cleveland and we will be thrilled to introduce our sleek new spaces complementing our vibrant city upon completion this spring." The Cleveland hotel's modern lobby and lively gathering space is set to transform into a sophisticated and flexible hotspot with elegant finishes and clean lines. Following the renovation, guests will be invited to unwind in the Great Room lobby bar with eclectic drinks, or savor fresh grab and go options at the Market Pantry. The lobby transformation also includes a stylish dedicated space for Marriott Rewards members, the M-Club Lounge.

For an elevated dining option just steps from the hotel lobby, guests will be invited to indulge in a culinary experience to remember at II Venetian. A collaboration by local restaurateur Malisse Sinito (Marble Room Steak & Raw Bar, LockKeepers) and Venetian born executive chef, Alberto Leandri, II Venetian will offer modern Italian cuisine featuring handmade pastas, fresh fish and seafood, fine meats, as well as artisan pastries and gelato. Breakfast will be served everyday between 7 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., lunch is offered Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Brunch is served every Saturday and Sunday between 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with dinner Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. When it's time to relax or work out, health and fitness enthusiasts will be able to enjoy a 24hour state-of-the-art fitness center operated by Vedas Fitness or relax with rejuvenating, Ayurvedic treatments at the brand new Vedas Spa. The 20,000 square foot, fully-integrated fitness, wellness and spa center, located on the third floor, is designed for people who value their health from the inside out, with four manicure stations and two pedicure stations with Cleveland's only Meridian IMC Vented Manicure Tables and Continuum Vantage VE with clean air ventilation systems, four hair styling stations, five treatment rooms, relaxation room

and spa lounge for private parties. The team of certified trainers, chiropractors and massage therapists are ready to meet every need. For optimal health and reaching a balance between mind, body and spirit, Vedas Spa uses only the highest quality locker room, towel, hair care, skin care and nail care products from EO Products, Neuma, Naturopathicia and Zoya brands, for eco-friendly, natural and herbal remedies. The hotel's reinvention also extends to its lobby and 16 event rooms, boasting more than 17,000 square feet of meeting space, redesigned to reflect the sophisticated elegance of downtown Cleveland. With the largest single gathering space exceeding 1,500 square feet, the ballroom and pre-function area is being renovated, elevating it to the premier destination for social gatherings or large-scale events. Designed with the meeting planner in mind, the hotel's space is customizable and flexible with state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment and knowledgeable on-site staff. Take advantage of the elegant space for lavish wedding receptions and creative dining options. For more information or to make a reservation, please call 216-696-9200 or visit

About Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center Located in the heart of downtown, Cleveland

Marriott Downtown at Key Center is the ideal location to enjoy all of Cleveland's famous attractions. Business travelers appreciate the hotel's setting in the financial distinct and steps away from the convention center. The hotel boasts more than 17,000 square feet of elegant conference rooms and event spaces, ideal for business gatherings and social galas. All of Cleveland's famous attractions are within easy reach of the inviting hotel, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, First Energy Stadium, Progressive Park, the Warehouse District and more. On property, you'll find cozy seating areas to meet family, friends and colleagues, delicious dining, a world-class spa, fitness center and spacious guest rooms and suites. Visit to learn more. www.hispanicmeetingstravel .com | HM&T



New & Renovated gray tones and bespoke carpet in shades of bright blue and pale gray in an asymmetrical floral motif. The area was brightened with elegant art deco chandeliers, complementing the new lights at each guestroom doorway. Large moody artwork of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and black and white photography of San Francisco street scenes adorn the walls. The Westin St. Francis is currently offering the "For A Better You" package that includes 1,000 bonus Starpoints® per stay and complimentary in-room wifi. Rates start at $179, excluding tax and based on availability. Available through June 30, 2018. For reservations and more information, call (415) 397-7000, toll free (800) 917-7458, or visit

About The Westin St. Francis

The Westin St. Francis Completes $45 Million renovation of Historic Landmark Building in San Francisco


he iconic Westin St. Francis, the renowned "Grand Dame" of San Francisco's Union Square, has completed a $45 million renovation of the Landmark Building. Comprised of 618 guestrooms and four Specialty Suites on 12 floors, this is the largest renovation ever untaken of this historic 1904 building. The Landmark Building consists of four brick wings constructed over the course of nine years in the early twentieth century spanning from 1904 to 1913. The design, created by Dallas-based Forest Perkins, was inspired by San Francisco's moniker as "The Paris of the West," bestowed when the "St. Francis" opened as the crown jewel of the city. The new look of the guestrooms and corridors is reminiscent of a lovely spring day in Paris with a sophisticated color scheme of Parisian blue, goldenrod yellow, and peony pink that complements the beauty of the original crown molding, crystal chandeliers, and high ceilings. Dramatic blue and silver wall coverings accent the wall behind sil16 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

ver upholstered headboards. Simple, elegant columns of fabric in a cloud-like design adorn the expansive windows, many of which offer stellar views of San Francisco's bustling Union Square. All guestrooms feature writing desks, Westin Heavenly® Beds, and 50" flat screen Smart TVs. "Ever since the St. Francis opened its doors in 1904, it has been synonymous with sophistication and renowned for its importance in San Francisco as a hub of social and business activity," says Jon Kimball, Area General Manager. "The new design of the Landmark Building pays tribute to its rich history while showcasing its iconic grandeur in a fresh light." Guest bathrooms are outfitted with Carrera marble, bright white quartz countertop vanities, elegant period-style polished chrome fittings, and large frameless lighted mirrors. In the junior suites, the bathrooms were enlarged to incorporate spacious walk-in showers. Expansive hallways, originally designed to accommodate the large hoop skirts women wore in the early 1900s, are adorned with blue-

Opened more than a century ago on March 21, 1904, The Westin St. Francis still today maintains its preeminence as San Francisco's center of social, theatrical and business life. Renowned for luxury accommodations and excellent service, The Westin St. Francis continues to preserve its rich history and elegance while enhancing the guest experience with fresh, innovative concepts. The only hotel located on San Francisco's famous Union Square, The Westin St. Francis is just steps from world class shopping, dining, theatres and art galleries. For reservations and more information, call (415) 397-7000, toll free (800) 917-7458 or visit

About Westin Hotels & Resorts Westin Hotels & Resorts, a leader in wellness and hospitality for more than a decade, lives its philosophy "For a Better You™" through the brand's Six Pillars of Well-Being: Feel Well, Work Well, Move Well, Eat Well, Sleep Well and Play Well. At more than 200 hotels and resorts in nearly 40 countries and territories, guests can experience offerings that include the iconic Heavenly® Bed, RunWESTIN™ and Westin Gear Lending with New Balance®, delicious and nutritious SuperFoodsRx™ and the innovative workspace Tangent. Westin is proud to participate in the industry's awardwinning loyalty program, Starwood Preferred Guest®. Members can now link accounts with Marriott Rewards®, which includes The RitzCarlton Rewards® at for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer. To learn more, visit Stay connected to Westin on Facebook and @westin on Twitter and Instagram.



mni Houston Hotel is undergoing a $30 million renovation process that will elevate the guest experience and revitalize property grounds. The transformation will further reinforce the hotel as the perfect luxury oasis in the prestigious Galleria-area of Houston and will be helmed by its new general manager Allan Codore. The reopening date is slated for November 1, 2018. Codore who rejoins the Omni Houston Hotel on June 1 is an Omni Hotels & Resorts and Omni Houston Hotel veteran who started with the brand 22 years ago. Having served in several leadership roles, from front office positions to director of operations and general manager of various properties within the brand, Codore is poised to lead a successful reopening for the property. His former position at the hotel was the director of front office operations from 1997 to 2000. In his new position at Omni Houston Hotel, Codore will oversee the $30 million renovation the property is undergoing and will assist in carrying out the revitalization from beginning to end. "It is an exciting time for the hotel as we are navigating through a major renovation that will transform each space and position the property as the hotel of choice in the Galleria-area," said Codore. "I am excited to return to Houston and be back at the Omni Houston Hotel to lead the team, oversee the progress of the renovation and to welcome our guests back this fall." Embracing Houston's culture and attitude, the design of the renovated spaces at the 378room Omni Houston Hotel begins on the first floor. The inspiration draws from an authentic local aesthetic that includes leathers, bronze, brass and lush greens, providing a new take on a "modern Texas." The urban oasis will welcome natural light throughout with floor-to-

ceiling windows, open communal spaces and the idea of bringing the outdoors inside. The lobby will feature a swanky moss wall that welcomes guests as they check-in at raw copper pods, evoking a warm and captivating arrival experience. The first floor evolution continues throughout various common spaces including a highend retail venue, coffee and wine bar and whiskey room that will pay homage to Houston's history. The overall look welcomes clean lines that fuse rich and natural textures for a more residential feel. The hotel's first floor restaurant will transform and take inspiration from Memorial Park's lavish greenery while providing views of the outdoor landscape seen through floor-to-ceiling windows that line the venue. The dining outlet which has been reconcepted, will encourage guests to gather, collaborate and socialize around the curved shaped bar for a communal feel. Rich green leather bar seats tie back to bringing in simple, clean lines for a natural state. The iconic nightclub, Black Swan, will also return with a similar modern design, combining luxury and timeless energy, providing guests a vibrant nightlife experience. The lobby lounge that flows into the coffee bar affords guests plush sofas, leather armchairs, a bookshelf wall and fireplace with a built-in bench, which will create an inviting atmosphere. Meeting space on the first and second floors are also set for a redesign and will include an additional 2,500 square feet of flexible meeting space. The property will offer two new conference areas with boardrooms and breakout space. Mokara Spa & Salon updates include an aesthetic that embodies nature as designers used soft, whitewashed woods and lush green walls.

The use of stone, wood and dark metals throughout create a mix of texture and contrast. Treatment rooms will use earthy elements such as raw wood accents and stone and pebbles will be weaved throughout to marry the spa with the natural outdoor landscape for a serene experience. As spa guests step out and enter the salon, they will see a more contemporary visual. The hotel will welcome its first guests in time for the holiday season to mix, mingle and gather at the new space. Reservations for hotel stays are available now for bookings starting on November 1, 2018. For more information on the Omni Houston Hotel, visit

About Omni Hotels & Resorts Omni Hotels & Resorts creates genuine, authentic guest experiences at 60 distinct luxury hotels and resorts in leading business and leisure destinations across North America. With more than 25 iconic golf courses and 16 award-winning spas featured in dynamic locales nationwide, every Omni proudly opens its doors to share the true spirit of its destination. Reflected through local color, personalized service, unique wellness options, signature restaurants and creative culinary offerings, Omni leaves a lasting impression with every guest and a heightened level of recognition and rewards delivered through its Select GuestÂŽ loyalty program. As a founding member of the Global Hotel Alliance, Select Guest is further expanded through the DISCOVERYÂŽ loyalty program offering members additional global benefits. Omni is committed to reducing hunger and is on a mission through its Say Goodnight to Hunger initiative to provide millions of meals each year for food banks to feed children, families and seniors in communities in which it operates. For information or to book accommodations, visit or call 1-800-The-Omni. www.hispanicmeetingstravel .com | HM&T



International Destination

The Luxury Collection's First Resort in The Baja California Peninsula Will Deliver Immersive, Authentic Experiences in Los Cabos

the Cabo market, offering luxury global travelers and locals alike an architectural masterpiece overlooking the beautiful Sea of Cortez�, said Giuliana Torres Schernthaner, General Manager of Solaz, a Luxury Collection Resort, Los Cabos. "We are thrilled to debut Solaz


he Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts has announced the brand's first hotel in Baja California Sur with the opening of Solaz, a Luxury Collection Resort, Los Cabos in June 2018. Operated by Quinta del Golfo de Cortez (QGC), Solaz Resort is a beachfront oasis featuring a 128-room luxury hotel and 21 extravagant residences. Nestled on a coveted 34 acres overlooking the Sea of Cortez, Solaz Resort highlights The Luxury Collection's impressive expansion in Mexico, where the brand now boasts a total portfolio of seven hotels throughout Baja California Sur, Campeche, Mexico City, and Yucatan. "The debut of Solaz Resort marks The Luxury Collection's seventh hotel in Mexico; an important milestone for the brand as we showcase our commitment to expanding our footprint in this remarkable destination," said Mitzi Gaskins, Global Brand Leader, The Luxury Collection. "Solaz Resort will offer global explorers a new gateway to the Baja California Peninsula and deliver unparalleled travel experiences signature to The Luxury Collection." Sophisticated and modern, Solaz Resort's spacious guest rooms, residences, spa and wellness center, and on-site dining experiences will appeal to couples, families, and discerning travelers who seek an authentic resort experience in Mexico. Whether guests wish to improve their culinary prowess through a private cooking class with the chef, combine adventure and 18 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

gastronomy by fishing on a private yacht with the chef preparing the catch, or immerse themselves in local history with a journey to see legendary cave paintings, the experiences are endless. "Our hotel is the latest, luxury beachfront hotel to hit

Resort as part of The Luxury Collection, officially joining the brand's portfolio of world-renowned hotels and resorts. As the brand's seventh hotel in Mexico and first in Los Cabos, we are proud to be a key player in The Luxury Collection's fast-growing portfolio."

sq. ft. Ojo de Liebre Spa offers 10 private treatment rooms and two VIP double rooms, along with a full range of services like Alo Therapy (Himalayan Salt Igloo) and Thalasso Therapy - the later only available in Baja California at the Ojo de Liebre Spa. A full-service salon provides manicures, pedicures and other amenities. Families visiting the resort can also take advantage of the children's club. For business and social functions, Solaz Resort offers 20,000 sq. feet of meeting, wedding and event space that can accommodate up to 1,000 guests, and includes a 3,500 sq. ft. ballroom and 11,000 sq. ft. outdoor deck. A team of expert event planners ensures attention to every The Resort Solaz Resort pays tribute to its destination through both design and guest experience, which celebrate the magnificent landscape and cultural marvels of the region. Designed by renowned architectural firm Sordo Madaleno, the resort's cascading terraces blend desert vegetation with quarry stone, granite, marble and wood to create an architectural "sculpture" of breathtaking design amidst desert landscaping. Each masterfully designed guest room and suite at Solaz Resort features a private entrance and patio; custom, contemporary furnishings; and original art. Floor plans blur the lines between indoor and outdoor space, as private terraces provide unobstructed views of the Sea of Cortez. Celebrating art and design at every turn, Solaz Resort features original works throughout - all masterfully created by famed Mexican artist César Negrete, who travelled throughout Baja for years, studying the region's natural history and folklore. El Gabinete "Del Barco" is an indigenous gallery featuring regional artifacts and open spaces to walk through while enjoying breathtaking natural scenery. Viewed through the eyes of Baja California explorer Miguel del Barco, exhibits include a

43-foot-long whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling, a historical original map collection, and more. Culinary offerings at Solaz Resort will be as authentically inspired as the property itself. Six unique restaurants and lounges are designed for visitors with discerning palates. Executive Chef Pedro Joaquin Arceyut and his team will present freshly caught fish and seafood at Al Pairo; traditional and contemporary Baja fare and tapas at Cascabel; and a "Dinner Grill" featuring dry-aged steaks, local live lobsters, and the sea's freshest fish at Mako. Those looking for lively libations can enjoy perfectly paired cocktails and an impressive wine program at La Cava, the ideal place to cap off the day with a selection of more than 2,500 vintages - many of which are local to the region. A restorative travel destination, Solaz Resort features 50-meter infinity pools lining 1,246 linear feet of white sand beaches overlooking the Sea of Cortez. Each pool incorporates butterfly green granite, which emulates and seamlessly merges with the Sea of Cortez's tranquil turquoise waters. State-of-the-art exercise facilities feature Technogym® equipment and group or personal fitness instruction, and the 10,000

detail for intimate or grand-scale events. The Residences Twenty-one exclusive residences at Solaz Los Cabos present the ultimate indulgence to those who enjoy the privacy of a home combined with The Luxury Collection's bespoke amenities and services. Ranging in size from approximately 5,000 to 11,000 sq. feet, threebedroom and three-and-a-half bathroom residences offer indoor/outdoor living with wrap-around terraces featuring Jacuzzis; floor-to-ceiling panoramic views of the Sea of Cortez; a chef's kitchen; Europeandesigned furnishings by Kettal®; master baths with travertine marble bathtubs and spa-inspired showers; separate laundry and pantry; private elevator access and designated underground parking. Solaz, a Luxury Collection Resort, Los Cabos is located at Corredor Turístico s/n, Km 18.5, Cabo Real, 23405 San José del Cabo, B.C.S., Mexico. For more information, please visit:: www.hispanicmeetingstravel .com | HM&T



Travel Destinations

ALHI Increases "Elite Retreats Collection" Options with Addition of Resorts in Playa del Carmen, Mexico and Hilton Head, South Carolina


ssociated Luxury Hotels International has expanded its worldwide portfolio and "Elite Retreats Collection" options with the addition of the luxurious 123-villa Banyan Tree Mayakoba in Playa Del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico, and the acclaimed, 60-room The Inn & Club at Harbour Town at The Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. In addition to becoming the newest members in ALHI's global portfolio, the resorts also are new options in its luxury brand collection that consists of member hotels and resorts which specialize in exclusive gatherings and have fewer than 200 rooms, according to ALHI's Chief Sales Officer Mark Sergot. 20 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

ALHI Global Luxury Sales now represents the resorts to the Meetings & Incentive marketplace in North America and Europe. ALHI's portfolio features more than 250 luxury and upper-upscale hotels and resorts, which are either independent or are with an independent hotel brand, and which specialize in hosting meetings, conventions and/or incentive programs. With the additions, ALHI's "Elite Retreats Collection" now offers 60 distinctive hotel and resort options, which includes 21 exceptional choices in North America and 25 outstanding options in Europe. In addition to their membership in that luxury brand collection, the two resorts also are new options in the "ALHI

Beach & Island Collection" and "ALHI Golf Collection." Located in the most exclusive enclave of Mexico's renowned Riviera Maya region, along the pristine Caribbean coastline, Banyan Tree Mayakoba is an idyllic sanctuary that blends Asian culture with Mexican warmth. Featuring 123 luxury villas, ranging in size from 3,000 square feet to more than 5,000 square feet, the beautiful resort also offers 14 indoor and outdoor function spaces, including inspiring beachside venues, sunset-looking terraces and state-of-the-art ballrooms and meeting rooms. Additionally, the resort features the lush oceanfront El Camaleon PGA golf course, the world-class Banyan Tree Spa, the Sands Beach Club, a fitness center, four tennis courts, a nature trail, an art gallery and a wide range of superb dining options. Nestled within the private gated development of Mayakoba, the resort is just 30 miles (40 minutes) from Cancun International Airport (CUN), and 18 minutes from the charming town of Playa del Carmen.

Travel Destinations

Spanning the southern third of Hilton Head Island, and located along 5,000 oceanfront acres, The Sea Pines Resort has been a quiet and award-winning retreat for more than 50 years. Recognized as the #1 Hotel on Hilton Head Island by TripAdvisor, The Inn & Club at Harbour Town at The Sea Pines Resort offers 60 elegant guest rooms and is recipient of the prestigious AAA Four-Diamond rating and Forbes Four-Star Award. Among the many offerings at The Sea Pines Resort are 20,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, an array of beautiful outdoor venue options, and three golf courses (the highly acclaimed Heron Point by Pete Dye, the exceptional new Atlantic Dunes by Davis Love III, and Harbour Town Golf Links). In addition, the distinguished resort features The Sea Pines Racquet Club with 21 clay tennis courts, a full-service marina, five miles of pristine beach, a beach club, and many dining options. The resort is just 15 minutes from Hilton Head Island Airport, and Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport is 45 minutes away in Savannah, Georgia. "We are very proud to add these outstanding resorts to our global portfolio, and to our 'Elite Retreats Collection,' 'Golf Collection' and 'Beach & Island' luxury brand collections," said Sergot. "Both resorts are exceptional choices for smaller meetings, board meetings and incentive travel programs, as they each

feature truly beautiful settings and so many terrific recreational options. We look forward to showcasing these resorts and their outstanding offerings to meeting professionals and incentive specialists in North America and Europe." In addition to these newest members, ALHI's "Elite Retreats Collection" includes such exceptional options as Western Colorado's celebrated 72-room Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa; Northwest Florida's new 170-room The Henderson; Charleston, South Carolina's grand new 179-room Hotel Bennett (opening this summer); Northeast Florida's 66-room oceanfront The Lodge & Club at Ponte Vedra Beach; California's world-famous, 161-room The Lodge at Pebble Beach; and downtown Seattle's luxurious Loews Hotel 1000. Other distinguished choices include the elegant One Ocean Resort & Spa in Northeast Florida; the FourStar, 153-room Pan Pacific Seattle; the 340acre Salamander Resort & Spa in the Virginia horse and wine country; Colorado's hip, 107room The Sebastian Vail; Southern California's stunning 167-room Surf & Sand Resort; the Forbes Four-Star The Chateaux Deer Valley in Park City, Utah; Kansas City, Missouri's allnew, 132-room The Fontaine Hotel; and Orlando's 146-room The Villas of Grand Cypress, offering an array of recreational options. For more information about ALHI and/or its member hotels and resorts, contact your near-

est of the 24 ALHI Global Sales offices in the United States, Canada, London and now Frankfurt, Germany. For specifics, go to to identify the nearest "ALHI Team" Global Sales professionals in your area. Or, call the "ALHI Group Desk" toll-free in the U.S. at 866-303-ALHI (2544), and visit .

About ALHI, with 250 Hotels & Resorts + 23 Cruise Ships and DMCs 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. Hired and authorized by member properties, ALHI features a distinctive portfolio of exquisite resorts, luxurious city center business hotels, historic grand landmark hotels, lifestyle hotels, boutique hotels, 23 luxury cruise ships, and Destination Management Companies (DMCs) in more than 100 locations worldwide. ALHI's 24 Global Sales offices in North America and Europe provide extensive Global Sales services, valuable expertise, local connectivity, market intelligence, and account advocacy for meetings and incentive programs of any size and scope worldwide. www.hispanicmeetingstravel .com | HM&T



Inside Cuisine



ulinary variety and delicious treats are being dished up this summer at Kempinski Hotels around the world. Dedicated to entertaining, while respecting the cultural background of each hotel, various luxurious Kempinski Hotels have created once-in-a-lifetime experiences for their guests: from barbecue classes to dessert painting; from truffle-sprinkled delicacies, to chefs welcoming food lovers in a lush garden rooftop location; from a feast in a palatial Ottoman setting to a men's cooking class, teaching the creation of Lebanese cuisine, full of authentic flavours. The choice of offers is gripping, not only for seasoned foodies, but also for guests who love to dive into the gastronomical world of Kempinski Hotels and live memorable, palate-flattering moments. Cook & Relax - the somewhat different cooking class. When it comes to cooking among friends and couples, a concept of shared labour is "half the battle". Kempinski Hotel Frankfurt is well aware of this and offers an amateur-chefs cooking course in its Restaurant Levante, with a very special kind of teamwork: while the men familiarise themselves with the 22 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

oriental cuisine, the ladies enjoy being pampered in the hotel's own Country Club & Spa. From the hands of Chef Mohamed Agouni, the gentlemen learn how to prepare some typical Lebanese dishes, such as Tabbouleh (parsley and bulgur salad) and Baba Ghanoush (smoked aubergine), while the ladies relax in the spa's sauna area, in the indoor and outdoor pools, or in the Lake Side Lounge. For a joint dinner, the full group immerses in the opulent worlds of indulgence and spices of the Orient. Restaurant Levante is one of five restaurants at Kempinski Hotel Frankfurt and is exclusively open during the summer months, with temperatures that match and create the real oriental feeling. Dating back to the 17th century, the only Ottoman Imperial Palace & Hotel on the Bosphorus, Çira?an Palace Kempinski has a brand-new dining experience: "Sultans' Dinner", for those who are willing to enchant their guests with unique tastes and presentations, from the Ottoman era, in a real Ottoman Palace. Each and every detail has been carefully considered to define the Sultans' Dinner adventure. The experience starts with a welcoming reception accompanied by "fasil", a

classical Ottoman musical act, and "Sherbet" service, a popular beverage drink during the Ottoman Empire. The reception is followed by a rich banquet of royal delicacies, which are prepared with spectacular recipes from the Ottoman epoch, each with a unique story and presentation in the graceful "Ottoman" hall. Antique candelabras, a jardinière, a carafe from the 19th century and an imperial silver coffee set with the monogram of one of the Sultans, will be the historical highlights of this enchanting experience. Flamboyant flowers, laced plates, cutleries, napkins, glasses and special embroidered uniforms, which the experienced banqueting team will be wearing, have also been designed exclusively for this journey in time. One of Chef Gilberto's favourite places is the beautiful garden on the terrace of Il Vero Restaurant, at Grand Hotel Kempinski Geneva. Far from the usual handful of aromatic herb containers, it is 30 m long and offers more than 16 varieties of vegetables and fruits. The hotel, on the borders of Lake Geneva, is the only five-star hotel in the city offering such an arrangement, as it is their priority to produce local and fresh products of the highest quality. To keep the guests on their toes, Chef Gilberto has designed a unique dinner: when the sun comes down, his table takes over in the heart of the kitchen garden. Once guests are seated comfortably, they will be whisked away on a culinary tour of Italy, based on the market's seasonal products, with a special menu and a live cooking session. But that's not all; along the lines of using the freshest products, the hotel is also producing their own honey, straight from the hotel's rooftop, where they have setup some beehives. This honey is an ideal gift for the hotel's VIP guests. "All fivestar hotels have luxury standards. We make the difference with our personalised offers," says the General Manager, Thierry Lavalley.

Hispanic Meetings & Travel Magazine - Summer 2018  
Hispanic Meetings & Travel Magazine - Summer 2018