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March 13, 2018

Supplier News: Two Big Austin Openings

Two big venue openings in Austin lead this week's supplier news in the meetings and events industry.

fairmont austin

Fairmont Opens Biggest U.S. Hotel Next to Austin Convention Center

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has debuted its largest property in the United States: the Fairmont Austin. The new hotel has 1,048 guestrooms, five restaurants and bars, the largest outdoor pool and full service spa in Downtown Austin, a 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 is also 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 significant growth for the Group and its brands in North and Central America," said Kevin Frid, Chief Operating Officer, North & Central America, AccorHotels, in a written release. "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-to-be-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 situated in the Central Business District, amid the 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 views of the surrounding area and designs spotlighting 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, has 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 a dedicated concierge team.

In terms of dining, there is the Garrison modern American grill house; Revue, which offers seafood and Asian and Italian cuisine; and an artisanal pastry shop. Rules & Regs, located on the seven floor and overlooking Austin's cityscape, serves cocktails and other drinks. 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, snacks, food to go, and beverages.

Now Open in Austin: AT&T Hotel’s Big Expansion

The AT&T Hotel and Conference Center’s new 30,000 square feet expansion is now open in downtown Austin. The new addition includes the 15,000-square-foot Zlotnik Family Ballroom, 5,000 square feet of pre-function space, and an additional 10,000-square-feet amongst a banquet kitchen and nine meeting rooms.

The addition brings the total event space at the AT&T Hotel and Conference Center to 80,000 square feet of flexible space, which includes 53 meeting rooms, accommodating up to 1,600 people. The space is multi-functional, featuring various layout options and room sizes for meetings, conferences, weddings, graduations and other social gatherings. The new addition is also part of Robert B. Rowling Hall, which serves as the new home to The University of Texas’ McCombs School of Business graduate programs.

As part of the expansion, the property collaborated with Landmarks, commissioning a mural from the award-winning public art program of The University of Texas at Austin. The mural was created by José Parlá, the Brooklyn-based artist known for his paintings, sculpture, photography and architectural collaborations. Located in the the Zlotnik Family Ballroom’s pre-function space, the mural occupies over 4,000 square feet of surface area. It depicts Austin’s natural environment and cityscape, showcasing Parlá’s characteristic traces of collage, pulled impasto surfaces, and signature calligraphic marks.

The expansion design, led by New York-based Ennead Architects and Jacobs, headquartered in Dallas, integrates flexible spaces that aim to support innovative ways of teaching, learning, collaborating and networking. The five-story space boasts an abundance of natural light, and each floor features its own unique layout and outdoor green space including a variety of terraces and lawn areas for use. From the building, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of downtown Austin and The University of Texas campus.

The AT&T Hotel and Conference Center is owned by The University of Texas and is located at the south entrance of campus, between the UT Tower and Texas State Capitol. The 297-key property is located in downtown Austin and is central to the city’s top museums, restaurants, retail, events, festivals and nightlife. It has three on-site dining options, recently renovated guest rooms and advanced technology. 

In addition to over 80,000 square feet of meeting and event space, The AT&T Hotel and Conference Center provides access to over 500 additional guest rooms through a collaborative partnership with surrounding hotels, known as the Innovation District. With its proximity to The University of Texas, Dell Medical School and abundance of museums in the area, the Innovation District provides guests with a community of education, science, culture, art and technology.

For more information on the AT&T Hotel and Conference Center’s expansion, visit www.meetattexas.com or call 512-404-1900.

Six Senses Into St. Kitts

There's no word on meeting and event space yet, but meeting planners thinking about the Caribbean may want to keep in mind another major luxury hotel project headed to St. Kitts

Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas has announced that it intends to expand to St. Kitts by 2021.

The resort is set on the site of a former sugar cane plantation with gentle hills rolling down to a long stretch of sandy beach fronting the Caribbean Sea. All of Six Senses’ projected 70 pool villas will have sea views.

This news comes on the heels of Ritz-Carlton’s announced plans for a new luxury resort on the Caribbean island’s southeast peninsula in 2021, as part of a management agreement with The Liamuiga Corporation.

The proposed 125-room Ritz-Carlton resort will serve as the anchor of a larger development project by Liamuiga. It will be set on the beach, facing the Caribbean sea, and will also incorporate 25 Ritz-Carlton branded luxury villas and residences. Notable amenities will include a spa, several swimming pools set in the tropical landscape, indoor and outdoor dining facilities, and meeting spaces.

The Ritz-Carlton news followed the opening of the Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christophe Harbour last year. That 126-room beachfront resort is also on the island’s southeast peninsula, with all rooms and suites overlooking Banana Bay. The hotel also has three restaurants, a destination spa and indoor and outdoor event spaces.

The larger of the two-island country of St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Kitts lies in the northern part of the Leeward Islands group of the Lesser Antilles. Its volcanic origin created an 84-mile coastline of beaches and fertile interior with coconut groves and plantations.

Planners Can “Pick Their Perks” at Andaz Mayakoba

Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya is offering a variety of rewards and incentives available exclusively for group clients with their new “Pick Your Perks at Andaz Mayakoba” meetings offer. A Mexican-inspired resort in the eco-destination of Mayakoba, Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya can accommodate groups of up to 400, offering over 14,000 square feet of versatile indoor and outdoor meeting space ranging from a Caribbean beachfront setting to the 6,200-square-foot Balam Ballroom and the more intimate Andaz Studios. As a special incentive to their business and group customers, meeting and event planners who book and hold a new meeting at the resort with at least 25 guestrooms will get to choose from the following rewards based upon the total number of contracted rooms.

Meetings ranging from 25-50 guestrooms during peak dates can pick from three of the below perks. Meetings encompassing 51-150 guestrooms can choose four perks and meetings requiring 151 or more guestrooms can select five perks.

  • One complimentary room night plus one complimentary room upgrade to the next room category for every 35 rooms purchased per night
  • One complimentary VIP airport transfer for every 50 rooms purchased per night
  • One-hour welcome reception to include: National beer, margaritas, assorted sodas and water
  • 15 percent discount off spa services at Naum Wellness & Spa (excluding tax and gratuity)
  • 10 percent discount off ENCORE audiovisual services (excluding tax and labor fees)
  • Complimentary meeting space Wi-Fi
  • Double World of Hyatt Bonus Points will be honored per terms of the program
  • 30 percent attrition allowance (with history)
  • Complimentary 2-hour coffee break
  • Complimentary yoga master class
  • Complimentary group photo
  • Private group eco tour up to 12 people per boat in operating hours
  • Four (4) complimentary room nights offered for Site Visit Planning, based on standard room availability

Meeting and event planners must book at least 25 guest rooms or more with a two-night minimum stay to receive this special offer. This offer is valid for all meetings and is subject to availability. Blackout dates may apply.

Andaz Mayakoba has a dedicated event planning team. For more information email the sales department at CUNAM-RFP@andaz.com

Moxy Phoenix Tempe Offers Custom Cocktails for Groups

The Moxy Phoenix Tempe, the first U.S. hotel for Marriott International’s Moxy lifestyle hotel brand, is rolling out a new program of activities for meeting groups and business travelers this spring and summer. 

moxy phoenix tempeAimed at “the modern business traveler,” according to a statement by Marriott, the hotel has over 4,500 square feet of meeting space with a number of out-of-the-box touches, such as unique seating arrangements with beanbags or couches or chalkboard walls used as an alternative to the traditional whiteboard. 

The hotel is also now offering groups booking events the ability to customize and name their own unique drinks and cocktails. The property is also providing guitars for creativity-inspiring riffs during breaks. 

This summer, the hotel is launching a new lineup of activities, ranging from Live & Local to Backlight Bingo to Karaoke events, designed to reduce stress while boosting creativity, building community and inspiring happiness. 

The property has 186 guestrooms with Netflix-ready TVs, as well as a “living room” social hub with extensive communal space, flexible seating areas, fast Wi-Fi and plenty of power outlets. In The NOW public space, business travelers can relax with a selection of game tables ranging from Pac-Man to pinball and board games, as well as a rental station offering classic vinyls. 

The bar serves as a centerpiece of the hotel, acting as a check-in counter and also serving cocktails, grab-and-go bites and coffee at all hours. Guests can also opt for keyless entry through the Marriott Mobile App. The hotel also offers a free Uber Central service for airport transfers. 

Other amenities include communal ironing rooms and a 24-hour gym with a complete range of equipment, including boxing workers and an on-screen fitness trainer. Complimentary cruisers and a courtyard pool also offer options for going outside. 

ALHI Adds Midwest, Canada Sales Exec

Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) has expanded its global sales team with the addition of David Almond as regional vice president of sales – Midwest U.S. & Canada. Based in ALHI’s global sales office in Chicago, Illinois, he now leads and oversees ALHI’s Global Sales teams located in Chicago; Kansas City, Missouri; Louisville, Kentucky; and Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The announcement of Almond’s appointment was made by ALHI’s Chief Sales Officer Mark Sergot.

Prior to joining ALHI, Almond served as the director of sales and marketing for the 792-room InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, a member of ALHI’s portfolio. Previous to that he served as area director of sales and marketing for Starwood Hotels of Downtown Chicago, with area responsibility for the Sheraton Chicago, Westin River North, Westin Michigan Avenue, W Chicago Lakeshore, W Chicago City Center and the Tremont Hotel. His experience also includes serving as director of sales for Hiltons of Chicago, where he represented Hilton Chicago, Palmer House Hilton, Hilton O’Hare, Conrad Chicago, Drake and Embassy Suites Lakefront. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from The Pennsylvania State University, and may be reached at (630) 880-1175 or dalmond@alhi.com

ALHI’s luxury portfolio includes more than 150 hotels and resorts in the U.S. and Canada; 38 in Western Europe; 13 in Eastern Europe; 33 in Asia; 13 in the Middle East; 9 in Africa; 17 in the Bahamas, Bermuda, Caribbean region and Mexico; and four in South America.

Visit alhi.com

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