Current News

Check out the latest news from around the world by the industry's movers and shakers.

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Current News

July 09, 2024
New SITE research reveals insider insights from corporate planners on incentive travel trends for 2024 and beyond

Chicago—The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) is thrilled to announce the launch of its latest research project, aimed at providing unparalleled insights into the evolving landscape of incentive travel and motivational events.

SITE's new snapshot report, "Incentive Travel & Motivational Events," dives into the current trends, challenges, and opportunities faced by corporate planners who are at the forefront of designing impactful incentive experiences. 

This comprehensive study, supported by Hilton, reflects the perspectives of nearly 100 global corporate event organizers and promises to be a crucial resource for industry professionals.

SITE CEO Annette Gregg emphasizes the importance of this research in her statement: “In today’s dynamic and rapidly changing event landscape, staying informed through data-driven insights is more critical than ever. Our latest study offers a detailed view of what’s on the minds of industry professionals who are responsible for creating memorable and effective incentive travel programs. We are proud to partner with Hilton to bring this invaluable information to our members and industry colleagues.”

The study covers a range of topics, including destination selection criteria, planners’ educational backgrounds, and key factors influencing the success of incentive events. It also highlights preferred partnerships and collaboration strategies that lead to the best outcomes for these events.

Kim Napolitano, Executive Director, Industry Relations & Intermediary Group Sales for Hilton, shares her enthusiasm for the project: “At Hilton, we recognize the critical role that incentive travel plays in driving motivation and business success. Supporting actionable research like this is a cornerstone of our commitment to the incentive industry. We believe that informed, data-driven insights are essential for strategic decision-making and planning. This report provides a comprehensive view of current trends and challenges, and we hope it serves as a valuable resource for planners and suppliers alike.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • Destination selection: safety, health, and security are now as crucial as destination appeal and infrastructure.
  • Professional development: a significant portion of planners have over a decade of experience, highlighting the depth of expertise in the industry.
  • Partnerships: DMCs and hotel representatives are seen as vital partners, more so than local affiliate offices.

The full report is available for download on SITEGlobal.com, and the organization encourages feedback and discussions to continue shaping the future of the incentive travel industry.

About SITE
The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) is the only global network dedicated to linking professionals in the incentive travel and motivational events industry with the insights and connections they need to improve their business results. With over 2,000 members in 90 countries, SITE provides research, education, and networking opportunities that help members grow their careers and their businesses.

About Hilton
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 24 world-class brands comprising more than 7,600 properties and nearly 1.2  million rooms, in 126 countries and territories.

Dedicated to fulfilling its founding vision to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality, Hilton has welcomed over 3 billion guests in its more than 100-year history, was named the No. 1 World’s Best Workplace by Great Place to Work and Fortune, and has been recognized as a global leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for seven consecutive years. Hilton has introduced industry-leading technology enhancements to improve the guest experience, including Digital Key Share, automated complimentary room upgrades and the ability to book confirmed connecting rooms. Through the award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors, the nearly 190 million Hilton Honors members who book directly with Hilton can earn Points for hotel stays and experiences money can't buy. With the free Hilton Honors app, guests can book their stay, select their room, check in, unlock their door with a Digital Key and check out, all from their smartphone. Visit stories.hilton.com for more information, and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.   

This press release marks an exciting development in SITE's ongoing commitment to advancing the incentive travel industry through research and collaboration.

July 09, 2024
Iberostar Beachfront Resorts Unveils New Hotel Branding Approach
  • Iberostar Waves, Iberostar Selection and JOIA by Iberostar are the three new brand segments all with Iberostar's dedication to quality, service and its strong social and environmental commitment. 
  • Enables customers to select the hotels, experiences, and services that best suit their beachfront holiday aspirations.

Palma de Mallorca—Iberostar Beachfront Resorts today announces an important evolution of its brand identity and hotel portfolio segmentation. This development reinforces the company’s commitment to creating happy and memorable holiday experiences for its customers. The updated approach is embedded with five strategic pillars: Exceptional Quality, Effortless Experiences, Service with Heart, Moments that Matter and Sustainably Positive.

Three brand segments have been carefully designed to help customers find the most suitable hotel, experiences, and services for their beachfront vacation needs: 

  • Iberostar Waves: playful, open and reassuring, ideal for families and active beach-bound couples. 
  • Iberostar Selection: offering generous, relaxed and uplifting holiday experiences, ideal for premium-loving families and couples. 
  • JOIA by Iberostar: a luxurious collection of resorts offering personalized service, exquisitely delivered.

Phil Mc Aveety, CEO of Iberostar Hotels & Resorts said:  “We are excited to share this Brand evolution, reflecting our aspirations for the future. We are in the business of "Creating Happy and Memorable Holiday Experiences". This renewed promise to our guests is supported by a refreshed segmentation of our portfolio and an evolution of our brand identity. Informed by invaluable feedback from our partners, our loyal guests and employees, this realignment reflects our purpose: To Champion Positive Change through Positive Tourism”. 

The new segmentation will be rolled out across the portfolio over the next few months. Iberostar Waves Gaviotas Park (Fuerteventura) will be the first opening of the chain's Iberostar Waves segment this August; JOIA Aruba by Iberostar, the company's first resort on the Caribbean island, is scheduled to open later this year and will become the flagship of the JOIA segment. The new approach is already visible in some of the company's latest openings, such as the Iberostar Selection Creta Marine hotel on the Greek island. 

Note to editor: Link to video and images.

Source: Iberostar Hotels & Resorts 

July 09, 2024
Montréal crowned top city in the Americas for international meetings by the Union of International Associations (UIA)

Montreal/CNW/—Montréal ranks at the top again! For the seventh consecutive year, the Union of International Associations (UIA) has named Montréal the top city in the Americas for international meetings.

This recognition comes just weeks after Montréal was named the best destination for international association events in North America by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA).

Montréal's international standing as a premier city for organizing conferences and meetings is the result of the collaborative efforts of Tourisme Montréal, the Palais des congrès de Montréal, and all stakeholders involved in the development of business tourism.

"These accolades are a source of great pride and reflect the outstanding work done by our teams to attract and host conferences and business meetings in our city. I am confident that we will continue to excel in these rankings and develop business tourism, which represents not only an economic opportunity but also the beneficial sharing of scientific knowledge for future generations," said Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal.

"This recognition speaks to Tourisme Montréal's and the Palais's unwavering commitment to providing an exceptional experience. Beyond the economic, intellectual, and social benefits, it is Montréal's creativity, open-mindedness, and expertise that continue to shine globally," said Emmanuelle Legault, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal.

Montréal also ranks among the top 20 cities worldwide hosting the most international association meetings. In 2023, after hosting over 8,000 meetings, the UIA placed Montréal ahead of cities such as Washington, Toronto, Buenos Aires, and Mexico.

About Tourisme Montréal 
Tourisme Montréal is a 100-year-old private, non-profit organization that works to position Montréal as an international-calibre leisure and business travel destination. To this end, the organization is piloting innovative hospitality strategies with a two-fold objective: ensuring that visitors enjoy a memorable experience and maximizing tourism economic spin-offs in a sustainable way with long-term impacts for the city. Uniting nearly 1,000 businesses and organizations working directly or indirectly in tourism, Tourisme Montréal plays a leading role in the management and development of Montréal's tourism business, and makes recommendations on issues surrounding the city's economic, urban and cultural development. For more information, go to www.mtl.org.

About the Palais des congrès de Montréal
A creative solutions centre and a showcase for the city's spirit and expertise, the Palais des congrès de Montréal has been promoting and hosting large-scale events since 1983. Generating significant economic, social and intellectual benefits, it encourages innovation and acts as a force for progress for both Montréal and Québec. The Palais is firmly committed to sustainability and takes numerous innovative, concrete steps to make it a central component of its business development. With one of the highest customer satisfaction rates in the world, the Palais actively contributes to the international reputation of Montréal, the top host city for international events in America for six years in a row. congresmtl.com

SOURCE Tourisme Montréal

For further information: For media inquiries: Aurélie de Blois, Corporate communications, public and media relations, Tourisme Montréal, 514 918-5290, adeblois@mtl.org; Sébastien Zickgraf, Advisor and Writer, Communications and Public Affairs, Palais des congrès de Montréal, media@congresmtl.com

July 09, 2024
Marriott International Launches ‘Business Access by Marriott Bonvoy’ To Ease Travel Management Process for Small to Medium-Sized Businesses

Marriott International today announced the launch of Business Access by Marriott Bonvoy™ (“the Program”), a comprehensive online travel booking program designed as a direct channel for small to medium-sized businesses. The Program combines an expanded booking experience with benefits and rewards available only through Marriott Bonvoy’s award-winning travel program and portfolio of brands. Starting today, Business Access by Marriott Bonvoy is available to small to medium-sized businesses based in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America and is anticipated to expand to other regions.

According to a global survey commissioned by Marriott Bonvoy® and conducted by Wakefield Research among business travelers at small to medium-sized businesses in the U.S., UK, Canada, and Mexico,1 75% report experiencing frustrations with their travel booking platforms. 56% say they are difficult to use, 27% are unhappy with the inability to book travel and hotels from the same place, and more than a quarter (27%) express disappointment with the platforms’ lack of integration with their travel expense programs. In fact, 58% are so unwilling to work within their current programs that they would rather ask for forgiveness than permission for booking outside their companies’ travel management platforms.

With Business Access by Marriott Bonvoy, companies have the ability to book hotels in the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio at a discounted rate, as well as flights, rail, and rental cars, within one easy-to-use multilingual tool. The Program includes additional features that satisfy business needs, such as access to live traveler data, real-time reporting, and expense management.

“We recognize the significant value small businesses provide to the hotel industry, which is why we’re excited to combine the benefits of our award-winning travel program with a comprehensive suite of tools in Business Access by Marriott Bonvoy,” said Drew Pinto, Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue and Technology Officer, Marriott International. “Whether small to medium-sized businesses are looking for convenient online booking capabilities for their employees or better expense management solutions, the all-in-one platform, merged with our portfolio of hotel brands around the world, provides everything they need to manage their business travel needs.”

With a seamless experience at every step, companies can now take their travel to the next level and benefit from the following features:

  • Discounted Marriott Bonvoy Rates and Awards: Small to medium-sized businesses that join Business Access by Marriott Bonvoy will be eligible to select a discount at hotels in the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio around the world (subject to availability) while earning points for future stays at participating hotels, room upgrades, and more. Participating businesses can also receive Marriott Bonvoy Elite status awards after certain companywide usage thresholds are reached. These status awards can be gifted to employees, who can enjoy the benefits that each Marriott Bonvoy Elite status level provides to members.

Small businesses that have the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, the Marriott Bonvoy Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase, or the Marriott Bonvoy Business Credit Card from Chase are also invited to apply for Business Access by Marriott Bonvoy. All Marriott Bonvoy Business Credit Card Members who join the Program can continue to enjoy the benefits of their Cards.

  • Elevated Shopping Experience: The online booking tool serves as a one-stop shop for small to medium-sized business travelers to compare, book, manage, and change Marriott Bonvoy hotel, flight, rail, and car rental reservations all within one integrated platform that supports compliance with their companies’ travel policies.
  • Customizable Travel Policies: Travel managers can take control of their companies’ travel policies and ensure compliance with spending limits. From setting clear guidelines for their unique needs to managing expenses, the self-service tool makes it easy for managers to make changes.
  • Global Travel Policy Management and Reporting: Real-time analytics empower managers with detailed insights on travel spend, sustainability reporting and behavior so they can make policy adjustments.
  • Traveler Health and Safety Monitoring: The travel insights tool gives managers the ability to monitor the well-being and safety of employees on the move. Managers can view interactive maps to stay informed of potential disruptions and proactively mitigate risks, helping keep teams safe and their businesses running smoothly.
  • Expense Management Solutions: Businesses that sign up for Business Access by Marriott Bonvoy will have the option to use an expense management tool. Travelers can choose to integrate the Program with existing expense management platforms and submit payments with virtual credit card They can also automate expense reports based on set policies, making it easy for managers to approve and reconcile expenses.
  • Access to Marriott Bonvoy Benefits: Employees of small and medium-sized businesses who join Business Access by Marriott Bonvoy will have full access to the offerings of Marriott Bonvoy, Marriott International’s award-winning travel program and marketplace. Members can take advantage of benefits such as member rates, free breakfast, late checkout, mobile check-in, mobile keys, and mobile chat on the Marriott Bonvoy mobile app, free in-room Wi-Fi, room upgrades and more, subject to availability. Additionally, members can earn points at properties participating in Marriott Bonvoy globally and enjoy free stays by redeeming points or a combination of points and cash or use points to bid on Marriott Bonvoy Moments® experiences.

Business Access by Marriott Bonvoy is powered by Spotnana, a Travel-as-a-Service platform modernizing the infrastructure of the travel industry.

For more information on Business Access by Marriott Bonvoy or to apply for the Program, visit www.marriott.com/businessaccess.

1 The Marriott Business Travelers Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research between May 22 and May 29, 2024, among 1,500 business travelers at small to medium-sized companies in the U.S., UK, Canada, and Mexico, with “business travelers” defined as those taking a business-related trip requiring an overnight stay in the past 12 months, using an email invitation and an online survey. “Small companies” are defined as those with fewer than 1,000 employees, and “midsize companies” are defined as those with 1,000-4,999 employees.

Source: Marriott International

July 09, 2024
The Parkside Hotel & Spa Now a Signatory of the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism

Leading the Way in Sustainable Tourism and Climate Action

Victoria, BC/CNW/—The Parkside Hotel & Spa announced today that it has become a signatory of the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism. This significant milestone marks The Parkside Hotel & Spa's unwavering commitment to aligning its operations with global scientific recommendations and international agreements to combat climate change.

The Glasgow Declaration is a unified call to action for all stakeholders within the travel and tourism sector to address the urgent need for climate action collaboratively. It encourages a shared commitment to reducing emissions in tourism by at least 50% over the next decade and achieving Net Zero as soon as possible before 2050.

By signing the Glasgow Declaration, The Parkside Hotel & Spa joins a global network of tourism leaders dedicated to a shared vision of climate action. The hotel will develop and implement climate action plans within 12 months, aligned with the five pathways of the Declaration—Measure, Decarbonize, Regenerate, Collaborate and Finance. Additionally, the hotel will ensure transparency and accountability by publicly reporting progress annually while fostering a collaborative spirit, working with other signatories to share best practices, solutions and information to accelerate the tourism sector's response to the climate emergency.

"The Parkside Hotel & Spa is honoured to join the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism," said General Manager Trina White. "This commitment reflects our dedication to sustainable practices and our belief in the collective power of the tourism sector to drive meaningful change. We are excited to collaborate with our peers to achieve a sustainable future."

ABOUT THE PARKSIDE HOTEL & SPA 
The Parkside Hotel & Spa is dedicated to promoting a sustainable urban way of life, actively seeking and implementing eco-friendly measures to improve the guest experience while striving to minimize the property's environmental footprint.

As a carbon-neutral, all-suite hotel, accommodations at The Parkside feature fully equipped kitchens and kitchenettes, washers and dryers, private balconies, gas fireplaces, separate sleeping areas and plenty of space to relax and unwind. Amenities include various meeting and event spaces, a wellness centre (featuring an onsite spa, 25-metre indoor pool, hot tub, and fitness centre), a private movie theatre, a rooftop patio with fire pits, along with Tre Fantastico Bistro. Uniquely Parkside—and fondly referred to as the hotel's heart—the atrium is home to hundreds of plant species and koi. 

The Parkside Hotel & Spa is a member of the Beyond Green collection. Learn more by visiting www.parksidevictoria.com

ABOUT BEYOND GREEN
Guided by a passion for embracing travel as a force for good, Beyond Green is a global portfolio of planet Earth's most sustainable hotels. To create a more purposeful way to explore the world where good guests meet good hosts, Beyond Green has curated a unique portfolio of hotels, resorts, and lodges based on their commitment to delivering on the three pillars of sustainable tourism: environmentally friendly practices that go beyond the basics; protection of natural and cultural heritage; and contribution to the social and economic wellbeing of local communities. To be considered for membership in Beyond Green, a property is vetted according to more than 50 sustainability indicators that align with global sustainable tourism standards and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Owned and operated by Preferred Travel Group – the family-owned company that manages and operates other hospitality brands, including Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Historic Hotels of America, and Historic Hotels Worldwide – Beyond Green ushers in a new way to experience genuine hospitality by the people for the planet. For more information, visit www.StayBeyondGreen.com.  

SOURCE The Parkside Hotel & Spa Ltd.

July 08, 2024
Liberty Entertainment Group recognized with 2024 Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards across all properties

-- New awards to DaNico and Blue Bovine, repeat awards for Don Alfonso 1890 Toronto, BlueBlood Steakhouse and Cibo Wine Bars --

Toronto, ON—Liberty Entertainment Group is proud to announce that all its restaurant properties have been honored for their outstanding wine programs in Wine Spectator’s 2024 Restaurant Awards, which celebrate the world’s best restaurants for wine. Launched in 1981, the Restaurant Awards represent the world’s only program focused exclusively on restaurant wine service. Offering meticulously curated wine lists, deep-rooted connections with winemakers and more, each award winner shows a commitment to exceptional wine and dining experiences. 

This year, Liberty Group’s newest properties, award-winning Danico and Blue Bovine Steak and Sushi House  both earned the coveted Best Of Excellence Awards. Best of Excellence Award recipients are noted for displaying excellent breadth across multiple winegrowing regions and/or significant vertical depth of top producers, along with superior presentation.

Don Alfonso 1890 Toronto, the Michelin-starred fine dining jewel in Liberty Group’s crown, has also once again received the Best of Award of Excellence, in addition to the company’s award-winning BlueBlood Steakhouse, located in Toronto’s historic landmark, Casa Loma. 

The company’s three locations of Cibo Wine Bar (Yonge Street, Yorkville and King Street West) featuring handmade, rustic Italian cuisine in a relaxed, modern setting, were again named with the Award of Excellence, recognizing restaurants whose wine lists feature a well-chosen assortment of quality producers along with a thematic match to the menu, in both price and style.

“We are thrilled to be celebrated for our comprehensive wine programs across all properties by Wine Spectator, the world’s leading authority on wine,” said Nick Di Donato, president and CEO, Liberty Entertainment Group. “These respected awards underscore our commitment to offering the very best in international wine pairings for our different menus, and also reinforce our ongoing dedication to providing exceptional world-class dining experiences here in Toronto.”

About Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator is the world’s leading authority on wine. Anchored by Wine Spectator magazine, a print publication that reaches around 3 million readers worldwide, the brand also encompasses the Web’s most comprehensive wine site (WineSpectator.com), mobile platforms and a series of signature events. Wine Spectator examines the world of wine from the vineyard to the table, exploring wine’s role in contemporary culture and delivering expert reviews. Parent company M. Shanken Communications, Inc., also publishes Cigar Aficionado, Whisky Advocate, Market Watch, Shanken News Daily and Shanken’s Impact Newsletter. Follow the Restaurant Awards onInstagram (@wsrestaurantawards), with hashtag #WSRestaurantAward, and at Restaurants.WineSpectator.com, where all winners can be searched by location and sorted by attributes including name, proximity, award level, cuisine and pricing. Winners are also profiled in the free Restaurant Awards app, available for iPhone and iPad users. 

About Liberty Entertainment Group
For over three decades the Liberty Entertainment Group -- led by Nick Di Donato -- has redefined Toronto’s restaurant, nightlife and special event experience. As developers and operators of numerous landmark establishments, the company is recognized as one of the most successful and innovative in the industry. It continues to achieve success for its impressive roster of venues including Toronto’s premier special event facilities, Casa Loma and Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex. Liberty Entertainment Group is also responsible for the development of Toronto’s most prolific restaurants including BlueBlood Steakhouse, Don Alfonso 1890, DaNico, three Cibo Wine Bar locations (King West, Yonge St and Yorkville) and Blue Bovine Steak and Sushi House at Union Station. With over 500,000 square feet of hospitality space, the company caters to a diverse clientele of upwards of 1.75 million people per year including A-list celebrities, sports personalities and industry leaders. Visit www.libertygroup.com and on social media @libertygroup #libertygroup.

Media: For more information, additional visuals, video or to arrange an interview with Liberty Entertainment Group president and CEO, Nick Di Donato, contact Susan Willemsen at The Siren Group Inc. Tel: 416-461-1567. M: 416-402-4880. Email: susan@thesirengroup.com.

July 03, 2024
Introducing LANO: A New Cafe + Wine Bar Concept in the Heart of The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto

Opening September 2024, LANO introduces morning to night concept in the lobby of The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto, establishing a new destination for hospitality in the city 

Toronto, ON—The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto, the esteemed five-star luxury hotel renowned for its unparalleled hospitality, is thrilled to announce the grand opening of LANO, a captivating cafe and wine bar nestled within the elegant confines of the hotel's lobby. Set to debut in September 2024 and introducing a venue that seamlessly embodies the essence of northern Italian charm, LANO, the latest addition to The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto, promises to enrich the hotel's culinary experience. This innovative concept marks a pivotal moment in The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto’s journey, symbolizing its commitment to redefining luxury experiences and hospitality for its clientele as part of an overall hotel refresh, including a newly designed lobby, that will be unveiled with the opening of LANO.

LANO, a contraction of Milano, pays homage to the rich cultural heritage of Northern Italy in a cafe and wine bar setting. An authentic Northern Italian experience will be led by the expertise of Ignatius Prinsloo, Executive Sous Chef and Alessandro Panattoni, Chef de Cuisine (who hails from the region), meticulously sourcing Italian ingredients and with a commitment to authenticity, freshness, and quality. From morning to night, guests will be transported to the bustling cafes of Milan or Turin, engaging their senses from the aroma of freshly brewed espresso to the last sip of wine.

LANO’s menu is thoughtfully crafted to evolve seamlessly throughout the day, offering a diverse array of culinary delights paired with a unique selection of 30 Italian wines, and also features traditional Italian cocktails. Whether it's a quick grab-and-go espresso and pastry, a leisurely lunch featuring salads and antipasti, or a pre-theatre rendezvous for a glass of wine, there's something to satisfy every palate at LANO.
“LANO is a testament to our team's dedication to constantly create unique and authentic experiences for our guests, inspired by storytelling and delivered through service, design and craftsmanship,” said Guillaume Benezech, General Manager, The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto. “LANO's varied offering and inviting atmosphere will enhance our existing culinary options, meeting the expectations of both our local community and hotel guests.”

Designed by leading design firm CHAPI CHAPO DESIGN, the design inspiration for LANO was drawn from the rich cultural tapestry that defines the city of Milan. The design inspiration was also drawn from both the physical insights of the property's location and the social insights of its refined glamour. Situated in a city known for its vibrant culture and lush green spaces, the hotel's design incorporates elements that reflect Toronto's unique blend of urban sophistication and natural beauty. The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto boasts a beautiful park-like back terrace complemented by a park in the front, enhancing its ambiance as a city within a park and a hotel within a park. These natural retreats offer havens amidst the city's noise and bustling energy.

"We envisioned a chic culinary stop that seamlessly fits into the fast-paced lifestyle of the city. The design draws inspiration from European aesthetics, offering a refined atmosphere where guests can enjoy a quick yet delightful experience,” said Tatiana Sheveleva, Partner of CHAPI CHAPO DESIGN. “Every element has been carefully selected to enhance a quick dining experience,” continued Loris Ognibene, Project Director. “From the delicate lighting to the sleek furniture, our goal was to design a space that feels approachable and timeless, much like Toronto itself."

LANO is set to join The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto’s current lineup of culinary destinations including TOCA and EPOCH Bar + Kitchen Terrace, and will open in September 2024. 

For more information visit: https://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/canada/toronto

About The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto: In downtown Toronto, a hotel that embodies luxury with five-star amenities, attentive service and access to top attractions. The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto embraces the cosmopolitan edge of the city alongside its luxury heritage to offer an elegant escape in the heart of downtown. Here, guests can explore different cuisines at TOCA and EPOCH Bar & Kitchen Terrace, or be pampered at Spa myBlend and enjoy locally inspired experiences in The Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge. Toronto’s biggest attractions, shopping, restaurants, nightlife and an array of diverse neighbourhoods, await just outside. 

Media Contacts:

NKPR
Nathan Marchio
Vice-President, Hospitality 
Nathan@nkpr.net 

Jessica Mallett
Account Director 
Jessicam@nkpr.net 

Billie Thompson
Account Coordinator 
Billie@nkpr.net

July 02, 2024
Amrit Ocean Resort, Florida’s Newest Luxury Wellness Destination, Sets New Standard for Oceanfront Meetings and Event Spaces

Palm Beach, FL—Amrit Ocean Resort, the newly opened beachfront wellness resort on Palm Beach County’s Singer Island, introduces unparalleled meeting and event spaces that offer transformative experiences, thanks to a one-of-a-kind approach to wellness rooted in restorative modalities that blend Eastern philosophy with Western luxury. With 10,000 square feet of indoor meeting space and nearly 3.5 acres of flexible oceanfront outdoor space, including 300 feet of private shoreline, the resort is ready to host groups, special events and weddings for customized experiences, retreats and packages designed for mindful gatherings.

Spanning seven beachfront acres along the Atlantic Ocean, enhanced by sand dunes and wildlife preservation areas, this revolutionary next-generation property, managed by Highgate, anchors all offerings in five core pillars of wellness: mindfulness, nutrition, fitness, relaxation and sleep. These guiding principles inspire every aspect of the guest experience, from the transformative Amrit Wellness & Spa, 103,000 square feet of wellness and spa facilities spanning four floors, to 155 wellness-inspired guest rooms and five distinct dining concepts. The resort’s meeting and event spaces and programming also reflect this philosophy, ensuring a holistic experience for guests as they embark on a journey toward improved physical, emotional and mental well-being. Guests can choose from a variety of traditional spa and integrated wellness treatments, including ashiatsu and shiatsu massages, reiki experiences, reflexology, manual lymphatic drainage, cranial sacral therapy, myofascial release, facials, flotation therapy, acupuncture, sound wave therapy, plus color and light therapy. Amrit’s state-of-the-art fitness center features a 3,500-square-foot main cardio studio equipped with Matrix equipment, along with six additional breakout studios for group fitness and wellness classes such as yoga, meditation, mat Pilates, indoor cycling, barre, movement and cardio.

“In an effort to embrace a healthy lifestyle and conduct business from a more centered place, Amrit event attendees have full access to our resort’s state-of-the-art bespoke wellness programming,” said Reggie Cooper, general manager of Amrit Ocean Resort. “Enhance your meeting or event with our integrated health offerings, including thorough, targeted health assessments in personal wellness, nutrition, Bio-Well energy flow, metabolic fitness and more, conducted by on-site certified experts who assist guests in creating their personal wellness roadmap.”

Conceptualized by interior design firm Bilkey Llinas Design, Amrit’s event spaces are meticulously designed to evoke feelings of peace and tranquility while ensuring functionality and seamless flow. Upon entering Amrit’s lobby, guests can descend to the event spaces through designated elevators or the grand spiral staircase adorned by a stunning chandelier. At the heart of the event spaces is the Hibiscus Foyer, an inviting space abundant in natural light and embellished with “floating” glass pendants that create the illusion of being in a lantern garden. Custom-made Thai carpeting features colors and patterns reminiscent of the ocean, waves and sand, while natural wood accents and textured walls pay homage to the serene shores of Singer Island. The thoughtful design ensures exclusivity with several private rooms for breakout sessions and direct access to the meeting spaces directly from the guest rooms.

Amrit’s 10,000 square feet of indoor meeting space includes five main areas: 

  • Adjacent to the Hibiscus Foyer lies the property’s premier ballroom, Hibiscus, which is sure to be revered as the crown jewel of ballrooms in Palm Beach County. Set against the backdrop of an enchanting tropical escape, the space boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, flooding the space with natural light. Spanning 4,300 square feet, Hibiscus also has direct access to a terrace, facilitating effortless transitions for guests between indoor and outdoor spaces. Hibiscus can accommodate more than 300 guests, making it an ideal choice for large corporate events and weddings.
  • The 860-square-foot Lotus Room boasts floor to ceiling windows plus direct access to TAAZA, the hotel’s beachside restaurant. This arrangement offers endless possibilities for indoor-outdoor events with seamless flow between spaces. It fits 30 guests for a theater setup and 22 for a boardroom-style setup. 
  • Jasmine Room features 800 square feet of meeting space that can hold 90 guests in a theater setup and 28 in a boardroom table. 
  • Magnolia Room is a 660-square-foot meeting room that can accommodate a theater setup for 80 guests or a boardroom-style meeting for 24. 
  • Iris Room is 485 square feet and can hold a 40-guest theater setup or an intimate 16-guest boardroom meeting. 

Aligned with Amrit’s health and wellness ethos, the resort’s culinary team, overseen by Chef Simon Apollonio, offers menus that promote health, vitality and balanced nutrition with the option for customization according to each event’s needs. Amrit also provides state-of-the-art audiovisual capabilities in partnership with SNS Staging, ensuring the smooth execution of presentations and events. For organizations looking to host corporate retreats, Amrit Ocean Resort also offers a proprietary Personal Wellness Support System (PWSS), a revolutionary, one-of-a-kind patented wellness platform that provides guests with a wholly personalized wellness experience and coaching before, during and after their stay.

“We truly are a Singer Island sanctuary redefining wellness and luxury, providing a transformational journey for event, meeting and wedding attendees with a multilayered approach to wellness, work-life balance and productivity that elevates the mind, body and spirit,” continues Cooper. “Start out with morning movement, including fitness, yoga, meditation or a walk on the beach, followed by breakout sessions in nature, a healthy lunch, fresh juice and mocktails before unwinding in our world-class spa, which includes a 1,200-square-foot hammam and a 40,000-square-foot indoor-outdoor Aayush hydrotherapy circuit.”

In honor of Amrit’s recent opening, the resort is offering an incentive where group guests can receive a $100 resort credit per guest, per stay to use toward on-site dining or wellness and spa offerings. Groups must book by December 31, 2024 in order to take advantage of this offer.

Just a 20-minute drive from Palm Beach International Airport and less than 60 miles from the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Amrit offers easy access via shared rides and other car services. Additionally, the resort is within 20 minutes of the West Palm Beach Brightline station, which serves the high-speed passenger train linking Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Aventura and Orlando to West Palm Beach. 

For more details about hosting a meeting or event at Amrit, click here, email meetings@amritocean.com or call 561.209.7200. For more information on Amrit Ocean Resort or to make reservations, visit amritocean.com or call 844.692.6748.

About Amrit Ocean Resort & Residences
Amrit Ocean Resort & Residences is a next-generation luxury wellness resort in Florida spanning seven beachfront acres of Palm Beach County’s picturesque Singer Island. Merging Eastern principles with Western luxury, Amrit’s offerings are inspired by five pillars of wellness: mindfulness, nutrition, fitness, relaxation and sleep. The resort features over 103,000 square feet of wellness and spa facilities spanning four floors, where a team of wellness coaches creates comprehensive programming to achieve an optimized, personalized wellness roadmap according to guests’ needs and goals. Highlights include the Aayush hydrothermal circuit, the only indoor-outdoor one of its kind in Florida; 25 treatment rooms; a 1,200-square-foot hammam; and the Personal Wellness Support System (PWSS), a patented wellness platform that provides personal wellness coaching before, during and after a guest’s stay. The property also features five wellness-inspired dining concepts, including AYRE, an entirely vegan and ayurvedic-focused restaurant; TULĀ, the resort’s main restaurant offering breakfast and dinner; LALA, Amrit’s lobby lounge and bar; TAAZA, the beachfront restaurant; and Jeevi, a grab-and-go lobby market and coffee shop. Amrit also features a landscaped third-level pool with cabanas, daybeds and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, plus over 10,000 square feet of event space with meeting and conference capabilities, including signature healthy events and wellness wedding programs. Amrit is part of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts L.V.X. collection, representing renowned properties that feature the finest accommodations coupled with attentive, engaging and exclusive personal service. For more information, visit amritocean.com.

About Highgate
Highgate is a leading global real estate investment and hospitality management company widely recognized as an innovator in the industry. Highgate is the dominant player in major U.S. gateway cities including New York, Boston, Miami, San Francisco and Honolulu, with a growing footprint in Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. The hospitality-forward company provides expert guidance through all stages of the property cycle, from planning and development through recapitalization or disposition. Highgate has a proven record of developing its diverse portfolio of bespoke lifestyle hotel brands, legacy brands, and independent hotels and resorts with contemporary programming and digital acumen. The company utilizes industry-leading revenue management tools that efficiently identify and predict evolving market dynamics to drive outperformance and maximize asset value. With an executive team consisting of some of the most experienced hotel management leaders, the company is a trusted partner for top ownership groups and major hotel brands. Highgate maintains corporate offices in New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, Seattle, Waikiki, London and Lisbon. www.highgate.com

July 02, 2024
Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto International Airport Named Leading Airport Hotel in Canada by World Travel Awards

Toronto/CNW/—The Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto International Airport has received top accolades from the internationally recognized World Travel Awards. Located in Terminal 3 of Toronto Pearson Airport, the hotel has been named Canada and Ontario's Leading Airport Hotel. The dual awards come just two years after a complete renovation for the popular hotel which features rooms and suites with breathtaking views of the runway, a dramatic art-filled lobby, a lively restaurant where the diverse flavors of Toronto are reflected in its exciting, Canadian-inspired menu and a Sheraton Club Lounge open 24 hours a day.

According to General Manager Craig Reaume, earning the award was a team effort.

"We are so honoured to be recognized in this way by the World Travel Awards," says Craig. "We want to extend our thanks to guests who appreciate the charm of gazing out from their room to see airplanes coming and going from across the globe. Secondly, to our incredible associates who provide the same warm welcome to visitors whether they arrive late or depart early. And finally, to our owners at Knightstone Capital Management who had a strong vision of what a modern airport hotel could be. They understood that a property like ours is more than just a place to sleep, it is a place where journeys begin and end."

Toronto Pearson Airport is the busiest airport in Canada and the Sheraton Gateway Hotel is the only property located in the terminal, joined to Terminal 3 by a convenient walkway. Passengers for Terminal 1 flights can take the Terminal Link Train without ever leaving the building or having to brave the elements during Canadian winter, wait for a shuttle or park miles away.

World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all key sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Today, the World Travel Awards brand is recognized globally as the ultimate hallmark of industry excellence.

About Sheraton Hotels & Resorts
Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott International, Inc., makes it easy for guests to feel part of something special at nearly 450 hotels in over 70 countries and territories around the world. As the most global brand within Marriott International's portfolio sitting at the center of hundreds of communities around the world, Sheraton has a rich heritage in creating a sense of belonging for guests, wherever they are in the world. Sheraton Hotels & Resorts is currently undergoing a major brand transformation at properties around the world to bring its signature community experience up-to-date for the next generation of travelers. The new vision for Sheraton features intuitive design, tech-forward experiences and upgrades to everything from guest rooms to F&B. To learn more, visit www.sheraton.com. Stay connected to Sheraton on Facebook, and @sheratonhotels on Twitter and Instagram. Sheraton is proud to participate in Marriott Bonvoy, the global travel program from Marriott International. The program offers members an extraordinary portfolio of global brands, exclusive experiences on Marriott Bonvoy Moments and unparalleled benefits including free nights and Elite status recognition. To enroll for free or for more information about the program, visit MarriottBonvoy.marriott.com.

SOURCE Sheraton Gateway in Toronto International Airport

June 27, 2024
Marketplace Events Acquires 31 Shows from Master Promotions in Largest Acquisition to Date

Brings total portfolio to 111 events: 66 US and 45 in Canada

Toronto, ON—Marketplace Events (MPE), North America’s largest business-to-consumer show producer, today announced the expansion of their Canadian business with the acquisition of 31 events from Master Promotions, Ltd. of Saint John, NB, Canada’s largest independent trade and consumer event management company. The acquisition will take MPE’s Canadian business into 15 new Canadian markets and Alaska. 

“We’re absolutely thrilled about this acquisition,” said Mark White, CEO of Marketplace Events. “It’s a monumental step for us, bringing 31 incredible shows and expanding our presence into 15 new Canadian markets and Alaska. This deal not only increases our portfolio but also strengthens our ability to deliver top-notch events across North America. We’re excited to welcome the talented teams from these shows into the MPE family. We will continue to grow these dynamic events, providing exceptional experiences for exhibitors and attendees alike, and driving success in each local market.” 

The 31-show deal which includes 14 sport/outdoor shows, 7 home shows and 10 trade events, is the largest acquisition in MPE’s history and brings the total number of events produced by the company to 111. All staff currently associated with the 31 shows will become employees of Marketplace Events and continue in their current roles.

“Same great shows, same great people. Over the last 50 years, we’ve built a strong brand across Canada with the help of our dedicated and skilled staff,” said Wendell Howes, President of Master Promotions, Ltd., one of the most recognized names in the trade show industry in Canada with a reputation for producing high quality, successful events. “I’m really happy that MPE will continue with these amazing people and I believe only great things can happen with this portfolio of events. Now is the perfect time to hand this business over to North America’s leading show producer. I’ve seen how they’ve grown their other acquisitions, and I’m confident in the future of these shows in their capable hands. Their advanced tools and processes will make doing business with easier, and I know our incredible staff will thrive in the positive MPE culture.” 

The acquisition includes seven home shows, all in new markets for the company. MPE already has a strong presence throughout Canada in the consumer home show sector operating 15 market leading home shows in Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg. Additionally, the company’s VP of Western Canada, Jill Kivett, also serves as the Past President of CAEM (The Canadian Association of Exposition Management).   

The purchase of the 14 sport/outdoor shows, which includes 13 Canadian shows and the Great Alaska Sportsman Show in Anchorage, AK, comes just three months after MPE announced it was entering the sport/outdoor category with their acquisition of four US events in March from O’Loughlin Trade Shows (OTS), the premier consumer event producer in the Pacific Northwest.  

The deal also includes 10 trade events, in the heavy equipment, fisheries, forestry and technology sectors.  While Marketplace Events has primarily operated business-to-consumer shows, the company operated a trade show in the motorcycle category which they eventually sold. “We are excited for the opportunity to re-enter the trade show category,” said Mark White, CEO of Marketplace Events.

FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES OR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Jenny Adams
The Adams Agency
jenny@theadamsagency.ca
7807079101

ABOUT MARKETPLACE EVENTS 
Marketplace Events creates vibrant expositions connecting enthusiasts with experts, products and services in dynamic face-to-face environments.  The company produces more than 100 business-to-consumer and trade shows in North America including almost 70 home and garden shows, 18 sport and outdoor shows, 16 holiday shows and 10 regional trade shows. The 100+ combined events, in 53 markets, currently attract 30,000 exhibitors, 2.5 million attendees and another 5 million unique web visitors annually.  The company produces some of the most successful and longest-running shows in North America, including market-leading shows in Seattle, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal—some of which have thrived in their markets for more than 75 years. For a full list of upcoming events visit www.marketplaceevents.com

June 26, 2024
River Rock Casino Resort Marks 20th Anniversary with Grand Celebration

Richmond, BC/CNW/—River Rock Casino Resort ("River Rock") celebrated its 20th anniversary yesterday with a grand event, marking two decades of delivering Vancouver's most thrilling gaming, live entertainment, dining, and all-suite accommodations. Since its debut in 2004 as Metro Vancouver's premier 4-Diamond destination resort, River Rock has continued to attract discerning guests seeking a complete entertainment experience.

The anniversary celebration took place in the main atrium which is undergoing a complete reimagination to accommodate the addition of Gordon Ramsay Steak, the first of Michelin-starred chef Gordon Ramsay's fine dining restaurants in Canada.

The event was hosted by popular emcee, voice actor, award-winning radio & TV host Kevin Lim, who kicked off the ceremony by inviting Stephen Lee, CEO, Musqueam Capital Corporation, to welcome attendees to Musqueam land. Following moments of levity including "vintage" photos of Great Canadian Entertainment leaders and Lim himself, the event featured remarks by Matthew Anfinson, CEO of Great Canadian Entertainment, and Terrance Doyle, President and Chief Development Officer, who shared stories from the property's rich 20-year history. Together, they acknowledged all the resort's dedicated team members, and offered a special champagne toast to honour the 136 "Day One" employees, many of whom were in attendance.

Anfinson spoke about Great Canadian Entertainment's $500 million investment into River Rock, and pride in being one of the largest employers in the City of Richmond with over 850 team members. He heralded the resort's impact and its innovation. The property is home to the first curved escalator in Canada, is one of the few venues in the world with a state of the art convertible seating system in its theatre, and the 'P3' project with the City of Richmond, TransLink, and the Vancouver Airport Authority led to the development of the south parkade in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics and now serves thousands of commuters in the region daily.

"We are very proud to celebrate two decades of entertainment and excellence at River Rock Casino Resort. This destination stands as a beacon of innovation, continually pushing the boundaries to provide unparalleled experiences for our guests," said Anfinson. "This success would not be possible without the unwavering dedication and hard work of our exceptional team, whose passion drives our achievement. Together, we have built more than a casino; we have created a legacy of community, opportunity, and shared success. Here's to many more years of celebrating special moments!"

Lim entertained guests with a fun trivia game, where competitors were asked to name famous artists who have performed at River Rock. Guests remembered many memorable acts including Billy Idol, Earth Wind and Fire and Boys II Men, Kenny Rogers, and Donny & Marie Osmond to name but a few, and many reminisced about the opening event two decades earlier featuring the legendary Huey Lewis. Lim also highlighted the partnership with LiveNation, which will bring even more top acts to the resort's approximately 1000 seat theatre.

Malcolm Brodie, Mayor of the City of Richmond, and Jerry Williamson, Director of Gaming Facilities & Development at BCLC, spoke about the over $280 million that the City of Richmond has received from BCLC as their share of gaming revenue generated by River Rock, and how it has been reinvested in important capital projects in the City like the Richmond Olympic Oval and Minoru Seniors' Centre, while MLA for Richmond South Centre, Henry Yao provided congratulatory greetings on behalf of the Province.

A highlight of the event was a charitable cheque presentation to Natalie Meixner, President & CEO of the Richmond Hospital Foundation by Wayne Odegard, General Manager of River Rock Casino Resort. In a special twist, Odegard offered to double the donation if a lucky roll of oversize, inflatable dice resulted in a seven or higher. Meixner did indeed hit the mark, and "won" $20,000 for the Richmond Hospital Foundation.

The event concluded with a ceremonial cake cutting, where Anfinson, Doyle, and Odegard lit sparklers to celebrate the milestone anniversary while fittingly, Huey Lewis' anthem, "The Power of Love" played nostalgically.

Earlier this year, as part of the 20th-anniversary celebration, River Rock proudly announced a series of significant upgrades which are anticipated to be completed throughout the year, aimed at enhancing the guest experience for decades to come.

 Highlights include:

  • Gordon Ramsay Steak will occupy a new space in the main atrium and feature indoor and outdoor dining.
  • KOI, the latest culinary venture from celebrated restaurateur Michael Zhang, will open later this year, offering a modern and elegant fusion dining experience.
  • The Jade Room will see an expansion with new slot machines, elevating the gaming options available to guests.
  • The resort's floor layout will be refreshed for better navigation and accessibility.
  • A new Privé Lounge will be added, with a dedicated bar on the gaming floor.
  • River Rock's conference facilities will also be expanded, providing more space for meetings, events, and gatherings.
  • The on-site marina will be dredged to reactivate the 130-slip marina fully.
  • The resort's buffet has been renovated to include à la carte offerings with panoramic views of the mountains and marina.
  • New technical upgrades that will enhance the audience's experience in the theatre.

"We're incredibly excited to introduce these enhancements at River Rock Casino Resort," said Wayne Odegard, Regional Vice President, River Rock Casino Resort. "As a pioneer in gaming and hospitality in the market, and one of the very few entertainment resorts in British Columbia, we have always been proud of our resort and its robust amenities. These dynamic upgrades will not only provide our discerning guests with expanded choices but allow our special brand of hospitality to shine even brighter."

The upgrades are scheduled to be completed throughout the year. For more information or to book your stay, visit www.riverrock.com.

About River Rock Casino Resort
River Rock Casino Resort offers a perfect blend of entertainment, gaming, and relaxation along the scenic Fraser River. With thrilling casino action featuring 1,150 slots and e-tables, over 80 live table games, live racebook, poker room, nearly 400 hotel rooms, and a state-of-the-art entertainment venue, endless entertainment possibilities await at Western Canada's favourite Four-Diamond Casino Resort. 

SOURCE Great Canadian Entertainment

June 26, 2024
The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection Announces First Asia-Pacific Season Aboard Luminara, Its Third Luxury Superyacht to Debut

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection announces its expansion into the Asia-Pacific region with Luminara, offering 10 new journeys between December 2025 and May 2026. These voyages will explore 28 ports across 10 countries, including Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, and beyond, providing unparalleled experiences for discerning travelers.

“As luxury travelers continue to seek unforgettable, personalized experiences around the world, we are thrilled to introduce voyages in the Asia-Pacific region,” commented Jim Murren, Executive Chairman and CEO of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. “These new itineraries exemplify our steadfast commitment to continually raising the bar in luxury cruising, offering innovative ways to experience our superyachts and explore vibrant local cultures across the globe.”

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection is dedicated to inspiring guests by creating experiences that fuel curiosity and foster genuine connections. The 10 enchanting journeys, ranging from 10 to 15 nights in length and departing from either Tokyo, Hong Kong, or Singapore, provide guests with the opportunity to discover the ancient treasures, modern marvels, and the exotic, off-the-beaten-path locations the region has to offer. Itineraries will include stops in coveted ports such as Hạ Long Bay, Vietnam; Puerto Princesa, Philippines, and access to lively city centers such as Seoul, South Korea; Osaka, Japan; Bangkok, Thailand, and more.

“As the first luxury hotel brand to venture into the cruise space, we are thrilled to announce the expansion of our yacht voyages into Asia’s most sought-after destinations. This milestone underscores our commitment to providing exclusive and immersive experiences that cater to the discerning tastes of luxury travelers,” said Jenni Benzaquen, Senior Vice President of The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, and Bulgari Hotels and Resorts. “Today’s sophisticated adventurers seek intimate, authentic, personalized journeys that go well beyond traditional hospitality, and The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection offers guests unparalleled access to the world’s most exquisite destinations, all while enjoying the hallmarks of luxury and personalized service for which The Ritz-Carlton brand is renowned.”

Among the thoughtfully crafted itineraries are voyages including:

December 30, 2025 | 14-Night Singapore to Hong Kong Voyage
Toast the New Year with a celebration aboard Luminara and then relax into 2026 on the renowned beaches of Koh Samui before sailing for an overnight stay in the vibrant Thai capital of Bangkok. Vietnam tells fascinating tales of history in the subterranean Cu Chi Tunnels outside Ho Chi Minh City and in the capital of Hanoi, which you might explore during your stay in scenic Hạ Long Bay.

January 13, 2026 | 12-Night Hong Kong to Singapore Voyage
The heart of this journey explores the islands of the Philippines, including the forested mountains and white sand beaches of Busuanga, El Nido, and Puerto Princesa. Equally spectacular is the island of Borneo, where gentle waves lap at the beaches and proboscis monkeys inhabit the treetops of Bako National Park near Kuching.

March 20, 2026 | 10-Night Tokyo Round-Trip Voyage
The cultural treasures of Japan are even more impressive during cherry blossom season, when the blooms blanket the grounds of Osaka Castle and accent the views of Mount Sakurajima from Kagoshima. This voyage also calls on UNESCO World Heritage sites ranging from the floating shrine and peace memorial of Hiroshima to the remains of Christian castles and cathedrals in the Nagasaki region.

March 30, 2026 | 12-Night Tokyo to Hong Kong Voyage
Considered a food capital of the world, Osaka merits in-depth exploration, while Japan’s UNESCO-listed castles of Himeji, Nara and Kyoto are also nearby. South Korea’s dynamic capital of Seoul boasts its own UNESCO palaces along with traditional villages offering authentic cuisine and crafts. During an overnight in Shanghai, experience a performance of the ancient art of acrobatics before sailing for Hong Kong.

Opportunities for enrichment are endless when journeying with The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. Guests are invited to choose from Select Group Excursions, Pre-Designed Private Excursions, or Custom Private Excursions. Whether kiteboarding in the Philippines, exploring the iconic street food in Thailand, white water rafting in Malaysia, or discovering museums in Vietnam, guests are encouraged to tailor their journey, diving into their personal passions from the leisurely to the more adventurous.

The debut of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection marked the first time a luxury hospitality company expanded into the cruising category. Since its debut with Evrima in October 2022, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection has welcomed travelers to embark on extraordinary journeys of discovery. With the upcoming launch of Ilma, the collection’s second luxury superyacht, slated for this September 2024, and the debut of Luminara, the third luxury superyacht, slated to set sail in July 2025, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection continues to redefine the category, delivering unforgettable explorations at sea.

Luminara will offer 226 spacious suites, accommodating up to 452 guests. The onboard experience will feature world-class dining, an extensive wine collection, a signature Ritz-Carlton Spa, and an expanded dynamic marina providing direct access to the sea. Upholding The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s commitment to enriching experiences and legendary service, Luminara ensures an intimate journey with one of the highest staff and space ratios in at sea. Luminara will also offer itineraries in the Mediterranean during its inaugural launch season.

Reservations for the Asia-Pacific itineraries are now open to the public. For more information, please visit ritzcarltonyachtcollection.com. For reservations, contact a Reservations Services Agent at (833) 999-7292 (U.S. & Canada) or contact your travel professional.

About the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection
Designed to combine the luxury lifestyle of The Ritz-Carlton® with the casual freedom of a yachting vacation, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection offers bespoke voyages in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Caribbean, and Asia Pacific. Calling on unique and distinguished destinations, voyages typically span five to ten nights with an all-inclusive onboard journey and curated excursions ashore.

Its inaugural yacht, Evrima, embarked on its maiden voyage in October 2022. Measuring 624 feet in length, Evrima features 149 airy suites across various categories, each with a private terrace, creating a relaxed and intimate ambiance for up to 298 guests. Continuing the fleet’s expansion, two new superyachts boasting among the highest space ratios per guest at sea, Ilma and Luminara, are slated to set sail in 2024 and 2025, respectively. Spanning 790 feet, Ilma will offer 224 spacious, light-filled suites of varying categories, accommodating up to 448 guests. Slated to make its 2025 debut, Luminara will join Ilma and Evrima on voyages to secluded harbors and iconic cities. Reflective of The Ritz-Carlton on land, each yacht offers personalized service, elevated dining experiences, and exclusive amenities. 

Private charter options are also available, allowing guests to craft a truly tailored journey. For more information, visit ritzcarltonyachtcollection.com.

June 26, 2024
The future of congresses - building a sustainable legacy in Helsinki

Helsinki is transforming the way congresses are organised, setting new standards for sustainability and legacy-building. The Helsinki Event Legacy Program is designed to help develop a tailored plan that not only enriches the experiences of attendees but also leaves a meaningful mark on the city. The 10th Congress of the European Academy of Neurology is being held in Helsinki from 29 June to 2 July 2024, and its Brain Health Mission challenges young people to come up with ideas, strategies or campaigns to inspire their peers to prioritise brain health as part of its Brain Health School Challenge Project. 

Helsinki's congress legacy focuses on five key areas: education, environment, equality and equity, wellbeing, and innovation. This comprehensive approach demonstrates that congresses can be more than just meetings – they can also be catalysts for change.

Empowering the next generation through education  

Education is at the heart of Helsinki's congress legacy. The city embraces “learning by doing”, inviting event professionals to share their expertise with students in unique and practical ways. The Helsinki Event Legacy Program encourages congress organisers to involve local students through public lectures, interactive workshops, and open days. This hands-on approach bridges the gap between academia and industry, fostering a culture of continuous learning.

The 10th Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) will bring over 8000 neurologists to Helsinki from 29 June to 2 July 2024. Their Brain Health Mission – School Challenge Project is a great example on how legacy work is done in practice. The school challenge was organised in Finland in spring 2024. Pupils created posters, social media videos, campaigns and other creative ideas designed to inspire their peers to prioritise brain health. The best ideas were awarded and will be presented at this summer’s congress.

Environmental stewardship 

Helsinki takes environmental sustainability seriously, with a focus on preserving its natural beauty for future generations. Congress participants are encouraged to engage in urban preservation through volunteer work, cleaning campaigns, and removing invasive plant species. The city also donates leftover congress materials to workshops like Uusix, promoting a circular economy. Helsinki collaborates with the Baltic Sea Action Group to protect and restore the Baltic Sea, demonstrating its broader commitment to environmental stewardship.

Promoting equality and inclusion

Helsinki is a city that champions equality, wellbeing, and participation. The city's approach to equality includes providing work opportunities for students with special needs and supporting humanitarian efforts through collaborations with the Finnish Red Cross. A recent example is the online training provided by the Alzheimer Society of Finland (Muistiliitto), which is designed to support people with dementia in customer service. This training was shared with staff at various hotels and service providers in Helsinki, reflecting the city's commitment to inclusion and respect.

Fostering wellbeing

Helsinki has been named the world's best city for establishing a healthy life-work balance (in that order). This balance is part of Helsinki's identity, and it is reflected in the city’s congress legacy. 

Charity fun runs and walking events during congresses encourage physical activity and raise funds for charitable causes. The city's congress legacy toolkit contains ready-to-use ideas designed to create a positive impact in the short to medium term, helping congress organisers integrate health and sustainability into their events. 

Crafting a forward-thinking ecosystem

According to the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2023, Finland ranks as the world’s 6th most innovative country. The index’s 80 indicators explore a broad vision of innovation, from infrastructure to political environment, highlighting Finland's commitment to forward-thinking practices. Innovation is also a key pillar of Helsinki's congress legacy. The city collaborates with the Helsinki Education Hub to create an environment where education startups and innovative learning can thrive. Corporate decision-makers and investors are engaged through personalised fact-finding tours and round-table dinners, showcasing Helsinki's business ecosystem and attracting investment to support sustainable growth. Read more  Education Hub Helsinki’s Impact Report

Read more on Future of Congresses at Helsinkipartners.com

For more information, please contact:
Johanna Grönberg
Senior Advisor, Congresses
johanna.gronberg@helsinkipartners.com
+358 50 351 4085

June 24, 2024
Air Canada Wins in Five Categories, the most of any Canadian carrier, at 2024 Skytrax World Airline Awards

Montreal/CNW/—Air Canada has been recognized with the most awards of any Canadian airline at the 2024 Skytrax World Airline Awards, including for having the world's Best Business Class Airline Lounge Catering and also the Best Cabin Crew in Canada. The carrier was also named the Most Family Friendly Airline in North America, Best Premium Economy Class Onboard Catering in North America, and Cleanest Airline in North America.

"We are very pleased with the results of this year's Skytrax World Airline Awards due to the number of awards we won and also because they recognize Air Canada's industry leadership in delivering superior products and service across our diverse customer base. This includes our premium customers, to whom we offer the world's Best Business Class Airline Lounge Catering at our Toronto Air Canada Signature Suite and the Best Premium Economy Class catering in North America; families travelling together, who can enjoy the Most Family Friendly Airline in North America; and all customers who are served by the Best Cabin Crew in Canada while flying on the Cleanest Airline in North America," said Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive of Air Canada.

"These awards also recognize the dedication, professionalism and hard work of our 40,000 employees worldwide who safely transport our customers to their destinations, and for truly representing what is the best of Canada. I am particularly pleased to see the work of our flight attendants and our cabin services operations teams being recognized. And to our customers, I thank them for their loyalty to Air Canada and for expressing their support by taking part in the 2024 Skytrax awards survey, which had more than 20 million submissions globally."

Air Canada Signature Suite
Air Canada operates two Signature Suite lounges for departing international customers at Toronto Pearson and Vancouver International airports. The Skytrax World Airline Awards have recognized the Air Canada Signature Suite as offering the World's Best Business Class Lounge Dining experience. Eligible customers can choose from an a la carte selection of fine meals designed by Canadian chef David Hawksworth in an exclusive lounge enclave, accented with unique Canadian design elements and featuring premium amenities.

About the Skytrax World Airline Awards
The World Airline Awards are wholly independent and impartial, introduced in 1999 to provide a customer satisfaction study that is truly global. Travellers across the world vote in the largest airline passenger satisfaction survey to determine the award winners. The awards are referred to by media around the world as "the Oscars of the aviation industry". All costs of the Survey and Awards event are paid by Skytrax, and airlines do not pay any entry or registration fee. There are no charges for use of the Award logos and results. The online customer survey operated from September 2023 to May 2024, together with invitations sent to previous year respondents in the survey database. Over 100 customer nationalities participated in the 2023/2024 survey with 21.42 million eligible entries counted in the results. Survey entries are screened to identify IP and user information, with all duplicate, suspect or ineligible entries deleted.

About Air Canada
Air Canada is Canada's largest airline, the country's flag carrier and a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network. Air Canada provides scheduled service directly to more than 180 airports in Canada, the United States and Internationally on six continents. It holds a Four-Star ranking from Skytrax. Air Canada's Aeroplan program is Canada's premier travel loyalty program, where members can earn or redeem points on the world's largest airline partner network of 45 airlines, plus through an extensive range of merchandise, hotel and car rental partners. Through Air Canada Vacations, it offers more travel choices than any other Canadian tour operator to hundreds of destinations worldwide, with a wide selection of hotels, flights, cruises, day tours, and car rentals. Its freight division, Air Canada Cargo, provides air freight lift and connectivity to hundreds of destinations across six continents using Air Canada's passenger and freighter aircraft.  Air Canada aims to achieve an ambitious net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050. Air Canada shares are publicly traded on the TSX in Canada and the OTCQX in the US.

SOURCE Air Canada

June 20, 2024
Atlific Hotels Managed Properties Shine at Marriott International’s 2023 Global Performance Awards

Toronto, ON—Atlific Hotels proudly announces that several of its managed properties have taken top prizes in the 2023 edition of Marriott International’s 2023 Global Performance Awards. Three Atlific managed properties,  Residence Inn Calgary Downtown/Beltline DistrictResidence Inn Kingston, and Towneplace Suites Red Deer took home prestigious Circle Awards while Colleen Logan, Atlific Area Sales Manager, earned the Sales Leader of the Year award amongst all global Residence Inn branded properties for her top achievements. The awards ceremony took place on June 13, 2024.

The selection process for the Circle Awards rigorously evaluates hotels on their ability to deliver brand promises, with winning properties excelling in leadership, customer satisfaction, financial performance, and associate engagement. 

“Atlific is incredibly proud of our people who are truly dedicated to service excellence and we’re thrilled that their performance has been recognized,” said Christine Kennedy, CEO, Atlific Hotels. “Atlific prides itself on creating a positive impact on the guest experience and the local communities our hotels operate in, and these awards are a shining reflection of our teams’ outstanding efforts.” 

For its part, Residence Inn Calgary Downtown/ Beltline District won two separate Residence Inn brand awards and the hotel was one of just two Canadian hotels to earn the highly prestigious Platinum Circle performance award honouring the best of the best in the Residence Inn brand's overall guest satisfaction score in addition to Logan’s Sales Leader of the Year Award as the standout amongst the entire Residence Inn brand. There are almost 1000 Residence Inn brand hotels in the Marriott portfolio. 

Several Atlific properties took home Marriott International’s Brand Circle Awards for top ratings in overall guest satisfaction. Circle Awards are achieved via exceptional staff service, maintenance, upkeep, cleanliness, and an elite level of hospitality. 

The Residence Inn Kingston also proudly received the Gold Circle Award, placing it in the top 5% of Residence Inn properties for overall guest satisfaction. This accolade reflects its impressive score and consistent year-over-year growth in revenue per available room.

The TownePlace Suites Red Deer earned the Silver Circle Award, distinguishing it among the top 20% of hotels in overall guest satisfaction within its brand.

ABOUT ATLIFIC HOTELS
Atlific Hotels is one of the leading hotel management companies in Canada operating over 30 hotels with offices in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. Atlific Hotels has over 60 years of experience managing well-known Canadian hotels, resorts, and extended-stay properties.

The company has built a reputation for offering comprehensive accounting reporting, information technology solutions and support, strategic revenue-generating sales and marketing plans, and award-winning revenue management programs. Atlific Hotels’ parent company, Ocean Properties Ltd., owns and operates over 100 hotels throughout the United States. Together they make up the fifth largest privately-owned hotel management company in North America, operating independent hotels and resorts as well as internationally recognized hotel brands such as Marriott, IHG and Hilton. For more information, please visit www.atlifichotels.com.

FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT:
Hannah Rastrick or Mindy Cummings
Aerial Communications Group
647.401.8792 / 647.280.9978 
hannah@aerialpr.com / mindy@aerialpr.com

June 20, 2024
Accor Launches Global Leadership Council to Shape the Future of Corporate Travel

The global hospitality Group and representatives from 17 international corporations form an advisory council to design and shape a new era of corporate travel and meetings for 2025 and beyond

Paris—Accor, a world-leading hospitality group, together with executive travel managers and buyers from 17 leading international corporations, have launched the Accor Global Leadership Council (GLC), an innovative advisory board aimed at reimagining the future of corporate travel and meetings. Established to create a forward-looking vision for business travel and corporate meetings, the GLC connects business leaders responsible for corporate travel across diverse industries with senior executives from Accor. Council delegates include representatives from sectors such as financial services, engineering, manufacturing, transportation, energy, professional services and technology.  

The first session, which was hosted earlier this month in Paris by Sophie Hulgard, Chief Sales Officer at Accor, discussed shifting corporate and traveler expectations; the importance of recognition, personalization and B2B-focused loyalty; the evolving importance of sustainability; emerging traveler trends; the role and impact of distribution and pricing; and a deep-dive on the hosting hotel brand, Sofitel.  

The Council delegates, who have a combined employee base of over 2.7 million travelers, unanimously agreed the top three priorities for business travel are: 

1. Traveler experience and well-being – including corporate employee engagement, wellness, traveler security and digital efficiencies

2. Cost management and optimization – including program compliance, pricing, cost-reduction and cost avoidance

3. Sustainability – including sustainable action, carbon budgets and DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) 

Sophie Hulgard, Chief Sales Officer at Accor and host of the GLC, commented: “The dynamics of corporate travel are evolving rapidly. It is essential for both our clients and hospitality businesses to adapt to new demands and priorities. The GLC is a critical forum for sharing insights and collaborating on solutions that meet the changing needs of business travelers and delegates.” 

The GLC aims to generate valuable insights and actionable strategies to drive and transform business travel, impacting the sector globally. Accor will compile the council's findings into a comprehensive report to be released later in the year. 

Karelle Lamouche, Chief Commercial Officer, Premium, Midscale & Economy Division for Accor, concluded: "Corporate travel is undergoing a profound transformation, driven by an increased focus on flexibility, sustainability, and personalization. Today's business travelers seek more than just efficiency and comfort; they prioritize sustainability, personalized experiences, and seamless technology integration. Throughout our business, Accor is committed to not only meeting these needs but also anticipating them, ensuring that every journey is as enriching and impactful as the destination and travel intent itself."

ABOUT ACCOR 
Accor is a world leading hospitality group offering experiences across more than 110 countries in 5,600 properties, 10,000 food & beverage venues, wellness facilities or flexible workspaces. The Group has one of the industry’s most diverse hospitality ecosystems, encompassing more than 45 hotel brands from luxury to economy, as well as Lifestyle with Ennismore. Accor is committed to taking positive action in terms of business ethics & integrity, responsible tourism, sustainable development, community outreach, and diversity & inclusion.  Founded in 1967, Accor SA is headquartered in France and publicly listed on Euronext Paris (ISIN code: FR0000120404) and on the OTC Market (Ticker: ACCYY) in the United States. For more information, please visit www.group.accor.com or follow us on X, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok.   

Source: Accor

June 20, 2024
A New Restaurant is Blowing the Roof Off of Toronto's Waterfront!

Toronto/CNW/—Introducing Queens Harbour, a sprawling 23,000-square-foot dining destination nestled in the heart of Toronto's vibrant waterfront area. At the heart of Queens Quay lies a historic brick building that is being reimagined into a new hospitality landmark. This project, located on Harbourfront Centre land, will be one of the largest restaurant investments in the history of the waterfront.

This concept is being introduced by experienced restaurateurs Kevin Jazexhi, Ali Badreddine, Iris Jazexhi, and Chef Robert Balint. These founders are from parts of the world where Mediterranean influences are strong, and they want to bring that ethos to Queens Harbour: cherishing family and friends over shared meals combined with hospitality that is so authentic and sincere, it feels like you've come home.

Up and coming Chef Robert Balint has collaborated with local, world-class chef Julien Laffargue to create a combination of Mediterranean and Asian flavours they affectionately term MediterrAsian cuisine. MediterrAsian food emerges when the jungles of Asia and the waters of the Mediterranean connect.

Steeped in classical cooking techniques, both chefs are curating a menu specializing in mezzes for sharing, charcoal-grilled dishes, and a full raw and sushi bar. The impressive culinary program is complimented by handcrafted cocktails aimed to surprise and delight with fun and exciting textures and flavours.

Combining the eclectic food and beverage menus with a dynamic, multifaceted experience in distinctly different spaces throughout this 800 seat restaurant oasis by the water.

With the largest restaurant retractable roof in the nation, multiple private dining spaces, an outdoor terrace, and three uniquely designed dining spaces with unparalleled views of the CN Tower, the Harbour, and Lake Ontario, this will be unlike any other dining destination in Toronto.

Join us next spring for the unveiling of Queens Harbour, located at 245 Queens Quay Way West (North Building).

SOURCE Queens Harbour

June 12, 2024
Canadian Hotel Association Join Forces to Combat Human Trafficking

In a groundbreaking initiative to combat human trafficking, the British Columbia Hotel Association (BCHA), Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), Hospitality Saskatchewan, Manitoba Hotel Association (MHA), and Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association (ORHMA) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to develop and deliver human trafficking awareness and prevention training and resources to hotels - with the goal of training every hotel employee from BC to Ontario.Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes in Canada, with thousands of victims being exploited annually. The Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking estimates that over 1,400 cases were reported to law enforcement between 2011 and 2019. These numbers continue to increase, and many incidents go unreported. Hotels can become venues for traffickers, making it imperative for the hospitality industry to take a proactive stance in recognizing and preventing human trafficking.

"Since trafficking networks often rely on legitimate businesses—many in the tourism supply chain—to sustain their illicit and illegal operations, hoteliers are uniquely positioned to identify and disrupt this terrible practice. This MOA empowers our members to be the first line of defense against trafficking activities, reinforcing our dedication to protecting human dignity." Tracy Douglas-Blowers, President & CEO, Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association

About the Initiative
The MOA outlines a commitment by the 5 provincial hotel associations to:

• Develop training materials that raise awareness of human trafficking among hoteliers.

• Educate hotels, motels, and other accommodation providers about recognizing the signs of human trafficking.

• Equip hotel owners and managers with the tools to train their staff on preventing and responding to potential human trafficking situations.

Training Resources and Implementation
Partnering with NotInMyCity, the associations will create a "Not in Our Hotel” toolkit, which will include:

• Sample policies for hotels and guidelines for employee orientation. • Best practices for accommodation providers.

• Training materials for management and staff, including online courses that provide certificates of completion.

• Posters and quick reference guides for employees.

• Resources to help employees discuss human trafficking with their children and support staff impacted by trafficking.

Commitment to Prevention
Hotels are committed to creating safe environments for all guests and staff. By signing this MOA, the BCHA, AHLA, SHHA, MHA, and ORHMA demonstrate their dedication to combating human trafficking. This initiative not only aligns with federal and provincial efforts to eradicate human trafficking but also supports the safety and well-being of the communities’ hotels serve.

"Not In Our Hotel sends a loud and clear message: we will not tolerate human trafficking in the hotel industry. Thanks to our dedicated members and their staff, we already have a strong track record of combatting trafficking and supporting survivors. There is still much more to do, and our commitment to training and education will continue to make the difference." Jim Bence, President & CEO, Saskatchewan Hotel & Hospitality Association

Media Inquiries
Laurie Chandler
Vice President, Public Affairs
Alberta Hotel & Lodging lchandler@ahla.ca

Source: British Columbia Hotel Association

June 05, 2024
BMO Centre at Stampede Park Welcomes the World to Western Canada's Largest Convention Centre

$500M expansion officially opens its doors and puts Calgary on the map as a world-class convention destination

Calgary, AB/CNW/—Today, Calgary's BMO Centre at Stampede Park is ready to welcome the world, officially becoming Western Canada's largest convention centre with the grand opening of its 565,000 sq. ft. expansion. Following decades of planning and four years of construction, the over 1M sq. ft. Tier 1 convention facility opens its doors for the first time, not only creating an architectural landmark for Calgary, but making gatherings even greater with the ability to host a scale of convention the city hasn't been able to previously accommodate.  

"For four years, we have been promising that the expanded BMO Centre will offer Calgarians, southern Albertans and visitors to our city a greater way to gather. Today, it is with immeasurable pride that we open the doors to the BMO Centre at Stampede Park," said Joel Cowley, CEO of the Calgary Stampede.  "The BMO Centre expansion was built for Calgary and southern Alberta, with the vision of creating a world-class facility both in terms of design and the ability to provide exceptional guest experiences through our signature western hospitality. With the interest we've seen from the meetings and conventions industry before the doors have even opened, we know that this facility is going to have a positive impact on Calgary's economy by bolstering the tourism and hospitality sectors. We built this for our future, and we look forward to realizing the success of the expansion in the decades to come."

The expansion's first major event, the Global Energy Show, is already loading into the expansion's exhibition halls in preparation for their June 11 event, and there are another 500 conventions and events booked into the expansion post-opening to date. This also translates to filling restaurants, shops, rideshares and other attractions that make Calgary unique. The economic impact to Calgary will equate to approximately upwards of $100 million a year and provide thousands of jobs.

"We are proud to celebrate the grand opening of this remarkable expansion – brought to life by collaboration, partnership, and true dedication," said George Chahal, Member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview, on behalf of the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities. "A milestone for Calgary, the BMO Centre will be a beacon of community pride, offering new spaces for gatherings, exhibitions, and experiences, while making the city a destination for national and international meetings and events. We are excited to see the countless opportunities it will bring to Calgary."

"In recent years, we've been seeing Canada and the world choose Alberta more and more as the place to live, work, invest, and raise a family. The new BMO Centre is going to help keep that trend going by bringing more business and industry events to the heart of Calgary where they'll experience so many things that make this city great," said the Honourable Danielle Smith, Premier of Alberta. "This project is a testament to what we can accomplish when every level of government comes together. With its first major event just around the corner, I'm excited to see how the BMO Centre – now Western Canada's largest convention centre – shows the world all the reasons Calgary is the prime destination to host their events."

"With an increased ability to compete for world-class conventions and meetings thanks to the expanded BMO Centre, Calgary's reputation on the global stage cannot be understated," said Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek. "The expanded BMO Centre is unique to Calgary, unique to the Calgary Stampede and unique to the industry. This is an architectural icon as well as a community gathering place, and Calgarians can be proud that we built this second-to-none facility right here in the heart of The Culture + Entertainment District."

The building, designed by leading design team Stantec, Populous and S2, represents the next generation of convention facilities, one that promises best-in-class guest experience, boasts precedent-setting design architecture, and serves as a gathering place for convention attendees and the local community alike.

"When we began design with our partners in 2019, we asked ourselves how we could design a facility that pushes the boundaries of convention centre design and experience, and every decision we made from that point on was with that goal in mind," said Kate Thompson, President and CEO of Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, Development Manager for the project. "CMLC is incredibly proud to have delivered this project on time and on budget, and to have delivered on the world-class promise we and our partners set out to achieve. With the completion of this catalyst project, we have set the tone for the coming years of development in The Culture + Entertainment District, and we are looking eagerly ahead to building on this momentum as we continue to transform this district together."

Cowley continued, "The Calgary Stampede is grateful to our partners at CMLC for their expert delivery of the project, and to our generous funding partners – the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta and The City of Calgary – for their $500M investment in this world-class facility. We are also grateful to BMO for their 10-year extension of the naming rights for this beautiful building as well as their partnership with the Calgary Stampede that dates back more than a century."

After more than 124 years of working together, the Calgary Stampede and BMO have renewed their partnership for another 10 years, through until the end of 2033. As a part of this agreement, BMO has extended the naming rights of the BMO Centre to the BMO Centre expansion, which will welcome guests from our community and around the world.

BMO has been a long-time supporter of the Calgary Stampede. In 1899 BMO became the official bank of the Calgary Exhibition, predecessor to the Stampede, and has been an official sponsor since 1914. From sponsoring prizes like a $5 bank account for best dressed and best window decorations in downtown Calgary during the 1923 Stampede, to hosting square dancing and street entertainment outside of their Stephen Avenue location in the early days, to hosting Stampede historical displays in BMO bank branches across the city in 2018 and 2019, BMO has always been a champion of the Calgary Stampede and community spirit.

"Developing strong partnerships within our communities is at the heart of what BMO does to boldly grow the good in business and life," said Mike Bonner, Head, Distribution, Canadian Personal and Business Banking, BMO. "It's an honour to be the naming sponsor of BMO Centre and to celebrate our partnership dating back to 1884 as the oldest business relationship in Western Canada. This landmark facility will serve as a gathering place the community and have a strong impact on the economy, further showcasing BMO's commitment to driving progress for a thriving economy, sustainable future and inclusive society for Calgary and beyond."

Calgarians are invited to tour the expanded BMO Centre for the first time on Saturday, June 8, during the Calgary Stampede's Community Round Up, presented by ENMAX, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Join us for FREE pancakes, FREE parking and FREE family fair fun!

For More Information:

Emma Stevens
Director, Communications & External Relations
Calgary Municipal Land Corporation
estevens@calgarymlc.ca
587-387-2460

Christine Thompson
Corporate Communications Manager
Calgary Stampede
cthompson@calgarystampede.com
403.585.4132

About the Calgary Stampede
The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west. The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme, We're Greatest Together, we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and celebrates our western heritage, cultures and community spirit. All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities. calgarystampede.com

About CMLC
Created and owned by the City of Calgary, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) exists to achieve the City's objectives for urban densification and community renewal, infrastructure investment and placemaking. An entrepreneurial group of hands-on doers and placemakers, CMLC's approach is rooted in community participation and designed to strengthen the connections between places, experiences and people. As the master developer behind Calgary's East Village and new Culture + Entertainment District, CMLC is leading over $1 billion in city-building projects and is the project lead on pillar projects in Calgary including the Arts Commons Transformation and the BMO Centre expansion. CMLC is delivering the 17th Ave SE Extension and Victoria Park/Stampede LRT Station Rebuild project on behalf of their partners at Calgary Transit and the Calgary Stampede. calgarymlc.ca

About BMO Financial Group
BMO Financial Group is the eighth largest bank in North America by assets, with total assets of $1.4 trillion as of April 30, 2024. Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a diverse team of highly engaged employees providing a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management, global markets and investment banking products and services to 13 million customers across Canada, the United States, and in select markets globally. Driven by a single purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, BMO is committed to driving positive change in the world, and making progress for a thriving economy, sustainable future, and inclusive society.

June 05, 2024
Sphere Names Chandra Allison Executive Vice President, Sales & Service

Las Vegas—Sphere Entertainment Co. (NYSE: SPHR) today announced that Chandra Allison, a sales and marketing leader with 30 years of diverse experience in the hospitality and events industries, has joined the Company as Executive Vice President, Sales and Service for Sphere – a next-generation entertainment medium in Las Vegas that is redefining the future of entertainment.

In this new role, Ms. Allison will be responsible for driving Sphere’s sales strategies and ensuring exceptional customer experiences at Sphere. Working with executive leadership, Ms. Allison will develop and implement sales and service strategies aligned with the Company’s overall business objectives and strategic direction, including developing a corporate conference business for product launches and other events. As part of her role, she will oversee the sales and service teams to achieve continued revenue growth, market expansion, and outstanding customer satisfaction. She will also work to develop and execute comprehensive sales plans, optimize service delivery, and build strong relationships with key clients and stakeholders in the Las Vegas market and beyond.

“Sphere has established itself as a destination for immersive experiences unlike anywhere else, but we’re just scratching the surface of what this new medium can offer,” said Jennifer Koester, President, Sphere Business Operations. “Chandra has been working with our team as a consultant, and we are excited to make her an official part of our Sphere family as we continue raising an already high bar for what artists, brands, and customers experience at Sphere.”

“Throughout my career I have focused on delivering major events and exceptional hospitality experiences in Las Vegas,” said Ms. Allison. “Sphere is a game-changer in this dynamic market, and this is a tremendous opportunity to continue working with the team to develop one-of-a-kind experiences that enhance Sphere’s presence in Las Vegas across a range of event categories and guest experiences.”

Ms. Allison brings extensive experience in developing exceptional meetings, conventions, exhibitions, and entertainment events, with a focus on the Las Vegas market. Most recently, Ms. Allison served as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Growth at Oak View Group (OVG). In this role she was responsible for overseeing strategy and growth across the OVG360 portfolio, including the design and development of meetings spaces, business strategy and programming for OVG's planned Las Vegas hotel and casino project. Prior to joining OVG, Ms. Allison served in roles of increasing responsibility over nearly 25 years with The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas. In her last role as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Ms. Allison led sales and marketing efforts for group, convention, tradeshow, and leisure sales. Ms. Allison’s experience prior to The Venetian Resort includes events and sales roles at Las Vegas hotel and casino properties.

Ms. Allison is an active member of several industry trade organizations, including Meetings Professional International and Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International.

About Sphere Entertainment Co.
Sphere Entertainment Co. (NYSE: SPHR) is a premier live entertainment and media company. The Company includes Sphere, a next-generation entertainment medium powered by cutting-edge technologies to redefine the future of entertainment. The first Sphere venue opened in Las Vegas in September 2023. In addition, the Company includes MSG Networks, which operates two regional sports and entertainment networks, MSG Network and MSG Sportsnet, as well as a direct-to-consumer and authenticated streaming product, MSG+, delivering a wide range of live sports content and other programming. More information is available at sphereentertainmentco.com.

Contact:
Sphere Entertainment – spherepr@thesphere.com

June 04, 2024
Hyatt to Rebrand Hyatt Regency Indian Wells to Grand Hyatt Indian Wells Resort and Villas After $64 Million Renovation

Famed Southern California resort to introduce transformed guestrooms, suites, and luxury villas, as well as new restaurant concepts and an enhanced pool experience

Indian Wells, Calif.—Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) and Trinity Investments are proud to announce the planned rebranding of Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa to Grand Hyatt Indian Wells Resort & Villas, slated for September 2024. The rebrand will be timed to the culmination of a $64 million property-wide renovation and ushers in a new era of luxury for the iconic desert resort with redesigned guestrooms and luxury villas, an expanded lobby experience, elevated accommodations, refreshed meeting and event spaces, two new dining concepts and a reimagined pool complex with extended cabana offerings. A resort steeped in Indian Wells’ tennis history, the property is also a short drive away from the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, which plays host to the BNP Paribas Open, the first of nine ATP Masters 1000 tournaments each year.

“Grand Hyatt hotels showcase bold and vibrant design and architecture, creating captivating destinations within a destination. The newly renovated and rebranded Grand Hyatt Indian Wells Resort & Villas will introduce guests and members to an elevated level of hospitality,” said Susan Santiago, President, U.S. and Canada, Hyatt. “Located in a key destination for leisure and business travelers looking to experience the best of Coachella Valley, the refreshed resort will help guests celebrate magnificent moments and create memorable experiences throughout their stay.”

Elevated Guestrooms, Suites and Villas
Grand Hyatt Indian Wells' refreshed design, overseen by the renowned Southern California firm, IndiDesign, will reflect the serene beauty of its locale and offer an upscale resort experience. Inspired by the dramatic geography and date farms that surround the property, Grand Hyatt Indian Wells’ new look and feel combines a neutral color palette and tasteful wood accents with mid-century modern design elements. The property’s newly enhanced 531 accommodations, including 39 spacious suites have completed renovations, while 43 one- and two-bedroom private villas, are set to debut by November 2024.

Grand Hyatt Indian Wells will provide large guestrooms, with 550 square feet of luxurious living space. Guests can choose from various configurations, including one king bed, two king beds, rooms with full-sized bunkbeds, and more. Each room features a multi-functional living space, a spa-inspired bathroom, and a private patio or balcony. The resort’s newly renovated suites also offer spacious accommodations designed for families and groups. These suites include a separate living area with a sleeper sofa, a wet bar with a full-size refrigerator and microwave, and dual private balconies offering breathtaking views of the golf course, pool, resort grounds and surrounding mountain backdrop. Suites on the ground floor feature patios, offering convenient pool access.

As the premier offering at Grand Hyatt Indian Wells, the resort’s luxury villas will be transformed to seamlessly blend into the desert locale with sophisticated interiors that layer artisanal details like natural tones and muted hues with new landscaping to provide an intimate sense of place. Hand-crafted furniture will be mixed with modern decor and artistic lighting fixtures to bring character into each living space. Grand Hyatt Indian Wells’ new villas will offer an array of exclusive features and premium amenities for guests, including a private backyard with a hot tub, plunge pool or firepit, kitchenette with refrigerators, access to an adults only spa, and golf cart escorts around the property. Guests will also have access to an exclusive arrival experience and dedicated villa concierge to provide effortless service throughout their stay.

Inventive Dining Concepts
Aheads of its grand opening this fall, the property will offer a late summer preview introducing two new restaurant concepts - Tía Carmen and Carmocha – in collaboration with the acclaimed Chef Angelo Sosa. Renowned for his bold cooking, Chef Sosa brings over 25 years of experience that has taken him from three-star kitchens in Europe and beyond. A protege of Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Chef Sosa has worked with some of the industry's most renowned restaurateurs, including Alain Ducasse, Stephen Starr and Masaharu Morimoto. He has opened several restaurants in New York City, San Diego, and most recently Phoenix, with Kembara, as well as the first location of Tía Carmen. Like the original location, Tía Carmen at Grand Hyatt Indian Wells will pay homage to Chef Sosa’s aunt (tía) Carmen, and celebrate the local landscape, farmers and community of the Southwest reflecting a mix of tradition and modernity, this time with modern Californian flair.

Carmocha is a new concept that reimagines global small plates from the perspective of Angelo’s tía Carmen if she had traveled around the world and came back from her journeys to put her own spin on some of the dazzling array of international flavors she experienced. For a casual dining option, the resort also enhanced its lobby marketplace, providing several all-day culinary offerings for either grab-and-go or sit-down settings with a coffee bar and selection of teas, sandwiches, and treats as well as wine, beer and more.

Destination-Driven Pool Experience
The anchor of the resort guest journey is its popular pool experience, and the new Grand Hyatt Indian Wells will unveil enhancements to the spacious outdoor recreation area with expanded cabanas fit for large groups and families, as well as new dining options including a food truck, Palmadoro’s, serving pizza and signature Italian bites, and a refreshed café, offering poolside favorites. Grand Hyatt Indian Wells’ pool experience also features the largest waterpark in the Greater Palm Springs desert, HyTides, which includes nine expansive pools, a set of 30-foot high (150-feet in length) dueling waterslides, a 450-foot lazy river and family-friendly favorites, such as an expansive splash pad.

Grand Gatherings
A top destination for events in Greater Palm Springs, Grand Hyatt Indian Wells will offer 88,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor function space. Recently revitalized ballroom, meeting rooms and boardrooms will give way to terraces and lawns with breathtaking views, ideal for weddings, special events and corporate retreats. With offerings that are nothing short of grand, the resort’s renovated Mezzanine level includes meeting and events space, allowing guests to create memorable gatherings for any moment or milestone.

Unparalleled Wellbeing Offerings 
As a hospitality company focused on care, Hyatt takes pride in setting a new standard of wellbeing for travel, making sure every touch point is crafted to support all facets of wellbeing. Therefore, the property will introduce new programming and offerings to care for guests.

For a relaxing wellbeing retreat, the 30,000-square-foot Agua Serena Spa will unveil new enhancements this Fall. The property also recently collaborated with Kalologie MedSpa  to open their newest location on property in Indian Wells. Situated adjacent to Agua Serena Spa, the new facility includes four private treatment rooms and an IV lounge with a variety of renewing services, including IV hydration therapy, B12 energy boosts, and more.

Grand Hyatt Indian Wells will also offer tennis and pickleball courts and two adjacent world-class golf courses. The resort is a short drive from the Palm Springs International Airport, placing guests just minutes from the best shopping, culture, and entertainment offerings in the Coachella Valley area.

The term “Hyatt” is used in this release for convenience to refer to Hyatt Hotels Corporation and/or one or more of its affiliates. 

For further information:

About Grand Hyatt 
Around the world, Grand Hyatt hotels bring travel dreams to life by celebrating the iconic in small details and magnificent moments. Located at the crossroads of local culture and global business within major gateway cities and resort destinations, each Grand Hyatt hotel is uniquely designed to be a captivating destination within a destination. Grand Hyatt hotels deliver welcoming and elevated service, first-class accommodations, and an abundance of options within a multicultural backdrop of dramatic architecture and bold and vibrant design. Grand Hyatt hotels boast inventive restaurants, luxury spas, fitness centres, and business and meeting facilities. For additional information or to make a reservation, please visit grandhyatt.com. Follow @GrandHyatt on Facebook and Instagram, and tag photos with #GrandHyatt.

Media Contact:
Emily Mekstan
Emily.mekstan@hyatt.com

Source: Hyatt Corporation

June 04, 2024
Philadelphia welcomes Québec City travellers with the launch of a direct seasonal American Airlines flight starting June 5th before changing to twice daily flights as of August 6th

Québec City, QC—Québec City travellers will now have an easier time to get to Philadelphia as the destination is pleased to share that American Airlines, the world’s largest airline, will be offering daily nonstop seasonal service from Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB) to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) starting June 5th, 2024. Flights can be booked through American Airlines

Running through October 26th, 2024, the flight will switch from a daily flight to a twice daily flight as of August 6th, which will is convenient for French Canadians to have more flexibility in their planning options to maximize their time in the City of Firsts.

“Philadelphia shares a number of similarities to Québec City, from our historical and cultural attractions to our award-winning culinary experiences to the charm of the locals,” said Gregg Caren, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau. “This seasonal flight will help us continue to increase Philadelphia’s visibility as an accessible and welcoming destination for Canadians, who are our strongest international market.”

“We are excited to continue expanding our footprint from Québec City with our upcoming flights to Philadelphia,” added José A. Freig, VP of International Operations, American Airlines. “Our daily service to the City of Firsts further provides customers the opportunity to explore everything that this popular metropolitan city has to offer – from the culinary treats to the rich arts and cultural scene to the historical significance.”

Whether visitors are interested in discovering iconic exhibits rich in history and culture or looking to indulge in world-class dining, there is something for everyone when visiting Philadelphia. Recently named ‘one of the best cities to visit for 2024’ by Lonely Planet AFAR, it is no surprise that Philadelphia is on the top of the bucket list for Canadian travellers.

Philadelphia is particularly rich in history and culture that showcase America’s beginnings. For visitors who are curious about American history there’s no better place than “America’s most historic square mile.” In the Old City historical district, visitors can walk the same streets and enter the same buildings as America’s Founders. At Carpenters’ Hall, visitors can step into the site of the First Continental Congress, where the Founders met to debate independence. Nearby, is Independence Hall — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were signed. And, of course, see the iconic Liberty Bell, an international symbol of American freedom, just a few steps away from Independence Mall.

For foodies and culinary connoisseurs, Philadelphia is also recognized for winning a number of annual James Beard awards, which recognizes talented top chefs and restaurateurs.

Additionally, the city was named the 2023 Most Walkable City in the U.S. by USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards and consistently ranks among the nation’s most walkable cities. From museums and street art to beer gardens and riverfront views, Philadelphia’s immersive experiences are just footsteps away from each other.

“We are very pleased with the return of this seasonal daily flight to the beautiful and historic city of Philadelphia,” said Stéphane Poirier, President and CEO of Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB). “This direct service offered by American Airlines, the world's largest air carrier, is in line with our mission to offer more options to local travellers, as well as to facilitate accessibility for American tourists to the magnificent Québec City region.”

For more information about the twice daily flights from Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport to Philadelphia International Airport, visit https://www.aa.com/en-ca/flights-from-qu%C3%A9bec-to-philadelphia.

For further information about Philadelphia and everything there is to discover, visit DiscoverPHL.com

About the PHLCVB:
The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) creates positive economic impact across the Philadelphia region, driving job growth and promoting the health and vibrancy of our hospitality industry by marketing the destination, the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and attracting overnight visitors. The PHLCVB’s work engages our partners, the local Philadelphia community as well as culturally and ethnically diverse regional, national and international convention, sporting event and tourism customers. The PHLCVB is also the official tourism promotion agency for the city of Philadelphia globally and is responsible for growing the number of overseas leisure visitors who come to the region each year. To learn more, visit DiscoverPHL.com.

June 04, 2024
Iberostar to Open its First Hotel in Aruba

Iberostar Beachfront Resorts will open on Eagle Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world 

Palma de Mallorca, SpainIberostar, a leading family-owned Spanish hotel chain renowned for its commitment to responsible tourism, unveils plans for its first hotel in Aruba – JOIA Aruba by Iberostar. Nestled on Eagle Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the property is conveniently located just 15 minutes from the Queen Beatrix International Airport, 10 minutes from downtown Oranjestad, and six minutes from the shopping area of Palm Beach. This exclusive luxury resort aims to redefine the island experience with its premium service, quality and commitment to sustainability

“We are delighted to introduce Iberostar’s inaugural resort in Aruba, a stunning destination that shares our passion for quality and commitment to a model of responsible tourism,” said Phil Mc Aveety, CEO, Iberostar Hotels & Resorts. "JOIA Aruba by Iberostar is a testament to our promise of providing guests with exceptional experiences. We are very pleased to expand Iberostar's presence in the Americas, aiming to contribute positively within the local community with a shared sense of prosperity and commitment to sustainability."

Set to welcome guests late 2024, the JOIA Aruba by Iberostar stands as a five-star haven featuring 240 suites with breathtaking views as the U-shaped architectural jewel was strategically designed to showcase Eagle Beach.

The property is designed to appeal to guests of all ages and intends to serve as an attractive option for weddings, honeymoons, special occasions and family getaways. Guests at the JOIA Aruba by Iberostar will be able to indulge, concierge service, as well as butler service and select rooms with swim-up features and jacuzzis in the terrace. The property also features a state-of-the-art 10K+ square foot Convention Center, a spacious spa, a casino, and a fully equipped Fit & Fun gym. Moreover, golf enthusiasts can enjoy Iberostar’s Tierra del Sol championship Golf Course, featuring 18 holes and breathtaking views of the Caribbean sea and recently recognized with USA Today’s 2024 10 Best Readers’ Choice Award for Best Caribbean Golf Course. 

True to Iberostar's culinary reputation, the resort will offer three main dining options, including a buffet-style restaurant and two themed restaurants specializing in Caribbean cuisine and open fire cooking for meats and seafood. Furthermore, the hotel features a terrace bar where guests can enjoy the spectacular sunsets of Aruba.

The hotel, which will open as 100% electric, was developed using passive design principles to enhance energy efficiency, collaborating with international and local construction teams to reduce environmental impact. Following Iberostar's commitment to sustainability, the hotel will also implement lower-impact operations, progressive waste management techniques, with efficient energy management to minimize emissions, aligning towards its decarbonization goal.

The contemporary coastal interior design and the striking exteriors are inspired by the vibrant colors of Aruba´s marine life and Iberostar´s passion for the oceans. Hues of greens, turquoise and earthy tones have been expertly combined to convey a feeling of luxurious island living. The interior of the property features many locally inspired design elements, including a Divi-Divi tree sculpture in the main lobby, manta ray skin design in the swimming pool, and custom artwork and installations. The exterior of the building was inspired by the scales of the parrotfish, the hero of the coral reef that cleans away the algae. Reflecting Iberostar’s commitment to responsible tourism, the resort has integrated lower-impact features and sustainable elements into its design and operations. 

About Iberostar Group
Iberostar Group is a 100% family-owned Spanish multinational company with a rich history of over 67 years in the tourism industry and business origins dating back to 1877. It currently has two divisions: Iberostar Hotels & Resorts, its hotel division and largest business unit, whose portfolio totals 100 4- and 5-star hotels in 14 countries; and World2Meet, its travel division, a vertically structured tourism group comprising 17 brands specialising in the entire tourism value chain. 

The Group has earned recognition for its efforts in promoting a responsible tourism model that prioritizes the well-being of both people and the environment. With quality and sustainability embedded throughout the business, the company positions the circular economy as the cornerstone of its strategy. Pursuing its own 2030 Agenda, goals include becoming waste-free by 2025, attaining carbon neutrality by 2030, ensuring complete responsibility in its seafood supply chain by 2025, and enhancing the health of the ecosystems that surround its hotels, among other objectives.

Iberostar Group has a global team of over 35,000 people from 95 different nationalities. Their unwavering commitment to quality serves as a key differentiator, driving continuous improvement, innovative products, and exceptional customer service.

Find out more about us at https://press.iberostar.com/en/

June 04, 2024
Revery Toronto Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton Debuts in the Entertainment District

Owned and operated by Easton's Group of Hotels and The Gupta Group, Revery marks the premiere of Curio Collection by Hilton in Toronto

Toronto and McLEAN, Va./CNW/—HiltonEaston's Group of Hotels, and The Gupta Group announced the opening of the Revery Toronto Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton. Each hotel in the Curio Collection portfolio is handpicked for its distinctive design, world-class food and beverage, and curated experiences in exciting global destinations. Revery officially invited guests into its theatrically themed, 224-room hotel on June 4th, 2024, at 92 Peter Street, Toronto, Ontario.

"We're delighted to launch Ontario's first Curio Collection by Hilton property in Toronto. Revery will bring a bespoke blend of sophistication, design, and hospitality," said Reetu Gupta, author of Auspicious and ambassadress, The Gupta Group and Easton's Group of Hotels. "With its prime  location, Revery is more than a destination; it's an alluring and captivating experience."

With its fast-growing portfolio of over 160 properties in top destinations, each Curio Collection by Hilton is celebrated for its remarkable character and one-of-a-kind experiences," said Jenna Hackett, senior vice president, Hilton Lifestyle Brands. "As the first Curio Collection hotel in Ontario, Revery's guests will soon enjoy immersive, remarkable stays in the heart of Toronto's Entertainment District." 

Design Takes Centre Stage
Revery's design acts as a discovery that reflects the lights, drama, and sociability of the neighbourhood. Muse Lobby Bar is full of mystique and fashioned in bold ruby-red textures with white statement lighting. With its entrance on bustling Peter Street, Muse is a modern "concession stand" where hotel guests and neighbours meet for social exchanges over bespoke cocktails, coffee and small bites.

Behind the velvet curtains, guests will step into the "Box Office" under the marquis lights and monochromatic checkerboard concrete tiles. There, they can explore the modern check-in pods, with big screen backdrops playing classic black-and-white movies and historic images of Toronto's landmarks.

Revery's nod to the theatre continues in its guestrooms with curved full-length mirrors and clever lighting applications which create a glamourous "dressing room" look. Guestrooms are sleek with ultra-high-gloss lacquered finishes, marble accents, and automated touches to suit the needs of sophisticated travellers.

"Revery Toronto Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton is where guests can daydream and indulge in meditative relaxation, whether in our glamorous guest rooms or in our captivating restaurants," said Dr. Steve Gupta, founder & executive chairman of The Gupta Group. "Revery highlights vivid theatre and crafted film concepts, reflecting unique nuances from backstage to dressing room themes, inspiring our guests to experience their own state of "reverie." Curated moments of celebration will become our guests' lasting memories."

Star Studded Food & Beverage
Continuing the cinematic theme and Hollywood glamour, anticipation awaits at Deauville Club, Revery's French-inspired restaurant. The hues are subtle and refined, with oak herringbone floors and violet-infused marble accents. Chef Tom Chlebek's cuisine brings unique expertise and authenticity to every dish. With a keen understanding that mood is paramount, he has crafted culinary experiences that evoke a sense of wonder and delight.

Adjacent to Deauville Club, heavy velvet drapes lead you to the Gupta Room—a private space for meeting and entertaining. Rich in texture and accessories, the mood is set with deep eggplant and dark purple accents. For intimate meetings and events, Revery has two thoughtfully curated spaces to engage and exchange: the Cinema Room and Easton's Boardroom. Additionally, for larger private parties, Deauville Club is the perfect stage to welcome up to 100 guests.

Situated just a quick walk from the renowned TIFF Lightbox and The Steve & Rashmi Gupta Box Office, Revery invites guests to take in the bustling energy of one of Canada's most vibrant cultural hubs featuring countless dining, nightlife, shopping and cultural experiences along its way.

Revery Toronto Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton will participate in Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton's world-class portfolio of distinct hotel brands which boasts over 180 million members. Members who book directly will have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, exclusive member discounts, free standard Wi-Fi and access to the Hilton Honors mobile app.

For more information about Revery Toronto Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton, visit their website or contact Pamela Valerio at pamela@nkpr.net 

About Hilton
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 22 world-class brands comprising more than 7,100 properties and more than 1.1 million rooms, in 123 countries and territories. Dedicated to fulfilling its founding vision to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality, Hilton has welcomed more than 3 billion guests in its more than 100-year history, earned a top spot on Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For list and been recognized as a global leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for six consecutive years. Hilton has introduced several industry-leading technology enhancements to improve the guest experience, including Digital Key Share, automated complimentary room upgrades and the ability to book confirmed connecting rooms. Through the award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors, the more than 150 million members who book directly with Hilton can earn Points for hotel stays and experiences money can't buy. With the free Hilton Honors app, guests can book their stay, select their room, check in, unlock their door with a Digital Key and check out, all from their smartphone. Visit stories.hilton.com for more information, and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.

About Curio Collection by Hilton
Curio Collection by Hilton is a global portfolio of more than 145 individually remarkable hotels hand-picked to immerse guests in one-of-a kind moments in the world's most sought-after destinations. Each hotel in the Curio Collection evokes a bespoke story through distinctive architecture and design, world-class food & beverage and curated experiences, while providing the benefits of Hilton and its award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors—Experience Curio Collection by Hilton by booking at curiocollection.com or through the industry-leading Hilton Honors app.

About The Gupta Group
The Gupta Group is a beacon of innovation and excellence in the global investment landscape, spearheaded by visionary entrepreneur Steve Gupta. At the heart lies Easton's Group of Hotels. With 22 hotels and four under development in prime locations spanning Ontario and Quebec, the flagship properties, including renowned brands like Hilton, Marriott, and IHG, redefine the standards of hotel experiences. Under The Gupta Group's unified banner, they continue to redefine the hospitality landscape, real estate development, and beyond. With a legacy built on vision, passion, and integrity, we embark on exciting new ventures propelled by our unwavering commitment to excellence. Every endeavour, from lifestyle hotels to transformative residential developments, reflects our dedication to delivering unparalleled quality and service. With over 1500 residential units completed between Dundas Square Gardens and Rosedale on Bloor, Yonge City Square, at the corner of York Mills and Yonge, is now on the market. Being the first condominium built in the neighbourhood in over 20 years, with direct subway access, it will be the primary head office of The Gupta Group. Visit www.guptagroup.ca/ and connect with us on Facebook,Instagram, andLinkedIn.

SOURCE Revery Toronto Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton

For further information:
Media contact: Pamela Valerio, pamela@nkpr.net and Hotel Contact: Christine.mulligan@hilton.com

June 03, 2024
SITE Crystal submissions open now, with new award category for 2025

Today marks the launch of SITE’s 2025 Crystal Awards program, with submissions accepted through August 2, 2024

Considered the highest honor in the incentive travel industry, each year’s SITE Crystal Awards recognize creative, practical, and truly memorable incentive travel programs that keep employees engaged, drive business results, and improve the bottom line for global corporations.

The 2025 Awards will include the return of five ever-popular “Excellence” categories, which highlight top programs operated in Africa or the Middle East; the Asia-Pacific region; Europe; North America; and Latin America or the Caribbean. Other returning award categories recognize sustainability or CSR efforts, efforts to overcome adversity, and destination-based experiences crafted for incentive groups. 

New for the 2025 awards is a category that will celebrate the best marketing and promotions campaign undertaken by a destination or marketing agency — an excellent category for destination marketing organizations (DMOs) or convention and visitor (CVB) teams to submit a winning entrant for. 

This new category will spotlight organizations that have done a truly effective job at marketing and promoting a destination to corporate and/or agency decision-makers through print and digital marketing or through in-person campaigns like educational or familiarization (FAM) trips.

Full details about all award categories, and a link to this year’s submissions platform, is available on SITE’s Crystal Awards web page

We’ve also asked this year’s SITE Crystals Chair Cate Banfield to share some of her top tips to help you shape the perfect submission. 

Best of luck to all of this year’s Crystal Award entrants — we can’t wait to share and celebrate your incredible incentive programs!