Dual Properties, Oh My!

Across the brands and across the state we are seeing an increase in dual branded properties. Marriott, Hilton, IHG and Choice Hotels are some of the brands we are keeping an eye on as they expand in Ohio. As hoteliers, owners and management companies hone in on market trends, today’s society and the future traveler we have seen changes amongst the industry. Inclusive of the emergence of lifestyle brands and the phenomenon that is dual-branded properties.

The concept itself aims to encompass the needs of a market by providing different cost segments under one roof. By having two brands under one roof, the guest has an opportunity to experience the best of both brands while on the hotel’s side there is opportunity for savings in areas such as labor and back of house operations.

Springhill Suites & TownePlace Suites Easton - Columbus, OH

TownePlace & Springhill Suites by Marriott Easton
Opening October 2018

I had the privilege to participate in a hardhat tour of the soon-to-be open TownePlace Suites and Springhill Suites by Marriott at Easton. This dual concept is well underway with an opening date of mid-October and it is bound to impress. The design concept is fresh and bright and is carried seamlessly between the two hotels. (I am really hoping I can get a few names for the wall vinyl, wall art designs and light fixtures, they are awesome!) The common area and lobby are shared between the properties, which offers expanded options and outlets for all guests. Partnerships have been developed at the brand level with popular stores such as Springhill Suites with West Elm and TownePlace Suites with the Container Store. (See below for a few additional pics from my tour!)

 

Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels Dual Concepts
Groundbreaking 2018

We have two dual concepts from Choice Hotels coming to Ohio offering two combinations. In Logan and scheduled to break ground this year, Sleep Inn & Mainstay Suites and a Comfort Suites & Mainstay Suites near Cincinnati, also looking at a 2018 groundbreaking. These properties will speak to the midscale segment and offer accommodations for extended stay and transient travelers alike.

 

Marriott Columbus University Area

Marriott and Residence Inn Columbus University Area
Opened August 2017

Celebrating their one-year anniversary this past August, this property was a first for Marriott International as it was the first time a full-service Marriott and an extended stay Residence Inn were featured as a dual property. Residence Inn guests enjoy all the wonderful amenities that come with the Residence Inn brand, but by being connected to a Marriott receive even more. Such as access to a full-service restaurant and lounge, extensive on-site event space and full culinary team behind the daily hot breakfast buffet and evening socials. What a combo!

A few others that are on their way & recently opened: Homewood Suites & Hampton Inn Cincinnati Downtown, Home2 & Tru by Hilton Grove City, Hilton Garden Inn & Homewood Suites Toledo, the list goes on… Did you know OHLA publishes a New Construction Pipeline quarterly? It is available in the MyOHLA tab for members. Contact Lauren with questions!

 

Until Next Time,

Lauren

 

Additional pictures from my hardhat tour of TownePlace & Springhill Suites by Marriott …

Springhill Suites & TownePlace Suites Easton - Columbus, OH

Springhill Suites & TownePlace Suites Easton - Columbus, OH

Springhill Suites & TownePlace Suites Easton - Columbus, OH

Something is Brewing in Canal Winchester

BrewDog known for its Punk IPA and Elvis Juice brews, opened its’ first United States brewery in Canal Winchester last year and now has opened Ohio’s first brewery-hotel, DogHouse Columbus Hotel. This 32-room boutique property is the epitome of a beer lovers dream.BrewDog DogHouse Hotel - Canal Winchester, OH

BrewDog DogHouse Hotel - Canal Winchester, OHA sidewalk leads you past the brewery on the left and the dog park on the right, straight ahead is the entry for the hotel. Walking into to this lobby is different. It’s a comfortable, welcoming, be-a-part-of-our-family, order-a-beer, take-a-load-off kind of lobby. What better atmosphere to wait for your room to be ready in? Looking to check-in? Visit the bar to receive your key (a REAL key on a wooden keychain baring the BrewDog logo).

The lobby (I’m not sure what else to refer to it as, but lobby doesn’t feel right…. The communal area?) is furnished in rich colors, relaxed lounge furniture, neon signs, cool books, a ping pong table and grab & go snacks. My favorite neon sign is centered above the bar and reads “Welcome to the Hotel California DogHouse”.BrewDog DogHouse Hotel - Canal Winchester, OH

I then went up to the third floor which was made clear as I stepped off the elevator to a full scale ‘03’ made of stacked beer cans. Turning the corner, I immediately looked into the open atrium, a part of the brewery. A quiet place where magic is made. Some suites, such as the BrewMaster Suite, has garage-like windows that open to the brewery. Each room is notably named after one of BrewDog’s brews such as Hazy Jane.BrewDog DogHouse Hotel - Canal Winchester, OH

Now, what you’ve been waiting for… the sleeping accommodations. All the rumors are true. Yes, there is lovely smelling soaps and lotions made with Elvis Juice and its’ light grapefruit fragrance. Yes, there is a beer draught for your convenience in the room. Yes, there is a beer fridge also in the room with a mixture of canned beers. Yes, there is a shower fridge (notably my husband’s favorite feature). What is a shower fridge? Well, it sits just outside of the shower and is there if you are feeling thirsty mid-shower (or ladies… while you are blow drying your hair? Am I right?).BrewDog DogHouse Hotel - Canal Winchester, OH

Outside of being a beer lover, are you a dog lover too? Good news for you! A few of the ground level rooms are dog friendly. I don’t think this place can get any better. Spend the night, enjoy BrewDog’s full-service restaurant & brewery and innovative accommodations with your furry companion (and there is a dog park adjacent to the hotel!).BrewDog DogHouse Hotel - Canal Winchester, OH

The property also features a breakfast for overnight guests featuring local flare such as Stauf’s coffee.

If this doesn’t make you want to drop what you are doing and check availability, I don’t know what will. There is so much pride in this project and the employees certainly exude the excitement. I think we can all agree, we, as an industry are just as excited to have this groundbreaking property in Ohio.

 

Until Next Time,

Lauren

 

BrewDog DogHouse Hotel - Canal Winchester, OH

BrewDog DogHouse Hotel - Canal Winchester, OH

Renaissance Era in Toledo (No pun intended.)

“Holy Toledo! Either that bird hit a landmine, or you just shot down a kamikaze pigeon!” Quick! Name that show! You guessed it, M*A*S*H. I am sure you are wondering, “Lauren, why are you pulling a quote from M*A*S*H?”. Boy, do I have a reason!Renaissance Toledo, OH

I traveled to our Northwest Lodging Council last week and had the opportunity to stay, enjoy and embrace the not-like-any-other Renaissance Toledo. In every way, this hotel pays homage to the city of Toledo. From being the “Glass City”, to Jeep manufacturing and yes, its’ famous connection to the television series M*A*S*H.Renaissance Toledo, OH

I arrived late in the evening and was ready to check-in, eat and sleep. From the moment I entered the lobby, I felt the innovation and excitement. (Toledo is often referenced as the Glass City due to its long history of glass manufacturing but is also known for its automotive industry. Toledo is the Jeep headquarters! These two facts are important to note as I tell you more about this property.) As I approached the faces of the front desks I immediately posed the question “What is this desk made of?”. The answer? Molds a glass blower would use when creating a glass vase, bowl, etc.Renaissance Toledo, OH

I then went on to walk to the elevators but before I got there I had to stop and take a picture of the military Jeep parked right in the lobby. The Jeep reminiscent of Willy’s Jeep in the M*A*S*H TV series. A Jeep in the lobby? That’s neat. I then went up to my room (I was upgraded to an amazing corner suite that looked out over the river! Thank you, Renaissance team!)Renaissance Toledo, OH

The rooms are just beautiful and are certainly just as unique as the lobby. The industrial design is comfortable and modern. The very first thing I noticed were that the hooks that hung on the wall were actual red Jeep hooks! Other notable elements is the M*A*S*H artwork in the bedroom and the bathroom mirror that pictured a lit half full glass of water and read “1/2 air and 1/2 water. Technically, the glass is always full.” (Which is my new favorite quote!)Renaissance Toledo, OH

After Oohing and aweing over the room I headed to the rooftop lounge, The Heights. Rightfully named as it offered views of the city and the river with indoor and outdoor seating and the loveliest wood-fired pizzas! I ordered the hummus served with pickled vegetables which was delightful and a four-cheese pizza which I took back to my room to enjoy and continue my 15-but-never-finished Netflix series.

The next day I learned more about the sleeping room design and it all clicked! The sleeping rooms are designed after a glass blower’s studio. Made possible with details such as the chaise in the bedroom which has a fabric like denim and a brown leather pouch hanging over with magazines that is comparable to a leather apron.Renaissance Toledo, OH

With the growth Toledo & Northwestern Ohio is experiencing it is safe to say they truly are in a Renaissance era and this property keeps the history and roots of Toledo alive.

 

Until Next Time,

Lauren

 

Renaissance Toledo, OH

Renaissance Toledo, OH

Southern Elegance in ATL

To mark the milestone of my very first business trip, I’m sharing my recent experience down in the very toasty, vibrant city of Atlanta, where I had the privilege of spending two nights at The Whitley, formerly known as the Ritz Carlton Buckhead.

The Whitley - Atlanta, GA

The Whitley, located in the upscale Buckhead neighborhood north of downtown, is the setting for a series of conferences my company is hosting throughout the summer. As I work in communications, I had the privilege of attending our Marketing & Communication Meeting, which was held there earlier this month.

I recall our meetings departments being surprised when we were told late last year that the hotel they booked would soon no longer be the Ritz Carlton as it had been for three decades. Instead, it would be rebranded as The Whitley, A Luxury Collection Hotel by Marriott/Starwood. Just short of a year later and there I was, getting to see the result.

Before reaching the hotel, I took a very efficient trip on the MARTA train from the airport, followed by a very sweaty walk from the station to The Whitley. I once read that Charlie Daniels’ “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” is a tribute to southern pride and a reference to the devil coming from the The Union (hence why he came “down”), but I’m pretty sure it’s just because Georgia is so, so hot.

But I digress.

The Whitley - Atlanta, GAAfter reading a few blurbs here and there from different Atlanta media outlets, I learned that the changes to the property came from the industry moving away from the very formal style that used to be so popular in hotels and into a more contemporary, casual future. From what I’ve heard, it has long been the place for celebrity parties and very sophisticated activities like an Afternoon Tea. The landmark Ritz Carlton property went through some big renovations to align with the Luxury Collection brand, and is now billed as “luxury with chic Southern style.”

The hotel sits on Peachtree Road, which if you can believe, is one of 55 “Peachtree” streets in the state of Georgia, and faces the famed Lenox Square, a very posh mall that is referred to fairly frequently in rap songs (sidenote: I did NOT see T.I.  or Andre 3000 while visiting).

I walked into The Whitley lobby and felt a little bit like I was on the Titanic. I know, that sounds overly dramatic. But I was there for business, so I was picturing brightly lit, sleek furniture, I-need-to-hop-on-this-call aesthetics. This lobby, with its elaborate, purple-accented chandelier, dark wood finishes, ornately-framed artwork and beautiful sit-like-a-lady armchairs, made me think of a more formal, elegant time. In my ripe old age of 26, I prefer it this way. You don’t see that so much anymore, so to me, it’s cool.The Whitley - Atlanta, GA

I never saw the property as a Ritz, but in my exploration through its halls I felt like they did an excellent job mixing that elegant “formal” charm with contemporary, more casual touches that leisure and business travelers alike have come to expect. Its website claims that it now boasts cosmopolitan style as well as timeless elegance, so I think I’m on the right track.

The lobby, with its various candy jars and its own coffee shop, all of which I had to resist breaking my sugar diet for, melts into a lounge area that wonderfully mixes more eclectic artwork with cozy couches (blankets included!) and a bright, colorful bar.

Around each corner were tall, luxurious-looking armchairs that I always expected to find someone hiding behind. Shout out to my coworker, Maggie, for taking a picture of me on one of those sophisticated lavender sofas.The Whitley - Atlanta, GA

I also had the privilege of somehow getting a room on the very top, 22nd floor, where I got a cool view of Buckhead with downtown in the background.

I will admit I was a tiny bit intimidated being down there at first. It was my first business trip, and despite having been to a handful of foreign countries, it was only the second time I’ve ever flown without my family (mild flight anxiety over here!). However, between the views, a clean room, a cozy bathrobe, the elegant décor and the friendly vibes, I felt as at-home as one could feel when plucked out of Ohio and placed in the middle of the deep South. So for that, I extend a warm, northern “Thank you!” to The Whitley for having me!

Almost Heaven – In Hocking Hills

Cherry Ridge Retreat - Hocking HillsHocking Hills is about an hour from our home in Columbus, so this was the perfect way to getaway for a quick night.  We packed our bags and headed out.  Once you turn off the highway, cell phone coverage goes by the wayside. If you’re like me and you’re constantly hearing ding-ding-ding from your cell phone, the little ‘x’ above your reception bar is glorious. We USED A MAP to get to Conkle’s Hollow, a trail I haven’t been on before. There are two options – a paved out and back which takes you to a handful of waterfalls; or a rim trail that is a little bit more challenging.  We were running behind (too many tacos at Condado on the way out of town) so we opted for the shorter trail.  The shade and silence was so refreshing after leaving a busy morning of work behind and it was the perfect way to lay the groundwork for a fantastic trip.

Cherry Ridge Retreat - Hocking HillsEventually we made our way (with our map!!) to Cherry Ridge Retreat. The adults only retreat is located in New Plymouth, a few miles from Hocking Hills and a little off the beaten path.  The property prides itself in privacy and seclusion, each of its 9 cabins nestled into a perfect place in the woods.

Our cabin, Whispering Pines, came complete with a grill, fireplace, private pond, and hot tub, but my favorite characteristic was the massive picture window overlooking the forest.  I could have sat there all evening, but TJ was ready to explore.  Although the individual cabins are extremely private, there is a communal gazebo and lake meant for socializing with your “neighbors”.Cherry Ridge Retreat - Hocking Hills

We followed the trail from our cabin down to the lake, TJ totally prepared with his fishing pole!  The lake was amazing. For the fisherman, it is stocked with blue gill and bass and catch & release fishing is welcomed.  For the exhausted mom, sun soaked lounge chairs beckoned.Cherry Ridge Retreat - Hocking Hills

Cherry Ridge Retreat - Hocking HillsIt’s easy to work up an appetite hiking in Hocking Hills.  Cherry Ridge Retreat has a list of great restaurants in the area, but I recommend bringing your own food and cooking up a wonderful meal.  You can dine inside at the bar or alfresco at the picnic table overlooking your private pond.  We took advantage of the Fire Package providing guests with all of the tools needed for a fantastic bonfire, and in my case, s’mores!

 

As summer is slowly fading to fall and Ohio’s foliage will be at its best, consider booking a night at Cherry Ridge Retreat.  You won’t regret immersing yourself in nature with some luxury amenities. Next time I visit, I want to see The Observatory CabinCherry Ridge Retreat - Hocking Hills

(Pro Tip: Stop by Kindred Spirits at the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls for a fantastic breakfast on your way out of town!)The Inn at Cedar Falls - Hocking Hills

 

Here are a few extra pics to share from our cabin!

Cherry Ridge Retreat - Hocking Hills

Cherry Ridge Retreat - Hocking Hills

Stay a Little…

Coming from a background as a sales manager in an extended stay hotel, I have heard it all! “Aren’t those kinds of hotels a little outdated?” “I could never stay in a hotel that long.” “WAIT! I can bring my dog?” My answer, every time… “You’d be surprised what we can offer you!”.

Extended stay hotels have made a huge splash in the hotel pond over the past several years in this upscale segment of extended stay lodging, with brands like Residence Inn by Marriott, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Hyatt House and Staybridge Suites by IHG.Staybridge Suites Polaris - Columbus, OH

I recently visited the Staybridge Suites by IGH at Polaris, located north of Columbus and celebrating their one-year anniversary! I was impressed by the design layout and overall concept. With similar amenities to its counterparts a few attributes stood out (aside from being able to see Ikea & Top Golf from their parking lot… Eek!).

Staybridge Suites Polaris - Columbus, OHFirst, you know the door hangers that say “Do Not Disturb”, “Pet in Room”, etc. that never seem to actually stay on the door handle? Staybridge has a fun way to get the message across by utilizing magnets that connect to the door frame of the room. To go with this twist, I loved the verbiage: “Taking my Sweet Time Today. Come back later.” and “Shhh… Sleeping Like a Baby. Do not Disturb.”

Second, there are storage rooms for guests to utilize! Perhaps the guest is staying for several months OR returning weekly for a night or two. The best part? This is a complimentary amenity for all guests AND if you have a group staying you can have multiple folks with access to said storage room. Now, that’s convenient.

Third, the pool and outdoor area. This property features a large indoor pool (may be one of the larger indoor pools I have seen!) and a beautiful open outdoor patio for guests to enjoy. Topped off with a fire pit and a covered grilling area with two grills.Staybridge Suites Polaris - Columbus, OH

There is a lot to be said about the Staybridge Suites brand and their efforts to make the guest truly feel at home. Through researching, I also found out that Staybridge Suites was one of the first chains to go to complimentary Wi-Fi as an amenity (what a thought!)!

 

Until Next Time,

Lauren

 

P.S. I also loved these little to-go bags available at breakfast…

Staybridge Suites Polaris - Columbus, OH

10 Years of Hospitality: Hilton Polaris

I was lucky enough to intern at the Hilton Polaris during the summer of my senior year at OSU (2012). Prior to my internship, I thought I had wanted to go down the road of events. However, after spending 3 months as a full-time intern (unpaid… sigh… but what I gained and learned about the industry and myself was priceless!), I realized soon my passion for hospitality laid within the clients and quickly after graduation I started my career in hotel sales.

Hilton Polaris - Columbus, OH

Hilton Polaris just celebrated their 10th anniversary of their opening, can you believe it? I can’t! Some things have changed in its’ appearance, but the hotel still beams in the Polaris area. Many of the staff members that I knew are still active on property (which says a lot!) and the same great inspired food is still very much alive.

Hilton Polaris - Columbus, OHThe interiors have had some updates and I am loving them! The rich dark floors and walls are accented with navy, tan, gray and other neutrals. My favorite seating area is in the lobby and features plush modern navy chairs next to filled shelves with books. In the middle of the lobby stands a tall accent wall featuring a fire place. Around this there is additional seating and the most interesting coffee tables that remind me of honeycombs.Hilton Polaris - Columbus, OH

Hilton Polaris - Columbus, OHOf all the hotels in the Greater Columbus area, this property has one thing the others do not, a full-service spa, Papillon Day Spa. After getting a treatment, I would naturally head to the Bar & Patio @ 8700. The outdoor patio area is a great way to unwind with over-sized floral arrangements, two large fire pits, and strung lights. While I was visiting, the bar was advertising rose inspired cocktails. (Spa + Patio + Great Local Food + Rose = My kind of day!) Oh! I can’t forget to mention that this property is also located next door to the Polaris Mall complex; did someone say shopping?

This property has dedicated the past 10 years to delivering hospitality through their employees, events, and on-site amenities. They’ll continue to be an important piece to the puzzle of the Columbus hospitality community.

Until Next Time,

Lauren

What’s Happenin’?

Our pipeline in Ohio is quickly growing. Along with the growth, exciting new opportunity and brands are making one of their first appearances in the state. Here are three brands developing in our state…

Canopy Logo

Canopy is beginning to make its mark in Ohio with its’ newest property in the state being built by Indus Hotels on Nationwide Boulevard in the heart of downtown Columbus. This lifestyle brand began internationally and as of last year has begun to lay its domestic roots. With a passionate focus on all things local within each of its’ cities, their vision for their local culture is spread through their employees who they refer to as “enthusiasts”. Across the locations from Iceland to the U.S., each room has a ‘canopy’ bed structured by a ceiling high gray headboard with an overhang. These sleek properties will be a must visit in the months and years to come!

BrewDog LogoYes, it is really happening! Very soon we will have…. A BEER HOTEL. I know what you are thinking, “Lauren, don’t joke about things such as this.” Rest assured, no jokes here! In Canal Winchester, BrewDog opened their first brewery in the United States. The brewery alone now has 3 locations within the Greater Columbus Area with sights on Cleveland & Cincinnati next. Now, they are on to their first hotel in the U.S., The DogHouse, with rooms featuring views of the brewery, in-room beer taps, and last but not least (and the single thing my husband is most excited about) there is a beer cooler in the shower! I am looking forward to the hops based and locally produced toiletries. Opening the end of August 2018!

Graduate Hotels LogoMy inner Buckeye is jumping at the development of The Graduate hotel in Columbus on the campus of The Ohio State University. This will be The Graduate’s first property in the state. The Graduate’s décor pays homage to the university itself. Common areas may be reminiscent of items such as the main library, noteworthy architecture, academics, and athletics. For example, the common areas of The Graduate on the campus of that school up North, is mocked after their gorgeous library and their academic seal is on the headboards. As an OSU Alum, I am so excited to see this come to fruition in Columbus!

Members – Are you wondering what else is in the pipeline for Ohio? Access the myOHLA tab at www.ohiolodging.com and review our New Construction Pipeline; updated quarterly! Or contact me with questions directly at Lauren@ohla.org.

 

Until Next Time,

Lauren

Wellness with Westin: Across the 3 C’s

Heavenly bed. Lavender oil. Pet friendly. All things we relate to the Westin brand and their wellness initiatives. The fluffy heavenly bed always offers a comfortable nights’ rest. Now, with the lavender oil available bedside, you can soothe yourself and your mind into a tranquil state. To keep you healthy and on track during your stay Westin promotes healthy eating through their in-house menus, has a work out gear lending program through a partnership with New Balance, and the newly developed RunWESTIN program.

Equally important is mental health, so why not bring your furry friend along? Our pets are the greatest single way to relieve stress (and also to induce stress at times…). At Westin your pets will be treated just as great as you!Westin Columbus , OH

The Westin brand is a staple of wellness and community that is sewn into its’ culture at any Westin location you visit. We are lucky to have 3 equally unique Westin properties in the state of Ohio, shall we explore?

 

Westin, Cleveland

Cleveland Rocks! – I can hear The Drew Carey Show theme song chiming in my head with this hotel. In the heart of the city, The Westin Cleveland, truly encompasses the modern, vivacious, spirit that is the city of Cleveland. Everywhere you look inside this hotel is a surprise, you never know what you’ll find next. Rich wood, bright green from the exquisitely crafted Palm Painting, and unique masterpieces welcome you into the lobby. My personal favorite is the peaceful statue of an oversized head constructed out of hundreds of tree branches reclaimed from the construction of the Cleveland Innerbelt Bridge in the Tremont neighborhood. It is truly an experience to walk through this property. (Click here to learn more about the Art of the Westin.) Connecting with their Cleveland roots, their restaurant, Urban Farmer, is an excellent farm to table concept in a laid-back atmosphere. The brunch is delicious!

Westin - Cleveland, OH

 

The Westin Great Southern, Columbus

Known as the oldest hotel in Columbus and a staple for its’ unrivaled architecture, the Westin Columbus surely impresses all who seek its’ charming accommodations. The lobby is enough to make jaws drop with prominent high ceilings, marble floors, the second largest living wall in Ohio, and original woodworking in all its’ beauty. The most notable feature is the breathtaking ballroom; a classic gold and white room lined with a wall of windows, stunning stained-glass features, and intricate gold leaf woodworking. Recently renovated, the Westin Columbus still offers all the modern amenities and accommodations in a very metropolitan approach to the design and overall concept. For some of you, you may remember Thurber’s Bar. Well, Thurber’s Bar is no more! I got to see a sneak peek while still under construction, Westin Columbus, will now be home to a new concept: Great Southern Whiskey Bar. I think I know where this Columbus gal will be heading for her next happy hour!

Westin - Columbus, OH

 

Westin, Cincinnati

Want to feel in the mix and not lost in a large downtown metro area? Westin Cincinnati is situated in one of my favorite areas of downtown Cincinnati, Fountain Square. Just a short walk from several acclaimed restaurants, fun nightlife, and just outside their doors a scenic community area that houses concerts, ice skating rink in the winter, and so much more throughout the year. This place is a meetings mecca with so much to offer in regards to capacity and flow. The pre-function space is extremely spacious and feels open with an atrium style wall of windows looking out at Fountain Square. Take time to sneak to Over Vine, a quiet lounge that is quite literally over Vine Street with wonderful views! Talk about location, location, location!

Westin - Cincinnati, OH

 

Until Next Time,
Lauren

 

Fairytale Destination: Sea Island, Georgia

As you drive onto Sea Island, weaving through marsh land, admiring the overgrown oak trees and low hanging moss, water views, you truly feel the southern charm of Georgia.The Cloister - Sea Island, GA

The Cloister at Sea Island is something out of your favorite childhood storybook. Remember being captivated in a love story with the prince and princess in a fairytale setting? The Cloister at Sea Island is just that, a fairytale (and our friends had a fairytale wedding too). The architecture and design of the entire resort and island is the classic southern romantic charm of your dreams.

The Cloister - Sea Island, GA

As we pulled up under the porte-cochere, we were greeted by the friendly and abundant staff. Walking in there were fresh floral arrangements, stone like walls, charming brass chandeliers, elaborate tapestries, high ceilings with a wall of windows, and a staircase (the same staircase my dear friend would see her father for the first time prior to the wedding). I was in awe! Looking directly ahead at a wall of windows I was able to look out over a marble patio to the water. Similar to the main  lobby, our suite was equally stunning with similar features.

My husband and I had the opportunity to spend some time at their spa, visit The Beach Club, and golf their championship course. The spa forever has a little piece of my heart. Upon arrival, we were each greeted with a Peach Bellini (FRESH Georgia peaches, yum!). In the middle of the spa is an atrium filled with sky lights, man-made river-like features, and naturally growing trees. We found a little nook and sat curled up in our Ugg blankets (SO comfy).The Cloister - Sea Island, GA

That evening we went to a Welcome Party at The Retreat at Sea Island. Another gorgeous indoor/outdoor venue surrounded by the rich Georgia foliage and warm breezy air.The Cloister - Sea Island, GA

The ceremony took place in the garden under picturesque trees where chandeliers hung like earrings from their branches. The reception followed within the Mizner Ballroom at The Cloister. It within itself was an extravagant, black tie, event full of love and hope for the future. The service staff was incomparable and added so much to the overall event. An evening I will not soon forget. (For my events & catering folks out there, I have included a few photos below of the ceremony and reception. Enjoy!)

At the end of the day, hospitality is what we live for and work to deliver everyday. When a hospitality professional experiences true hospitality & kindness, they know it. Now, I am going to sit here and reminisce of the breezy air, the loveliest Peach Bellini and the joy of Southern Hospitality.

P.S. Just for fun. Here is my favorite pic from the wedding…The Cloister - Sea Island, GA

 

Cheers!

Lauren

 

The Cloister - Sea Island, GAThe Cloister - Sea Island, GA