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

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

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

 

Summer is Here!

When you’ve spent lots and lots of time inside changing diapers and working on organized tummy time on a proper flat surface, it makes you jump at a chance to hang out with adults doing adult things, like tapas and summer cocktails at a rooftop bar.

Enter, VASO.

VASO @ AC Hotel Dublin

VASO @ AC Hotel DublinIf you’re totally behind the times, Ohio recently got its second and third AC Hotels, in Dublin and Cincinnati.  VASO is the new rooftop bar and restaurant at Dublin’s swanky AC Hotel.  This property is located in the new Bridge Park Development, situated at the busy intersection of US 33 (Riverside Drive) and Rt. 161 (W Dublin-Granville Road). From my experience, ACs seem to be popping up in areas just like this – new, hip developments that need a stylish hotel to anchor a development of unique local restaurants, shopping and entertainment. When you enter the hotel, it’s a full sensory experience.  The art and decor is fun to look at, it smells heavenly (AC branded scent – rumor has it there is a new one coming soon!), the beautiful floor to ceiling bar straight ahead

makes you crave a handcrafted cocktail before you even make it through the threshold and you can hear the buzz of conversation from the open lobby concept, offering cozy places to have private conversations or quick business meetings. Once you make it past the lobby, you head to a separate entrance for the exclusive rooftop bar… So let’s go.

VASO @ AC Hotel Dublin

I’ve only been in 3 AC Hotels, but all of them have a cool outdoor experience.  The rooftop bar concept is taking Columbus by storm, but fortunately VASO got in and set the bar high from the start.  The glass elevator sweeps guests up to the 8th floor where you’re greeted by a friendly host, who is hoping you have a reservation, because my guess is walk-in availability is slim here. We were visiting on a Sunday evening after the Muirfield Memorial Golf Tournament which brings in celebs like Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson. Needless to say, the place was PACKED. Luckily, we made reservations about a month in advance (totally not necessary, we were just busy having a baby so you know, options are limited). Once you can look past the number of people who also thought a rooftop bar in the summer would be a good idea, you see that amazing view.

VASO is serving up Spanish-style tapas and handcrafted cocktails. Our group ordered the San Jacabo (waitress recommendation and my favorite), Patatas Bravas, Albóndigas de Cordero, Ceviche de Vieiras and Ensalada de brotes de Bruselas.  Of course, no meal would be complete without dessert.  I had the Torta de Santiago, but honestly, TJ’s Torta de toffee y dátiles was absolutely amazing.

VASO @ AC Hotel DublinWhether you sit inside or out, guests can enjoy the tapas menu with impressive views, cool music and delicious cocktails.  If you haven’t been yet, I highly recommend a visit. If you’re there on a Thursday-Saturday, there is a dress code.  Kind of old school, but I like it.  Embrace the exclusivity, because at this rooftop bar, you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world.  And why not make a night out of it an enjoy the accommodations at the AC Hotel Dublin?

VASO @ AC Hotel Dublin

“People don’t take trips, trips take people.” – John Steinbeck

 

Serenity in Victorian Village

Victorian Village Guest House - Columbus, OHAs I walked away from my car and towards the timeless brick home, I immediately felt at ease. I opened the black iron gate to allow myself up the steps and to the brick sidewalk that wrapped around the home (the Guest House sits in the rear lawn of the beautiful 1800’s brick home where the owners reside). Speaking of the owners, I was warmly greeted by Lisa, and was so excited to have the opportunity to relax in this urban oasis.Victorian Village Guest House - Columbus, OH

 

Lisa walked me to the Guest House which stood at the opposite side of the lawn and is so charming. As I turned the corner, I was completely taken away by the perfectly manicured flower beds and ever so green grass. If you could live inside of the Spring season, this is where you’d want to be.

Victorian Village Guest House - Columbus, OH

I opened the door and headed up the steps which opened into a large, open, lofted space with vaulted ceilings. Everything had a rich ruby red color incorporated into it. The bathroom; all red! Such a beautiful color to accent the neutral walls and furniture.

Sitting on the counter top was a sweet treat (from one of my favorite bakeries, Pistachio Vera) and a welcome card from the hosts (so kind!).Victorian Village Guest House - Columbus, OH

I dropped my bag and grabbed a book immediately as it just felt right. I appreciated the serenity and peacefulness of this location. It was so quiet! I casually came and went from my lofted space to the outdoor seating.Victorian Village Guest House - Columbus, OH

As the sun began to set, it was time to settle in and head to bed (the oh-so comfy bed!). I pulled down the woven window shades, prepared a cup of hot tea in the kitchen, grabbed my sweet welcome treat, and settled in for a peaceful night’s rest.Victorian Village Guest House - Columbus, OH

What a great stay! Now I am thinking ahead… this would be an ideal location to stay for an Ohio State home game!

 

Until Next Time,
Lauren