Hotel Granduca, Houston
Benchmark Hospitality International operates 39 mid-size hotels across the U.S., geared especially well for the corporate market. As the company has grown over the last 25+ years, it accumulated a diverse array of product ranging from mid-market urban conference hotels to luxury beach resorts.
To capitalize on its portfolio of lifestyle boutique properties, Benchmark created the all-new Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels brand, and officially launched its splashy new website this month. The group of 13 upscale hotels range from The Villas & Cottages at Turtle Bay Resort in Oahu to Bardessono in Napa to The Villas of Grand Cypress in Orlando. There’s also some vibrant new collaterals promoting the brand promise to deliver to each individual guest his or her own personal definition of luxury.
For meeting and incentive planners, Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels collection offers sophisticated meeting/event venues in highly desirable locations, backed by Benchmark’s lengthy industry experience catering to groups.
“Personal Luxury is all about creating unique experiences for groups in unique destinations,” says Eric Gavin, regional vp. “It’s not about developing hotels where you walk into the hotel in Seattle and it looks just like the hotel in Miami. We want to be indicative of each destination and we also really want to excel at the touch points. It’s making sure we empower our associates to take care of our groups and any wish or whim they may have.”
I mention to Gavin that a lot of the larger brands (W, Andaz, Autograph, Kimpton) have delivered smaller, boutique properties to the market with a focus on experiential travel and individual style, so how does Personal Luxury aim to differentiate itself?
“Typically when those big brands latch on to trends like that, they duplicate everything and standardize it,” says Gavin. “That is exactly the opposite of what we want to create. We want to create an individualized experience for your group by speaking with planners from the very beginning, and understanding why are you coming to our hotel and what can we do to customize the experience. That could be creating a private tour through Pike Place Market in Seattle or a personalized shopping tour in Miami at ONE Bal Harbour, because we have a close relationship with The Shops at Bal Harbour. And then we want to send your group over to the Design District for private gallery tours too.”
Marenas Beach Resort, Miami
‘PERSONAL GIVING’ FOR HURRICANE SANDY
Through December 18, 2013, the five Personal Luxury hotels in Florida are offering groups a turnkey CSR program to help with Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Here are the details:
Book your next Group Meeting at the Villas of Grand Cypress, Naples Bay Resort, Costa d’Este Beach Resort, Marenas Beach Resort*, and/or ONE Bal Harbour Resort & Spa and we’ll make it easy for your company or organization to assist those in need due to Hurricane Sandy by matching your donation to one or all of three select charities serving the victims of Hurricane Sandy and receive a credit in the amount of up to 2% off your master account.
The three charities are:
CITY HARVEST has been hard at work providing food and other supplies to those affected by Hurricane Sandy while continuing their work rescuing and delivering food to some 600 emergency food programs throughout New York City. Serving New York City for 30 years, City Harvest is the world’s first food rescue organization, dedicated to feeding the city’s hungry men, women, and children. This year, City Harvest will collect 42 million pounds of excess food from all segments of the food industry, including restaurants, grocers, corporate cafeterias, manufacturers, and farms. This food is then delivered free of charge to some 600 community food programs throughout New York City.
NEW JERSEY FOOD BANK fights hunger and poverty by distributing food and groceries, providing education and training, and developing new programs to help people with low incomes meet their basic needs. As a non-profit organization, they act as the central food distribution center for other non-profits in NJ that serve individuals, soup kitchens, food pantries and shelters. For every dollar of their operating budget, the Community Food Bank of New Jersey is able to distribute $9.59 worth of food and groceries.
ALL HANDS VOLUNTEERS provides hands-on assistance to communities, with maximum impact and minimum bureaucracy. Their mission is to provide immediate, effective and sustainable support to communities in need by harnessing the energy and commitment of dedicated volunteers.
“The concept of Personal Giving is to reach out to people and say, ‘Hey look, we know that our communities are really the backbone and foundation of our lives,” says Gavin. “So if you’re going to have a meeting with us, why dont we give you an incentive to give back to New York and New Jersey through three preferred charities, who are actively helping people on a day to day basis…. It’s simple really. We know our groups want to incorporate the community component in their meetings, so we launched Personal Giving. We really want to bring corporate social responsibility to life for our clients and their associates.”
PERSONAL LUXURY RESORTS & HOTELS
Stay tuned for a separate story about the $15 million renovation at the 146-key Villas of Grand Cypress in Orlando. And check out our previous stories highlighting the LEED Platinum Bardessono and Gloria Estefan’s Costa d’Este Resort in Vero Beach.
Here are all of the 13 resorts and hotels in the Personal Luxury group. Immediate future expansion plans include Miami and the Caribbean, with a variety of other destinations presently under discussion.
- Bardessono, Napa Valley
- Bellevue Park Hotel, Bellevue, Washington (opening 2014)
- Costa d’Este Beach Resort, Vero Beach, Florida
- Hotel 1000, Seattle
- Hotel Granduca, Houston
- The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, New Mexico
- Marenas Beach Resort, Miami
- Naples Bay Resort, Naples, Florida
- Sorrel River Ranch, Moab, Utah
- Sorrento Hotel, Seattle
- Willows Lodge, Woodinville, Washington
- The Villas and Cottages at Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu
- The Villas of Grand Cypress, Orlando