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Top 25 Historic Hotels of America for a Romantic Proposal

February 5, 2021
Romantic gazebos placed along the lake’s edge are extremely popular for popping the question at Mohonk Mountain House, a Victorian jewel in New York’s Hudson Valley (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

WASHINGTON, D.C. –“Every day is Valentine’s Day at Historic Hotels of America,” said Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Vice President, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. “Historic hotels are the perfect place for celebrating special occasions that create lifelong memories and are the ideal location for a romantic proposal.”

These special milestones celebrated at historic hotels include romantic getaways, the ideal place to propose, the destination for the perfect wedding, the getaway for a memorable honeymoon, and the location to celebrate a special anniversary.

“The most romantic hotels are historic hotels.  These romantic historic hotels range from intimate to grand and opulent. Proposing at a historic hotel is a wonderful opportunity to create an ever-lasting memory and increases the chance that the answer will be ‘yes.’ From historic destination resorts with romantic gardens to city-center legendary historic hotels, each provides the setting, the backdrop, and the ambiance for making and hearing yes to the perfect proposal.” 

Each year, the hotel membership organization of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, publishes its Top 25 Historic Hotels of America for a Romantic Proposal: Here’s the 2021 Top 25:  

The Buccaneer (1653) Christiansted, U.S. Virgin Islands 
The Buccaneer Resort has a history from centuries ago.  The Danes purchased St Croix in 1733, and installed Governor Von Prock, who lived in the original hilltop Great House.  He turned the property into a sugar factory, including a large sugar mill, still intact.  This structure provides a most romantic and unique location for proposals.  With sweeping Caribbean views and gentle breezes, this setting has been a favorite for romance seekers for generations. The Sugar Mill is located on the hilltop overlooking the resort and Caribbean Sea, which combine to make it the perfect proposal location.  For those looking for an evening proposal, just before sunset is ideal as the special moment can be followed by a private dinner in the Sugar Mill. Or pair this location with The Buccaneer’s Pop the Question package to enhance the experience.  The package includes an upgraded room category, welcome basket, private beachside cabana rental for one day, and prosecco at the site on the day of the proposal.  

The Omni Homestead Resort (1766) Hot Springs, Virginia 

The Omni Homestead Resort has beautiful, breathtaking views everywhere guests turn. From the gorgeous mountain scenery to the grand and glamorous interior settings, there are numerous places for romantic proposals. The associates at the hotel can accommodate unique proposals on-site. One proposal took place during an archery lesson with a message “Will you marry me” inserted into a balloon on the target. The bride-to-be popped the balloon as the groom-to-be popped the question.  While there are a lot of romantic settings for the proposal, the Dining Room is one of the most popular.  Part of The Omni Homestead experience for more than a century, the elegant Dining Room features custom chandeliers, an incredible domed ceiling, and large windows. Each night there’s music for dancing, a time-honored tradition at the resort. With a little advance notice, The Homestead team can arrange for the band to play the couple’s favorite song while a photographer captures the special moment.   

Inn at Perry Cabin (1816) St. Michaels, Maryland 
The gazebo on The Pointe at Inn at Perry Cabin is the most romantic spot to pop the question. On the shores of the Miles River, the gazebo overlooks a beautiful wide stretch of water often filled with boats of all sizes for a true sense of the place on the Chesapeake Bay. The Inn at Perry Cabin crew will help guests pull off the plan and once they say yes, will help the couple celebrate with a private dinner from an award-winning Chef inside the gazebo before the newly engaged retire to one of their luxurious waterfront guestrooms for the evening. 

The Willard InterContinental (1818) Washington DC 
Throughout the year, The Willard InterContinental is the location for a great number of proposals. Yet the most popular place and time throughout the year to pop the big question, is around The Willard’s iconic Christmas tree in the lobby. Couples enjoy this most festive atmosphere for a proposal, as the hotel shines bright in all its holiday decor. Recently, a groom-to-be worked with the Guest Relations Manager to strategically place a Marry Me ornament on The Willard Christmas tree that the bride-to-be would spot as they came by to view the holiday decorations and have a drink, a holiday tradition they have done each year since moving to Washington DC. In another proposal, the groom-to-be placed a present under the Christmas tree; as the couple was viewing the tree, they spotted the wrapped gift with the name of the finance-to-be that contained the ring that he needed for the proposal.  Coordinating proposals on-site is often a team effort and typically coordinated by The Willard Guest Relations team who will work with the individual proposing in advance to ensure they have the support needed to carry out the proposal and any items required such as rose petals, champagne, chocolates, balloons, and more.  

Omni Royal Orleans (1843) New Orleans, Louisiana  
At the highest point of the hotel is the famous Observation Deck which has a panoramic view of the city with a backdrop of the mighty Mississippi, riverboats, and a view of the infamous Jackson Square.  It truly captures the essence of what makes New Orleans, New Orleans.  It is easy to lure the unsuspecting fiancé up to that area with an invitation from a family member or friend to join them for a cocktail at La Riviera, the Rooftop Pool Bar.   Then a suggestion of “come see the view of the city” brings the intended up the stairs of the Observation Deck.  Sometimes family members are hiding up there and others have a few friends.  Shortly after the intended gets up the stairs, the proposer comes following behind and dropping to their knee to ask the big question. The hotel’s ensures for a memorable event that the area be temporarily closed to the public and provide Champagne with flutes for a congratulations toast.  Others have enhanced their experience by having dinner for two afterwards in a private dining room in the award-winning Rib Room.    

Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa (1847) Point Clear, Alabama  
As the sun starts to set into Mobile Bay, the romantic couple sits in one of the swings under giant oak trees and pops the question. Named the best large historic hotel in 2019 by Historic Hotels of America, couples have been getting engaged at the Grand Hotel since 1847. After a massive transformation, the resort has even more places for proposals. Private beach and pool cabanas offer a quiet setting for proposals. A very memorable setting is to get down on a knee at Julip Point and make the proposal as the sunsets and majestic pelicans fly above to salute the lovebirds.  Once they say yes, it is time to stroll over to Southern Roots for a delicious meal. A full team of wedding and event experts is available to help in proposal planning and all wedding aspects thereafter. 

Mohonk Mountain House, a Victorian castle perched over a private lake, is among the Top 25 most romantic Historic Hotels of America members for proposing (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Mohonk Mountain House (1869) New Paltz, New York 
Mohonk Mountain House is a Victorian Castle perched at the top of a mountain with a private lake. The hotel has 120 “summerhouses” which are rustic gazebos designed for two people to share special moments together; taking in stunning views during or after a hike on 85 miles of trails- all of which provide the perfect romantic backdrop for someone to get down on bended knee. The Sky Top Tower is a hiking destination with panoramic views of the Shawangunk Cliffs and Catskill Mountains and a very popular engagement site, along with the boat dock, which provides amazing views of serene Lake Mohonk.  

Grand Hotel (1887) Mackinac Island, Michigan 
For 135 years, Grand Hotel provides the charm and beauty of a variety of romantic settings for a grand gesture. The World’s Longest Front Porch, overlooking the Straits of Mackinac and the Mackinac Bridge, provides an enchanting backdrop. At the very top of Grand Hotel, the Cupola Bar offers breathtaking panoramic island views, ideal for that special moment. The picturesque Main Dining Room is an elegant setting with the instrumental background of the Grand Hotel Orchestra. Grand Hotel’s lush gardens provide an intimate opportunity that some couples prefer. Woods Restaurant, an opulent Tudor mansion with Bavarian charm, offers private candlelit dining experiences and is just a short, romantic horse-drawn carriage ride into the wooded interior of Mackinac Island.  Request the Grand Proposal Package and assistance with behind-the-scenes reservations and arrangements. The Grand Proposal Package includes a select location for the proposal, one-hour private carriage tour, 30 minutes of professional photography, VIP dinner reservations with a bouquet of fresh flowers, and a bottle of Grand Hotel Sparkling Wine on the table upon arrival.  

Jekyll Island Club Hotel, Georgia exudes Southern charm and has various settings for a romantic proposal (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Jekyll Island Club Hotel (1887) Jekyll Island, Georgia  
Built in the Queen Ann style, the Jekyll Island Club Resort is like a castle surrounded by Southern charm. With sweeping Spanish moss and hundred years old live oaks, Jekyll Island is one of the most romantic spots in the South.  From the top of the turret to quiet moments in Crane Garden, its little slice of Heaven is perfect for any romantic proposal. The three top romantic spots include The Turret, Crane Garden, and The Grand Dining Room.  The Turret of the Clubhouse is the second tallest structure on Jekyll Island and the tallest structure in the Jekyll Island Historic District with a panoramic view of the Historic District and Jekyll River, most romantic at sunset. The manicured grounds of Crane Cottage, especially Crane Garden, offers couples the perfect romantic garden to sneak away to on property. The sunken garden features a lush lawn, sweeping ivy covered trellis, a running fountain, and an abundance of flowers. The sunken garden allows for a private moment between the blooming flowers with the Italian Renaissance style Crane Cottage framing the background. The historic Grand Dining Room offers the timeless charm of years long ago.  A private candlelit dinner experience can be arranged in advance. Special delivery of the ring can be arranged with the Catering team.  From a special toast to an extra sweet dessert moment, team members are ready to help enhance this special moment. 

The historic, iconic Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego, California (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Hotel del Coronado (1888) Coronado, California
Hotel del Coronado is lucky to be the “go-to” proposal spot for San Diego. Its enchanting Victorian architecture and beachfront location lend an air of romance to any proposal. While many have popped the question at the holiday ice skating rink and even surprised their intended with a flash mob on the oceanfront Windsor Lawn, the two most popular proposals ideas are both on the sparkling beach. What could be more romantic the dropping down on one knee on the beach at sunset next to a roaring private beach bonfire? The hotel team is happy to assist with reserving the private beach bonfire experience and can also provide a full menu of fireside treats and cocktails to lead up to the big moment. Some proposers even go the extra mile and arrange for family and friends to join them at a neighboring bonfire after the big moment. Another romantic proposal idea is to end a romantic beach stroll with a proposal in front of a custom sandcastle. One of the highlights of the Hotel del Coronado beach resort is the sandcastle man, a talented local artist who builds custom sandcastles daily. Potential proposers can contact him directly, or through the help of hotel team, and he will create a custom sandcastle for the magical moment. With the help of a local photographer, the sandcastle proposal will be a memory that the couple can cherish for years to come. 

Ledges Hotel (1890) Hawley, Pennsylvania  
Ledges Hotel was created from a repurposed 1890s era glass factory. Thoughtful, modern design and a commitment to historic preservation offer a unique atmosphere. Every aspect of the hotel was designed to be in harmony with nature. Gathering spaces and guestrooms boast adaptive reuse furnishings, environmentally friendly amenities, and stunning views of the river gorge waterfall. The historic Bluestone building situated atop Paupack High Falls provides a dramatic backdrop for proposals. The tiered decks overlooking the natural waterfall and river gorge are one of the most romantic spots to pop the question at Ledges Hotel. It is a popular destination for engagements no matter the season. During winter, the frozen falls offer a stunning backdrop. Budding trees and rushing waters are a hallmark of spring. Summer by the waterfall is lush and cool while fall foliage creates a vibrant landscape in autumn. Seasonal specials afford special romantic touches such as a couple’s massage, in-room wine and cheese, a private yoga class, chocolate covered strawberries and split of prosecco. 

Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa (1901) (Waikiki Beach) Honolulu, Hawaii 
The First Lady of Waikiki, overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean, offers either a beachfront table at the hotel’s bar, or on the sand very near the bar. It all depends on how much privacy the couple would like during the proposal. Along the beach or at the bar under the famous Banyan Tree, especially during sunset is the busiest time. If a couple does not mind an audience, something can be pre-arranged with the hotel’s food and beverage department and the nightly entertainer –such as making an announcement to direct attention to the proposal. The Beach Bar located beneath the famed Banyan Tree at the Banyan Courtyard is the most romantic location. If a couple prefers to be engaged in private, a tower room facing the ocean at sunset would be ideal. 

Southern Hotel (1907) Covington, Louisiana 
The Southern Hotel has many romantic spots. Its restaurant, Ox Lot 9, offers a farm-to-table Southern cuisine experience, sourcing from local producers and suppliers to create inventive, seasonal menus. Its ballroom is perfect for a fairytale dance, and its courtyard is the perfect place to share a cup of coffee at sunrise. The most favorite romantic spot is its garden path.  Tucked away beyond the hedge of the courtyard, this quaint little path leads to the pool. Moss covered bricks meander under a trellis—a small, verdant universe. The splashing of the trickling fountain is majestic and musical. Each season brings with it a host of new blooms. Camellias blossom and welcome guests in winter and sleep in summer when the hydrangeas’ vibrant colors illuminate. In spring this garden path truly comes alive when the imperial jasmine blooms and gently perfumes the air. The hotel team can make the moment more special by lighting a few candles, coordinating with a photographer, or picking out just the perfect spot, including finding the right time and spot at sunset for the perfect moment to hear yes. 

Hotel Boulderado (1909) Boulder, Colorado 
For more than one hundred years, Hotel Boulderado has been a beloved place for proposals and weddings in Colorado. One of the most romantic locations at the luxury property is the charming balcony landing of the original grand cantilevered cherrywood staircase in the historic lobby. Couples who say “I Do” on the landing are surrounded by their loved ones lining the cherrywood railing of the mezzanine with the beautiful stained-glass ceiling above. The historic property is the perfect backdrop for memorable wedding ceremonies, rehearsal dinners, and receptions of up to 240 guests.   

Hermitage Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee, is the epitome of elegance, storied history and southern hospitality (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Hermitage Hotel (1910) Nashville, Tennessee  
The Hermitage Hotel provides the epitome of undisputed elegance, storied history, southern hospitality all while offering the quintessential backdrop for a romantic proposal. As Tennessee’s only Five Star hotel and designated as a National Historical Landmark, The Hermitage’s legendary grand lobby offers lovers a special place to hear the answer “Yes” to one of life sweetest questions. This stunning space is adorned with soaring columns of original Italian marble, ornate chandeliers, and light filters into the sundrenched space through a magnificent painted glass skylight, which, since the building’s erection, remains the crown jewel of the lobby. To ensure memories from this special day never fade, The Hermitage offers an engagement photoshoot package to capture the life-changing moment. 

Bear Mountain Inn (1915) Bear Mountain, New York 
Built in 1915, the historic Bear Mountain Inn is located within the beautiful Bear Mountain State Park that spans 5,025 acres located on the West Bank of the Hudson River (in Rockland and Orange Counties, New York). Many proposals have been made on these beautiful grounds, from the top of Perkins Memorial Tower, by Hessian Lake, along the Hudson River by the Bear Mountain Boat Dock, to the grand fireplace of Restaurant 1915. And countless other nooks in this luscious park and within the walls of this great historic building to ask the question Many couples who have said “Yes!” to a lifetime of love on the grounds of the Bear Mountain State Park, return to the Bear Mountain Inn to celebrate their wedding with their family and friends. Because it is in a state park and open to the public, many couples return year after year to celebrate their anniversary with a stroll through the zoo, a hike, or a romantic dinner at Restaurant 1915 by the roaring fire. 

La Fonda on the Plaza (1922) Santa Fe, New Mexico 
There is no more romantic place to propose than Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the city’s historic La Fonda on the Plaza Hotel sets the perfect scene with its “Blingarita” proposal package.  The engagement experience, orchestrated by the hotel’s expert concierge staff, starts with luxury accommodations in the historic hotel’s exclusive Fireworks Suite.  The deluxe suite has a romantic fireplace and for the popping of the question, its private wrap-around balcony will be festooned with farolitos – the traditional small candles that cast a romantic glow on the adobe.  At the appointed time, a server will arrive at the suite with a pair of La Fonda’s exclusive, ultra-premium “Blingaritas,” one of them bedazzled with an engagement ring provided by the proposer and slipped secretly to staff upon arrival. Arguably the priciest margarita in town and certainly the prettiest, the Blingarita is crafted with Don Julio 1942 tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime juice, Grand Marnier, and a 24-karat gold flake rim. The drinks are served in exquisite keepsake glasses by Southwestern designer Jan Barboglio that the couple will take home to kickstart their barware collection.  Following the proposal, a sumptuous Southwestern dinner for two will be served in the Fireworks Suite.   

Francis Marion Hotel (1924) Charleston, South Carolina 
Located in historic downtown Charleston, South Carolina, the Francis Marion Hotel is in one the South’s most romantic cities. It offers so many romantic opportunities to pop the question; from a horse drawn carriage ride to a romantic walk under moss-covered oak trees. The hotel is home to historic charm, romantic details and years of love being celebrated within its walls. Offering a beautiful backdrop in the lobby or even overlooking the view in one of the penthouse suites, a proposal at the Francis Marion is sure to be met with a yes. Including the historic and grand lobby, a few popular places in the hotel that couples have gotten engaged include the penthouse suites overlooking the city of Charleston or in one of the classic and elegant ballrooms. Its concierge can help coordinate details to in-suite amenities like champagne to celebrate saying ‘yes!’

The Terrace Hotel (1924) Lakeland, Florida 
The most popular romantic spot, the Terrace Grille, offers fine dining in a historic setting. The romantic couple can have a candlelight dinner with white linen, fine-dining service. The restaurant features a beautiful cypress ceiling with antique chandeliers, massive arched windows throughout, and a view of downtown even featuring Lake Morton.  Nearby special spots for the question include an area steeped in history, the Lake Mirror Promenade where the happy couple can enjoy sweeping views of the lake and the historic buildings. Another perfect spot is Allen Kryger Overlook Park, a half-acre commemorative park that is beautiful in design and features dramatic columns in an open, flowing space. 

InterContinental Mark Hopkins (1926) San Francisco, California 
The Top of the Mark sky-lounge has become a popular venue for romantic proposals and other celebratory occasions, including weddings and anniversaries. Located on the 19th floor of the InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco, the world-renowned sky-lounge affords a near 360-degree visit of San Francisco with views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands, as well as Alcatraz and Fisherman’s Wharf. 

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa (1927) Sonoma, California  
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa is the only comprehensive luxury destination resort in Sonoma Wine Country, boasting championship golf, geo-thermal pools, world-class spa, and fine dining. Every guest receives a complimentary bottle of wine as well as champagne upon arrival ensuring that the stage is set for romance.   Mission Suites at Fairmont Sonoma feature a four-poster king bed, wood-burning fireplace, and oversized Jacuzzi tub. All suites have a balcony or patio.  Or lovebirds may prefer a private cabana poolside at the world-famous geo-thermal Willow Stream Spa at the Wine Country resort. The destination expert concierge team at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn can assist in creating the ultimate lavish proposal which may include hot air balloon adventures, bespoke wine blending sessions, private dining options, or decadent couples massage options. 

The famed Don Cesar of St. Pete Beach, Florida, was built as a wedding present to rsemble a Mediterranean-style castle (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Don CeSar (1928) St. Pete Beach, Florida 
Built as a wedding present in 1928 to resemble a Mediterranean-style castle, The Don CeSar was once the playground for distinguished celebrities, such as Clarence Darrow and F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Don CeSar continues to charm and impress guests today with service preserved from the Great Gatsby era of pampering. Blending European grandeur, seaside elegance, and sweet sunsets with the enchantment of yesteryear, the romantic legend exemplifies the grandness of America’s traditional beach resorts.  Favorite spots to propose are on the beach, in the gardens, or on a boat with the picturesque Don CeSar in the background. 

The Hotel Hershey® (1933) Hershey, Pennsylvania 
Known for its refined elegance, signature services and abundant amenities, The Hotel Hershey is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway with beautiful locations to get down on one knee. The Formal Gardens behind the hotel are a popular spot for proposals. There, guests can find a quiet, romantic, picturesque area with beautiful flower beds, pergolas, fountains and reflecting pools. Inside the Hotel, the Fountain Lobby is another picturesque location worthy of popping the question. It was designed to look like a Spanish-style courtyard with palm trees, a beautiful fountain, and a painted sky on the ceiling. 

Royal Palms Resort & Spa (1948) Phoenix, Arizona 
With lush greenery, vibrant florals, and rustic accents throughout, there are several locations at the Royal Palms Resort for the perfect, romantic setting to propose. The resort grounds have a few favorite locations that are tucked away off the main pathways for a romantic setting, including Camelback Mountain Vista and Cervantes Patio. They are framed with landscape to accent the focal points, allowing for a romantic dinner for two, or a cozy setting to share a glass of wine and focus on one another. Sunset and evenings are the most ideal time to set the mood, with candles and patio lights. The  Via Cappello dining experience is the perfect opportunity for a proposal.

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel (1965) Kohala Coast, Hawaii 
As a long sought-after romantic destination on the big island of Hawaii, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel provides special touches. There are three standout locations at the hotel that have been favorites for more than 50 years. The first is the grand staircase fronting the enormous, ancient 12th century Buddha. The original historic third tee at Mauna Kea’s golf course, perched above the ocean’s edge, secluded and dramatic, particularly at sunset. And lastly, the Vista Decks.  For an over-the-top proposal, sunset from the hotel’s Vista Deck overlooking the soft white sands of Kauna’oa Bay, with views to the ocean’s far horizon, is a popular romantic spot. Offering privacy, views of the white sands of Kauna’oa Bay, and the ocean’s horizon beyond, the Vista Deck can be staged for a romantic torchlit dinner for two or an intimate gathering of cocktails and pupus (appetizers) with family and friends. Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s professional team of romance specialists will help arrange for a photographer (who have been known to hide in the bushes until the moment is right), florals, champagne and more to make certain all goes without a hitch and the couple’s future launches spectacularly. The shores of Kauna‘oa Bay provide the perfect backdrop to pop the question. Another option, the stunning venue above the ocean’s edge on Mauna Kea Resort’s golf course, is one of the most popular wedding locales!  The rolling blue surf of the Pacific Ocean and vibrant hues of a setting sun complete this dramatic setting.  From the sand beneath their toes to the sounds of the waves rolling onto the shore, Kauna’oa Bay sets the scene for every romantic proposal.      

Historic Hotels of America is the membership official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. The 300 members have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America, including 44 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Historic Hotels of America is comprised of mostly independently owned and operated historic hotels. More than 30 of the world’s finest hospitality brands, chains, and collections are represented in Historic Hotels of America. To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; has been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance. For more information, visit HistoricHotels.org.  

National Comedy Center, Jamestown NY, Named Best New Museum in the Country by USA Today

February 29, 2020

National Comedy Museum e2

The National Comedy Center, the nation’s official cultural institution and state-of-the-art museum dedicated to comedy as an art form, was named the “Best New Museum” in the country by USA Today as part of the 2020 USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards.

Jamestown,  NY — The National Comedy Center, the nation’s official cultural institution and state-of-the-art museum dedicated to comedy as an art form, was named the “Best New Museum” in the country by USA Today as part of the 2020 USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards.

The National Comedy Center was one of 20 new museums nominated for the award by a panel of nationally-recognized travel journalists, tourism experts and USA Today editors for this USA Today travel award series, which celebrates outstanding destinations, attractions and experiences. All of the nominees were museums that opened over the past two years, including art galleries, science museums and children’s museums in cities across the United States and Canada, including Dallas, New Orleans, St. Louis, Seattle, New York City, St. Petersburg, FL , St. Paul, MN and Edmonton, Alberta. The Comedy Center was selected as the #1 museum in the “Best New Museum” category by popular vote after a four-week voting period from January 20 through February 17, 2020.

“We are tremendously proud to be named the Best New Museum in the United States and Canada,” said Journey Gunderson, National Comedy Center Executive Director. “We have reimagined the museum experience with immersive exhibit design and unprecedented personalization. This distinction is a testament to the significance of comedy, and talented comedic artists, to our culture and our daily lives.”

“Our visitors — from all 50 states and 18 countries — already know what a must-see destination the Comedy Center is,” added Gunderson. “We look forward to welcoming thousands more comedy fans from across the country and around the world to the Best New Museum, here in Jamestown, New York.”

“The National Comedy Center team is grateful for the incredible support from our local community, the entire Western New York region, and from comedy fans across the country, all of whom voted for the Comedy Center to receive this national recognition and high honor” said Tom Benson, National Comedy Center project chairman. “It’s tremendous validation of the hard work and vision of our staff and board, our partner organizations, and our community, who believed in this project and worked tirelessly to make it happen.”

“The National Comedy Center is one of my favorite places in the world, and I am thrilled that everyone will now know what I already knew —  it is absolutely the best new museum in the country. It’s an extraordinary showplace for all things comedic –- and interactive from the moment you walk in. I promise you will smile from beginning to end. Now that the Comedy Center is officially the country’s Best New Museum, you need to make plans to visit. You won’t be disappointed,” said Lewis Black, comedian, actor, author and National Comedy Center Advisory Board member.

New York State Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said, “We are very excited that USA Today readers chose the National Comedy Center as the best new museum in the US and Canada. Anyone who loves comedy should plan a pilgrimage to this world-class, one-of-a-kind attraction as part of a New York State vacation that includes nearby destinations like the Lucy Desi Museum, the Chautauqua Institution, Panama Rocks and Niagara Falls.”

Last summer the National Comedy Center was named by TIME magazine as one of the “World’s Greatest Places” and People magazine selected it as one of its “100 Reasons to Love America.”

In early 2019, the National Comedy Center was nominated for the USA Today Readers’ Choice “Best New Attraction” award, where it was voted #2 out of 20 new attractions by USA Today readers and chosen as the #1 museum and #1 ticketed attraction in the USA Today poll.

The National Comedy Center is the United States’ official cultural institution and museum dedicated to presenting the vital story of comedy and preserving its heritage for future generations, as formally designated by the U.S. Congress in 2019. Opened in August 2018 in Jamestown, New York, the museum complex offers an unprecedented visitor experience using state-of-the-art technology, interactivity and personalization to create the first true 21st Century museum environment.

Comedy industry authority The Interrobang named the design team second on its list of “Innovators Who Changed Comedy” in 2018. Visitors from all 50 states and eighteen countries have given the Center a rare 5/5 raring on TripAdvisor, ranking among the highest in the attraction and tourism industry.

Based on the vision of Jamestown native Lucille Ball for her hometown to become a destination for comedy, the National Comedy Center showcases comedy’s great minds and unique voices in ways that engage, inspire, educate and entertain. As a non-profit institution, the National Comedy Center was funded by a mix of federal, state and private philanthropic support, including partnerships with I LOVE NY, Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State’s Empire State Development.

Design for the National Comedy Center was led by the most prominent cultural and interactive design firms in the world, whose portfolios collectively include the award-winning 9/11 Memorial Museum, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, The College Football Hall of Fame, SNL: The Experience, and more.

The National Comedy Center has been embraced by the entertainment industry, with props, costumes and archival material provided by many of the most revered names in comedy. The Comedy Center recently announced a major initiative to preserve Carl Reiner’s personal “Dick Van Dyke Show” script archive. Exhibition partners include the Kelly Carlin and the George Carlin estate, George Shapiro and Jerry Seinfeld, Dan Aykroyd, Alan and Robin Zweibel, Joan Dangerfield, The Lenny Bruce Memorial Foundation, Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner, The Harold Ramis Family, The Garry Shandling Estate, George Schlatter, Bill Marx and the Harpo Marx Family, the Ernie Kovacs and Edie Adams estate, Desilu Too, NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Corporate Archive, and many more.

The National Comedy Center operates the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum, which explores the lives, careers and legacy of the “First Couple of Comedy,” and the incredible impact they had on the world.

Now in its 30th year, the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown has showcased comedy’s greatest stars and rising young comedians, including Jerry Seinfeld, Ellen DeGeneres, Trevor Noah, Lily Tomlin, Jay Leno, Amy Schumer, Brian Regan, Lewis Black, W. Kamau Bell, Jim Gaffigan, Paula Poundstone, Dan Aykroyd, Joan Rivers, Bob Newhart, the Smothers Brothers and more than one hundred other comedic artists. The 2019 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, presented by the National Comedy Center last August, was headlined by Sebastian Maniscalco and John Mulaney. The 2020 festival will feature Jeff Foxworthy and Legends of SNL David Spade, Rob Schneider and Kevin Nealon.

Stay connected to the National Comedy Center:

Website: www.comedycenter.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nationalcomedycenter/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LucilleBallComedyFestival/

Follow on Twitter and Instagram at @ntlcomedycenter

 

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Top 25 ‘Extraordinary Minds’ in Hospitality Sales, Marketing, Revenue Optimization to be Honored at HSMAI Adrian Awards, Jan 21

January 17, 2020

HSMAI Adrian_012219_026e2(c) Karen Rubin-Top 25

HSMAI’s Top 25 for 2018. This year’s honorees will be presented at the Adrian Awards gala on Jan. 21 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel, New York City (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

HSMAI’s Adrian Awards Dinner Reception and Gala, January 21, 2020, at the New York Marriott Marquis, recognizes inspiring best practices in sales and marketing for the hospitality industry. This multifaceted-event celebrates lifetime achievement; award-winning approaches to advertising, public relations, and digital marketing; and the teams that make it all happen. This black-tie networking extravaganza allows key constituents within the hospitality industry to connect with one another. With a crowd of nearly 1,000, it is a networking and celebratory event unlike any other.

The HSMAI Adrian Awards competition is comprised of multiple categories in three entry divisions: advertising, public relations, and digital marketing. Gold winners are celebrated at the Adrian Awards Gala Dinner Reception, which is co-sponsored by HSMAI, a leading hospitality and travel industry sales and marketing association, Google and TravelClick, and their work is showcased on-screen as part of the Gala opening. All winning entries are showcased in the online winner’s gallery.

One of the events of the evening is honoring the HSMAI Top 25 leaders in sales, marketing, and revenue optimization of hospitality, travel, and tourism organizations for their accomplishments in the preceding 18 months. Selected by a panel of senior industry executives, “Top 25” awardees are high achievers who stand out through their creativity and innovation, cutting-edge campaigns and programs, triumph in challenging situations and efforts that resulted in dramatic gains.

The HSMAI Top 25 Extraordinary Minds 2019 are as follows:

  • Tammie Carlisle, Head of Hospitality, Milestone Inc.
  • Leah Chandler, Chief Marketing Officer, Discover Puerto Rico
  • Alex Ferdinand, Senior Director, Worldwide Sales, Best Western Hotels & Resorts
  • Christen Garb, Vice President, Revenue Management-Americas, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
  • Thomas Garzilli, Chief Marketing Officer, Brand USA
  • Valerie Gavin, Vice President, Hotel Sales & Marketing, North & Central America, Accor
  • Lisa Giaimo, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, OTO Development
  • Kristie Goshow, Chief Marketing Officer, Preferred Hotels & Resorts
  • Lauren Grech, CEO & Co-Founder of LLG Agency & LLG Events, and Adjunct Professor at New York University
  • Linda Gulrajani, Vice President, Revenue Strategy & Distribution, Marcus Hotels & Resorts
  • Patrick Harrison, Chief Marketing Officer, Visit Tampa Bay
  • Matt Jones, Head of Analytics, Travel, Google
  • Jonathan Kaplan, Vice President, Global Sales Strategy, IHG Hotels & Resorts
  • Nancy Kern, Vice President of Marketing, Coral Tree Hospitality
  • Jayna Leach, Vice President of Marketing, Visit Panama City Beach
  • Caroline MacDonald, Vice President, Global Sales & Marketing, Rosewood Hotel Group
  • Rene Mack, President, Percepture
  • Starla Middlebrooks, Director, eCommerce Services, Marriott International
  • Frank Passanante, Senior Vice President, Hilton Worldwide Sales Americas, Hilton Worldwide
  • Derek Price, Director of Business Development, North America, Expedia Group Media Solutions
  • Karin Salinas, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Baha Mar
  • Monica Salter, Vice President of Corporate Communications, Outrigger Hospitality Group
  • Phil Yi, Vice President, Marketing, Omni Hotels & Resorts
  • Tony Yousfi, Vice President, Sales, MGM Resorts International
  • Lou Zameryka, Director, Global Chains, Booking.com

Nominations for the Top 25 are reviewed by a panel of industry experts selected by HSMAI from among its membership and/or Board of Directors. HSMAI selects judges who have demonstrated exceptional leadership ability and have outstanding knowledge of the hospitality industry. Judges are held to the highest standards of integrity and commitment to honoring those individuals that have shown extraordinary leadership in our industry over the last 18 months. The entire judging process adheres firmly to these guiding principles and judges must recuse themselves from scoring any nomination that may present a conflict of interest. Nominations are scored on a scale of 1-10 for the results of their leadership for specific sales, marketing, and revenue management initiatives.

The evening celebration also includes:

» Gold Dinner Reception co-sponsored by HSMAI, Google and TravelClick, an Amadeus company, celebrating the Gold, Silver, and Bronze award winners
» Adrian Awards Platinum & Best of Show
» Corporate Social Responsibility Awards
» The Facebook Mobile Video Award
» Lifetime Achievement Awards: Lee Pillsbury, Bjorn Hanson
NEW! – The HSMAI Foundation Awards for Outstanding Efforts in Attracting, Developing & Engaging Hospitality Talent

Join the celebration honoring this year’s Top 25 by attending the HSMAI Adrian Awards Dinner Reception & Gala, January 21, 2020, at the New York Marriott Marquis.

Learn more and register.

The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is committed to growing business for hotels and their partners, and is the industry’s leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth. The association provides hotel professionals and their partners with tools, insights, and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue through programs such as HSMAI Digital Marketing Strategy ConferenceAdrian Awards, and Revenue Optimization Conference. Founded in 1927, HSMAI is a membership organization with more than 5,000 members worldwide and 40 chapters in the Americas Region. Connect with HSMAI at www.hsmai.org, HSMAI Facebook, HSMAI Twitter, HSMAI YouTube.

See also:

HSMAI 2018 Adrian Awards Honor State-of-Art Travel Marketing Techniques that Get Back to People-to-People Basics

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Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite National Park Named a ‘Best Hotel for the Holidays’ in USA Today Readers Choice Contest

December 19, 2019

Tenaya Lodge Yosemite-xmas e2

Tenaya Lodge Yosemite, California was recently named a top two “Best Hotel for the Holidays” by USA TODAY’s 2019 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards contest for its array of family-friendly holiday activities like Dinner with Santa, Gingerbread House Workshops, Ice-Skating and Bubbles and Bowties New Year’s Celebration.

FISH CAMP, Calif.  There’s still time to book a holiday stay at Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, recently named a top two “Best Hotel for the Holidays” by USA TODAY’s 2019 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards contest for its array of family-friendly holiday activities like Dinner with Santa, Gingerbread House Workshops, Ice-Skating and Bubbles and Bowties New Year’s Celebration.

Nominated hotels were selected by 10Best’s expert panel, and the public voted to award this honor

“This year, there is even more to be merry about with our new, two-bedroom cabin accommodations and a fun variety of old and new resort traditions that make the resort a top destination for holiday celebrations,” said Michael Broderick, director of sales and marketing.

Set on 75 forested acres at the doorstep to Yosemite National Park, Tenaya Lodge is a family-friendly holiday getaway in a “tree-mendous” setting. Tenaya’s popular holiday activities and events include Gingerbread House WorkshopsKids Dinner with SantaFamily Paint Classes, ornament decorating workshops, cookie decorating, good night yoga and complimentary hot chocolate.

Tenaya Lodge is currently offering a two-night New Year’s Eve Package that includes two tickets to the Bubbles and Bowties New Year’s Eve party, New Year’s Day breakfast and a late check-out. The package starts at $490 per night. To learn more about spending the holidays at Tenaya Lodge, visit TenayaLodge.com/HolidayEvents.

Setting the standard for High Sierra hospitality and adventure, Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite is an award-winning, all-season resort adjacent to Yosemite National Park’s south gate. Lodge, cottage and cabin accommodations satisfy a wide variety of preferences and are set on 75 acres primed for outdoor recreation that invite visitors to explore and connect with nature. From the nourishing Ascent Spa to custom-curated Yosemite tours, guided hikes and seasonal activities, a deep appreciation for the iconic location is infused into every aspect of the resort experience that also includes world-class views, multiple pools and abundant dining options ranging from casual to candlelit. For more information, visit TenayaLodge.com.

Delaware North is one of the largest privately-held hospitality and food service companies in the world. Founded in 1915 and owned by the Jacobs family for 100 years, Delaware North has global operations at high-profile places such as sports and entertainment venues, national and state parks, destination resorts and restaurants, airports and regional casinos. Learn more about Delaware North at delawarenorth.com.

 

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Deer Valley Resort Named 2019 United States’ Best Ski Resort By World Ski Awards

December 8, 2019

Deer Valley Utah 19 e2

Deer Valley Resort, in Park City, Utah, maintains the coveted title of the 2019 United States’ Best Ski Resort by the World Ski Awards for the seventh year in a row.

DEER VALLEY RESORT, PARK CITY, UTAH– Deer Valley Resort maintains the coveted title of the 2019 United States’ Best Ski Resort by the World Ski Awards for the seventh year in a row. The accomplishment was announced at the World Ski Awards Gala Ceremony at the world-class winter destination of Kitzbühel, Austria, on November 23, 2019.

The competition continues to see a rising number of votes year after year from leading ski tourism professionals and hundreds of thousands of ski consumers internationally. Out of 17 U.S. contenders, Deer Valley rose to the top to receive the nation’s most prestigious award for the seventh time.

“It’s an extraordinary compliment to receive such a distinguished honor from our guests and international industry leaders each year since the awards began,” said Todd Shallan, Deer Valley Resort president and COO. “Earning the United States’ Best Ski Resort title is a testament to our incredible Deer Valley staff who always strive to provide the most exceptional experience for our guests of any ski destination in the world.”

The 2019 World Ski Award for the U.S. Best Ski Resort was accepted by Deer Valley Resort President and COO, Todd Shallan.

World Ski Awards is the sister organization of World Travel Awards™. For more information on the World Ski Awards, visit worldskiawards.com.

Deer Valley Resort located in Park City, Utah, is organized around the concept of providing the first-class service one would receive at a five-star hotel. The ski-only resort offers 21 chairlifts, 103 ski runs, six bowls, 300 annual inches of powder, 2,026 acres of alpine skiing, limited lift ticket sales, 14 restaurants, three elegant day lodges, hundreds of luxury accommodations and a renowned Ski School and Children’s Center. Deer Valley is honored to be ranked as the United States’ Best Ski Resort by the World Ski Awards for seven consecutive years (2013-2019).

For additional information on Deer Valley Resort, visit the resort’s website at deervalley.com.

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Halloween is Happening in Sleepy Hollow: New Musical Experience Joins Horseman’s Hollow, Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze in Historic Hudson Valley

October 16, 2019

Halloween in Historic Hudson Valley

Back for a spine-tingling tenth year, Horseman’s Hollow, takes inspiration from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, transforming historic Philipsburg Manor into 18th-century village driven mad by the Headless Horseman. A crew of award-winning makeup and costume designers and a 40-member-strong cast create an immersive, interactive, pleasantly terrifying experience, with state-of-the-spooky-art special effects. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

SLEEPY HOLLOW, NY  — Halloween season in Sleepy Hollow Country, a legendary time that draws hundreds of thousands to the area, now features more frightful fun than ever before! Historic Hudson Valley’s fall events, the largest in the tri-state area, kicked off Friday, Sept. 20, and take place on selected evenings through Saturday, Nov. 30. Historic Hudson Valley expects to draw more than 250,000 visitors to Sleepy Hollow Country this fall.

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze®, widely acclaimed as one of the country’s best fall extravaganza, is celebrating its fifteenth year and will run for a record 49 select evenings from late September through Thanksgiving weekend. This all-ages friendly walk-through experience lights up the wooded pathways, orchards, and gardens of historic Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., where a small team of artists hand-carve more than 7,000 jacks and elaborate pumpkin sculptures. Visitors will love seeing Blaze favorites, such as a giant spider web and mammoth sea serpent, and be awed by more pumpkin power than ever before! New additions include a Museum of Pumpkin Art and the Sleepy Hollow Bridge.

Horseman’s Hollow takes visitors back in time to a cursed Sleepy Hollow, an 18th-century village driven mad by the Headless Horseman. Professional actors, award-winning feature-film makeup artists, and state-of-the-art special effects make the Horseman’s Hollow experience all too real. This 16-night haunted attraction at Philipsburg Manor in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., is recommended for ages 10 and up.

Also at Philipsburg Manor in Sleepy Hollow is The Unsilent Picture. This theatrical experience features a black and white film starring Tony Award-winning actor Bill Irwin and will screen with a special effects Foley artist and original score. This event runs for 17 select dates in October and November and is recommended for ages 10 and up and contains scenes of drinking alcohol, smoking and snuff tobacco use, implied violence, and mature themes.

Brand new for 2019 is The Sleepy Hollow Experience, an interactive musical theater production at Washington Irving’s Sunnyside. This critically-acclaimed show, created and produced by Brian Clowdus, features live, professional musicians and singers who perform the scenes in various locations around the estate and engage with audience members. The Sleepy Hollow Experience is suitable for all ages. The event runs for 19 evenings at Washington Irving’s home, Sunnyside, in Tarrytown, N.Y.

Home of the ‘Legend’ is a daytime experience at Washington Irving’s Sunnyside. Visitors can tour the author’s home, embark on a literary-themed scavenger hunt, hear storytellers spin spooky tales, and take part in historic games and Halloween-themed art activities. Home of the ‘Legend’ is an all-ages event.

At Irving’s ‘Legend,’ master storytellers Jonathan Kruk and Jim Keyes, accompanied by live music, bring to life The Legend of Sleepy Hollow during afternoon and evening performances at Sleepy Hollow’s circa-1685 Old Dutch Church. Irving’s ‘Legend’ runs for 17 select dates and is recommended for ages 10 and up.

All events are held rain or shine. Proceeds support Historic Hudson Valley, the Tarrytown-based private, non-profit educational organization that owns and operates the historic sites that host these events.

Pre-Purchase Timed Tickets

These events have limited capacity and sell out. All admissions are by advance purchase timed ticket.

Blaze dates are September 20-22; 26-29; October 3-31; November 1-3; 8-10; 15-17; 22-23; 29-30. Online tickets start at $23 for adults and $17 for children 3-17, and free for children 2 and under and Historic Hudson Valley members.

Horseman’s Hollow dates are October 4-6; 11-13; 18-20; 25-27; 31; November 1- 3. Online tickets are $22 ($28 on Saturdays). Fast Track, a $15 per ticket upgrade, lets visitors skip the line in their time slot. Historic Hudson Valley members receive a $5 per ticket discount.

The Unsilent Picture dates are October 4-6; 11-14; 18-20; 25-27; 31; November 1- 3. Online tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children. Historic Hudson Valley members receive a $5 per ticket discount.

The Sleepy Hollow Experience dates are October 4-6, 11-13, 18-20, 25-27, 31; Nov 1-3. Performances times are at 6:30pm and 8:30pm. On November 3, performance times are at 5:30pm and 7:30pm. Online tickets start at $45 for adults and $25 for children. Historic Hudson Valley members receive a 10% per ticket discount.

Home of the ‘Legend’ dates are September 28-29; October 5-6; 12-14; 19-20; 26-27; November 2- 3. Online tickets are $16 for adults, $12 for seniors, $8 for children 3-17, and free for those 2 and under and Historic Hudson Valley members.

Irving’s ‘Legend’ dates are October 4-6; 11-14; 18-20; 25-27; 31; November 1-3. Seating is very limited and there are three performances on weekday evenings and six performances on weekends. Online tickets are $28 for adults, $22 for children under 18. Historic Hudson Valley members receive a $5 per ticket discount.

Buy tickets online at http://www.hudsonvalley.org or by calling 914-366-6900 ($2 per ticket surcharge for phone orders and for tickets purchased onsite, if available).

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze

Halloween in Historic Hudson Valley

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze features over 7,000 illuminated, individually hand-carved jack o’ lanterns. Elaborate single-pumpkin carvings and huge multi-jack o’lantern constructions are professionally lit throughout the landscape of Van Cortlandt Manor in various themed areas © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze features over 7,000 illuminated, individually hand-carved jack o’ lanterns. Elaborate single-pumpkin carvings and huge multi-jack o’lantern constructions are professionally lit throughout the landscape of Van Cortlandt Manor in various themed areas.

Favorite installations, such as the Pumpkin Planetarium and Jurassic Park, are joined this year by new creations such as a Museum of Pumpkin Art and the Sleepy Hollow Bridge … all made of jack o’lanterns!

Creative Director Michael Natiello leads a small team of Historic Hudson Valley staff and local artists who carve. In addition, more than 1,000 volunteers help scoop and light the pumpkins. The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze Shop offers a full bounty of Blaze-specific merchandise including candles, hats, T-shirts, magnets, caps, mugs, and jewelry.

Café Blazé, by Geordane’s of Irvington, will offer culinary treats including soup, veggie chili, muffins, pumpkin cookies, and cider. Adult beverages available include wine by the glass, hard cider from 1911 and beer by the Elmsford-based Captain Lawrence Brewing Company.

Professional musician, radio personality, and Halloween fanatic Richard Christy created the soundtrack accompanying the experience. All new tracks for 2019 plus tracks from Blaze: The Soundtrack Volume I & II play throughout the event, making it a multisensory experience. Both soundtracks are available as digital downloads and streams from iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play.

Van Cortlandt Manor is at 525 South Riverside Avenue, just off Route 9 in Croton-on-Hudson.

Horseman’s Hollow

Headless Horseman, Sleepy Hollow

During Horseman’s Hollow, historic Philipsburg Manor transforms into 18th-century village driven mad by the Headless Horseman © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Back for a spine-tingling tenth year, Horseman’s Hollow, which welcomed more than 37,000 visitors last year, is a haunted experience in the heart of Sleepy Hollow that takes inspiration from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Historic Philipsburg Manor transforms into 18th-century village driven mad by the Headless Horseman.

A crew of award-winning makeup and costume designers and a 40-member-strong cast of experienced actors work to create an immersive, interactive, pleasantly terrifying experience, with state-of-the-spooky-art special effects.

Custom built set pieces and period-correct costumes help orient the experience in Philipsburg Manor’s traditional time period of the mid-1700s.

Philipsburg Manor is at 381 North Broadway (Route 9) in Sleepy Hollow.

The Unsilent Picture

The Unsilent Picture is a theater experience in Sleepy Hollow at Philipsburg Manor. The original black and white film, based on the Washington Irving story “The Adventure of the Mysterious Picture,” was shot on location at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson. It stars Tony Award winner Bill Irwin and each screening features a live Foley artist.

Philipsburg Manor is at 381 North Broadway (Route 9) in Sleepy Hollow.

The Sleepy Hollow Experience

The Sleepy Hollow Experience is an interactive performance at Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, created and produced by Brian Clowdus, founder & Executive/Artistic Director of Serenbe Playhouse, the nation’s premier outdoor site-specific theatre company, which was recently named one of the Top 20 Theaters in the Nation by Playbill. The production features live, professional musicians and singers, who will perform the scenes in various locations around the estate and engage with audience members. Theater-goers will be guided by storytellers from scene to scene, meeting Ichabod Crane and Katrina Van Tassel, imbibing in drinks and snacks during the famous party scene at the Van Tassel’s, and, in a thrilling climax, encountering the Headless Horseman himself.

Beverages, including a signature cocktail, and snacks will be available to purchase and there is also a gift shop.

Sunnyside is on West Sunnyside Lane, off Route 9 in Tarrytown.

Home of the ‘Legend’

Sunnyside celebrates its connection to Washington Irving’s classic tale, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, at this family friendly daytime event. Home of the ‘Legend’ includes a spooky tour of both floors Irving’s home, a literary-themed scavenger hunt, storytellers, and historic games.

Sunnyside is on West Sunnyside Lane, off Route 9 in Tarrytown.

Details: Irving’s ‘Legend’

sleepyhollow-102007 179e2-story-kruk (c) Karen Rubin

Master storyteller Jonathan Kruk offers dramatic re-tellings of Washington Irving’s classic tale © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Master storytellers Jonathan Kruk and Jim Keyes offer dramatic re-tellings of Washington Irving’s classic tale, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Flavored with live spooky music, the event takes place in the historic setting of the Old Dutch Church in Sleepy Hollow. The circa-1685 stone church is across the street from Philipsburg Manor, where visitors will park. These performances last about 45 minutes. Weekend afternoon performances are by Jim Keyes and weekday and weekend evening performances are by Jonathan Kruk.

Historic Hudson Valley, Westchester County’s largest cultural organization, educates and entertains more than 325,000 visitors a year through school programs, tours of five National Historic Landmarks, and large-scale events like this roster of Halloween themed experiences, which have earned a national reputation as among the best in the country.

Information: www.hudsonvalley.org, 914-366-6900.

 

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Top 100 Tennis Resorts and Camps For 2019

May 10, 2019

Tennis Resorts Online has just published its rankings of the Top 100 Tennis Resorts and Camps for 2019. Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina and the Roy Emerson Tennis Weeks at the Gstaad Palace in Switzerland once again ranked as the top resort and top camp respectively.

The rankings are based on reviews submitted by tennis vacationers over the past year. Each was asked to evaluate the properties they knew first-hand on the basis of more than 20 criteria that contribute to a quality tennis experience. Those range from the tennis staff, programming, instruction, game arranging, and junior tennis sessions to such creature comforts as lodging and cuisine and amenities like spa and fitness centers, children’s programs, and other recreation. The staff at Tennis Resorts Online then compiles those reviews, overweighting the tennis elements, to be sure, but factoring in all the criteria to come up with our final rankings. Finally, the overall standings aside, we supplement the Top 100 list by highlighting the top tennis venues in each of 16 categories.

Taken as a whole, this list reflects the differing opinions about what constitutes a “great” tennis resort. The hardcore fanatic eager to spend every waking hour on court has different expectations from the casual player planning to divide his time between the courts, beach, spa, or golf course. Families want to be sure their kids are entertained, on court and off; romantic couples may focus on creature comforts; teams or groups of friends value a customizable program; single travelers hope for an engaging social atmosphere. Because we’re able to solicit the opinions of thousands to tennis players, the rankings reflect that diversity of expectations.

The list is made up of large resorts and small; luxurious properties and modest; 800-room hotels and intimate, 50-room retreats; beach, mountain, and desert settings. What they have in common, however, is that elusive quality we call “tennis atmosphere,” an almost palpable sense of deep-seated enthusiasm for the game of tennis and those who play it. In that sense everyone on the list qualifies a great resort.

 Top 5 Resorts

  1. Kiawah Island Golf Resort, South Carolina
  2. Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, California
  3. Wild Dunes Resort, South Carolina
  4. The Resort at Longboat Key Club, Florida
  5. Bio-Hotel Stanglwirt, Austria

 Top 5 Camps

  1. Roy Emerson Tennis Weeks, Switzerland
  2. PBI Tennis Camp, Bio-Hotel Stanglwirt, Austria
  3. Cliff Drysdale Tennis at Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, Florida
  4. John Newcombe Tennis Ranch, Texas
  5. New England Tennis Holidays at Sugarbush, Vermont

The complete list can be viewed at tennisresortsonline.com/top100.

Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association to Honor Best in Advertising, Digital Marketing, Public Relations

January 14, 2019

HSMAI will celebrate 25 hospitality professionals as the Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales, Marketing, and Revenue Optimization at the Adrian Awards Gala © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is honoring the Gold Winners of the 2018 Adrian Awards for outstanding advertising, digital marketing, and public relations in hospitality and travel. Platinum and Best of Show winners will be unveiled at the HSMAI Adrian Awards Dinner Reception and Gala on January 22 at the New York Marriott Marquis.

After receiving close to 1,200 entries, HSMAI is presenting Gold Awards to one of the largest groups of winners in the Awards’ history, including 104 awards in Public Relations, 25 in Integrated Marketing, 89 in Digital Marketing, and 48 in Advertising. The 200 judges for this year’s awards are prominent members of the travel industry and subject-matter experts in advertising, digital marketing, media, and public relations.

View the complete list of Gold Award winners on the Adrian Awards website.

“The Adrian Awards are a rare opportunity to recognize the exceptional work being done in travel marketing,” said Fran Brasseux, executive vice president of HSMAI. “But just as importantly, we are also putting a well-deserved spotlight on the exceptional people behind that outstanding work.”

At the Adrian Awards Dinner Reception, co-sponsored by HSMAI, Google, and TravelClick, Gold winners’ submissions will be showcased on digital displays and honored during the dinner reception. Winners of the Gold Adrian Awards are considered for Platinum Adrian Awards and the “Best of Show” Awards, the Adrian Awards’ highest honor, which will be announced at the Adrian Awards Gala. All winning work will be showcased in the Winners Gallery on www.adrianawards.com following the Gala.

Two new awards will also take center stage at the Adrians this year. The first Facebook Mobile Video Award will be handed out as well as HSMAI honors for Leaders in Corporate Social Responsibility.

The evening’s celebration will also pay tribute to the HSMAI Top 25: Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality Sales, Marketing, Revenue Optimization, who will be honored in a private reception and onstage at the Adrian Awards Gala.

The Adrian Awards, the CLIOs of the hospitality, travel and tourism industry, will also celebrate lifetime achievements in hospitality sales, marketing, and public relations. Harris Rosen, President and CEO, Rosen Hotels & Resorts, will be honored with the Albert E. Koehl Award for Hospitality Marketing. Steve Bartolin, Chairman of The Broadmoor, has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Winthrop W. Grice Award for Public Relations. Stephen Powell, most recently SVP Worldwide Sales for IHG prior to retirement, is the recipient of the inaugural HSMAI Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hospitality Sales.

HSMAI also will celebrate 25 hospitality professionals as the 2018 HSMAI Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales, Marketing, and Revenue Optimization at the HSMAI Adrian Awards Gala and at a private reception on January 22, at the New York Marriott Marquis.

Every year, 25 of the hotel and travel industry’s best and brightest are selected by a panel of senior industry executives for the HSMAI Top 25 for demonstrating innovative thinking and exceptional results in the preceding 18 months.

“HSMAI is proud to draw well-deserved attention to the remarkable contributions of these 25 sales, marketing, and revenue optimization leaders,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, president and CEO of HSMAI. “The drive and creative thinking of the Top 25 Extraordinary Minds fuel advancement and inspire innovation across our industry, in addition to contributing to the success of awardees’ own hospitality, travel, and tourism organizations.”

The HSMAI Top 25 Extraordinary Minds are as follows:

  • Jennifer Andre, Senior Director, North America and Latin America, Expedia Group Media Solutions
  • Dustin Bomar, Head of Industry – Travel, Google
  • Ronald Castro, Chief Strategist, Roca Marketing
  • Christopher Crenshaw, CRME, Vice President, Digital Data Solutions, STR
  • Fred Dixon, President & CEO, NYC & Company
  • David Downing, President & CEO, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater
  • Erica Doyne, Vice President, Marketing, AMResorts
  • Gino Engels, Co-Founder & Chief Commercial Officer, OTA Insight
  • George Galinsky, Senior Vice President Marketing Communications, Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment
  • Darren Green, Senior Vice President, Sales, Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board
  • Chad Hallert, CRME, CHDM, Vice President of Performance Marketing, Noble Studios
  • Allison Handy, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Prism Hotels & Resorts
  • Adam Hayashi, CRME, Vice President of Revenue Management, AccorHotels
  • Carolyn Hosna, CHDM, Senior Director, Corporate Marketing, White Lodging
  • Jay Hubbs, CHDM, Senior Vice President of E-Commerce and Digital Marketing, Remington Hotels
  • Jodi Kern, Senior Director, Digital Merchandising, Marriott International
  • Gil Langley, President & CEO, Amelia Island CVB
  • Dave Lorenz, Vice President, Travel Michigan, Michigan Economic Development Corporation
  • Sarah Murov, Vice President, Public Relations & Communications, Loews Hotels & Co
  • Leticia Proctor, Senior Vice President, Sales, Revenue Management and Digital Strategies, PM Hotel Group
  • Julie Scott, President, Colwen Hotels
  • Jim Struna, CRME, Regional Director of Revenue, Rosewood Hotel Group
  • Matt Teixeira, CHBA, Director of Sales, Best Western Hotels and Resorts
  • Theresa van Greunen, Senior Director Corporate Communications, Aqua-Aston Hospitality
  • Cherilyn Williams, Director, Global Portfolio Marketing, Marriott International

In addition to recognizing outstanding travel advertising, digital marketing, and public relations campaigns, HSMAI’s Adrian Awards Dinner Reception and Gala offers hospitality professionals an opportunity to connect for an evening of celebration with nearly 1,000 peers from their industry. Tickets can be purchased at www.adrianawards.com.

HSMAI will also host the 2019 Digital Marketing Strategy Conference at the New York Marriott Marquis, January 23. For more information, visit www.hsmai.org/digitalconference.

See: HSMAI’s 61st Annual Adrian Awards Honor Luminaries in Travel Marketing

The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) provides hotel professionals and their partners with tools, insights, and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue through programs such as HSMAI Digital Marketing Strategy ConferenceAdrian Awards, and Revenue Optimization Conference. Founded in 1927, HSMAI is a membership organization of more than 5,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region. Connect with HSMAI at https://www.hsmai.orgwww.facebook.com/hsmaiwww.twitter.com/hsmai, and www.youtube.com/hsmai1.

 

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WalletHub: Best Credit Cards for Foreign Travel

May 12, 2018

JF Kennedy International Airport, NY

WalletHub released a study of the best credit cards for foreign travel © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

With 72 million Americans planning a foreign trip this year, credit cards providing up to 13 international travel benefits and 86% of people not fully understanding how foreign fees work, WalletHub released a report identifying the best cards to use.

WalletHub also released the results of its 2018 Foreign Transaction Fee Survey, which provides insights into people’s attitudes toward and understanding of foreign fees. You can find highlights from both below.

  • 96% of credit cards offer rental car insurance, while 86% offer travel accident insurance and 37% offer a form of luggage insurance.
  • The best credit cards for international travelers are the Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card, Bank of America Travel Rewards and Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard.
  • 86% of people don’t fully understand when credit cards can charge foreign transaction fees. 82% think foreign transaction fees are unfair.
  • 51% of Americans worry more about foreign transaction fees on credit cards than tariffs on Chinese imports.
  • Two-thirds of people think credit cards should charge lower foreign transaction fees in countries allied with the U.S.
  • Capital One, Discover, USAA and Barclays are the only major issuers that exclusively offer no foreign transaction fee credit cards. Getting such a card, along with a no foreign fee debit card, enables international travelers to minimize the cost of currency conversion.

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18 Hotels in The Palm Beaches Receive Highest AAA Diamond Ratings

February 6, 2018

Fla PalmBch-Eau_011214_159e2(c) Karen Rubin-nite

The ultra-luxurious Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa in tony Manalapan was one of three resorts in the Palm Beaches that received the coveted AAA 5 Diamond Rating. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Eighteen hotels within The Palm Beaches have been awarded Five Diamond and Four Diamond Ratings from AAA for 2018. The coveted ratings are the highest honors from the travel group, which represents an exclusive designation in the hospitality industry. Each year, AAA reviews more than 27,000 hotels, with only 0.4% making the AAA Five Diamond list, and only 5.9% making the AAA Four Diamond list.

“The Palm Beaches’ image as America’s First Resort Destination originated with the legendary hotels and resorts gracing our shores since the 1890s,” said Jorge Pesquera, president and CEO of Discover The Palm Beaches, the official tourism marketing organization for Palm Beach County. “This grand tradition of hospitality carries to the present, and is further reaffirmed by the 18 award-winning properties we are so proud to showcase to customers far and wide.”

“For those of us who are fortunate to visit these hotels on a regular basis, it is easy to see why they’ve become regular recipients of these awards in recognition of their beauty and exemplary service,” Pesquera continued. “We are grateful to the management teams of these hotels who’ve worked tirelessly to provide memorable experiences for our visitors, reaffirming our brand promise as ‘The Best Way to Experience Florida’.”

Three of the 10 Florida properties that received AAA Five Diamond Ratings are located within The Palm Beaches and include:

Properties within The Palm Beaches that received AAA Four Diamond Ratings are:

Discover The Palm Beaches, formerly the Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau, is the official tourism marketing corporation that promotes the collection of 39 cities and towns and 15 tourism districts spanning more than 2,200 square miles and 47 miles of pristine beaches from Boca Raton to Jupiter and Tequesta, commonly referred to as “The Palm Beaches.”  The Palm Beaches are home to nearly 17,000 hotel rooms, ranging from historic resorts to boutique inns. The destination features more than 100 family-friendly attractions, world-class luxury and antique shopping experiences, 125 miles of peaceful waterways for on- or in-the-water activities, more than 150 artificial reefs that line the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf Stream current, 160 golf courses, award-winning restaurants, and a thriving entertainment scene boasting more than 200 art and culture organizations. For more information about The Palm Beaches, visit www.ThePalmBeaches.com and connect on social media via FacebookTwitter and Instagram @PalmBeachesFL, YouTube at Discover The Palm Beaches and the hashtag, #ThePalmBeaches.

See:

Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa’s Secret for ‘New Fashioned’ Luxury: Playfulness, Surprise, Touch of Whimsy and Wit, and Surprise

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