Wish You Were Here
Magazine Online    The Authority On African-American Conventions, Incentives, & Leisure Travel
Issue: December 2008/January 2009
Hotels That Cater to Delegates Traveling With Their Families
By: Solomon J. Herbert, Jr.
These days, hotels and resorts in various cities are constantly making upgrades and finding ways to improve business efficiency in order to provide maximum customer satisfaction for conference attendees. The goal of these properties is to provide an all-inclusive environment that makes it possible for delegates to concentrate on the conference or meeting they are attending while receiving top level accommodations and services in a one-stop-shop. Ideally, these accommodations combine a particular city's most spectacular views and location with the best value and variety of rooms possible. In addition to these advantages, on-site accommodations offer the convenience of being in close proximity to the conference events and other delegates as well. In the effort to fully satisfy a conference delegate some of these prestigious properties are taking it a step further by accommodating the (i)whole(ei) family. Many business travelers want to bring their spouses and kids along and turn a typical business trip into somewhat of a vacation for the family. And with the decline in the economy a conference delegate is looking for the best deals and the most affordable methods of achieving this.

Many properties offer a variety of different amenities that attract conference delegates and their families. Some hotels have a convenient central location within a city, allowing conference attendees to get out and enjoy shopping in the various retail stores and boutiques as well as explore whatever evening attractions the destination may have to offer. Some hotels and resorts are located next to or within theme parks, which is ideal for the family, providing entertainment for everyone. Other properties are known for their well thought out children's recreational programs, which allow a couple to spend some intimate time alone while on a business trip and still know that the kids are fine. The question is, "Which property is best suited for you?"


KALAHARI RESORT

One of America's top water-park/resorts, Kalahari Resort - Sandusky, Ohio, is a prime example of an establishment that is well suited for business conferences and also offers a fun environment for the rest of the family. Kalahari Resort promises convention and leisure travel guests "under-one-roof" convenience. One can turn a business trip into a family getaway and experience the ideal weather conditions in America's largest indoor water-park. Kalahari Resort is also home to the largest hotel in Ohio and features 884 guestrooms and suites. All rooms and suites offer voice mail phones and high speed Internet access, flat screen television, refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, safe, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, table with chairs, all-day room service and complimentary morning newspaper and water-park wristbands. All suites include fireplace, living and dining areas, up to four televisions and one- to three-bedrooms, hospitality, kitchen and whirlpool options.

Featuring more than 95,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space, Kalahari Resort is home to Ohio's largest independently-owned convention center. Designed with future expansion in mind when it opened in 2006, the convention center at Kalahari Resort-Ohio features 25 meeting rooms, including a 17,200-sq. ft. grand ballroom which is divisible by eight, two 3,500-sq. ft. junior ballrooms, four unique 1,200-sq. ft. African hut-inspired meeting rooms and an executive conference center featuring two boardrooms, five meeting rooms and a private atrium. Professional on-site event planners are available to help meeting planners select from a plethora of options for their meetings including creative catering menus and themed breaks and meals. Additional convention center features include state-of-the-art lighting, staging and sound options with on-site AV and IT technicians as well as complimentary wireless Internet service. The authentically themed resort - which transports guests to Africa via authentic African artwork, décor and furnishings - is also home to the full-service Spa Kalahari, a collection of unique retail shops, an indoor miniature golf course, one of the largest game arcades in the Midwest, a fully-equipped fitness center and eight dining options. For reservations and guest information, call (877) KALAHARI (525-2427) or visit www.KalahariResorts.com.


ROBERTS MAYFAIR HOTEL

Another hotel known for their personable staff members who put customers first is The Roberts Mayfair Hotel, a Wyndham Historic Hotel that is located in the heart of downtown St. Louis, Missouri, and mixes the timeless beauty of stained glass, marble floors and wooden handrails with state-of-the-art modern amenities. They are minutes away from Busch Stadium, the Gateway Arch, and many other famous St. Louis attractions. The Hotel is home to the Roberts Bistro, a fully equipped fitness center and a glistening rooftop swimming pool.

The 179 smoke-free demi-suites and suites have recently received a $9 million renovation. Features include Michael Graves® Coffee makers, Herman Miller® Aeron® Ergonomic Chairs, Cable TV on a 42" plasma flat-screen, luxurious linens, thick terrycloth towels and Bath and Body Works® amenities. The kids that stay at the Roberts Mayfair Hotel are treated very well. Little people have particular needs and the staff does a great job of doing special things to accommodate them. However, it is an unwritten rule at the Mayfair Hotel to treat every guest specially according to their needs and desires. At The Roberts Mayfair Hotel they pride themselves on their outstanding customer service. One of the advantages of staying at The Roberts Mayfair Hotel if you have a big family is that there is no additional charge for children that stay in a room with adults, no matter how many family members are in the group. The rooms and suites are all equipped with sofa beds as standard equipment to accommodate family members. Refrigerators can be acquired based on availability at Roberts Mayfair. The cooks are superb here. They go above and beyond the call of duty by preparing specialized meals at times just to satisfy the customers.

If a guest wants to get out and see some of the local attractions they can do so via cab or by foot. The hotel is within walking distance to local attractions. At the front desk one of the cheerful staff members can help organize side trips and family activities for family members while the delegate is attending the conference. Fore more information and guest reservations call (314) 421-2500 or visit www.wyndham.com/hotels/STLMF/main.wnt.


RENAISSANCE MONTGOMERY HOTEL & SPA

Some of America's top civil rights history took place just steps from the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa. For delegates attending meetings in Montgomery and their families, the Renaissance Montgomery offers luxurious accommodations and easy access to historical and cultural locations. The new 12-story Renaissance Montgomery opened in February just blocks from the Rosa Parks Museum and the Dexter King Baptist Church.

The Renaissance Montgomery brings a combination of Renaissance ambiance and an unmatched location adjacent to the convention center and Alabama's newest performing arts center. The spectacular Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail courses at Capitol Hill and the Montgomery Regional Airport are only minutes away.

The luxurious hotel features 346 upscale guest rooms, including 27 suites, with many overlooking the Alabama River. All of the hotel rooms have refrigerators. Suites have pullout couches. The hotel's flat room rates, guest laundry facilities and upscale dining with a great children's menu are appealing to families. Concierge services at the hotel can help arrange tours and access to cultural activities, whether it be a play at the Shakespeare Festival or a concert in the hotel's performing arts theatre. The Tuskegee Airmen recently held their gala at the hotel and their historic site is an easy drive from Montgomery. For those needing to relax and rejuvenate, the hotel's spa and rooftop pool are a must. More than 103,000 sq. ft. of meeting and conference center space, including the Grand Ballroom and a 1,800-seat performing arts venue, are designed for keynote events and entertainment options. For more information, visit www.renasissancemontgomery.com.


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