At Osteria Pronto in the JW Marriott Austin in Texas, every guest—even when lingering in the lobby—snags a front-row seat to the back-of-house process, thanks to an open kitchen concept that blends efficiency with all-important guest interaction.
“A lot of people don’t even know it’s part of the JW, but everyone knows the Burger Bar on Congress because of its prominent sidewalk location.” Before outlining the initial blueprints for the JW Marriott Austin, located on Congress Avenue—a bustling street in the music capital of Texas and steps from the State Capitol—the city required that Marriott demonstrate plans to “activate” the area, as opposed to constructing a dead concrete wall on one of the area’s most vibrant stretches. After tossing around ideas including television-laden media walls, the property’s staff instead moved toward a unique food concept that literally
Tom Cupo, regional managing director at Benchmark Hotels & Resorts, recalls that “local” and “unique” became the Chattanoogan Hotel’s go-to buzzwords before opening in 2001, so shunning mega-brand coffee shops was a no-brainer for the Chattanooga, Tennessee-based property. Instead, its own concept, Stroud’s Sidewalk Cafe, embraced the local, helping differentiate the Benchmark-managed hotel from day one—and locals have returned the love. Before taking a position with Vision Hospitality this fall, former Chattanoogan Director of F&B Bill Antone told Hotel F&B, “We were trying to get away from the chain mentality, creating an independent hotel with an independent coffee shop. Our
Some of Executive Chef Manfred Lassahn’s inspiration for healthier breakfast options at the Watertable restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa in Huntington Beach, California [see our feature on his innovative breakfast concepts] originated in the banquet arena as the team fielded requests from sports and swim apparel groups for morning-break healthy options such as açaí and make-your-own quinoa bowls. Lassahn also learned about vegan needs while hosting a 1,500-strong group from the Humane Society in Los Angeles, spurring his research for a tasteful, great-tasting menu. He even sources gluten-free baked items to prevent cross-contamination. “Groups can’t
As a 33-year veteran of the company, Executive Chef Manfred Lassahn at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa in Huntington Beach, California, has honed his chops as a special-request satisfier.
Many hotel B&C operations place limits on what they’re willing to try. But when it comes to dazzling B&C displays, as Jedi master Yoda would say, “There is no try; there is only do.” The annual Gingerbread Village at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel has become a bona fide holiday tradition for locals and tourists alike, but the positive repercussions reverberate year-round for its B&C staff. The scope is staggering: In 2015, its 23rd incarnation centered around a timely Star Wars theme, with six hotel chefs collaborating with six architectural firms to create six mega-size, mechanized, illuminated structures—the result of five
Element, the extended-stay Starwood brand launched in 2008, boasts LEED-certified buildings and a clientele that thrives on a healthy, on-the-go lifestyle. Accordingly, its complimentary RISE breakfast is designed to start off guests' days in the right direction, whether they're running out for a bike ride or lounging in the lobby. "Element was created to break the mold, so the RISE breakfast was designed around healthier options with a taste of the local, shunning the typical heavier breakfast buffets in this category," says Jeremy Cooper, former director of global guest initiatives for Starwood Specialty Select Brands in Stamford, Connecticut. "We like
Last November, the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City had the most successful installment yet of its annual Savor Borgata Weekend. With nearly 20 events spread over two days and a generous handful of celebrity chefs, the festivities sold out to 1,200 attendees a week early. As buzz has built, regulars and visitors alike return annually for the yearly festivities. The main-event highlight, Street Eats: Savor the World, served up 17 food stations with globally inspired selections from Borgata's culinary team and celebrity chef partners. Smaller events included intimate dinners, such as the Best of Wolfgang Puck; a
Breakfast may boast the highest capture rate of internal guests, but the meal period has often been strictly safety first. Not so at Destination Hotels, where around 25 of the company's 40-plus properties are making mornings brighter through creative, chef-driven menu items, says Lou Trope, senior VP, F&B experiences, for Englewood, Colorado-based Destination Hotels. "Breakfast offers us the opportunity to put a stake in the ground," he says. "This meal sets the tone of a guest's stay." A two-pronged overhaul during the past year changes that tone: Chefs examine options that are unique and local to the area, with a