One City, Four Experiences? Here’s How…

As brands like Kimpton (now part of InterContinental Hotels Group) and Autograph Collection (from Marriott International) have increased the number of independent hotels they manage in a major group destination in the past few years, planners have found themselves with unexpected new flexibility.

With multiple hotels to choose from in a single city and typically one master account for simplified billing—all part of a single contract and single negotiation—planners can house attendees in one hotel, hold meetings in that property, but then venture out to hotels in other parts of the city for receptions, dinners, award ceremonies, spouse programs and so on.

Because of their independent status, there’s a greater chance they have a more individual (quirky?) design, history, special features and even a local neighborhood vibe. Kimpton, for example, has multiple properties in Washington, DC, Seattle, New York and Chicago, among other cities; Autograph in New York, Miami, Orlando and Kansas City.

Kimpton’s four properties in New York tell the story. Given the density of Manhattan, each hotel is in a different submarket, but still within a reasonably short walk (or even shorter taxi ride) of one another. The 70 Park Avenue Hotel is in a residential Midtown neighborhood south of Grand Central Station; The Muse, right in the heart of Times Square and the Broadway theater district; Eventi Hotel, a new build in Chelsea south of Midtown; and Ink48, fashioned out of a former printing plant on the emerging Far West Side with sweeping views of the Hudson River from the rooftop lounge and terrace.

Accordingly, each has its own distinct ambience. Depending on the nature of the group and the objectives of the meeting or event, the planner can make the best use of each of the four. If C-level strategic planning is on the agenda, the subdued corporate atmosphere of 70 Park Avenue would fit the bill. If, on the other hand, it’s an incentive group and tickets to a Broadway show are part of the plan, The Muse will work for a pre-theater reception, dinner and/or post-theater nightcap.

Ink48Heaven-Over-Hell-Penthouse

Ink48’s Heaven-Over-Hell Penthouse.

At Ink48, meanwhile, the penthouse suite is often used as a hospitality suite for group functions, which comes with access to the rooftop lounge with its Hudson River views. Similarly, if requested, the hotel staff will remove the penthouse furnishings, replacing them with a meeting set-up, again with access to the river views.

Whether it be Washington, DC, Miami or New York, meeting attendees may feel these are destinations they’ve visited numerous times and know well. But by positioning the site as “one city, multiple venues,” planners are able to present these so-called “tried and true” destinations in a whole new light.

Photos courtesy of Kimpton: Deck overlooking the city at  Ink48. Top images, from left:  Ink48 and 70 Park Avenue. Bottom: Ink48.

Bruce Serlen

Bruce Serlen

Bruce Serlen is a veteran travel writer, based in New Jersey, who has written extensively on meetings management and hotel operations. Most recently, he was executive editor at Hotel Business.

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