erage offerings is giving travelers expe- riences that would have been unheard of 23 years ago when I started my career. That progress… allowing hotel brand and property teams to be entre- preneurial in our approach to the guest experience is liberating… and creates memories that can last a life- time. We see this locally with the influx of new lifestyle branded hotels entering our market, such as CAMBRiA, the Ascend Collection, Moxy, Pod, Hyatt Centric, W, and Element.”

This is one modern hotel brand that embraces its opportunity to stand out and be different.

door space focused on craft cocktails and an exquisite food menu devel- oped by noted Philadelphia Chef Jason Cichonski,” exclaims Rice, contin- uing, “The venue can host up to 200 for private events and is open daily to the public.”

The property’s Broad Street entrance is flanked by the 25th U.S. location of Del Frisco’s Grille, the sister restaurant to Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, with its famed made-from-scratch kitchen and exquisite service. On the other side is The Lucy by Cescaphe, Center City’s newest event space that can host up to 500 people and is run by the catering group Cescaphe.

“Modern hotels are unbound by con- vention… and that’s an amazing thing,” observes Rice. “The ability to change the game with regard to design, guest services, and especially food and bev-

“Janis Cannon, SVP of Upscale Brands for Choice Hotels International, and the corporate design team, insist that each CAMBRiA hotel have its own unique personality,” explains Rice. “CAMBRiA builds no hotels that look the same and our hotels reflect the neighborhoods and cities that we serve. Our location on the Avenue of the Arts allowed our developers, Rittenhouse based Pearl Properties, to team with DAS Architecture and con- cept a hotel with nods and touches to the rich artistic and musical history of our zip code.”

“They accomplished this with ele- ments like a sweeping gold spiral two- story entry staircase, lobby chandeliers fashioned from trumpet bells, and Yamaha drums as coffee tables that are lit,” Rice continues. “All custom designed, coupled with curated art that provides nods to the Mummers and other significant Philadelphia-centric historical references to make this hotel one-of-a-kind. And CAMBRiA does that in every single location. It makes the development process fun, engages developers and owners, and provides décor that guests have never seen before.”

And having additional features like Bluetooth-enabled mirrors in each guest room makes both Baby Boomers and Millennials alike happy, says Rice,

“who doesn’t want to listen to their favorite music as they shower each morning?”

Planners have many choices when booking meetings and events for their clients, so for these hotels staying up-to- date with technology is a must.

Today’s planners see wireless connec- tions and integrated audio-visual ele- ments as the baseline, notes Rice. “Trends like chatbots that provide on- demand information for attendees only make a hotel more enticing to event planners. Integrated event man- agement software, registration systems, event apps, and post-event surveys are extras now that I foresee being the standard in the future. Planners also want these elements reflected in their attendees’ hotel experience.”

“For example,” Rice continues, “at the Clarion Hotel in Amsterdam, guests are introduced to their AI-enabled chatbot butler, an in-room assistant based on Amazon Echo. It is designed to help guests with many of their service requests such as hailing taxis, ordering room service, finding information online, along with other hotel-related operations.”

Modern hotels provide planners with everything from aesthetically pleas- ing architecture to unique features to modern technology to updated amenities, meeting spaces and the ability to breakaway from the norms of traditional settings.

For those planners seeking some- thing exciting and new, these con- temporary properties offer a great balance of the familiar and the unexpected.

These properties offer exciting new choices and enticing options for those seeking the newest spaces in some of the most innovative settings around.

Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts Magazine 49

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