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Benchmark Completes Renovations at Several Luxury Resorts and Hotels

Thursday, December 26, 2013
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Benchmark Hospitality International
Benchmark Hospitality International

Benchmark Hospitality International®, a leading U.S.-based hospitality management company, has announced the completed renovations at several hotels and resorts within the portfolios of its two brands: Benchmark Resorts & Hotels® and Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels®. A collective $50 Million was invested across the two brands to update and enhance guest accommodations, public and meeting spaces, resort amenities, spas, and to upgrade technology to meet the needs of travelers in 2014 and beyond.

“During the recession properties within our two brand portfolios continued to make major improvements via capital commitments,” said Greg Champion, COO of Benchmark Hospitality International. “Those investments have paid dividends and allowed us to justify more significant improvements that will continue to maximize our performance and enhance guests’ overall experiences. We’re very pleased with the results.”

Benchmark Hospitality International hotels and resorts that engaged in renovations in 2013 include:

Bonaventure Resort & Spa
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Renovation Summary: Situated just west of Fort Lauderdale, the four diamond Bonaventure Resort & Spa is surrounded by 23 tropical acres and features 500 spacious guestrooms and suites along with over 60,000 square feet of newly renovated conference space and 20,000 square feet of flexible outdoor gathering options. A Benchmark Resort®, the property’s recent renovations included the entire conference and event center. Guestrooms are scheduled for refurbishing in 2014.

Renovations in Bonaventure’s conference and event center included the 10,440-square-foot Global Ballroom featuring dramatic 20-foot ceilings as well as an 8,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom -- located side-by-side to accommodate as many as 2,000 people. Fifteen breakout rooms, ranging in size from 375 square feet to 1,728 square feet, received a freshening. Additionally, the resort’s 175-seat amphitheater – now with state-of-the-art technology – was updated, as well as the spacious, naturally-lit atrium lounge area located within the conference center.

Design elements installed included window, wall and floor treatments evoking a return-to-nature experience. Highlights the design palette include shades of brown, brick and rust infused with vibrant gold's and hues of mustard – nature’s colors, along with subtle flora patterns. The sophisticated design is enhanced by views of mature natural foliage and indigenous flowering trees & bushes visible inside and outside at every turn within the conference center.

Also receiving a freshening was the elegant aLaya Spa, the resort's 48,000-square-foot spa treatment center that features 30 treatment rooms, a soulful Zen garden, spinning studio, private outdoor pool, hot yoga room, movement studio, sauna, steam room, full-service salon and 24-hour fitness center. The Spa received new wall color treatments, new soft goods and furnishings, and noted new Fitness Director Phylice Kessler.

Just 17 miles from the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport and 33 miles from the Miami International Airport, Bonaventure Resort & Spa is located just a short drive from a number of area attractions including Sawgrass Mills--Florida's largest retail and entertainment complex offering more than 350 stores, popular restaurants and multiplex cinemas. Guests can explore the nearby Florida Everglades or visit Fort Lauderdale's famous beaches, shopping, dining and nightlife.

Design Team: Interiors by Steven G, Inc., www.interiorsbysteveng.com


Cheyenne Mountain Resort
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Renovation Summary: In the summer of 2013, Cheyenne Mountain Resort and Country Club, a Benchmark Resort, completed a major $3.8 million renovation of its Pete Dye-designed 18-hole championship golf course. The course is part of the four-diamond resort and private country club that extends golf privileges to members and resort guests. One of the objectives of the renovation was to make the course more challenging. All of the bunkers were rebuilt and tee boxes were elevated to reflect the original Pete Dye-style of design. The course’s driving range was completely redesigned to include target greens, which enable golfers to practice their short game. The teaching and chipping areas were also upgraded. As a result of the renovation, the course’s length was extended by approximately 47 yards beyond the previous yardage of 7,056, and the slope rating increased.
The renovation also included several elements designed to conserve water and make the course more eco-friendly. A new state-of-the-art irrigation system was installed and approximately 15 acres of irrigated turf were eliminated and replaced with native grasslands. As another way to conserve water, 125 non-indigenous, low water use trees were planted throughout the course and more will be planted in the future. It is anticipated that the combined impact of these conservation initiatives will result in a 30-40 percent reduction in water use.
Design Team:

Renovation Price Tag: $3.8 Million


The Chattanoogan Hotel
Chattanooga, Tennessee

Renovation Summary: The Chattanoogan, a Benchmark Hotel® located in the heart of revitalized Chattanooga, completed the renovation of its 25,000 square-foot meeting and event facilities in 2013, winning awards for the results. The Chattanoogan's 20 state-of-the-art meeting and event rooms were transformed with design treatments in a palette of blue, brown, gold and red. The integration of warm and cool colors reflect the dynamic architecture of the hotel, which borrows from Chattanooga’s industrial past and the breathtaking scenic views of the surrounding mountains and landscape. Select customized carpets replicate scenes from the historic city, including rolling hills and flowing patterns resembling the Tennessee River, which flows through the heart of Chattanooga and is a focal point for the city’s revitalized downtown. Wall coverings are in soft shades of neutral tones and grays offset with a variety of subtle patterns. Cream colored large-scale botanical design elements mix beautifully with the eclectic artwork displayed in the meeting space.

One of the most striking aspects of the renovation is the new glass tile entry wall. Made of small, rectangular mosaic tiles in metallic gray and silver -- the iridescent hues shimmer and appear as if water is flowing down the wall, suggesting the Tennessee River a few blocks away. The Chattanoogan's newly refurbished Refreshment Islands were updated in a palette of quartz-colored creams, browns and golds. Additional renovations included enhanced lighting, and the installation of a new cyber café with charging stations and seating, transforming space that originally housed traditional phone booths.

The Chattanoogan is the only Four Diamond-rated, full-service hotel in Chattanooga. The property is also the only hotel in the state of Tennessee certified by the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC), the leading professional organization governing the multi-billion dollar conference center industry on five continents.

Design Team: Artech Design Group, a full-service architectural and interior design services company based in Chattanooga.

Renovation Price Tag: $750,000

Eaglewood Resort & Spa
Chicago, Illinois

Renovation Summary: Eaglewood Resort & Spa, a Benchmark Resort located in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, completed the renovation of its state-of-the-art conference center during 2013. The makeover encompassed the conference center’s meeting rooms and common areas, including new carpeting, wall vinyl, draperies & sheers, upholstery and furnishings, along with a technology upgrade to accommodate up to 100 Mbps of bandwidth. The color palette features warm and inviting earth tones, falling in line with Eaglewood’s trademark Prairie-style design, which is prominent throughout the entire resort and pays homage to Chicago’s renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

With more than 37,000 square feet, Eaglewood Resort & Spa is an IACC-certified space.

Design Team: Moncur Design Associates Inc., based in Toronto.

Renovation Price Tag: $1.2 million

The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe
Rancho Santa Fe (San Diego), California

Renovation Summary: Throughout 2013, the historic and charming Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, a Personal Luxury Resort®, invested millions in renovating guest accommodations, public areas, and the resort extensively re-landscaped its gardens and grounds. A new spa was added, and a new restaurant opened to great acclaim.

In the renovation, the circa 1922 guestrooms and cottages, which cradle the resort’s croquet lawns and gardens, were extensively resigned to evoke a sense of Hollywood starlet nostalgia with their glistening chandeliers, soft teal and grey color schemes and over-sized black-and-whites photos of polo players and local gentry.

To provide a contrast to Hollywood glamour and hearken the resort’s equestrian setting, guestrooms and villas ensconced behind the main historic lobby suggest country charm and elegance, many with Plein-air style art, wood-burning fireplaces, handcrafted antiques and stunning garden patios and decks. Guests can wander throughout the exquisitely landscaped gardens and courtyards to explore the resort’s woodland trails, willowy eucalyptus trees, and blossoming rose gardens, or enjoy a country afternoon respite tucked away in a garden nook.

Morada, the Inn's new restaurant, opened to rave reviews and blends comfortable sophistication with the culinary gifts of Executive Chef Todd Allison. His regional seasonal cuisine and farm-to-table menu feature the culinary bounty of Southern California with ingredients grown on property and sourced directly from sustainable farms and farmer’s markets throughout the region.

Extensive technology upgrades occurred within the renovation program, highlighted by new high speed (100 megabit), dual band (2.4 and 5 GHz) guest wireless by Ethostream with capacity to support large meetings and social events. Also upgraded were servers, phone systems, fiber optic and cabling infrastructure, sales & retail systems, and the resort’s power grid.

Design Team: Adel Smith-Chapman and her team at Delawie Interiors

Renovation Price Tag: $12 Million

Snow King Resort
Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Renovation Summary: The iconic Snow King Hotel at Snow King Resort, a Benchmark Resort located in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, completed a $17 Million renovation of its 203 guestrooms, meetings space, exterior, public space, spa and salon in December of 2013. The revamp also included the launch of a new restaurant, Hayden’s Post, and the addition of a seasonal Activity Center, state-of-the-art Business Center and Fitness Room. This was the first comprehensive renovation in the property’s 36-year history.

Located in the heart of authentically-western Jackson Hole, Snow King Resort is the town’s largest full service, year-round resort offering comfortable Western lodging at the Snow King Hotel and luxurious accommodations at the Grand View Lodge condominiums. Six blocks from Jackson Hole’s Historic Town Square, Snow King sits adjacent to the Bridger-Teton National Forest with spectacular mountain views and the hotel’s own Snow King Ski Area, which opened in 1939 as Wyoming’s first ski resort. Snow King is also a gateway to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and provides easy access to the area’s many recreational opportunities.

Significant changes to all 203 Guestrooms included new beds and soft goods, new furniture, carpet, wall décor and updated bathrooms. Technology has been enhanced with the installation of flat screen televisions, modern refrigerators and a state-of-the-art phone system. In public spaces, the Front Desk was redesigned as more open and accessible, while the Lobby received new furniture and updated soft goods, window, wall and floor treatments, as well as new artwork.

With the renovation, the resort’s Pool Area now offers expanded seating along with additional lounging on the grassy knoll above pool deck, which is outfitted with new lounge chairs and fire pits. The exterior of Snow King Hotel received a new pigment, a new roof and redesigned exterior entryway, including a metal mural crafted by local artists Bland Hoke and Terry Chambers.

Meetings at Snow King were enhanced significantly with an increased 100MB bandwidth throughout the hotel, ensuring seamless integration of meetings technology and various personal technology devices. The interiors of all function rooms received new carpet, wall and window treatments and artwork. The hotel also invested in a state-of-of-the-art Business Center featuring new computers and Wi-Fi ready printers.

Significant structural changes at Hayden’s Post restaurant resulted in a seamless dining room and bar experience. The addition of floor-to-ceiling windows provided breathtaking views of the mountains and local scenery. The restaurant’s capacity is now 150 for indoor restaurant seating, with 20 additional seats in the Bar area, and 90 outdoor seats on the redesigned deck, which is open seasonally. Inspired by local traditions of ranching and game hunting, Hayden’s Post offers a sophisticated yet approachable menu of Mountain West regional cuisine with locally-sourced ingredients and seasonal updates.

New guest amenities now include a year-round Activity Center fully -- staffed and managed by partner Hoback Sports and offering ski, snowboard, mountain bike and other rentals, as well as information on nearby trails, hikes and the plethora of outdoor activities offered immediately surrounding the hotel and in the Jackson Hole area.

Snow King also added a Fitness Center, featuring state-of-the-art equipment including treadmills, elliptical machines, stationary bicycles and free weights. Olga’s Day Spa was fully redesigned and expanded to three treatment rooms, a sauna and separate his/hers locker rooms. The redesigned Salon was expanded to five chairs and offers additional salon services.

Design Team:
Architect: JMI Realty
Contractor: Layton Construction
Interior Designer: Delawie

Renovation Price Tag: $17 million

Villas of Grand Cypress Resort
Orlando, Florida

Renovation Summary: The Villas of Grand Cypress, a Personal Luxury Resort, engaged in a property-wide guestroom renovation, encompassing all 146 guest accommodations. An investment of more than $100,000 per luxury villa ushered in a new era of comfort and enhanced standards at the resort. The newly redesigned villas feature thoughtful details and custom furnishings for a tranquil balance of contemporary and classic styles. Design materials range from rich Zebrano wood to natural Shabui stacked stone, luxurious club chairs, and sectional sofa sleepers in rich American leather. Guest baths feature a sculptural, deep-walled bathing tub; freestanding glass-enclosed shower equipped with a European shower tower featuring body jets, a hand held shower wand, and a rain showerhead; custom quartz counters with double sinks; and an illuminated mirror integrated with 19" HD television. Newly renovated kitchens showcase top-of-the-line GE stainless steel appliances, walnut cabinetry, quartz countertops, polished chrome fixtures and Keurig single shot beverage maker.

Upgrades in in-room technology allow for better connectivity for guests, with upgrades to wireless internet serves, intuitive placement of multiple outlets and data ports throughout each room, TV-based property compendium (with access to mobile apps), 19" HD TV's in each bathroom mirror, and PMS linked DND and Housekeeping call buttons.

The immediate pay-off was that the property's new room product allowed for significant growth in ADR, and the resort has become a consistent leader within its competitive set, according to Smith Travel Research.

Renovation Design Team: Lori Rapport, Interior Designer Inc., Lori Rapport, President
Oviedo, Fl 32765


Renovation Price Tag: $14 Million

About Benchmark Hospitality International

Benchmark Hospitality International® is a recognized global leader in the management and marketing of resorts, hotels and conference centers. The company’s two distinctive portfolios of properties, Benchmark Resorts & Hotels® and Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels®, represent the finest in guest-dedicated hospitality in unique destinations across the United States, in the Caribbean and Japan. As a founding member of the International Association of Conference Centers, Benchmark Conference Centers® maintain the highest standards for certification in meeting excellence. Benchmark Hospitality was launched in 1980 as an independent company and today operates worldwide from offices in The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, and regional offices in New Jersey, Washington State, Japan and Chile. For additional company information visit www.benchmarkresortsandhotels.com/development. To become a fan on Facebook, visit www.facebook.com/BenchmarkResortsandHotels, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BenchmarkHotels.

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