Summer Vacation with the Relatives

Sometimes at CDG, we refer to our group of hotel clients as “the hotel family,” as in “Let’s welcome the Churchill Hotel as the newest member of our hotel family.” At first, I thought this term was a little silly (we can’t banish members of the hotel family to their rooms if they’re behaving badly) but it actually makes sense because we’re always thinking of our hotels, we try to help them be successful and we know them well enough to see what makes them unique and quirky.

Since we don’t see our hotels that often and they’re all spread out across the country, our hotels can be thought of as distant relatives. The kind that swoop in for weddings and funerals, the ones you that you spend Christmas with, and those whose houses your parents send you off to for a month after school lets out in June. It can be really fun to stay at a rich uncle’s condo that has a freezer full of ice cream which you can eat by his pool, or exhausting to visit a group of younger secong cousins and find out you’re expected to baby-sit them all the time.

Now that summer is here, I’ve been thinking of summer vacation and imagining what trips to visit the members of our hotel family would be like. This is how I envision the trips.

Going to the Hotel Maison de Ville and the Audubon Coattages in New Orleans is like staying with “Aunt Eugenia,” an eclectic, older aunt who never married or held a steady job but has had many paramours and careers. The hotel in New Orleans is charming and cozy, serves complimentary croissants in the morning, port in the evening and has a historic atmosphere in a city that’s full of culture and over-the-top excitement. Hotel Maison de Ville is “Aunt Gertrude,” who entertains world travelers, artists and local celebrities in her home. She’ll convince you to go swimming in the middle of the night, give you your first sip of a cocktail (a grasshopper made with fresh mint) and point you to all that’s happening within the city.

The Hilton Washington Embassy Row in Washington D.C. is like crashing with your older half-brother “Ted” who is technically an adult, but has just discovered what it’s like to be living it up on his own in the city. Ted works in advertising, stays out late listening to bands, orders take-out curry from local Indian restaurants and makes appearances at free museum events, book signings and local festivals. The Hilton Washington Embassy Row offers is one block from the metro so you can quickly get almost everywhere. They have a package that includes complimentary breakfast in case you want to stay out late, sleep in and grab a quick bite before heading out again. They’ve created a guide to the city for outdoor lovers and they also have a rooftop pool, meaning there’s always something happening at “Ted’s.”

Quartz Mountain Resort in Lone Wolf, Oklahoma is your recluse “Uncle Mickey” who you don’t know too much about and are a little hesitant to visit at first. Once you get there though, you realize that you’re in the midst of a beautiful, isolated place that allows you to rejuvenate your body and mind and reflect on your life. “Uncle Mickey” eats trout that he’s caught from the river outside, can name all the constellations and whittles artwork using leftovers from trees he’s chopped for firewood.  At Quartz Mountain Resort you’ll stay in a woodsy lodge, be able to hike, hunt and horseback ride at the national park and enjoy fresh food at Sundance Café.

The Radisson Chicago Hotel and Suites is “Uncle Randolph,” a businessman who runs several companies. He’ll give you a great place to stay and let you explore the city on your own while he stays busy at work. The Radisson Chicago Hotel and Suites is located in the heart of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile near attractions, shops and restaurant. The concierge Verne is “Uncle Randolph’s” assistant who offers suggestions on what to do and makes reservations if need be. The Elephant and Castle Restaurant, located in the Radisson, is like your uncle’s cooking staff that will whip up tasty food for you and provide you with many dining options.

The Churchill Hotel in Washington, D.C. is a trip to see your grandparents who spoil you rotten. Grandma and Grandpa are in their early sixties, like to garden, attend book club meetings and shop for antiques in Georgetown. The Churchill wants to keep you inside and close by so they have a frequent guest program where visitors who come often can have services personalized to them (choose a feather or foam pillow and request a Mars Bar and bottle of Merlot.) Sure there is a lot to do within the city of Washington, D.C., but why leave when you can have an in-room massage at the Churchill Hotel?

Of course all the traveling could be avoided if the hotel family could just settle on a place to have a family reunion but since every member thinks their location is best spot for a vacation it would be better to go to spend time with each member and see why they’re a great hotel.

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