Distinctive Hospitality Announces "Grand Reveal" of New Verve, Crowne Plaza Natick Concept

Expressive architecture and design celebrates 20th century American Pop Culture

. January 27, 2012

January 26, 2012 - Today, the greater Boston hospitality scene will have something to cheer about: The VERVE, Crowne Plaza Hotel. Located in the epicenter of MetroWest, Boston's corporate, retail and social hub in Natick, Mass., The VERVE is now delivering an experience typically reserved for an edgy downtown marketplace. In nothing short of a total transformation, the new ownership of the former Crowne Plaza Hotel Boston-Natick has spent the past 18 months fulfilling a cultural and physical metamorphosis of the property. With a conceptual template celebrating the sweet spot of 20th century American pop culture, the property is sophisticated and full of fun.

The Verve's public areas and thoughtfully planned meeting rooms showcase expressive architecture and design, interwoven with engaging art and interactive media. The hotel's 17,000 square feet of function space are reborn with an eye toward an expanded social event and meetings business.

The property also boasts two of the region's most exciting new food and beverage concepts:

Violet Thorn is the hotel's chic new lounge serving premium hand-crafted cocktails from seasoned mixologists, and a fine selection of small plates and flatbreads from the Violet Thorn kitchen. The stunning interior design of the room blends supple fabrics and textures with an artful use of lighting. A water wall, fireplace and media wall accentuate the venue's vibrant ambience.

Pantry, the signature restaurant, champions the art of American cooking for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Reminiscent of a modern-day version of Julia Child's own kitchen, Pantry is a treasure trove of design features that cleverly weaves culinary “tools of the trade” into the architecture of the room. “Chandeliers” of silverware, walls constructed of rolling pins and muffin tins, and video monitors showing episodes of such iconic cooking shows as Julia Child's The French Chef and Graham Kerr's The Galloping Gourmet alongside modern day classics like Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals and Emeril Lagasse's Emeril Live help complete the scene. The menu is what truly takes center stage in Pantry with a modern and clever take on American comfort food. Fresh seafood, prime cuts of meat, composed salads, sandwiches and desserts give a deliberate nod to regional influences of the American cooking scene. Whether for a power breakfast, social lunch or business dinner, Pantry hits a mealtime bull's-eye.

One of the more obvious enhancements to the property is the delivery of a unique music soundtrack channeled through a fully integrated and expansive BOSE sound system. The effect is inspiring. The custom soundtrack, developed with MOOD Muzak highlights pop music classics and deep cuts from the 1960s, 70s and 80s. The sound system, custom engineered for the property's sound track and live music performance needs, levers the most cutting-edge technology BOSE offers. The hotel appears as a splashy showplace for the best of BOSE, a Framingham, Mass.-based company and industry leader of audio technology.

The VERVE, Crowne Plaza Hotel is owned and managed by the Distinctive Hospitality Group (DHG). Lou Carrier, President of DHG is no newcomer to successful, upscale, branded hospitality concepts. Carrier's background includes the development and management of the AAA Four-Diamond Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando and Las Vegas as General Manager and Executive Vice President from 2000-2007. In 2008, Carrier introduced BOKX109 American Prime to the Boston market. The modern American steakhouse, located at Hotel Indigo in Newton, Mass., remains one of the most successful and popular destination restaurants outside of downtown Boston. In 2009, Carrier launched theWit Hotel in Chicago, Illinois. As Chief Brand Officer and later Chief Operating Officer, Carrier's responsibilities included conceptual development, brand culture and operating results of the AAA Four-Diamond gem in the heart of Chicago's famed theatre district.

A native of Cape Cod, Carrier attended the School of Hotel Administration at UMASS-Amherst. Upon completion, he was recruited to join the AAA Five-Diamond Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. After nine years in progressive roles with the landmark property, he joined Loews Hotels, where he spent eight years and was recognized with the company's most significant awards of achievement.

“The VERVE is reflective of our core principle at DHG, 'hospitality with attitude',” says Carrier. “Hip is not exclusively the province of resorts or big cities, and cool doesn't have to be aloof. We bring some attitude and fun to the suburbs, and see The VERVE as the best of 'SurburbaniCity' - sophisticated style with suburban spaciousness. This region deserves something beyond 'sameness'. The social, corporate and residential landscape of Boston's Metrowest area is the most progressive and expressive in all of New England. The VERVE simply tries to deliver an experience more in concert with the savvy expectations of this region's corporate and social hospitality consumer.”

“You won't think 'cookie cutter' when you enter The VERVE,” Carrier added. “There's enough of that out there to choose from. Our team is focused on three core ideas at The VERVE: ENGAGE, EXPRESS and LIVE MORE! We believe in engaging others in the joy of human interaction, expressing the best of ourselves, and living each day to the brim of our experiences. Hospitality isn't just our business; it's our way of life. We feel that passion should be obvious to our guests.”

About DHG: Distinctive Hospitality Group (DHG) is a privately held, integrated hotel ownership and management company, founded in 2010 and backed by a group of seasoned hospitality professionals. DHG's focus is to build long-term asset value in the hospitality sector to ownership, while at the same time providing hotel guests and restaurant diners with the utmost in experience, service, style and atmosphere.

About IHG: InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms. IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns, through various subsidiaries, over 4,400 hotels and more than 652,000 guest rooms in 100 countries and territories around the world. The Group owns a portfolio of well recognized and respected hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites® and also manages the world's largest hotel loyalty program, Priority Club® Rewards with 58 million members worldwide. IHG has almost 1,300 hotels in its development pipeline, which is expected to create 160,000 jobs worldwide over the next few years. InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group's holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales. IHG offers information and online reservations for all its hotel brands at http://www.ihg.com and information for the Priority Club Rewards program at http://www.priorityclub.com/

The Verve, Crowne Plaza Natick is owned and managed by Distinctive Hospitality Group of Natick, Mass., who also owns the Hampton Inn Executive Conference Center Natick <metrowestmeetings.com> and Holiday Inn Boston-Somerville <hi-boston-somerville.com> .

RESERVATIONS: (online): http://bos-natick.crowneplaza.com DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION TEAM: ARCHITECT: Paul Lukez Architecture, Somerville, Mass. INTERIOR DESIGNER: Kevin Curran / Lou Carrier GENERAL CONTRACTOR: CE Floyd of Bedford, Mass. and Middletown, Ct.


Media contact:

Julie Dennehy
T: 508-533-8311
E: julie@dennehypr.com

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