Ascend Hotel Collection Comes to Monterey Bay Area With Addition of Hacienda de Léal

USA, Rockville, Maryland. May 30, 2019

The Hacienda de Léal adds a splash of Spanish culture to the Ascend Hotel Collection by Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH), a portfolio of unique, boutique, and historic hotels and resorts that reflect their surrounding community.

Located in the quaint mission town of San Juan Bautista at 410 The Alameda, the 42-room Hacienda de Léal captures the spirit of the Spanish Hacienda with its rustic, red and beige hues, picturesque patio, and 20,000-square-foot courtyard. The property was purchased by Léal Vineyards in 2014 and completely renovated to channel the opulence of the beachside hotels of Santa Barbara without sacrificing its California mission roots and rich history.

In San Juan Bautista, visitors will find boutique shopping, local cuisine and The Mission De San Juan Bautista, an 18th century local landmark that once hosted daily mass. The Hacienda de Léal is located 10 miles from the owner's two pastoral vineyards, which offer an ideal backdrop for lasting memories. Less than a 30-minute drive from the hotel is Marina State Beach, a quiet oceanfront stop along the Pacific coastline where visitors can get their feet wet or catch some rays.

The Ascend Hotel Collection currently has more than 250 properties open and nearly 60 hotels in the pipeline worldwide. This year, the brand expects to open several hotels in major U.S. markets, including Brooklyn, N.Y.; Philadelphia; Long Island City, N.Y.; and Napa, Calif.

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Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.