Driftwood Hospitality Management Appoints Executive Team to Launch Canopy West Palm Beach Downtown

USA, West Palm Beach, Florida. October 03, 2019

Driftwood Hospitality Management has appointed three industry-leading executives to launch Canopy by Hilton West Palm Beach Downtown, the brands' first Canopy in Florida. The Canopy will feature a full complement of locally-inspired design features, amenities and menu selections from hyper-local, favorite food and beverage sources when the hotel opens in January 2020. It will offer 150 "Just-Right" rooms including spacious suites with large balconies, a magnificent rooftop bar, lounge and pool with sweeping views of Downtown West Palm Beach; 6,000 sq. feet of indoor/outdoor meeting spaces and a ground floor restaurant called Banter with its own entrance from Dixie Highway.

Chris Steele, a third-generation hotelier, has been named Chief Enthusiast, and will serve as the General Manager of Canopy. He brings more than a decade of hotel management experience, including roles as Area General Manager for a group of hotels in northern Florida and Georgia.

"The Canopy West Palm Beach Downtown has a very distinctive personality that will clearly define it among the other hotels in the city. Our carefully curated selection of local favorites — foods, beverages, furnishings, art and artisans — position us as quintessentially West Palm Beach and we look forward to daily celebrations of the South Florida lifestyle in the most creative, surprising and delightful ways you can imagine," said Steele.

South Florida native Jen Garrett has been named as Lead Sales Enthusiast and will manage the group sales and marketing efforts. Garrett began working in the hospitality industry right out of high school, and over the last 10 years has quickly ascended from roles as Executive Housekeeper to Front Office Manager to Director of Sales. Most recently, she served as Director of Sales and Marketing for a hotel in Palm Beach Gardens.

"The Canopy experience is so delightfully different that it's the exact type of property I would look to stay at when traveling," said Garrett. "Our guests will immediately feel the South Florida flavor as soon as they enter our six-story atrium and get their first look at the awe-inspiring light installation designed to replicate the long roots of the Banyan tree."

The Canopy's food and beverage program will be led by Lead Food and Drink Enthusiast Serge Saouma, a native of the Netherlands with 17 years of kitchen and restaurant experience, including many high-profile properties in Florida. Serge will lead menu and drink development for the Canopy's two restaurants. The ground floor Banter, which includes a Sushi Bar, will serve three meals per day with its cool vibe and creative menu, and has a dramatic sibling location on the rooftop pool deck called BanterUp. Both the menu and drink selections will feature Florida fusion-inspired selections of natural and locally sourced ingredients with a bright and citrus twist.

With its stunning glass façade, the 13-story Canopy West Palm Beach Downtown is a compelling destination in itself, just steps from the convention center, the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, the surrounding Class A office towers in the Flagler Financial District, the nightlife of Clematis Street and the sparkling Intracoastal Waterway.

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Coming up in November 2019...

Architecture & Design: Biophilic Design

The hospitality industry is constantly evolving to meet and exceed guest expectations. As a result, hotels are always on the lookout for new ways to improve the guest experience, and architecture and design is an essential part of this equation. Bold design is often the most effective way to make an exceptional first impression - an impression guests use to distinguish between brands. One design trend that is being embraced worldwide has become known as “Biophilic Design.” Biophilic design is based on the concept of biophilia, which is the theory that human beings have an innate tendency to seek out nature, natural elements, and natural forms. Biophilic design is more than hotels simply adding a surplus of plants; it involves incorporating specific design elements into a hotel in order to imbue it with a sense of wellness and well-being. Some of those elements include exposure to natural lighting; views of nature and rooms with a view; natural architectural patterns; salvaged or reclaimed woods of all types; reclaimed metals; sustainably sourced stone; living green walls and vertical gardens; and direct and indirect exposure to nature. Hotels that have incorporated biophilic design into their properties are reaping the benefits associated with this trend including reduced stress responses, better air quality, lower energy costs, and more positive guest reviews. Biophilic design has also been shown to improve guest moods and to satisfy consumer demand for environmental responsibility. Savvy hotel owners and managers are aware that nature-inspired elements enhance their guests' comfort and well-being, which is why this trend is becoming so prevalent. Biophilic design is just one topic in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.