Hospitality Hive

Updates, opinions, and news for anyone working in Orlando's Hospitality community

Earth Day and the Orlando Hospitality Industry

Do you think there’s any connection?

But, of course!  Even though some would think that the tourism and hospitality industry here in Central Florida causes only constant traffic congestion, major air pollution, and basic overall mind fog [and yes, I do realize that mind fog is only damaging to oneself, and not the earth in general.  Or, is it??] due to the sheer number of water parks, rides, and other brain-and-money-sucking tourist attractions we pride ourselves with [oopsie; did the Hive just admit to those sins???], I’m here to tell you that at least one local organization is a big – make that HUGE – player in the global landscape when in comes to decreasing the carbon footprint of our many central Florida hospitality blessings [there, wasn’t that a better way to refer to all those reasons we welcome tourists here?].

It’s called Clean the World, and wow, does it ever do a great job in that monumental task.  Founded in 2009 after Shawn Seipler, who was a frequent traveler for his tech company job, spent a lot of his travel time pondering where the half or barely used soap bars and bottles from his hotel rooms were going.  His investigation discovered that it was all going to landfill.  “Ugh!”  Well, I’m sure his exact words were more intelligent than that, but I think you’re getting the picture here, right?  One man.  One planet to save.  One ingenious and enormous idea.  Plus a whole lotta unused soap and shampoo from all the area hotel rooms.

soap bars

His mission?  Not only to recycle, thus saving the environment from unnecessary waste, but to also repurpose all those half used products.  You can read further about the amazing story and journey of Clean the World by visiting the link provided.  But in short, here is the Mission Statement of this incredible local not for profit:

1]  Collect and recycle soap and hygiene products discarded everyday by the hospitality industry and other sectors that generate environmental waste.

2]  Through the distribution of these and other donated products to impoverished people [all over the planet], prevent millions of hygiene related deaths each year, reduce the morbidity rate for hygiene related illnesses, and encourage vigorous childhood development.

Or in simpler terms, clean the world, save lives.  Give hope with soap.  Both tag lines taken from their own vision.

But we all know nothing is as simple as it sounds!  It takes a lot of commitment from hotels and other establishments just to participate starting with the housekeepers who have to gather the partially used products and get them to the proper recycling receptacles within their facilities.  Then said facility has to get the product to downtown Orlando where Clean the World accepts the products, sorts, recycles, sterilize, and repurpose it all.  Then there’s the packaging and distribution to all those needy areas around the world that are currently accepting said products.  So you get the picture here, right?  The cycle plays out on so many levels, and to date there are over 65 hotels just in Central Florida alone that participate, but multiply that by chain brands known around the world and you’ve got a starter-kit of how large this project has grown since its’ 2009 inception.

Here is a great example of how Hyatt Hotels participates on a global basis:

So, are you excited enough to want to help?  They list lots of easy ways on their website including the one that I’ve participated in which is to get thyself down to their headquarters and pitch in!  What better way to get involved in Earth Day 2017, or heck just any day of the year.

So, to borrow the excellent tag line you find on the Earth Day Network official website:

Stay connected.  The earth needs your help.

 

 

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Hotels Offer Great Ideas for Unique and Special Date Nights

Well for sure there’s no argument about a shortage of things to do here in Orlando.  But, what if you could peel away – guilt free –  from the kids, pets, house projects, laundry, lawn mowing and other distractions that keep us adults from going out and having a little romantic grown up fun as a two-some?  Where would you go?  Pull up a barstool and let’s chat, because I’ve got some great ideas for you, some of which you’ve probably never even considered because they involve, well, going out into the tourist corridor. (ba-dump)

I know what you’re thinking. Mon Dieu!  Is the Hive lady drinking too much butter beer?  Well that would be no, because I would never, not ever, suggest to anyone who lives in Otown that they visit a theme park for a romantic date night, and in particular during summer months. (Well, technically, that would be a hot summer date, but again, not the path I’m leading you down today.)  That said, let me share just a few of the date night gems I know about ‘out there’ and you can be the butter-beer judge.

Fiorenzo at Hyatt Orlando

Fiorenzo’s Steakhouse at Hyatt Regency Orlando – a little trip to Italy that costs a lot less

For starters, here’s an excellent offer for a  Friday night special that our friends at the Hyatt Regency Orlando are running just through the summer months in their oh-so-stylish and en vogue Fiorenzo Italian Steakhouse .

They’ve even given it a catchy name:  Classic Charm.  Modern Tastes.  Free Wine, and here’s the deal:  you get  a complimentary bottle of Robert Mondavi wine with the purchase of two entrees. Plus, they sweeten the financial incentive by including free valet parking with the deal, so now you can’t even try that ‘the parking is too expensive to go out there’ excuse.  And trust me, this Italian dinner is a whole lot less expensive than that trip to Italy you two have been talking about.  But remember, offer only good on Friday nights this summer, so go ahead and call 407-345-4570 for those reservations, and make sure to ask for a nice table to impress your date, okay?

And right across the street at the Rosen Plaza Hotel you’ll find another sweet offer.  This one includes an overnight stay in addition to gourmet dinner at Jack’s Place followed by complimentary entrance (including those first two drinks) at their trendy new lounge, Club 39.

2015-05-15-12-22-40 Club 39

Club 39 has a Las Vegas style vibe, but you can drive there from Orlando.

Haven’t yet heard about Club 39?  You really need to get out more.  In my humble hospitality opinion it’s the closest thing Orlando has to a Las Vegas nightclub complete with VIP lounge, high energy dance floor,  seating inside or step out the door and go poolside, a temptingly spicy menu, combination of live shows and DJ’s .  Yeah, this is the real deal.  And with this weekend dinner and dance getaway package you can dance yourself silly as late as you want because all you have to do is press the elevator button to get to bed when the party’s over.  But wait, there’s more!  Breakfast the next morning is also included, and don’t forget that ALL Rosen hotels offer free wi-fi ALL the time because we know your fingers are never on vacation from that addiction, right?

Finally, if the above options sound a little too calm and ‘hotelish’ for you, maybe it’s time you learned about Velvet Sessions over at the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando. 

Velvet Sessions 2

There’s no doubt that Velvet Sessions will rock your world!

 

These are featured on the last Thursday of every month (Jan through Oct), and if you’ve never been it’s time to take the plunge.  Big.  Bold.  In-your-face rock and roll, but in a very chic and urbane way because that’s what Hard Rock Hotels are all about.  No diner with this package but check/check/check on the comp finger foods, specialty drinks, and valet parking.  Then there’s that music. The upcoming session on July 30 will feature A Flock of Seagulls (which could have special meaning if you’ve also spent the day at the beach. . .), another fab four that came out of Liverpool (not to be confused with THE fab four).

 

So there you have it.  Just a few quick suggestions that might be tempting enough to lull a local out of the comfort of your usual Brio or Outback or Ruth’s Chris.  And if you can’t add a little adventure to your date nights in the summer, when will you?

 

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Turn Up Your Crazy at Hyatt Regency Orlando on May 24th!

Let’s be honest:  Orlando has more than your average amount of options when it comes to making plans for your weekend fun.  With not one but three world class theme parks all vying for more and more of your time and attention (notice I didn’t mention $$$$, but they vie a lot for that, too, and usually they win), it can get downright confusing when trying to choose among countless opportunities that all offer endless hours of fun.  And, if those expensively printed attraction brochures and advertisements don’t offer enough enticement, just pick up the Friday edition of the Orlando Sentinel and review the weekly calendar section to find even more choices – movies, plays, sports activities, lectures, cooking demonstrations, poetry readings, tarot card readings, festivals, art shows, craft fairs, bike races, and well, you get the picture here.  In fact there are usually so many options listed in that Calendar section that I’m exhausted when I finish reading it, which is, in my opinion, why they put the TV listings at the end because by the time you examine and review all those other activities it just makes you want to curl up with the remote control and a bowl of popcorn to stay put on your big comfy couch.  Oh, and FYI, the dog prefers you do that, too, because Rambo’s been waiting all week for you to play with him.  Plus, he loves the popcorn you drop.

Anyway, decisions, decisions, decisions.  The pressure to get out and have fun is only ramped up when the weekend is a holiday.  Head.  Exploding.

So with the impending arrival of Memorial Weekend (cue internal monologue loop about planning ahead to DO SOMETHING FUN this year), I’m going to make the decision process easier and suggest the following:

Ixnay the plans for spending your entire paycheck on a theme park, and instead steer your car into the parking garage at the Hyatt Regency Orlando – stay with me here because the parking will be free – on May 24th so you can enjoy the oh-so-chic surroundings of a world class luxury hotel along with a poolside concert by Nashville recording artist and songwriter Josh Thompson.  This guy is seriously cool!  Listen to how he describes his recent album, Turn It Up:  It’s a modern, kickin’ country party album with plenty of swagger, energy, and hammer-swingin’, fist-pumpin’ attitude. The title is really all-encompassing, not only [referring to] turn up this record, but turn up the way you live your life, turn up the crazy, turn up the feel-good!”  He’s opened shows for Dierks Bentley and Brad Paisley not to mention he’s heavy on the eye candy part.  Sayin’.

Turn It Up

Now tell me you wouldn’t have some serious fun watching this guy perform poolside on the Hyatt’s Garden Terrace while sipping a frozen adult beverage and noshing on some great bites? (PS – all food and beverage at discounted rates for this concert, and that includes hotel restaurants, too.  SWEET!)  But wait, there’s even more goodness in store when country rock artists JT Hodges and Nikki Lane join in on the concert fun!  Hodges not only sings but also starred in the wildly popular Hallmark Channel film, Finding Christmas.  (Yeah, he’s that cute.) And as for Nikki, well, she’s been referred to as a ‘country rebel’ due to her musical influences that combine Motown and alt-rock with her country roots.

JT Hodges – I wasn’t kidding about the eye candy part, right?

Nikki Lane

 

Eye candy, fun, top notch live entertainment on an outdoor terrace stage located in a first class hotel (right here in Orlando) that you know you want to go see. Plus, don’t forget the FREE PARKING! Check out the full package information along with pricing (tickets start at a very affordable $25 for general admission) at hyattsummersensation.com .

Nice kick-off to a sensational summer, right?

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