Prevue July-August 2018 - 61

Surprises await at the "Waldorf in the Woods"
GRANDEUR AT EVERY TURN

EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS

Our first hint that something was different at the Hilton
Westchester was the life-size wildlife statues in the garden in front
of the porte cochere. The focal point of the lobby was a massive
Baccarat crystal chandelier, and around every corner, tucked into
nooks and behind rope barriers, were museum-quality ceramic
pieces. There was even a sparkling white vintage car with the
license plate: Waldorf in the Woods.
It's the vision of new owner Fred Manocherian, a Scarsdale
billionaire, real estate developer and founder of the National Road
Safety Foundation and the New York Health & Racquet Club.
Manocherian purchased the 445-room former Rye Town Hilton
last year with the goal of transforming it into "the Waldorf in the
Woods," paying homage to the lush 30-acre wooded setting,
which makes it feel more like a retreat than a business hotel.
And just like Manhattan's legendary Waldorf-Astoria, he wants
attendees to experience touches of grandeur at every turn,
from the 24-karat gold leaf that's been added throughout to the
majestic new fountains that were just being installed when our
group visited.
Always known as a meeting hotel, the Hilton Westchester has
34 meeting rooms for groups of all sizes, including the Westchester
Ballroom, the largest in the county at 9,520 sf, accommodating
up to 1,000 attendees. There's also the 6,000-sf Grand Ballroom,
which connects to an outdoor patio and can accommodate more
than 200 people.
According to David Brian Catalon, director of sales and
marketing, the Hilton Westchester's sweet spot is 200-room
groups. For high-end corporate groups, oversized executive-level
rooms are the way to go; these feature 24-hour lounge access.
Recent investments upgraded back end technology and created
seamless WiFi capacity.

The hotel excelled where it matters most during our Duty of
Care educational Summit: customer service. They were able to
create the out-of the-box room set we requested using white
leather furniture, and added creative lighting that transformed the
Westchester Ballroom from a blank slate into an inspiring and
creative space. The food and beverage got the highest marks
among attendees, a highlight being a family-style luncheon for
30 at two very long tables preset with buckwheat soba noodles
and chopsticks. Attendees shared chicken, shrimp and beef, as
well as toppings such as fried shitake mushrooms, edamame and
sesame seeds for a fun and interactive experience. The chefs also
made their own special treats for breaks-peanut butter energy
bites-that had everyone stuffing their pocketbooks. The hotel has
a dedicated following for kosher events, with more than 40 years of
experience, a full second kosher kitchen and kosher beverages.
In the competitive metro New York market, it's all about
location and the Westchester Hilton has it. For regional meetings,
there is a complimentary shuttle to nearby Westchester County
Airport, and two convenient Amtrak stations. There's also easy
access for attendees who fly into New York City's airports, about 25
miles away.
hilton.com; theritzcarlton.com; leroslimo.com;
visitwestchesterny.com; prevuemeetings.com/events

Many thanks to our sponsors: Caesars Entertainment,
United Airlines and Westchester County Tourism & Film,
and partners: the Hilton Westchester, Kanopi and Leros
Point to Point.

Outdoor space at the Hilton Westchester

prevuemeetings.com | 61


http://www.hilton.com http://www.theritzcarlton.com http://www.leroslimo.com http://www.visitwestchesterny.com http://www.prevuemeetings.com/events http://www.prevuemeetings.com

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