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Over the past 14 months, Hilton Grand Vacations added three properties to its network: Ocean 22 by Hilton Grand Vacations Club, Las Palmeras, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club and The District by Hilton Club. To celebrate this growth, Club Traveler interviewed all three properties’ managers to find out how things have been going.
Find out more about each resort and see what their GMs had to say!
At the end of June 2015, Ocean 22 by Hilton Grand Vacations Club officially opened. The resort towers above the sands of Myrtle Beach, just a few hundred footprints north of where the boardwalk shifts from planked trail into a sandy walkway surrounded by swaying beach grass.
Inside Ocean 22, property amenities include a lobby bar where guests can order one of the resort’s signature cocktails, a fitness center overlooking Ocean Boulevard, a kids’ club full of activities, a covered pool bar serving blended favorites, a covered, heated pool and an exposed pool, hot tub, fountains and lush tropical plants.
We asked Erik Johnson, general manager of Ocean 22 and Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Anderson Ocean Club, a few questions about the resort’s first year.
Club Traveler (CT): It’s been just more than a year since Ocean 22 opened, and we'd love to share with Club Members: How are things going?
Erik Johnson (EJ): It is truly remarkable how quickly our team was able to provide such a high level of service and how everything is running so smoothly.
CT: What’s your favorite memory from this past year?
EJ: My most favorite memory is when the seven front office Team Members won the Spirit of Hilton Grand Vacations Award as a group. All of them have been with us since opening and are still with us today.
CT: What are Club Members saying? (Do they really love one part of the resort? Is there a favorite activity they enjoy in the area?)
EJ: Club Members love the breathtaking views of the ocean, the modern design of the building and the most frequent comment is how friendly and professional the staff is. Restaurants, the skywheel and other area attractions are within walking distance [and frequented by Members]. Myrtle Beach is known for its golf, and that’s one of the most significant attractions besides the beach.
Above, Ocean 22 Team Members celebrate the resort’s one-year anniversary during a reception earlier this summer.
CT: Did you do anything to commemorate Ocean 22’s one-year anniversary with Team Members and/or Club Members?
EJ: Yes, this was an awesome day for us. We had an anniversary reception on June 30, which was [exactly] one year after we checked in our first guest. We awarded 46 one-year service certificates to Team Members who have been with us since we opened, and we reflected back on our major accomplishments, such as earning:
In June 2016, The District by Hilton Club opened, and Club Members began staying in the newest Hilton Club destination and its first in the U.S. capital. Located in the heart of Washington, D.C., between Dupont Circle and Georgetown, The District is embedded in the Embassy Suites by Hilton. The property boasts newly renovated one- and two-bedroom units and sophisticated surroundings from which guests can see all the city offers.
Eric MacMartin, Club Director at The District, took some time to answer a few questions about how The District’s first couple months have been going.
Club Traveler (CT): What is your favorite part of the property?
Eric MacMartin (EM): We are located on the top floors of the Embassy Suites, overlooking a beautiful naturally lit atrium. This provides quite the WOW-factor when looking down from our viewpoint [and is my favorite part of the resort]. It’s our own mini-oasis on the outskirts of Georgetown and the George Washington University campuses.
CT: Club Members have been staying in the new resort for about a month so far, correct? Have you heard any feedback from Members about what they like?
EM: Our Club Members have been really impressed with our guest rooms and pleased with the property’s design as well as the in-room amenities.
Additionally, Washington, D.C. is full of adventures. Many Members like to visit the Smithsonian Institute and monuments on the National Mall. Others really enjoy strolling through Georgetown, visiting shops and restaurants. Members also love the Georgetown waterfront on the Potomac River.
Also, some Club Members enjoy going for a run on the National Mall, or in Rock Creek Park, which is located a few blocks from the resort. We really are situated in a great area of D.C. with access to so many parts of the city.
CT: How are the common area renovations coming along?
EM: We continue to see daily improvements with the atrium. The restaurant/bar and pool are slated to be completed by month's end.
We look forward to providing the full range of amenities our guests can enjoy very soon!
CT: Any other upcoming plans or updates you can share?
EM: During the renovation, The Embassy Suites breakfast has temporarily been provided in our Owners’ Lounge. We look forward to the transition to the atrium, where our guests can soon enjoy the made-to-order breakfast many are accustomed to when staying at an Embassy Suites.
In January 2016, Hilton Grand Vacations Club debuted its fourth Orlando resort with the addition of Las Palmeras, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club. The central location of Las Palmeras provides Members with easy access to Orlando’s world-class theme parks and numerous attractions. At the beginning of 2016, Hilton Grand Vacations Club began converting the existing property into 226 deluxe one- and two-bedroom condominium-style units and well-appointed studios.
We asked Mike Magnelli, general manager of Las Palmeras, for an update on Las Palmeras’ renovations and more.
Club Traveler (CT): We understand that Las Palmeras is undergoing renovations. How are these coming along? What renovations are you most excited about, and why?
Mike Magnelli (MM): Renovations at Las Palmeras began the first week of July! We are very excited about all aspects of our renovations, which makes it difficult to choose one, so here are a few: the fresh new take on our spacious rooms, the water slide and pool expansion, and even our new activities center for kids.
CT: Have you heard any feedback from Club Members? If so, what have you heard/what are they looking forward to the most at Las Palmeras?
MM: While we haven’t yet had any actual Club reservations, Club Members are able to book reservations for stays starting in early 2017!. We’ve taken a few Owners on tours of the resort to look around and they are very excited about the location and what is to come. We are less than two miles from Universal Studios and SeaWorld, one mile from the International Drive (I-Drive) activities for families and across the street from the Orange County Convention Center.
CT: What do you like best about the location of Las Palmeras?
MM: The physical location of Las Palmeras is very special. We are only minutes away from Orlando’s best attractions and are on the same street as Universal Studios without the traffic. With I-Drive next to the property, there are tons of dining options and fun local experiences. We’re in the middle of all the fun, but we offer a calm, relaxed atmosphere.
CT: What makes Las Palmeras unique, in your opinion?
MM: Our passionate staff and our unique location truly sets our property apart in this city. Our team is dedicated to personalizing each guest’s stay for a special vacation experience. We aim to leave our guests feeling like they are at their home away from home, but with the added benefits of being pampered. Our commitment to our guests remains our top priority, and our location offers the perfect balance of tranquility and easy access to all of Orlando’s top destinations—a short drive from theme parks, the downtown area and more.
*The photo at the top of this article features, from left, Ocean 22 by Hilton Grand Vacations Club, The District by Hilton Club and Las Palmeras, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club.
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