The Saguaro Hotel Lands Condé Nast Traveler’s 2012 Hot List

It’s that time of year again. This month, Condé Nast Traveler unveiled its sixteenth annual Hot List, a selection of the very best hotels around the world. Forty-one reporters anonymously visited hotels in 49 countries, resulting in 121 properties making the list of their favorite picks.

According to Condé Nast Traveler, “…a good hotel is more than just a blissful temporary roost: It’s also a bellwether, an important peek at what you…are really looking for in your travels, not to mention in the very destinations you’re traveling to.” And not only did Joie de Vivre’s The Saguaro Hotel make the list, the Scottsdale-based hotel also landed the cover of the magazine!

The 194-room Saguaro is an updated 1960s motel on the edge of Old Town and adjacent to the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. While the Scottsdale building code requires its buildings to have a natural desert look, The Saguaro did not want to be another building along the sand-tone cityscape. With an okay by town planners, the hotel shines bright with colors of desert wildflowers—dozens of eye-popping hues dominated by oranges, pinks, yellows and purples. The same contrasting color blocks continue inside the hotel along with handcrafted wood and leather furniture to honor the Southwest theme.

The Saguaro is the first effort outside of California for the Joie de Vivre hotel group.

Check out Condé Nast Traveler’s 2012 Hot List to discover the other best new hotels of 2012!

“…all have one thing in common: We never wanted to leave.” -Condé Nast Traveler


Clean the World

This past week, the Katies made an appearance at the Orlando Clean the World as part of National Volunteer Week. We had an awesome tour of the facility and even had the opportunity to get our hands dirty…or maybe it should be clean!

We spent our time working alongside 30+ other volunteers from Disney, UGG and other area companies. While at the recycling operation center Katie and I put together 100 hygiene kits to be distributed to local homeless individuals and used for disaster relief around the world. In the few short hours we were there, the group as a whole put together 360 hygiene kits, and cleaned 2,300 lbs of soap. That will make approximately 2,000 bars, which equates to 300 families.

It was such an awesome experience; we can’t wait to go back! If you’re curious how you can help Clean the World check out their site or their facebook on how you can get involved. And don’t think that because you don’t live in Orlando or Las Vegas you can’t help…find out what you can do in your own community!

Artwork, Amenities and Beyond – JW Marriott Announces New Partnerships

When you stay at a hotel, have questions like, “How did they choose this artwork for the room wall?” or “How did they choose this particular soap scent for the bathroom?” ever cross your mind?

At the Marriott International Global General’s Manager conference in Los Angeles, the JW Marriott brand took attendants though a tour of their partnerships and offered insight into why and how specific partners are paired with hotels.

In 2011, the JW Marriott Brand created partnerships with leading luxury brands to bring a bit more “lifestyle” into the guest experience. Using everyday concepts that guests use at home (i.e. scented soaps, yoga mats, magazines and magnets on refrigerators with funny sayings, etc), the partnerships were launched in the nutrition, culinary, art, culture and wellness areas to “enrich the luxury experiences” that are relevant in guests’ lives.

Here is what’s coming to JW Hotels:

  • Aromatherapy Associates: Whether you realize it or not, every bathroom amenity has a unique scent. Why? To sooth the mood of the hectic traveler. This month, JW Marriott and Aromatherapy Associates will launch a new line of bath and shower accessories, with a signature brand scent, that will be in all rooms by year-end.
  • Christie’s: Very well known in the world’s art business, Christie’s has partnered with JW Marriott to offer hotel guests a glimpse into the worlds of art, auction and beyond. Through the “What Not To Miss Guides,” Marriott guests (in cities worldwide) will receive information on Christie’s favorite museums, galleries, restaurants, nightlife and shopping.
  • Treasury Wine Estates – Etude Wineries: Fine dining and wine experiences has become a big luxury travel trend over the past few years. Partnered with boutique Etude Wines, JW Marriott will include everything from hosting wine makers for exclusive dinners, to on-property wine programs like food pairings and tastings.
  • Keri Glassman: A nationally recognized nutritionist, published author and founder of the O2 Diet, Glassman will serve as a member of JW Marriott’s panel of experts and provide guests tips on keeping up with a healthy lifestyle while traveling. Soon, guests will be treated to new room service menus, wellness retreats and turndown cards suggesting helpful mantras for a healthier life.

For more information on the JW Marriott Brand’s new partnerships, check out!

UMU’s March Makeover 2012

During the last weekend in March, five members of McConnell Marketing participated the University of Mount Union’s March Makeover 2012 Project. The event was spearheaded by our very own Mark McConnell, and the team partnered with over 100 students from the college to help one of Alliance, Ohio’s less fortunate.

The McConnell team offered some of their time and energy to renovate and transform the home. The owner of the house, in the past few years, has unfortunately come upon hard times and circumstances have made it very hard to make repairs on his home both physically and financially.

Projects completed during the day included cleaning, painting, building a deck and landscaping.

All we have to say is: Ty Pennington, watch out!