Marenas Beach Resort in Sunny Isles Beach, Miami, FL

HOT DEALS!

School in Florida is back in session, but that doesn’t mean the travel deals have played hooky. In the two-and-a-half-mile white sand stretch of Sunny Isles Beach in the Miami area, a number of hotels are offering some sweet deals for getaways. For Florida residents, the deals have extra incentives. Book Marenas Beach Resort directly and get 20% off in their Endless Summer promotion, plus a special welcome gift, a $25 F&B credit, complimentary room upgrade, early check-in (11 a.m. – 2 p.m.) and late check-out (2 p.m.). Additionally, Florida residents will receive 25% off and complimentary valet parking. Marenas Beach Resort is a boutique style hotel with 190 suites and guest rooms, ocean and city views, and large balconies. For all bookings made, Marenas will donate $5 a night to relief efforts in the Bahamas. www.MarenasResortMiami.com. Florida residents booking AAA Five Diamond boutique hotel, Acqualina Resort & Spa  Florida, can receive 15% off the best available rate, complimentary valet parking for one vehicle, complimentary internet access, and a welcome amenity upon arrival. Extend the stay with a fourth night free and also get a welcome amenity, daily $40 spa treatment credit for two, complimentary Wi-Fi access, and access to AcquaMarine Children’s Program, the property’s innovative marine biology-based program for children ages 5-12. The luxurious seaside haven is on 4.5 beachfront acres and has 98 rooms and suites, top restaurants, three oceanfront swimming pools, and ESPA spa. www.AcqualinaResort.com/accommodations/offers/.

Sunny Isles Beach, FL

Solé Miami, A Noble House resort, is giving a Fourth Night Free package offer, or guests can take advantage of the Stay and Play package and receive up to $600 resort credit. Florida residents get to enjoy 30% off best available rates. www.SoleMiami.com/hotel-packages.aspx. The Celebration package offered by the oceanfront DoubleTree by Hilton Ocean Point Resort includes sparkling wine, breakfast for two and late checkout (2 p.m.). Plus, guests who drive to the resort in any hybrid vehicle will receive complimentary parking https://bit.ly/2koS1kq. And as long as you’re in the area, take advantage of the Tidal Cove Waterpark, located in the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa. Through Sept. 30, Tidal Cove is offering a special Resort Day Membership (Monday-Thursday) for just $50. www.JWTurnberry.com/tidalcove.

Brocket Hall at Christmas

Book your meeting or conference at Brocket-Hall (U.K) for a stay through December 31, 2019 and receive these discounts just by using the code BREXIT 2019. The Day Delegate rate will be £95.00pp plus VAT with exclusive use fee of £1,000 plus VAT. The 24-hr Delegate rate is £330.00pp plus VAT with an exclusive use fee for £2,000 plus VAT.

www.events@brocket-hall.co.uk; 01707 368725

On Northeast Florida’s Amelia Island, October and November is referred to as the “Secret Season” because the temperatures are a tad cooler, the humidity is less, and the beaches aren’t as crowded. It’s a perfect time to check out all the hotel deals being offered. Too many to describe here for the Free Night, Any Night package offers. Check out for yourself.

www.AmeliaIsland.com

The Karol-Hotel—Lobby Rendering

HOTEL AND EVENT SPACES COMING SOON

Before 2019 rings in the New Year, Tampa, FL-based Mainsail Lodging & Development expects to open The Karol Hotel (2675 Ulmerton Road), the first Tribute Portfolio hotel in Pinellas County, FL. Centrally located in Feather Sound between Clearwater, St. Pete and Tampa, the 123-room boutique hotel will feature a signature lobby bar and K Club Bar & Bistro restaurant, Vantage Rooftop Bar overlooking Tampa Bay, and a combined 7,340 sf of event space, including a ballroom and executive conference rooms. The hotel is named for and inspired by Karol Kelly Bullard, wife of Fred Bullard, CEO of The Bullard Group, which is developing the property. Part of Marriott International, Inc, the Tribute Portfolio is a family of independent boutique hotels, each with its own personality tied to local connections. Karol Bullard has been a radio DJ, finishing school founder, and Florida’s first weather woman.  “Now she devotes herself to various charities and philanthropies, generously working to support the arts, families and children in need. It’s just who she is,” said Joe Collier, Mainsail Lodging & Development’s president. The Karol Hotel will be 15 minutes from Tampa’s Westshore Business District and Tampa International Airport.

www/TheKarolHotel.com; www.MainsailHotels.com; www.MarriottBonvoy.marriott.com

Legoland Pirate Island Hotel

Get your young kids to start practicing their Arrghs because the LEGOLAND® Pirate Island Hotel, the first LEGO® Pirate themed hotel in North America, opens April 17, 2020! It will be the resort’s third hotel and will have 150 fun-filled rooms, heated pool with pool deck (complete with LEGO® soft bricks to build in the pool), hundreds of LEGO models, in-room LEGO treasure hunts and exclusive character experiences. Similar to the popular LEGOLAND Hotel, each room will include two separate spaces; a kid’s sleeping area and an adult area. The adult side of the room comes furnished with LEGO pirate décor, a king bed and television, while the other separate area just for kids will feature a bunk bed, LEGO play areas and their very own television to watch all of their favorite LEGO movies! The five-story hotel will house the pirate-themed Shipwreck Restaurant, Smuggler’s Bar for adult swashbucklers, an entertainment area with kid-friendly nightly programming and LEGO play areas. For a limited time, buy two nights and receive one night free!

www.legoland.com/pirate-island-hotel

Miami Design District raises funds for breast cancer.

IT’S THE GIVING BACK THAT MATTERS FOR THESE GROUPS

Fashion isn’t just about the glam and striking poses in stunning outfits. In this case, fashion is about providing hope, money, and heart for anyone who has been struck by breast cancer, or who have a loved one who has suffered or been lost to the disease. The Miami Design District is hosting the fourth annual Fashion Strikes Cancer on October 25, from 7:30 – 10:30 pm at the Moore Building in the Miami Design District, Miami, FL. Founded and hosted by fashion visionary, stylist and breast cancer survivor, Angeles Almuna, this year’s ticketed event will honor Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) Co-Chair Kinga Lampert, co-founder and member of the board of the Institute of International Education New Leaders Group and who also sits on the board of the American Friends of the Paris Opera and Ballet. The evening will include a performance by Venezuelan singer/songwriter, Manu Manzo and entertainment from DJ Michelle Leshem. Pre-sale tickets are $35.

www.miamidesigndistrict.net; @miamidesigndistrict; @designdistrict

On your mark, get set, go for LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s Brick Dash 5K on October 12. Costumes on runners is encouraged. Participating runners are raising money for Merlin’s Magic Wand, benefitting children facing challenges due to serious illness, disability or adversity. The race is part of LEGOLAND’S Brick or Treat festivities.

www.legoland.com/special-events

Brick Dash 5K –

First responders, police, firefighters, and others have until the end of September to receive free single-day entrance into LEGOLAND® Florida Resort. Their families can receive admission for up to four people at 50% off. Here is who is eligible for the free admission: firefighters, emergency medical services employees, municipal and county police and sheriff’s officers; highway patrol officers, corrections officers, state and federal law enforcement officers, fish and wildlife field officers, U.S. Forest Service rangers, National Park Service officers, Homeland Security and TSA agents, and Environmental Protection officers. Just show appropriate ID at the gate.

LEGOLAND gives back was apparent for one mid-September weekend as well. A deeply discounted $25 dollar single-day ticket was offered, with $10 of each ticket earmarked for donation to the American Red Cross. They collected $126,760 to support relief and recovery efforts of those directly impacted by Hurricane Dorian. As part of that effort, the theme park served as a collection point for guests collecting a total of 4,500 pounds of items, including nonperishable goods, water, toiletries, baby products, radios, batteries, candles and bedding.

www.Legoland.com

WHAT’S OLD IS NEW WITH A COMPLETELY UPDATED USE

Mix on Wheels (Winter Garden, FL) brings back something old to modernize events. Chevrolet’s Corvette Convertible was the official Pace Car for the Indianopolis 500. Only one of 616 originally produced in 1998, it is being used as an event prop car.

Indy 500 pace car now available as event prop.

www.mixonwheels.com; 407-490-5757

FAMILY FUN BRINGS CHEER TO THE HOLIDAYS

The closer the holidays approach, the more useful family fun activities you’ll see posted here. Do let them know where you read about these events. Other family events are posted in the Hot Deals! section above.

LEGOLAND gets ready for the holidays. photo by Chip Litherland

LEGOLAND® Florida Resort begins their holiday season of fun with an October Brick or Treat, which includes new themed entertainment and lots of tasty treats. With the theme park’s Spring 2020 opening of Pirate Island Hotel, kids 2-12 who come dressed as pirates for the first weekend of Brick or Treat will receive a complimentary ticket to visit the theme park before the end of year. Included with Brick or Treat is an event-themed Coca-Cola Freestyle® collector’s cup, Granny’s Apples Fries with Pumpkin-flavored ice cream, and to experience the tale of Captain Dreadbeard’s adventure to defeat the Imperial Navy during a unique fireworks spectacular, A Tale of Pirates’ Cove, each night of the event. November 29 – December 31, Holidays Presented by Hallmark Channel features a combination of seasonal interactive shows, treats and twinkling lights. Families can visit Santa’s workshop with his elves in a family-friendly grooving musical during Holly Jolly Jubilee and enjoy interactive lights, music, and snow at Rockin’ Around, a 30-foot-tall LEGO Christmas tree spectacular. On Brick or Treat event nights and from December 26 – 31 during Kids’ New Year’s Party, the skies will light up with a fireworks show designed to be viewed with complimentary LEGO eye glasses that make it appear as if thousands of LEGO bricks are exploding in the sky. Located just 45 minutes from Orlando and Tampa, LEGOLAND is an interactive, 150-acre theme park with more than 50 rides, shows and attractions, LEGOLAND Water Park, LEGOLAND Hotel, and LEGOLAND Beach Retreat.

MOST FUN CITIES IN AMERICA!

WalletHub, a personal finance company that surveys and analyzes a wide variety of data, has come up with the 20 most fun cities in America. They compared more than 180 U.S. cities using 66 key metrics, ranging from fitness clubs per capita, to movie costs, to average open hours of breweries. WalletHub discovered that New York, NY has the most restaurants (per square root of population), whereas Peoria, AZ has the fewest. San Francisco, CA and Boston, MA both have the highest share of the population with walkable park access (100 %) while low-ranking Jacksonville, FL is at 35.00 %. New York has the most playgrounds and Hialeah, FL the least, but if you want to dance away the night, head to San Francisco, which has 84.2 times more dance clubs than Plano, TX. Read the full report for yourself. www.wallethub.com. Meanwhile, here are the most fun cities, beginning with Las Vegas, NV in the #1 spot. It’s followed by Orlando, FL; New York, NY; Miami, FL; Chicago, IL; Atlanta, GA; San Francisco, CA; Portland, OR; San Diego, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Austin, TX; New Orleans, LA; Honolulu, HI; Denver, CO; Washington, DC; Tampa, FL; Seattle, WA; St. Louis, MO; Houston, TX and in the 20th position, Philadelphia, PA.

Karen Kuzsel is a writer-editor based in the Orlando area who specializes in the hospitality, entertainment, meetings & events industries.  She is an active member of ILEA and MPI and is now serving on the 2019 – 2020 MPI Global Advisory Board for The Meeting Professional Magazine for the second consecutive year. Karen writes about food & wine, spas, destinations, venues, meetings & events. A career journalist, she has owned magazines, written for newspapers, trade publications, radio and TV. As her alter-ego, Natasha, The Psychic Lady, she is a featured entertainer for corporate and social events. karenkuzsel@earthlink.net; www.ThePsychicLady.com; @karenkuzsel; @thepsychiclady.