A Touch of Authentic Europe

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A Touch of Authentic Europe

Choosing a perfect destination for your group can be a real challenge.  Maybe a historic city with centuries-old architecture is appealing, but you need a high-tech convention center for your tradeshow.  Or maybe you want to be near upscale farm-to-table dining, but also want to explore the wilderness, far from any metropolis. 

Would you believe us if we told you that you can have all of that and more in just one city?  Quebec City is a city filled with surprises – between the rich history, modern facilities, bustling food scene and being surrounded by Canadian wilderness, everyone in your group is sure to find something In Quebec City to fall in love with!  While there are countless reasons to visit this incredible city, we’ve narrowed it down to 5 main reasons:  

History – Being one of the oldest European settlements in North America, Quebec City is the only city North of Mexico who’s fortified city walls still exist.  Inside Old Quebec City, a UNESCO world heritage site dating to the 17thcentury, charming cobblestone streets take you through a maze of Greystone shops, restaurants, churches, and historical monuments. For a real sense of Old Quebec, stay at the famous Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, the crown jewel of Quebec City.  Opened in 1893, the Chateau Frontenac is a lavish Chateauesque-styled building that has been graced by visitors such as Charles Lindbergh, Charles de Gaulle, Alfred Hitchcock, and representatives of the British Royal family. 

Modernity – Despite maintaining the Old-World charm of ages past, Quebec City is a modern-edge city with all the conveniences required and expected in the 21stcentury. Rather than tear down and replace the iconic historic buildings, Quebec City architects specialize in repurposing old buildings, updating the interiors without destroying the exterior beauty. The famous Quebec City Armory, for example, suffered a tremendous fire in 2008, destroying nearly everything except some of the exterior walls.  The city of Quebec rebuilt, however, and restored the exterior of the building to exactly duplicate its original splendor. Inside, the armory is now a state-of-the-art events venue featuring exceptional acoustics, high-speed internet, and in-house A/V. Another example of the city’s dedication to staying ahead of the technological curve is the massive downtown Quebec City Convention Centre. Not only does the Convention Centre offer exhibition space, meeting space, breakout rooms, exhibit halls, convention halls, boardrooms, an outdoor terrace, and a total capacity of 9,000 attendees, but they also offer free WiFi to all groups and in-house catering.

Food – The wave of farm-to-table, local and foraging food trends that have become so popular in recent years are just as prominent in Quebec City as any big city.  While you can still find a big comforting bowl of poutine or Canadian maple syrup-slathered pancakes, you can also enjoy locally caught wild boar, quail, house-smoked salmon, venison steaks, foraged mushrooms, apple ice cider, and rabbit croquets.  One restaurant took the concept of local food to an entirely new level. Chez Boulay: Bistro Boreal, located at the luxurious Monoir Victoria hotel in Old Quebec, uses only local, in-season ingredients in their dishes.  And when they say only, they mean only local foods.  For example, since olives do not grow in Canada, they do not use olive oil.  Instead, they find an alternative oil or fat that is native to the area.  It is truly a taste of Canada!

Nature – One of the hardest things to find in a bustling city is green space.  Feeling the energy of a big city through its food, entertainment and fast-paced nightlife is great, but being able to enjoy the outdoors is a welcome respite. Canada is known for its vast expanses of wilderness. Located either in the city itself or only a short drive away, there are countless outdoor activities to enjoy year-round in Quebec including hiking, biking and zip lining. Enjoy beautiful rolling hills on the Plains of Abraham located in Old Quebec, take a kayak tour down the St. Lawrence River, or take a short drive to see Montmorency Falls – a waterfall even taller than Niagara! 

Winter – You may think that travelling to Canada in the winter months is a bad idea.  The truth is that Quebec City is an amazing winter destination!  Locals wait anxiously for the first snowflakes to fall each year, as winter is when everyone bundles up, and heads outdoors!  Ice hockey, skiing, snow mobiling, ice fishing, and of course, the famous Quebec City Winter Festival!  Maybe test your bravery by staying overnight at Hotel de Glace, the ice hotel!  Or, if that’s a little too adventurous for you, maybe just grab a drink at their ice bar. 

Interested in learning more about this amazing city?  Let the professionals at Global Management Services send you a proposal customized to fit your groups’ exact needs!    

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The Roaring Saltwater City

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The Roaring Saltwater City

Consistently ranked as one of the top five cities in the world for livability, Vancouver is one of the most sought-after destinations for incentive programs.  A coastal city in western Canada, Vancouver is the most populated city in the Province of British Columbia and the third largest city in Canada. The city’s popularity has been outpacing many other metropolitan areas in North America, making it one with the highest population density in Canada—and the fifth in North America—and one with one of the most culturally-diverse inhabitants in the world.   

Rising from humble beginnings, Vancouver has fast become one of the most popular destinations for meetings and events of any sort and size. The city is now blessed with a very vibrant waterfront dotted with luxury hotels and a state-of-the-art cruise terminal.  The city’s spectacular landscape has become a draw for the film industry, gaining it the designation “Hollywood North.”  

There is so much to do in Vancouver, making it one of the most “activity-rich” incentive destinations. Take, for example, Stanley Park—which has been compared to New York’s Central Park.  This nearly 1,000-acre park on the tip of Vancouver's "thumb" (just north of the City’s West End) is home to some of the city's favorite, most-visited attractions. In fact, those so inclined, could easily spend more than a day here and still not see everything this urban oasis has to offer. For a group activity, we suggest a bicycle tour of the park around the nearly 20-mile-long Seawall that hugs Vancouver's waterfront. 

Or for a more vibrant activity, how about a dine-around on Granville Island?  This former industrial site is now one of Vancouver's most beloved neighborhoods. Practically a mini-city, Granville Island's former factories have now been transformed into trendy restaurants, galleries and theaters. But the main draw here is the Granville Island Public Market, often described as one of the best open-air markets in North America. While on Granville Island, we always include a visit to Canada's first microbrewery—Granville Island Brewing, where our guests get to enjoy daily tours and tastings in the taproom. 

No trip to Vancouver is complete without a tour of Gastown, the original settlement that became the core of the creation of Vancouver. Today, it's a national historic site, at the northeast end of Downtown Vancouver.

For a group that is into sun and sand, a trip to the Spanish Banks Beach is a must.  The beaches at the Spanish Banks are the perfect place to unwind after a day packed with meetings.  Aside from the usual volleyball courts on the beach, we encourage our groups to try their hand at skimboarding—a cross between surfing and skateboarding.  

Intrigued?  Whether it is a meeting, convention or an incentive trip that you are planning for, let GMS organize what could be a most memorable excursion to this fascinating city on the west coast of Canada.  

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A Very Special Grand Canyon Dinner at the South Rim

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A Very Special Grand Canyon Dinner at the South Rim

Grand Canyon

As a boutique event planning company, we crave opportunities that challenge our creativity—clients that are looking for events with an extraordinary dimension.  Over the years, we have had the good fortune of working with clients that seek out-of-the-ordinary event venues to impress their super VIP guests.  So, when we were asked by our A-List German client for such a venue for a one-of-a-kind memorable dinner, we rushed with our gem of an idea: Dinner atop the world—or close to—i.e., the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.   

The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is within Grand Canyon National Park. The Scenic views and vistas are what some could be waiting a lifetime to see.  As with all sides of the Canyon, the South Rim features astounding views of what took Mother Nature millions and millions of years to create. And that’s why it has earned the distinction as one of the world's Seven Wonders.  However, no visit to the Grand Canyon is complete without experiencing the sunset from Hopi, Yaki or Mather Points. 

While visitors to the park get to watch spectacular scenes from many angles, only a very privileged few gets to have an intimate corporate dinner with that setting as a backdrop—and that’s precisely what our client got to experience.  

Having flown on private aircrafts, our demanding yet discerning client arrived just before sunset for a spectacular viewing of Nature’s fireworks of colors as day gave way to an idyllic dusk complemented with an abundant of bubbly beverages flowing only to be followed by a sumptuous dinner fit for kings—a dinner that could otherwise only be experienced in a Micheline-star restaurant. There is nothing like stepping out of the custom-created tent to be wowed by nature’s display of bright twinkling stars in the desert’s dark night sky—and to be rewarded with a divine sense of solitude—albeit short-lived.        

While the South Rim of the Grand Canyon attracts over 5 million visitors each year and by far is the most visited side of the Canyon, only a very special few get to dine atop this nature’s marvel.  GMS was honored to have had the opportunity to showcase this extraordinary venue for such a deserving client.    

 

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Three Perfect days in Montreal

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Three Perfect days in Montreal

Are you craving to go to Europe but don’t want to leave the continent?  Let’s try a piece of Europe just around the corner—Montreal.  With its stunning architecture, trendy nightlife, and mouth-watering food scene, Montreal is a slice of Europe next door.  That’s why when our good client in Brazil asked for a very unique destination for their incentive program, we proposed a trip to the “Belle Province,” where they were able to pack three fun-filled days in this exquisite city.  With their Google translate in hand, everyone was functioning in French right off the bat.   

Arrival

We greeted our VIP guests (a group of 40 retail executives) at the Aéroport de Montréal: International Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau and whisked them to their hotel in the heart of Old Montreal.  In a city of neighborhoods, with an abundant of first-rate hotels, we chose to book the group at the trendy boutique Hôtel Gault (a former cotton factory) for its intimate vibe. 

Day 1

After a hearty breakfast, we put the group in horse-drawn carriages for their short trip to downtown Montreal—a great place to get acquainted with the city, with its lively collection of bars, restaurants, theaters, art galleries, and department stores complemented with some spectacular historical churches dotted along the way.  After our colorful city tour, the group was treated to a serving of the legendary poutine before heading to the world-famous Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, which is not only one of Canada’s oldest museums, but also has the best collection of Canadian art anywhere in the world.  Poutine, French fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds, is undoubtedly the most famous grub throughout the province of Quebec.  There are plenty of places to enjoy this dish in the city, but we took our special guests to Au Pied de Cochon, with its wide-ranging poutine options ranging from the high-end foie gras poutine to la Classique.  In the end, the group got to sample many of the restaurant’s nearly 30 variety of the famous food. 

 After their excursion to the Museum, we had a group of very hungry guests on our hand and what better place for them to experience another Montreal tradition than Joe’s Beef, where they were able to sample some of the best locally-produced and hearty meat dishes the city has to offer including the smoke meat on rye for which the city is well known.

The group’s visit coincided with Montreal’s famous Jazz Festival.  So, after lunch, they went for a stroll along the Rue St-Catherine, home to the city’s many excellent jazz bars.  The entire St-Catherine Street seemed to have been turned into one nonstop jazz club, with plenty of free live performances, beer gardens, and street food.  In the evening, we took the group to a famous jazz bar, Upstairs Bar and Grill for some hearty food complemented with good jazz. 

Day 2

We started our second day with a hike up to Parc du Mont-Royal, the city’s main park, and where the city got its name—a relaxing respite from the noise of the city. At Parc Mont-Royal, one can explore several different hiking paths, picnic sites in the open lawns, and even ski in the winter. But our ambitious goal was to make it to the top of Mont-Royal itself. Having made it there, we entered the Chalet Du Mont-Royal, where the group was rewarded with an unforgettable view of the city, the river, and the mountains beyond.

 ou can’t be in Montreal very long without someone asking your opinion on the classic Montreal bagel—which is quite different from the New York-style bagels.  The Montreal bagels are baked in a wood-fired oven, and are smaller, thinner, and sweeter than their New York counterparts. We took the group to the famous St-Viateaur Bagel & Café so that they could taste the difference for themselves—which turned out to be a huge success.  The group watched in admiration the bakers at work.  The group then headed to Boulevard St-Laurent to explore the area’s funky and eclectic shops.

Our active group was expecting excitement in this vibrant city.  So, they were treated to an evening of cocktails at La Distillerie No. 1 followed by some heavy-duty clubbing in Quartier Latin. 

Day 3

We started off our final day with brunch in Mile End, an up-and-coming neighborhood in the city. The group got to have breakfast at Lawrence which offers a modern take on the traditional English breakfast, along with some excellent homemade scones and clotted cream.

No visit to Montreal is complete without fully exploring the old city, known as le Vieux-Montreal. A quaint and lively mix of churches, chapels, and cobblestones streets, this is where French settlers first built the town in 1642.  Just the architecture and atmosphere here make the trip to the city well worth it.  Strolling through the cobblestone streets we stopped at the most famous cathedral in Montreal—and all of Canada—the stunning Basilique Notre-Dame-de-Montréal, followed by a visit to la Musée d’Arachéologie et d’Historie (Montreal’s history museum) with its famed spooky archeological exhibition that shows the actual foundations of the city.

Finally, we were at the Old Port, where the group got to take one last view of the St. Lawrence River and thus came to an end a most fun filled three days for this group of world travelers.

For best recommendations on where to take your next group, let professionals at Global Management Services, Inc. do the research.

 

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Miami at Its Best: The Perfect Event Spaces for Your Group

Miami is now so much more than the world-famous Ocean Drive—one of the most photographed stretches of Miami Beach.  It’s also neon lights and sidewalk cafes.  More importantly, Miami is now a sought-after destination for corporate groups of any size and from anywhere in the world.  Instead of simple hotel function room, why not try one of these fabulous event spaces for your next event:

1.   The Versace Mansion

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Nestled amid low-rise Art Deco hotels, and the best-known property on Ocean Drive, is the Villa Casa Casuarina—better- known as the Versace Mansion. The former home of late fashion designer Gianni Versace is now a museum and a hotel.

If your group is too large to stay at the famed mansion turned hotel, they can indulge in the villa's Baroque grandeur with a dinner at Gianni's, and an aperitif in the intimate, clubby Onyx Bar, in the space that used to be Versace's kitchen.

2.   The Temple House

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With a capacity for a group of up to 600 guests, the award-winning corporate event venue, the Temple House, comes with a beautiful  indoor space with 25-foot high barreled ceilings or with a stunning outdoor space for those warm Miami nights.   

3.   The Event Space at 1306

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The Event Space at 1306, with its white gallery walls, comes with beautifully-finished indoor and outdoor spaces for groups of up to 400 guests. The venue is a blank palette for event of any nature or needs.

4.   STK Rebel

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The STK offers a number of gorgeous event and private dining spaces, enough for 180 guests for cocktails and 108 guests for a seated dinner. Above the main dining room, the mezzanine level has three private entertaining suites for intimate get-togethers, which can be combined for larger events.

5.   The Moore Building

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Built in 1921 as a furniture showroom for the company Moore and Sons, the historic Moore Building is located in the heart of the Design District.  Perfect for larger groups, the Moore Building can accommodate over 1,000 guests for a seated dinner or over 4,000 guests for a reception in the building’s central atrium

6.   MAPS Backlot

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Functioning as photo studios, MAPS Production House is home to one of Miami's unique event venues.  Made up of two stunning event spaces, MAPS Production House is the perfect setting for the chic and trendy events—be it a product launch or a gathering of techies.

7.   Vista Lago Ballroom

Perfect for glamorous events, Vista Lago is an elegant venue space that comes with natural lighting, 24-foot high ceilings, 5 beautiful crystal chandeliers, hardwood floors, a 20-foot high illuminated lake fountain and a great view to Hidden lake.   

8.   The Alfred I. Dupont Building

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Opened in 1939, the historic Alfred I. Dupont Building’s mezzanine level is one of the city's most spectacular event spaces. With 22,000 square feet of event space, the landmark DuPont Building’s grand art décor design will be admired by all your guests.

9.   La Jolla Ballroom

Located in the Coral Gables area of Greater Miami, La Jolla Ballroom is a graceful landmark building. Built in 1928, the 6,000-suare-foot Ballroom can accommodate upwards of 400 guests for a cocktail reception or 220 guests for a seated dinner.

 10. Private Key Club

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Located in the artsy Wynwood District of Miami, the Private Key Club is a 5,000-square-foot event venue with high-end tech touches. The Club is the perfect setting for events involving arts and creativity.      

To dazzle your next corporate group in Miami, let professionals at Global Management Services showcase (GMS) showcase some of Miami’s hidden gems. 

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Sweet Sophistication: Everything You Need to Know About the Candytopia Pop-Up in NYC

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Sweet Sophistication: Everything You Need to Know About the Candytopia Pop-Up in NYC

Imagine visiting a magical land where you can gaze at a replica of Van Gogh’s Starry Night created entirely out of sugary sweets, jump into a gigantic ball pit filled with fluffy marshmallows, and experience colorful, larger-than-life candy displays perfect for Instagram photo ops. Sounds too good to be true? Think again! At Candytopia, an interactive, candy-themed pop-up, dreamed up by Jackie Sorkin (CEO of The Hollywood Candy Girls Inc., esteemed candy stylist to celebrities like Kim Kardashian West and Oprah Winfrey, and star of the hit TLC TV show Candy Queen), you can traverse through more than a dozen immersive art installations and exhibits that were created using thousands of different pieces of candy. 

Since Candytopia’s grand opening in LA on December 15, the pop-up has drawn in candy fans from across the globe, and on August 15, Candytopia is relocating from Santa Monica, CA, to Midtown Manhattan in New York City’s Penn Plaza so that those on the East Coast can experience the charm and wonder of this “sprawling sanctuary of confectionary bliss” for themselves. 

Read on for a rundown of everything you need to know about Candytopia, from the best exhibit spots for like-worthy Instagram photos to what you can expect to see, smell, taste, and touch in this whimsically sweet art installation.  

A Feast for the Eyes

Upon entering the Candytopia lobby, guests are greeted by expert tour guides and entertainers who are as friendly and fantastical as the colorful characters from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. 

Photo by Mathew Tucciarone, courtesy of Candytopia

On social media, Candytopia has been deemed an Instagram-lover’s paradise, and with good reason—some of the highlights of this immersive, candy-coated experience include a room filled with sugary recreations of some of the world’s most popular art pieces and landmarks, like the Great Sphinx of Giza and The Mona Lisa, a beach-themed room where visitors can strike a pose on a surfboard placed next to a giant candy shark, and a Victorian steampunk parlor where you can find a life-sized suit of armor made entirely out of candy! 

Make sure to get a whiff of each piece of artwork as you view it—since all the installations in Candytopia are made of real candy, they’ll smell just as good as they look!

Don’t worry about running out of time to take the perfect photo while visiting Candytopia; one of the biggest perks of this interactive candy installation is that each guest is granted a full 15 minutes to spend in Candytopia’s most popular attraction area, the marshmallow pit, and in the rest of the exhibit rooms, visitors are free to roam as they please for as long as they’d like. Let the photoshoots begin!

Sweet Treats Galore

As you make your way through each of Candytopia’s one-of-a-kind interactive rooms, prepare for your sweet tooth to be satisfied like never before! An assortment of gummies, hard candies, chocolates, and other sugary confections will be generously distributed to visitors throughout the course of the Candytopia experience.

After exiting the installation, keep the sweet streak going by stopping by Candytopia’s colorful gift shop, where guests can find rare, imported candies and chocolates, authentic Candytopia merch, and even a pick-and-choose candy wall so you can grab a bag of all your favorite sweet treats from Candytopia to-go! 

Whether you’d like to include a visit to Candytopia on the itinerary for your next incentive trip, or you’re hoping to host a private corporate event in this rainbow, candy-themed wonderland, contact GMS today for a personal proposal to make your next special event in NYC very sweet! 

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Chasing Stars: 4 Luxurious LA Venues Celebrities Can’t Get Enough Of

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Chasing Stars: 4 Luxurious LA Venues Celebrities Can’t Get Enough Of

In picturesque Los Angeles, members of the Hollywood elite understand that finding the perfect balance between work and play is the ultimate key to succeeding in the biz. 

Finding a fabulous venue to host a business lunch, networking conference, or fundraising event can be the difference between a so-so event and a stellar one.  So we’ve made it our mission to put a spotlight on out-of-this-world venues in the Los Angeles area that are ideal for everything from client dinners to charity auctions.

One more upside to visiting these amazing LA venues? They’re some of the most star-studded spots in California! Keep your eyes open wide when you go to these vibrant venues and you just might see some celebrities! 

Chateau Marmont

The legendary Chateau Marmontis Los Angeles’ secret slice of paradise; since its creation in 1929, it has entranced some of LA’s most-adored celebrities, including the likes of Lady Gaga, Lana Del Rey, and the late Anthony Bourdain. 

A-listers flock to this magnificent venue for its grandiose amenities, 5-star dining options, and perhaps most notably, its elusive location— the hotel is tucked discreetly behind an elegant canopy of lush foliage along the Sunset Strip, making it the perfect location for celebrities to temporarily step away from the hustle and bustle of the red carpet and embrace all of LA’s luxuries at a relaxed, more indulgent pace.

An extensive list of amenities are provided to the Chateau Marmont’s guests, including a heated private pool on the hotel’s sun patio, in-room massages, access to an intimate dining room and garden terrace for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, luxury pet amenities for furry friends of the Chateau, and much more!  

With a prime location less than two miles away from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Madame Tussauds, the Dolby Theater, The Magic Castle, and the Roxy Theatre West Hollywood, this extravagant LA venue is one that lovers of the limelight will treasure forever. 

Nobu Malibu

This hip, high-class eatery is known just as much for its mouthwatering Japanese cuisine as it is for the highly-coveted oceanfront view of Malibu that guests are treated to when dining here. 

Nobu Malibuis one of the most instagrammed restaurants in the world—and with good reason—everything on the menu, from the juicy tuna cilantro salad to the perfectly-cooked Maine lobster with spicy garlic, is crafted to look visually impeccable while simultaneously dazzling one’s taste buds like never before. 

This venue is a favorite of some of LA’s brightest stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kris Jenner, and Robert De Niro (who loves Nobu Malibu so much, he even co-founded the restaurant!) have been spotted dining within Nobu’s sought-after Private Fireplace Den by fellow restaurant patrons on more than one occasion. 

 @Nobu Malibu

@Nobu Malibu

Gjelina

If you’re an Italian food aficionado, then you’ll love Gjelina—this trendy restaurant on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, one of the hottest spots in the Venice neighborhood, boasts an impressive wine list, a delectable selection of cheeses, salads, and oysters, and above all else, some of the best thin-crust pizza pies that Los Angeles has to offer.

From Gjelina’s traditional dining options (like their beloved mixed mushroom and rosemary pizza) to the more adventurous (their caramelized fennel salami and mozzarella pizza, for instance), Gjelina offers up something deliciously unique for everyone. 

This venue’s interior serves up charming, rustic décor, like large wooden tables and plenty of natural light, and a lovely outdoor patio area perfect for enjoying a picture-perfect afternoon brunch with associates.

Paparazzi have been known to catch the occasional snapshot of members of LA royalty enjoying Gjelina’s delicious pizzas, including stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Natalie Portman, Tom Hanks, and many more.

CATCH

CATCH has a renowned status as one of the toughest restaurants to get into in Los Angeles, but if you can manage to snag a reservation at this elite rooftop seafood haven in West Hollywood, it’ll most certainly be worth the effort.

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Catch

West Hollywood

A-list models and music moguls like John Legend, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and Chrissy Teigen have flocked to CATCH to take in breathtaking views of downtown LA underneath the venue’s retractable rooftop while enjoying the restaurant’s marveled-after dishes that feature local and sustainable ingredients and unbeatable flavors. 

This restaurant is home to a raw oyster bar, a stellar wine and cocktail menu, and delicious, signature dishes like vegan sweet potato gnocchi with crispy kale and flavorful lobster mac & cheese with mascarpone, freshly grated parmesan, and breadcrumbs. 

CATCH has an assortment of one-of-a-kind private and semi-private spaces in the dining room area with elegant, contemporary décor perfect for hosting meetings and events that will leave guests in awe.

To host your next event at any of these unique venues, let GMS do the arm twisting to get you in.

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A Whimsical 3-Day Weekend in the Heart of Toronto

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A Whimsical 3-Day Weekend in the Heart of Toronto

Setting foot in the colorful city of Toronto is like being dropped right into the center of a live-action avant-garde painting.

Expecting the unexpected is the name of the game in this larger-than-life city known for its diversity and creative flair, so when a group of top-performing business executives came to us in hopes of planning a uniquely-tailored program that would provide their team members with the most memorable incentive trip possible, we knew Toronto would be the perfect destination to provide the group with the ultimate wow-factor experience.

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Morning 1:

After the super-VIP 18-member board of directors arrived at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, they were immediately picked up and whisked away to Shangri-La Toronto, a luxury 5-star hotel known for its grandiose amenities, ornate Asian-inspired décor, and jaw-dropping skyline views. 

After taking the morning to relax and unwind from the comfort of their lush executive hotel rooms, the group reconvened and headed to Bosk, the hotel’s signature restaurant, to enjoy a tantalizing assortment of show-stopping brunch dishes: decadent servings of butter-poached Atlantic lobster, house-made chorizo served with tomato fondue, and perfectly-crispy fried chicken on a bed of fluffy buttermilk waffles, delicately drizzled in authentic Canadian maple syrup, just to name a few.  

Afternoon 1:

After brunch at Bosk, the group headed a few blocks north to the Art Gallery of Ontario and spent the afternoon admiring an eclectically eye-catching selection of artwork made by some of the brightest creative minds the world has to offer.

Night 1:

A few hours later, the group traveled to Edulis, a quaint cottage restaurant that prides itself on utilizing authentic, naturally delicious ingredients to their fullest potential. 

Much to the group’s surprise, it happened to be truffle season while they were visiting Toronto, so along with a menu consisting of rich seafood dishes and fresh vegetables, the group was treated to an elite selection of high-end truffle dishes as part of their meal, like braised brioche with pine nuts and white truffle.

Morning 2:

On their second day in Toronto, the group spent the afternoon at theElgin and Winter Garden Theatres, a gorgeous historic site that is home to the only remaining pair of Edwardian stacked theatres in the entire world. 

They were particularly enchanted by the Winter Garden Theatre, an indoor theatrical venue with storybook charm that houses a picturesque canopy of dried leaves and floral blossoms elegantly aligning the walls and ceiling.

Afternoon 2:

Upon leaving the theatres, the group enjoyed fresh boxed lunches made with produce from a local Toronto market in the city’s famous Grange Park while admiring the area’s sleek public artwork, valuable green space, and infectious air of carefree sophistication and flair present amongst the Toronto locals. 

Night 2:

After an afternoon spent lounging by the hotel’s cascading lap pool, the group then headed to DaiLo, a high-end bistro that puts a modern, award-winning twist on classic forms of Asian cuisine. The group savored every bite of deliciously-unique dishes like buttery pumpkin dumplings, Singapore curry cauliflower, and even a few more adventurous menu options, like their personal favorite dish of the evening: crispy octopus tacos! 

Morning 3:

All good things must eventually come to an end, and so was the case with the VIP group’s 3-day weekend in picturesque Toronto. 

We weren’t ready to let them say goodbye without one last hoorah, so after a quick breakfast at Bosk, the group headed to  Soma Chocolatemaker, a funky and fun specialty chocolate factory that specializes in creating beautiful chocolates with bold, scrumptious flavors. 

After sampling an assortment of satisfying sweet treats, the group stocked up on toffees, pastries, and of course, chocolates, as a way to bring home an authentic piece of Toronto culture to share with loved ones upon their return. 

Travel Home:

After a jam-packed weekend in the charming city of adventure, novelty, and cultural prestige, we rushed the group back to the hotel to pack up their luggage and take one last look at the gorgeous Toronto skyline view before heading to the airport for the journey back home.

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CHICAGO VENUES LIKE NO OTHER

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CHICAGO VENUES LIKE NO OTHER

Looking for a venue that will wow guests at your next event? Check out these extraordinary venues you’ll only find in the “Windy City.”  Chicago is the only US city blessed with eventspaces ranging from sky-high perches with amazing views in some of the world’s tallest buildings to lakeside venues that take full advantage of Chicago’s stunning waterfront. 

Millennium Park

Millennium Park is Chicago’s downtown playground for the arts, creating a giant expanse of green space in the city center (“the Loop”). There are several event venues located throughout this sprawling park, including the stage of the architecturally- (and acoustically-) impressive Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the Rooftop Terrace that offers dazzling skyline views and the tree-lined Chase Promenades, just steps from Michigan Avenue and overlooking the popular Cloud Gate sculpture. Millennium Park can accommodate up to 7,000 people, with many spaces for smaller groups.

Navy Pier

This iconic Chicago landmark dramatically juts out into Lake Michigan, providing sweeping water and skyline views. Navy Pier offers two exhibit halls and 36 meeting rooms. But the real stunners are the nostalgic 18,000-sq.-ft. Aon Grand Ballroom, which is original to Navy Pier’s 1916 construction and features an 80-foot-tall domed ceiling (accommodating up to 1,100 for dinner, with additional seating for 300 in the balcony); and the seasonal Rooftop Terrace, a 27,000-sq.-ft. space equipped with a 50-by-100-ft. tent that can accommodate 350 for a sit-down dinner or 1,000 guests on the entire terrace.

The Crown at Tribune Tower

This hidden gem venue is located 25 stories atop the historic Tribune Tower, at the juncture of North Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River. The private outdoor veranda nestled within the flying buttresses of the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower’s 25thfloor provides your guests with dramatic views of the city. The venue also includes an indoor lounge featuring a copper-topped bar decorated with vintage printing plates from the venerable Chicago Tribune newspaper. The Crown can accommodate up to 150 people for cocktails.

Adler Planetarium

This waterfront space-science museum offers out-of-this world venue options. The spectacular Solarium features floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Lake Michigan. Book the Solarium (370 seated dinner/477 cocktail reception) and guests will have access to the adjacent outdoor terraces with spectacular Chicago skyline views. The Grainger Sky Theater is perfect for presentations or cocktails (195 theater seating/400 reception), and features a dramatic 36-foot-tall domed ceiling. The Clark Family Welcome Gallery features futuristic architecture and colorful customizable lighting, making it the perfect spot for an intimate dinner or reception (80 seated/150 cocktails). Arrange for a thrilling private sky show or high-tech telescope viewing in the Doane Observatory.

360 CHICAGO

Located on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center (the fourth-tallest building in the city), 360 CHICAGO was named one of the Best Views in America by Travel + Leisure, offering panoramic views of the city, Lake Michigan and four states. 360 CHICAGO offers four flexible event spaces that can accommodate groups as small as 10 and up to 550. Each space offers stunning views, with vistas of the cityscape, lakefront and The Magnificent Mile below. Or do a full buyout of the entire 94th floor and bask in true 360-degree views.

Willis Tower Skydeck

Take your next meeting or event to new heights at the 99th-floor Willis Tower Skydeck, located in the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Your guests will be treated to jaw-dropping panoramic views that can span up to four states and nearly 50 miles on a clear day. The flexible venue space can be set up theater, classroom or reception style, accommodating up to 175 seated/300 for a reception. Time your cocktail event at sunset to see the city transform from day to glittering night. You can also arrange for private VIP access to The Ledge, composed of glass balconies that extend four feet beyond the building to create an unforgettable viewing experience from 1,353 feet up in the air, located on the 103rd-floor Skydeck Chicago (the highest observation deck in the United States).

GMS Global Management Services, Inc. is a leading destination management and event planning company with offices throughout the US and Canada.  We specialize in custom-tailored programs for meetings, events and incentives throughout North America. Let us showcase our services in planning your next special event in the US or Canada.

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Toronto as an Incentive Destination

Toronto, Ontario is a cosmopolitan metropolis of entertainment and culture that is revered by city slickers and nature lovers alike. This thriving community provides visitors with the best of both worlds—its combination of jaw-dropping high-rise views and lush, verdant green spaces make this bustling city one unlike any other, so it should be no surprise that travelers from all walks of life have come to regard the city of Toronto as a captivating, enriching, and life-changing incentive destination. 

Toronto has something for everyone; the possibilities for fine dining, sight-seeing, entertainment, and relaxation are virtually endless, so read on to learn what exactly it is about this jack-of-all-trades city that makes it a favorite incentive destination for corporate groups everywhere.

Lights, Camera, Action! 

One of the city’s most popular attractions is the annual Toronto International Film Festival. Drawing in roughly half a million participants from all around the world each year, this innovative festival not only offers film screenings, but is also home to lectures, Q&As with prominent filmmakers, workshops, and much more! 

Many influential, award-winning films have premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, including crowd-pleasers like American Beauty, Black Swan, and 127 Hours. This year’s festival will take place from September 6thto September 16th, so it’s not too late to book your ticket for 2018! 

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Take Fashion and Style to New Heights

Toronto, Ontario is also home to the bi-annual Toronto Fashion Week. This city is regarded as the pinnacle of high fashion and culture, hosting avant-garde, influential, and experimental designers that include the likes ofHilary MacMillan, one of Toronto’s most popular cruelty-free womenswear designers, and Luis Sequeira and Ann Steel, costume designers for Guillermo Del Toro’s 2018 Academy Award-winning film, The Shape of Water.

If you decide to attend Toronto Fashion Week, you can expect to see bright, out-of-this-world fashion prints, sleek elements of sophistication and street style, and fun, vibrant runway trends that will leave you feeling more inspired and invigorated about the world of fashion than ever before! 

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Have a “Ball”

If fashion and film aren’t your cup of tea, not to worry! Toronto also has a thriving professional sports scene, and is represented by major league sports teams in football, hockey, baseball, basketball, and soccer. 

If you’re a fan of baseball, take a trip to the Rogers Centre, the home field of Toronto’s Major League Baseball team, the Toronto Blue Jays. The Rogers Center is the first stadium in history to feature a fully retractable motorized roof, and also provides a stunning view of Toronto’s spectacular CN Tower, a 553-meter-high observatory located downtown. Go team!

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America's Best Kept Secret: 3 Hidden Speakeasy-Style Bars You Can Visit Today

During the charmingly-controversial era in the 1920s in the United States—best known today as roaring twenties—skirts got shorter, parties grew livelier, and men and women all across the nation were free to spend their time dancing the night away as vivacious melodies of toe-tapping jazz tunes echoed through the walls of speakeasies: hidden bars established during the Prohibition era so that alcoholic beverages could be secretly sold and enjoyed by the people of our nation without repercussions.

Fortunately, enjoying a delicious artisanal cocktail is no longer something that must be kept secret; however, speakeasy bars have recently made a resurgence in America as the hottest new spots for connoisseurs of culture to order a drink, catch up with friends and colleagues, and take in the enticing atmosphere of our nation’s best “hidden gem” bars.

Read on to learn the ins-and-outs of 3 of the trendiest speakeasy spots in our country, then contact GMS for step-by-step assistance in planning your own stellar speakeasy event! Leave the tough stuff to us; all you need to do is pull up a bar stool, grab a drink, and relax as you travel back in time to a period of glamour, excitement, and entrancing mystery.

Birds & Bees

This secluded speakeasy lounge located in Los Angeles, California, relies on chic lounge décor and classic cocktails with a modern twist to draw in faithful patrons. Locating this hot spot may not be easy for the average bargoer, but speakeasy aficionados know that Birds & Bees can be found underneath LA’s Broadway Media Center; the building even comes complete with a hidden entryway door!

The drink menu boasts an impressive list of mouthwatering cocktails, beer, and wine that are certain to leave your taste buds tantalized, some of which are named after the Jazz Age’s greatest icons; one of their most popular drinks, the Ella Fitzgerald, is a dirty martini with a delicious twist—a splash of pickle juice just as unique as Ella herself!

The Patterson House

The Patterson House was developed by Benjamin Goldberg, a dedicated entrepreneur hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, who dreamed of creating a speakeasy bar with an air of southern charm and hospitality.

Their drink menu features some of the most innovative cocktails around; the house special, a Bacon Old Fashioned, is made with rich, sweet maple syrup, coffee pecan bitters, bacon-infused bourbon, and a hint of orange peel for extra zest. The Patterson House is also known for their creative take on interior décor; perhaps the most highly coveted seating area in the speakeasy is the 20-meter saloon-style bar. 

The Broken Dram

This eclectic speakeasy-style bar located in Portland, Maine, is the epitome of mystery and charm; patrons enter the bar through a secret entrance located behind a fake bookcase found deep within another bar, Portland’s famous Blyth & Burrows, and leave the bar through a hidden back alley exit.

The Broken Dram’s guests can enjoy signature cocktails and delicious drinks named after famous duos like Elvis and Priscilla or Kurt and Courtney while taking in the speakeasy’s dark, sophisticated, and incredibly elegant atmosphere.

Reach out to GMS today to start planning a speakeasy-inspired incentive trip your whole group will adore. Contact us for your personal proposal.

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Saint Patrick's Day

Saint Patrick's Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, "the Day of the Festival of Patrick"), is a cultural and religious celebration held on March 17th, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland.  What began as a religious feast day in the 17th century, has evolved into a variety of festivals across the globe celebrating Irish culture with parades, special foods, music, dancing, and a whole lot of green.

Celebrate Irish culture and tradition in Chicago with its deep-rooted Irish heritage.  From raucous pub crawls to lively parades, there’s nothing quite like Saint Patrick's Day in Chicago.  Irish taverns are packed with revelers and jovial crowds jam the city streets.  However, the spectacular sight is reserved for the dyeing of the Chicago River that sparkles brilliant shades of emerald green.

Dyeing of the Chicago River

On Saturday, March 17th, you are in for what might be one of the world's most famous Saint Patrick's Day rituals—when the Chicago River turns an emerald green. Actually, at first glance, the eco-friendly (yet secret formula) dye used appears orange on the river's surface—but don't panic. Thanks to a little leprechaun magic (or, well, science), the hue transforms and seeps in until the whole river is a bright, beautiful green. Dating back to over 50 years ago, the dyeing of the river remains a cherished tradition for many generations of Chicagoans and draws almost ½ million spectators to the city center eager to catch a glimpse before taking in the parade that follows. The Chicago River keeps its color for about five hours only, so don't miss it!

Saint Patrick’s Day Parade

Chicago is home to one of the largest St. Patrick's Day parades in the US.  Join in the Chicago tradition that dates back to over 60 years ago.  Rain or shine, don your best green outfit—or a kilt if you dare—and embrace all Chicago has to offer for those Irish at heart. You will be witnessing an array of colorful floats waving their green flags high, troops of Irish step dancers in their requisite curls, booming marching bands and bagpipers.  A sight not to be missed.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! 

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Find Luxurious Amenities, Serene Views, and Can't-Miss Entertainment at the Newly-Renovated Roxy Hotel

Last week, The Roxy, a historic New York City hotel known for its unparalleled location in the heart of Tribeca, one of Manhattan’s trendiest, liveliest, wealthiest, and most architecturally stunning neighborhoods, announced their nomination for the Travel + Leisure 2018 World's Best Awards. This nomination arrives following the hotel’s completion of $15 million dollars in renovations toward The Roxy’s dazzling public spaces, rooms, suites, and entertainment venues!

Thanks to The Roxy Hotel’s unrivaled array of options for dining, shopping, relaxation, and entertainment, there are endless opportunities available for those looking to enjoy a travel experience with their group at The Roxy that is truly one-of-a-kind.

Perhaps the biggest draw of The Roxy Hotel is The Django, a hip, cult subterranean jazz and cocktail lounge where guests can take in the sweet, soulful melodies of saxophones and grand pianos while enjoying wine, spirits, specialty cocktails, appetizers, and gourmet desserts in the comfort of The Django’s plush, low-lying leather and velvet seating.

After you take in toe-tapping tunes played by the best jazz musicians NYC has to offer, stop by The Roxy Hotel’s Roxy Cinema, an intimate 118-seat cinema in downtown Manhattan that features stunning, Art Deco-inspired design elements, mouthwatering craft cocktails, and a lavish, gourmet concession stand filled with delicious meals and treats to eat as you enjoy your film. Unlike traditional movie cinemas, The Roxy Cinema prides itself on showing unique films that cannot be found elsewhere; first-run independent films, 35mm cult classics, and rare archival prints are just a few of the standout film selections available for viewing at Roxy Cinema.

The excitement doesn’t have to stop there! The ground level of The Roxy Hotel is also home to Jack’s Stir Brew, a premium coffee shop that brews unique, organic fair trade coffee (using a special stir brew technique to produce drinks with richer flavor), loose leaf teas, high-quality espressos, and delicious, vegan baked goods.

After you fill up on The Django’s hand-shucked oysters and specialty cocktails, enjoy an independent film at Roxy Cinema, order a shot of Jack’s famous triple ristretto espresso, and take in some of the sights and sounds of New York City that aid in making The Roxy so special, it’s time to go back to your luxury hotel suite to relax and unwind. Fortunately, resting into a state of calm and tranquility is quite simple at The Roxy Hotel! The Roxy is home to 201 exquisite guestrooms, 40 grand multi-bedroom suites, and Penthouse 8, the stunning, two-story pied-a-terre complete with private access to an exclusive rooftop terrace, 900 square feet of areas to relax, work, and sleep, and stellar floor-to-ceiling windows that provide guests with a panoramic view of the most stunning skyline sights in Lower Manhattan.

For groups seeking travel incentive opportunities that combine the best of art, entertainment, nightlife, dining, and relaxation in a luxurious city setting rich with vitality, history, and culture, The Roxy provides guests with a slice of New York City paradise that is certain to make your next corporate event one that will be remembered forever! Contact Global Management Services today for your personal proposal. 

(All photos courtesy of The Roxy Hotel website).

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Product Launch of a different sort

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Product Launch of a different sort

When the word got out that a luxury auto manufacturer was about to introduce a new vehicle type to the North American market, naturally a fierce rivalry broke out amongst leading event production companies vying for the enviable honor to showcase their ware and flair.  After all, such opportunities don’t come by often.  GMS decided to throw its name in the hat too.  The deciding factors were all very exact, demanding and revolved mostly around uniqueness and creativeness of ideas.  To our delight, the client elected to award the project to GMS. 

Now the hard work started.  Luckily, the client had already selected Chicago for this momentous event.  Situated on the confluence of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River, Chicago is blessed with an impressive urban landscape.  We immediately thought that the Chicago River could offer extraordinary opportunities as an unconventional “road” to transport the model vehicle for this project.  We just had to construct a way of incorporating the River into our proposal—and that we did.  We proposed to have the new vehicle brought in for the reveal on a barge floating on the Chicago River and had the barge docked close by the event venue we had already scouted—the Chicago Lyric Opera.  And not just anywhere at the opera house.  We designed to have the car nowhere by on the stage of the famed opera house. 

The invitees, the company’s dealers from across North America, arrived like royalty and unaware of what to expect.  Upon entry, guests were treated to sumptuous canapés and champagne as they strolled over the theatre’s red carpet admiring the theatre’s grand surrounds as the jazz quartet entertained the visibly excited patrons.  Once introductory festivities were at their height, to the amazement of just about everyone in the audience, unexpectedly lights dimmed, the velvet curtains slowly lifted, and there it was—the brand-new model vehicle—on the centerstage like the rightful star of the show.  Jaws dropped and then, as if in collective awe, the audience broke into an enthusiastic applause—like it had been rehearsed for months.  Admirations were afloat—both about the car as well as the striking way it was revealed.  Many of the dealers had previously witnessed a new vehicle roll off the assembly line, but no one had ever experienced seeing it on the performing stage like a singular star of a Broadway show.       

The participants’ authentic reaction was acclaim enough for us.  But our client showered us after with genuine words of praise—that we accepted with gratitude and humility.  Product launches pose special challenges for event planning companies.  Only careful and measured analysis of the client’s objectives and the product in question can act as a good roadmap to success.  We were gratified to take the bow.   

GMS is the leading producer of special events in the US and Canada    

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Chicago Ranks as the No 1 City in the World

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Chicago Ranks as the No 1 City in the World

According to Time Out’s annual City Life Index, Chicago is once again the top city in the world.  It’s hard to believe it as Chicagoans dig out from under 20” of snow, but over 15,000 respondents from around the world think so.  Two years in a row, the Windy City has grabbed the top rank away from all major metropolitan areas from around the globe.  The Index looked at 6 variables to reach its ranking.

1.     Dining Options

Chicago is blessed with so many food options and ranked in this category only behind Tel Aviv.  Ask any Chicagoan and they will agree with you because on average the Windy City dwellers dine out once a week and don’t mind waiting for a table for an hour. 

2.     Culture, Culture, Culture

The wealth of museums, concert halls and theaters make Chicago the mecca for cultural diversity.  On average, Chicagoans go to a cultural venue once a month. 

3.     Warm and Friendly Residents

As the heart of the Midwest, Chicago is populated with the warmest and most friendly residents. Holding the door for you comes naturally for every Chicagoan as does thanking for anything you do for them.

4.     Chicago is Inexpensive

As the third largest city in the US, and one of the biggest cities in the world, Chicago remains very affordable.  Ranked only behind Philadelphia, it is still possible to own your own home, dine out or enjoy the cultural activities in Chicago without having to take a second mortgage on your home.   Eat your heart out London—or Paris!

5.     Chicagoans are Happy

While no Bhutan, Chicago ranks as one of the happiest people in the survey.  More than 90% of respondents were happy to be living in this Metropolis—harsh winters notwithstanding. 

6.     Quality of Life

Chicagoans are content to be living here.  They cite good public transportation and easily accessible amenities as some of the reasons.  The “L” train does a great job taking away people’s frustration with driving.  The city’s infrastructure makes for an easy place to get around.  Try that in Los Angeles.

 

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Viceroy arrives in Gold Coast

After opening hotels in Saint Lucia, California, Colorado, Mexico, and the United Arab Emirates, the Viceroy Hotel Group had been on a hunt for a perfect location in Chicago since 2014. After three long years of picking a site, getting the permits, and finally constructing the 180-rooms, Viceroy Chicago finally opened its doors on September 1st to great acclaim.  Let’s take a peek at what this new boutique luxury hotel has to offer the Windy City.

Accommodation

Viceroy has 48 King guestrooms, 79 Executive guestrooms, 11 Double Queen guestrooms, 5 Junior suites, 12 one-bedroom suites with a view of Lake Michigan, and a suite that’s made up of a two-bedroom penthouse! No matter which room you choose to stay in, you’re assured a great view and such amenities as:

·       WiFi

·       In-room Safe

·       Nespresso machine with complimentary coffee

·       Refreshment center

·       Bedside and desk charging ports

·       Business desk

·       Luxurious body and hair products

·       Sleek rain shower

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Dining  

Two new restaurants come with Viceroy Chicago:  Somerset and Devereaux. Both restaurants will be led by executive chef Lee Wolen, who is a Chicago favorite with a Michelin Star to his credit. Somerset will be on the ground floor of what used to be The Cedar Hotel.  Specializing in American cuisine, Somerset offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day of the week, while brunch is only served on the weekend. Devereaux will be on the 18th floor, along with a rooftop pool and lounge. It’s the perfect place for cocktails and a bite to eat with a gorgeous view of Lake Michigan and the Gold Coast.

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Somerset Restaurant

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The Enormous Assembly Chef's Hall in Toronto

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The Enormous Assembly Chef's Hall in Toronto

Toronto’s newest food sanctuary is the 18,000-square-foot Assembly Chef’s Hall which just opened in the city’s downtown. The massive venue is food lovers’ bazaar.  Open seven days a week, the food emporium is packed with close to 20 dining establishments.  The place is abuzz with activity already before it even opens its outdoor patio.  Here are some of the famed food outlets that are now calling the Assembly home. 

Bluenose Lobster.  Everything Nova Scotia lobster—from bisque to rolls to thermidor.
Bulldog Coffee.  If you are into specialty coffees, head to Bulldog and try Unique espresso-based drinks, made using beans from Africa, Central and South America.

Cherry Street Bar-B-Que.  BBQs anyone?  How about pit-smoked meats, including brisket, baby back ribs and pulled pork.  Don’t forget your side: mac and cheese, coleslaw, baked beans.

Mira Mira.  How about some healthy options:  Matcha-chia pudding, barbecued okra bowls and/or honey-kimchi chicken anyone?

Reyna.  Toronto is now such a cosmopolitan city.  How about some Mediterranean sharing plates and mezze, including charcuterie and Pintxos.

Shari.  Feel like some good sushi?  How about Chirashi sushi, assorted sushi ingredients placed over a bowl of seasoned sushi rice.

The Assembly Hall comes also with a Beer Hall, equipped with a DJ booth perfect for an event, live shows and TV broadcast.

Not to be missed is the Wine Bar, which serves a selection of wines and spirits. The whole space is licensed, so your guests can grab a drink at either bar and find a seat wherever they like.

To hold your event in a totally different venue with an exciting vibe, let GMS organize a dine-around for your group at the Assembly Chef’s Hall.   

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Of Art and Great Architecture

Architecture can say a lot about a city. Its oldest builds can tell a rich history; and the modern buildings seem to always find a spot in the city’s heart and skyline. Global Management Services found some really cool venues that you should check out for your next event if you find yourself in any of these cities.  So next time trade in the humdrum hotel ballroom for a place with real history.

New York City

Built in 1930, the Chrysler building was once the tallest building in the world until the Empire State Building was built just 11 months later. The Chrysler Building is one of the buildings that the entire world recognizes, even if they may have never stepped foot on American soil.  With its beautiful art deco style, it has made several cameo appearances in movies and TV shows. The lobby is open to the public, so stop by to look at the intricate details that the Art Deco was known for. Only the lobby is open to the public, but there are plenty of event spaces where you can get a great view of one the most iconic building in New York City.

Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim family was well-known for their influence on the art world as both artists and art collectors. Having so many connections to artist and architects alike, Frank Lloyd Wright deigned this museum. Opened in 1959, the Guggenheim Museum is a great example of contemporary art. You can even host your event there, with a variety of spaces to choose from. For something small, there is always The Wright, a café that can seat 75 people, or for a larger, grander event, there is the Ronald O. Perlman Rotunda, which can hold up to 250 people for a seated dinner, or up to 1,000 people for a reception.

World Trade Center

The World Trade Center was originally built in 1973, with the Twin Towers being the tallest buildings in the world upon completion. In 2001, the world trade center was attacked by terrorists, leaving the property destroyed. As a way of looking toward the future, the World Trade Center was—and still is—being built, with a memorial park and museum on the spot where the twin towers once stood. On the 100th, 101st, and 102nd floors is the one world observatory deck. There, you can take in some of the best views of Manhattan. There is even a restaurant and bar that you can stop by to wine and dine. The observatory is also available for private events, from meetings to holiday parties.

Boston

MIT Kresge Auditorium

Known as the Kresge Oval to MIT students, The MIT Kresge Auditorium is another great example of mid-century architecture. Designed by Eero Saarinen, it was meant to serve as a place for MIT students to come together in 1955. Today, it still hosts many events and brings people from all over the world to relish in beautiful design. Since this is considered a public space, it may not be suitable for an event. However, there is always the MIT Museum which is always available for events, even without a college sponsorship.

Old North Church

Founded in 1722, the Old North Church is one of the oldest churches in Boston; and service is still being held there. As a part of American history, this is the church were Paul Revere saw the signal of the British coming. On horseback, Revere rode what we now call the Freedom Trail that played such a pivotal role in the revolutionary war. You can have your own personal tour for an after-hours group event. Enjoy the gift shop and chocolate shop with authentic practices of making 18th century chocolate while having the option of renting the outdoor space or turning the gift shop into an event space for a cocktail reception. 

Massachusetts State House

Built in the late 1790’s, the Massachusetts State House is a great example of the Federal style that was popular during the time of its construction. The gold-plated dome is a new addition compared to the rest of the building. Originally, it was just made of wood, but it suffered from leaks, so a copper coating was put on it in 1802. It wouldn’t be coated in gold until 1874. The second floor of the state house is available for daytime or evening events, with a capacity of up to 750 people.

Chicago

Chicago is known as the birthplace of American architecture giving rise to so many prominent architects.  The city is blessed with an abundant of buildings bearing the signatures of famed architects of well-known styles.  

Carbine and carbon building

Chicago is well known for its neo-gothic and Art deco styles, the Carbine and Carbon building was designed by the sons of Daniel Burnham and it was completed in 1929. Carbine and Carbon were expanding and wanted to show off their success at the time, and that is why we have the Carbine and Carbon building today. Rumor has it that the appearance is resembles that of a champagne bottle, with its green exterior and the 24k gold leaf on the very top of the building. The building is home to the Hard Rock hotel, but the St. Jane Chicago Hotel will soon take residence in the building.

The Rookery

Designed by Daniel Burnham and John Root, the Rookery was built in 1888 and is considered to be in the heart of downtown Chicago’s financial district. In 1905, Frank Lloyd Wright redesigned the lobby to what we know it as today. All three of these architects once held offices in this building. Now, it is the home of US Bank. The lobby is available to host great events, from a seated dinner with a band with a capacity of 170 to a cocktail reception with the capacity of 400 people.

The Willis Tower

Although most locals still call the building by its old name “the Sears Tower,” the Willis Tower was built in 1970. Ever since its completion in 1973, it has been an icon of downtown Chicago. It was the tallest building in the world until 1998. With 110 stories, the Willis Tower is home to many offices and attractions, including the Skydeck, where you can see up to four states from the 103rd floor. You can also hold your event on the 99th floor with its 360° views for breathtaking effect. Seat up 175 people, or have a guest list up to 300 people for a non-seated event.

San Francisco

Painted Ladies

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Also known as “Postcard Row,” the Painted Ladies of San Francisco were built during the Victorian era. It was actually quite common for Victorian and Edwardian houses to be painted in many bright colors. However, through earthquakes and repainting, many of these homes were lost or permanently altered. You can find the Painted Ladies of San Francisco in Alamo Square, but you can also find painted ladies in Baltimore, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Toledo, Ohio, and Cape May, New Jersey. Chances are that someone is currently living in at least one of the houses, but you can always get a nice view from them by hosting an event on Alamo Square Park. Alamo Square Park has recently been updated, receiving 5.3 million dollars to invest in fixing the irrigation system as well as adding new trees and landscape to this iconic San Francisco landmark. Like any San Francisco Park, Alamo Square park is available for special events.

Palace Hotel

Built in 1875 and rebuilt after the 1906 earthquake, the Palace hotel is a historical landmark known for its decadence and modern spaces. Staying here means staying in the same place that many celebrities and presidents chose to spent the night.  Stop by the Garden Court for tea time under a glass dome and crystal chandeliers or stay on any of the 9 floors of the hotel. The palace hotel is known for its excellent meeting space. Instead of spending hours in a room that looks like you never left the office, have your meeting in a ballroom that will take you back a century.

Transamerica Pyramid

Built in 1969, the Transamerica Pyramid was once the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. It is still the tallest building in San Francisco, and on the 48th floor, you have 360° views of San Francisco. The 48th floor is also available for intimate dinner parties, as well as training sessions, product launches and corporate meetings. The Transamerica pyramid also has a visitor center at Redwood Park.

Los Angeles

Chateau Marmont

In the 1920s, the Chateau Marmont used to be a luxury apartment building. When the Great Depression hit, many people could not afford the rent. So, the Chateau Marmont was converted into a hotel. Not only that, it was also one of the first earthquake-proof structures, surviving five major earthquakes. For those who love gothic castles, this Neo Gothic structure would be the place to stay. Because this used to be an apartment complex, most guestrooms have full kitchens and dining rooms. For those who don’t feel like cooking, the hotel’s famed restaurant would be perfect for a farewell dinner in the City of Angels.

Walt Disney Concert Hall

In 1987, Lillian Disney donated 50 million dollars for the City of Los Angeles to build a performance venue in the memory of her husband, Walt Disney. The project was finally complete in 2003 after facing some budget issues. Even then, the building’s stainless steel was increasing the surface temperature of the surrounding sidewalk up to 140° F. The glare was also causing accidents. After sanding down the matte finish, everyone started to love the Concert Hall; and is now home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. The Walt Disney Concert Hall is also open for catered events through Patina catering group. Well known for their restaurants in the Greater Los Angeles Area, as well as in the rest of the country, you can have a seated reception dinner right next to where one of the most well-known orchestras in the world would play.

The Mayan Theater

This pre-Colombian style theater opened up in 1927; but in 1990, it became a night club. Every Friday and Saturday night, you can dance the night away while admiring this ornate revival-style that took over in the late 1920s. You can even rent the space for an event that will certainly add a little spice to the evening. With a 5,000 square feet stage as well as two dancing floors, it would surely be a night to remember.

Talking about some of America’s interesting architecture really shows the diversity of what the US has to offer. It would be much better if you were to see these magnificent buildings for yourself for your next event. Contact GMS today, and we can show what your event may look like in any of these and other architectural gems in the US or Canada.

 

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Teambuilding on Steroids

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Teambuilding on Steroids

Pulling off a large-scale teambuilding event is never easy.  But we have always welcome the challenge.  So, when our client asked for a teambuilding exercise that could engage all their 900 participants, we know where to turn to.  We reached out to our partners at Smarthunts to help us conceive of a program that would be engaging for a group of high achievers, fun, and action oriented. 

Imagine having to keep 90 teams on track and focused on their respective “tasks.”  That they did—and with flying colors.  While the run-of-the mill scavenger hunts are becoming blasé, Smarthunts portfolio of tech-based teambuilding activities are designed with millennials in mind.  Using their mobile technology coupled with challenging tasks, everyone in our client’s group remained engaged all the way through. 

SmartHunts was able to include challenging teambuilding activities that encouraged our teams to think SMART, find landmarks, solve clues, answer trivia, perform tasks, and complete fun photo and video challenges shot on our their iPads during the hunt.  This was a perfect fit for a group of highly competitive young professionals.  Everybody was able to let their hair down, have a blast yet be true to their inner competive spirits.

For your next challenging team building exercise—whether it is for a core groups of executive or for companywide teams numbering in hundreds, reach out to GMS:Global Management Services.  We know how to cater to your teams’ craving for challenges in a fun-filled environment that is sure to promote sprit de corp.

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Bar Cargo

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Bar Cargo

Just before 2017 came to an end, Global Management Services was invited to have an early Holiday Lunch at the recently-opened restaurant—Bar Cargo. While Chicago is no stranger to pizza, Bar Cargo prides itself in being the new hot spot for Roman style pizza. We went with open minds and empty stomachs to put Bar Cargo to the test.

Bar Cargo is the new addition to the Stefani Restaurant Group. This isn’t their first try at pizza, but it certainly is a fresh take, both in restaurant environment and the pizza-making process. The restaurant is reminiscent of a cargo container, a very industrial feel that can be seen from the garage doors that open in the summer to the “exposed” piping of the lighting and accents. The pizza, as we were told, has a specially-made crust which makes the pizza that way it is. Three different types of flours are shipped in cargo containers from Italy directly to the restaurant. Then after the dough is made, there is a resting period of 96 hours! Fortunately for us, we didn’t have to wait that long for our pizzas, but the resting period is supposed to give the crust a light, airy texture once it comes out of an imported “Castelli Foni” stone oven. We were soon to find out if the 96-hour crust would live up to its name.

Drinks and appetizers are aplenty, the most popular one being the Bella Vita. Then we each got to try three different appetizers: the Hey Meatballs, the fried calamari with the arrabbiata sauce and the saffron aioli, and the Coccoli, which consist of fried dough, stracchino cheese and prama prosciutto.  The combination of the beef and pork really made the meatballs very tasty and they went well with the charred bread when there was extra marinara sauce. The fried dough and the stracchino paired well together, along with the saltiness of the prosciutto.  With the calamari, we almost forgot that we were still waiting for our pizzas.

 

We finally got to try four different pizzas: the Margherita with tomato, basil, and mozzarella, the Arrabiata with pachino tomatoes, chili, and garlic, the Boscaiola with sausage and mushroom, and the Formaggio with provolone, parmigano, and fresh mozzarella cheeses. Although of the pizzas were all pretty good, the Formaggio was the overall favorite of the group, but the Arrabiata maintained its flavor the day after. While we were eating pizza, we got to meet the man behind the 96-hour crust: Chef Massimo Moresi. A winner of the 1998 world pizza contest and having decades of experience with Italian cuisine, Massimo technique and skill really made the pizza shine. We even got to smell white truffles worth 1,500 dollars. Kept in a container of rice to keep the truffle dry, we each got to get a good look and smell of one of the finest ingredients in the culinary world.

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Just after we thought we couldn’t eat any more food came dessert.  We got to try a slice of chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream and fresh, steaming donut holes with a rich chocolate dipping sauce. Many of the team members at GMS are known to have a bit of a sweet tooth; so dessert really hit the spot. The donut holes were so soft and fluffy, and the chocolate sauce only complimented them, while the chocolate cake was very rich and sweet. Although the food was great, what was even better is that Bar Cargo can host corporate events. The restaurant can accommodate up to 100 guests, 125 if the patio is included. They even have a New Year’s Eve celebration coming up if you are interested.

Global Management Services had a great time at Bar Cargo, and we bet you would, too. Although deep dish will always be a Chicago favorite, don’t count out this Roman style pizza. For more recommendation for a holiday dinner, ask GMS for a proposal today.

 

 

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