Boston Articles Recent Articles - Member Press Releases & Awards Mon, 30 May 2016 22:14:29 GMT Future Affairs Productions Wins Special Events Gala Award  On January 14th, 2016, Future Affairs Productions and LifeSpan won the coveted Special Events Gala Award Trophy for the Best Produced Event for a Non-Profit for the fundraiser "Journey to the Serengeti" with Miriam Hospital in Providence Rhode Island.  The event was held at the Smithfield RI Airport Hangar, where Future Affairs was delighted to be the Designer and Producer of the Miriam Gala and Auction. In addition to raising a record-breaking quantity of over $660,000 to assist with cutting-edge cancer research at the Miriam Hospital, Lifespan Senior Event Manager Kim Borek, the LifeSpan event planning team & Future Affairs Productions produced a unique, exotic safari ‘glamping'-themed gala that attracted a sold-out crowd, transforming an airplane hangar into a stylish safari on the Serengeti for 550 guests.  The Award The Special Event Magazine bestows the Gala Awards, which are the oldest and most prestigious award in the events industry. This year the magazine received entries from nine countries ranging from Germany to China  with nominees chosen by member of the Special Events Advisory Board. Nominees traveled to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, where they received the awards.  Tue, 16 Feb 2016 07:00:00 GMT MRA Announces Honorees of 2016 Annual Awards Dinner The Massachusetts Restaurant Association (MRA) has officially announced the honorees of its 2016 Annual Awards Dinner which will be held on Monday, March 14, 2016 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. The annual dinner is the highlight of the New England Food Show (NEFS), New England's largest trade-only event for the region's foodservice and retail buyers. At this reception and dinner, the MRA will recognize individuals and organizations that have exemplified leadership and excellence in the restaurant industry in the following categories: Executive Chef of The Year:Jamie Bissonnette - Toro, Coppa                      Restaurateur of the Year:Garrett Harker - Eastern Standard, Island Creek Oyster Bar, The Hawthorne, Row 34, and Branch Line This year's award winners have been selected from an incredible amount of nominees from across the state of Massachusetts, and the MRA is thrilled to acknowledge the recipients' hard work and contributions to the restaurant industry. The Annual Awards Dinner will be held at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center located at 415 Summer Street, Boston, MA 02210. The event will begin at 5:30PM with a cocktail reception and silent auction, and dinner will be served at 7:00PM. Registration for the event is $130.00 per person, or $1,175.00 for a table of ten. Reservations for the awards dinner are required and can be done by visiting: For more information on the MRA, visit Fri, 12 Feb 2016 07:00:00 GMT Hawthorne Hotel Wins 2015 Historic Hotels of America Award of Excellence The Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, MA is the recipient of the prestigious 2015 Historic Hotels of America Award of Excellence, among a total of 200 nominees that vied for various awards. Within the Best City Center Historic Hotel Award category, it included exceptional hotels such as the Brown Hotel in Kentucky, The Lord Baltimore Hotel in Maryland, the Omni Parker House in Boston, the Portland Regency Hotel & Spa and the New York Plaza Hotel. The Hawthorne Hotel is the only New England hotel to have won an award this year. A program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Historic Hotels of America will accept only member hotels that have been designated by the U.S. secretary of the interior as a National Historic Landmark or that are listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The hotels also have to be recognized as having historic significance and be at least 50 years old.The National Trust founded the group with 32 charter members in 1989, and it now has more than 260 historic hotel members in 44 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Please view the entire list of 2015 Award Winners.   Tue, 13 Oct 2015 07:00:00 GMT Boston Children's Museum wins 4 star rating from Charity Boston Children's Museum's sound fiscal management practices and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned it a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America's largest independent charity evaluator. This is the first time that Boston Children's Museum has earned this top distinction. Since 2002, using data-driven analysis, Charity Navigator has awarded only the most fiscally responsible organizations a 4-star rating. In 2011, Charity Navigator added a second dimension of Accountability and Transparency (A&T) to its rating methodology, and now reviews 17 governance and ethical practices as well as measures of openness, providing information on its web site for each of the charities it evaluates. The A&T metrics, which account for 50 percent of a charity's overall rating, reveal which charities have "best practices" that minimize the chance of unethical activities and whether they freely share basic information about their organization with their donors and other stakeholders. "Boston Children's Museum's coveted 4-star rating puts it in a very select group of high-performing charities," according to Ken Berger, President and CEO, Charity Navigator. "Out of the thousands of nonprofits Charity Navigator evaluates, only one out of four earns 4 stars - a rating that, now, with our new Accountability and Transparency metrics, demands even greater rigor, responsibility and commitment to openness. Boston Children's Museum's supporters should feel much more confident that their hard-earned dollars are being used efficiently and responsibly when it acquires such a high rating." "We place a high priority on accountability and transparency. It's critical that donors trust we're using our funding wisely so that it has optimal impact," said Carole Charnow, President and CEO. "It's gratifying to be recognized for sound stewardship of these resources." Boston Children's Museum's rating and other information about charitable giving are available free of charge on More-detailed information about Boston Children's Museum's rating is available to Charity Navigator site visitors who become registered users, another free service. Fri, 17 Apr 2015 07:00:00 GMT RAPHAEL OLIVER, TOH/SKYWALK GM, PROMOTED TO VP, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT John Quagliata, President, C.E.O. of Select Restaurants, Inc., owner and operator of Boston's famed Top of the Hub Restaurant, cocktail lounge, and banquet facilities as well as the Skywalk Observatory, today announced the promotion of long-time General Manager Raphael Oliver to Vice President, Business Development for the parent company. Soaring 52 floors above Boston's Back Bay, Top of the Hub is perched atop the Prudential Tower with the Skywalk Observatory located directly below on the 50th floor."As general manager of our Boston operations for the past 25 years, Raphael Oliver has done an outstanding job of building both solid business and a trusted reputation for Select," said Quagliata. "I'm thrilled that he has accepted the challenge to apply his considerable knowledge and talents to further build our business and expand our visibility in some of our other markets." Select operates a collection of specialty restaurant concepts with properties located in Long Beach, California; Chicago, Illinois; Cleveland and Cincinnati, Ohio; Baltimore, Maryland; Pennsylvania; and New Jersey.Mr. Quagliata also credited Mr. Oliver with the successful growth of corporate function business, a commitment to nightly live jazz entertainment in the highly popular lounge, and the expansion and creative development of the restaurantâ€TMs wine sales accented by the addition of two temperature controlled wine cellars holding more than 3000 bottles at any one time. Mr. Oliver commented, "I am honored to have been part of the Select team for the past 25 years and look forward to the new responsibilities with which I've been entrusted. John Quagliata has a unique vision in the restaurant industry which encourages those around him to achieve far more than they could on their own. I look forward to the many creative challenges ahead around the country, from staffing and sales to marketing and fiscal management."Prior to joining Top of the Hub, Oliver held several high-visibility positions at a number of prestigious, award-wining, five-star resorts from the Mt. Washington Hotel in New Hampshire, to the Crown Room atop San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel and The Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida. Fri, 03 Apr 2015 07:00:00 GMT Langham, Boston awarded Gold Certification for Sustainability The Langham, Boston is the first hotel in North America to achieve Gold Certification with EarthCheck, the company announced today. EarthCheck is the world's leading environmental management and professional services group for the travel and tourism industry. The Langham, Boston, a 318 room luxury hotel located in downtown Boston, received the certification for its efforts towards environmental, economic and social sustainability. The hotel joined EarthCheck in 2009 to help integrate green practices into its day-to-day operations. Stewart Moore, CEO and Founder of EarthCheck, said that The Langham, Boston has a long standing commitment to sustainability, which is reflected in their continued dedication to the EarthCheck program. Moore said, "I would like to congratulate the whole team at The Langham, Boston on their Gold achievement, which recognizes 5 continuous years of independent accreditation. The hotel is a leading operator in North America and a valued member of a global group of tourism operators who dare to make a difference." Sustainability practices and equipment adopted by The Langham, Boston including the recent installation of a new chiller system and Enerlogic VEP 35 tinted windows add to a number of initiatives that have allowed the hotel to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4.6kg CO2 -e per guest night, which is equivalent to taking 721 small cars off the road each year. EarthCheck provided The Langham, Boston with a framework for environmental and social sustainability. This included requirements specific to the hotel's management systems, such as quality, environment, occupational health and safety, risk management and corporate social reporting. Tue, 31 Mar 2015 07:00:00 GMT Boston Harbor Hotel wins 2015 AH&LA Award for Ongoing Special Events Normal 0 false false false EN-US ZH-CN X-NONE  The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), the national trade association representing all sectors and stakeholders in the lodging industry, awards Stars of the Industry to recognize employee and lodging property achievement in 11 categories, including Outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year, Outstanding General Manager of the Year, and Technology Innovation of the Year.  The AH&LA Stars of the Industry awards program was created more than 40 years ago and while the categories have evolved over the years, the concept is still the same - to honor lodging employees and properties that best symbolize the quality service of the industry.  Outstanding Special Events, Ongoing/Small Property, will be presented to the Boston Harbor Hotel. The awards will be presented at the Stars of the Industry Awards Brunch at the W, Washington, DC, on April 14 from 10:00 - 11:30am. Mon, 23 Mar 2015 07:00:00 GMT Lenox Boston GM Daniel Donahue wins 2015 AH&LA Award Normal 0 false false false EN-US ZH-CN X-NONE  The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), the national trade association representing all sectors and stakeholders in the lodging industry, awards Stars of the Industry to recognize employee and lodging property achievement in 11 categories, including Outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year, Outstanding General Manager of the Year, and Technology Innovation of the Year.  The AH&LA Stars of the Industry awards program was created more than 40 years ago and while the categories have evolved over the years, the concept is still the same - to honor lodging employees and properties that best symbolize the quality service of the industry.  Outstanding General Manager of the Year, Small Property, will be presented to Daniel Donahue, General Manager, The Lenox Hotel Boston, MA. The awards will be presented at the Stars of the Industry Awards Brunch at the W, Washington, DC, on April 14 from 10:00 - 11:30am. Mon, 23 Mar 2015 07:00:00 GMT Fairmont Copley Plaza Joins T+L 500: The World's Best Hotels   In Travel+Leisure's annual World's Best Awards survey, T+L readers determine the top hotels and resorts in the world. For T+L's 20th annual poll, discerning readers were asked once again to cast their votes for the hotels, destinations, and companies that define the very best in travel. The result? One of the most robusts lists to date. This year, the Fairmont Copley Plaza joins several other Massachusetts properties in earning this coveted distinction.    Boston Harbor Hotel at Rowes Wharf (90.64) Eliot Hotel (90.50) Fairmont Copley Plaza (87.56) Four Seasons Hotel Boston (89.38) Hotel Commonwealth (91.39) Mandarin Oriental, Boston (92.21) XV Beacon (91.62) Chatham Bars Inn (87.60), Chatham White Elephant (93.68), Nantucket Town    Wed, 04 Mar 2015 07:00:00 GMT Forbes Announces 5 Star Hotels: Boston Harbor Hotel, Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, Boston Normal 0 false false false EN-US ZH-CN X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4  Forbes Travel Guide today unveiled its annual Star Rating list, once again naming the Boston Harbor Hotel, Four Seasons Hotel Boston, and Mandarin Oriental, Boston as Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotels.  115 hotels worldwide are recognized with this esteemed ranking, and 72 hotels in the United States received this distinction:   For a detailed explanation of how Forbes Travel Guide compiles its Star ratings, visit   Follow Forbes Travel Guide on Twitter:, Facebook: and Instagram:   About Forbes Travel Guide: Forbes Travel Guide, formerly Mobil Travel Guide, is the originator of the prestigious Five Star Rating system, and has provided the travel industry's most comprehensive ratings and reviews of hotels, restaurants and spas since 1958. Forbes Travel Guide has a team of expert inspectors who anonymously evaluate properties against up to 800 rigorous and objective standards, providing consumers the insight to make better- informed travel and leisure decisions. Forbes Travel Guide is the gold standard for luxury hospitality ratings worldwide. For more information about Forbes Travel Guide, visit combines the objectivity and heritage of the Forbes Travel Guide Star Rating system with insightful recommendations from a hand-selected group of travel experts, tastemakers and Forbes Travel Guide inspectors. is the sole online destination for Forbes Travel Guide's list of Star Rated hotels, restaurants and spas, and gives its registered members exclusive access to special offers and curated experiences from select Forbes Travel Guide partners. /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; line-height:200%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} Wed, 04 Mar 2015 07:00:00 GMT Enjoy Old World pampering in Plymouth Mirbeau Inn Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:00:00 GMT PAUL J. SACCO NAMED TO NATIONAL LODGING ASSOCIATON BOARD OF DIRECTORS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                              CONTACT:    Christina Pappas1-617-536-0590 (Boston, MA), February 25,2014 - Paul J. Sacco, President & CEO of the Massachusetts Lodging Association has been named to the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) 2014 board of directors, representing the Partner State Association segment.  The new board of directors is comprised of C-level lodging executives representing the full scope of the lodging sector, including brands, owners and REITS, management companies, independents, and state associations.  A new board was selected to reflect the completely new strategic direction and membership model passed last June by a vote of association members.  Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) is the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.8 million-employee U.S. lodging industry, including hotel owners, REITs, chains, franchisees, management companies, independent properties, state hotel associations, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides focused advocacy, communications support, and educational resources for an industry generating $155.5 billion in annual sales from 4.9 million guestrooms.Paul J. Sacco is President and CEO of the Massachusetts Lodging Association, a statewide trade association representing and promoting the Massachusetts' lodging industry. He is the former Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism.  Previously, he served as Chief Executive Officer of the Belvedere Hotels Ltd., Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing and as a Vice President for regional operations for Omni Hotels. He has also managed a number of hotels in his extensive career including Managing Director of the Omni Parker House Downtown Boston, the Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC and The Netherland Plaza - Cincinnati. He has been actively involved with AH&LA for a number of years, serves on the board of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, as Vice Chair of the Board of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau and has served as Chair of the Board of Historic Hotels of America."AH&LA now begins a new chapter, bringing together the entire industry under one national umbrella, focusing the association on proactive and effective advocacy, and allowing the industry to speak with one voice," said AH&LA President/CEO Katherine Lugar.  "We are thrilled that our new board is comprised of dynamic group of senior industry leaders who will lead the AH&LA's future strategic direction. I'm confident Paul will be a valuable contributor of the thought leadership and direction crucial to ensuring AH&LA and the industry are best-positioned to tackle the challenges and meet the objectives of the future."For a complete list of board members, click here, # #About the Massachusetts Lodging AssociationThe Massachusetts Lodging Association is a trade association representing and promoting the lodging industry in Massachusetts. ??The goal of the MLA is to create and implement an aggressive program to develop the business and leisure travel industry in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as well as to create a better business environment through legislative efforts and networking with related associations.  The MLA is dedicated to providing professional education to members, recognizing excellence among members and actively participating in members' communities.  For more information on the Massachusetts Lodging Association, go to Wed, 26 Feb 2014 07:00:00 GMT U.S. News & World Report Announces the 2014 Best Hotels U.S. News & World Report Announces the 2014 Best Hotels Washington, D.C. - Jan. 28, 2014 - U.S. News & World Report, a nationally recognized publisher of consumer advice and information, today released the 2014 Best Hotels rankings. For the first time, the Lodge at Sea Island in Sea Island, Ga., is the No. 1 hotel in the USA. Tortuga Bay in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic holds onto its spot as the Best Hotel in the Caribbean for the second year in a row. Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués in Acapulco jumped up four places since last year to be the No. 1 Best Hotel in Mexico, and the Ritz-Carlton, Montreal seized the top spot in the 2014 ranking of the Best Hotels in Canada.Out of the 1,693 luxury hotels across the United States evaluated for 2014, 169 scored high enough to earn a place on the list of the Best Hotels in the USA. New additions to the top five list this year are the Lodge at Sea Island and the Allison Inn & Spa in Newberg, Ore., which took the No. 3 spot this year after ranking 160th in 2013. The top five Best Hotels in the USA are: 1.       The Lodge at Sea Island - Sea Island, Ga.2.       The Inn at Palmetto Bluff - Bluffton, S.C.3.       The Allison Inn & Spa - Newberg, Ore.4.       Four Seasons Hotel Seattle - Seattle, Wash.5.       Four Seasons Resort Lana'i, The Lodge at Koele - Lanai, HawaiiSee full list: Best Hotels in the USA U.S. News also analyzed 271 luxury properties in the Caribbean. Twenty-seven hotels scored high enough to be named Best Hotels in the Caribbean. The top five Best Hotels in the Caribbean are: 1.       Tortuga Bay - Punta Cana, Dominican Republic2.       Jamaica Inn - Ochos Rios, Jamaica3.       Spice Island Beach Resort - St. George's, Grenada4.       Eden Rock, St. Barths - Baie de Saint Jean, St. Barts5.       Hotel Saint-Barth Isle de France - Baie des Flamands, St. BartsSee full list: Best Hotels in the CaribbeanThe 2014 Best Hotels also includes rankings of 342 hotels in Mexico and 223 hotels in Canada, along with rankings of the Best Hotels by Brand to help travelers select the best brand-backed hotels across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.  U.S. News' Best Hotels rankings are based on an unbiased methodology that includes the collective opinion of travel experts and guests, expressed through online reviews and ratings. "Our Best Hotels rankings are designed to take the guesswork out of choosing the right hotel," said Miriam Weiner, travel editor for U.S. News. "These properties were selected because they meet the highest standards of travel experts and guests alike when it comes to luxury amenities and quality customer service." Media Contact: Lucy Lyons,, 617-803-8966About U.S. News & World ReportU.S. News & World Report is a multi-platform publisher of news and analysis, which includes the digital-only U.S. News Weekly magazine, Focusing on Health, Money, Education, Travel, Cars and Public Service/Opinion, U.S. News has earned a reputation as the leading provider of service news and information that improves the quality of life of its readers. U.S. News & World Report's signature franchise includes its News You Can Use® brand of journalism and its "Best" series of consumer guides that include rankings of colleges, graduate schools, hospitals, mutual funds, health plans and more. Thu, 30 Jan 2014 07:00:00 GMT Greenway Conservancy Names Jesse Brackenbury Executive Director Wed, 29 Jan 2014 07:00:00 GMT Boston chosen for the world tourism cities federation membership Boston chosen for the world tourism cities federation membership The World Tourism Cities Federation has chosen Boston as its fifth US city for membership. On December 5, 2013, Yan Han, Deputy Secretary-General of the WTCF, came to Boston to officially present Patrick Moscaritolo, President  & CEO of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau and Christopher Cook, Director of the Mayor's Office of Arts, Tourism & Special Events with membership in the World Tourism Cities Federation.The World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) is the first international tourism organization that focuses on cities. It is a non-profit, non-governmental organization formed by tourism cities and tourism-related organizations of various countries and regions of the world. The WTCF is dedicated to promoting tourism development around the world. At present, 107 world-renowned tourism cities and organizations are members of the Federation.Boston is a worldwide leader in healthcare, finance, biotechnology and education. In 2012 Boston welcomed over 1,250,000 overseas visitors and is recognized worldwide as one of America's top destinations.Boston is also home to more than 50 colleges and universities with more than 250,000 enrolled students. In 2013 more than 41,258 international students were enrolled in colleges in Boston and Massachusetts. Over the last 6 years the growth in international students attending colleges and universities in Boston and Massachusetts has risen 168%. Bureau President & CEO Patrick Moscaritolo and Christopher Cook, Director of the Mayor's Office of Arts, Tourism & Special Events officially signed the WTCF membership documents and agreements.About World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF):World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) is a non-profit, non-governmental international organization. Under the theme of "Tourism Makes City Life Better", the WTCF will promote coordinated economic and social development of World Tourism cities, enhance urban development, elevate the image of cities, and strengthen inter-city international exchanges through tourism.About the Great Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau (GBCVB):The Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau (GBCVB) is the primary private sector marketing and visitor service organization charged with the development of meetings, conventions and tourism-related business to enhance the economy of Boston, Cambridge and the greater metropolitan area. For more information on what to do, where to stay, and what to see when visiting Boston visit  Wed, 29 Jan 2014 07:00:00 GMT Smart Destinations Introduces Limited-Time Go Boston Winter Card Smart Destinations Introduces Limited-Time Go Boston Winter Card November 20, 2013 Seasonal travel to the Northeast often means an itinerary tailored to wintertime favorites: from holiday-themed events to classic cool weather activities. To maximize customer value for those winter vacations, Smart Destinations is releasing the new and available for a limited time only 3-Day Go Boston Winter Card. The 3-Day Go Boston Winter Card combines admission to 23 wintertime Boston attractions in a convenient digital format available for instant delivery, allowing customers to print their attraction pass or display it on a mobile device for admission. Designed for travel only during the winter months, it can be redeemed from now until March 31, 2014. "Thousands of visitors have been able to see more and do more by using the Go Boston Card," said Patrick Moscaritolo, President & CEO of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Smart Destinations has been a great partner of the GBCVB over the last 10 years, adding value for all who visit our city. The new Winter edition is ideal, allowing people to choose from a wide range of museums and seasonal attractions and affording extra time to enjoy multiple admissions which makes for a perfect winter getaway. In fact there's so much to do in Boston during the winter season - you just have to stay over!" Highlights on the Go Boston Winter Card include the New England Aquarium, the Boston Museum of Science, Fenway Park Tours (a huge local favorite due to Boston's recent World Series win), and cold weather-friendly Hop-On/Hop-Off Trolley Tours. "We know it can be tricky to plan travel in winter months, especially when you're dealing with destinations where weather plays a factor in what's available," said Judy Gauthier, Regional Director with Smart Destinations. "So this year, we decided to create a product to help visitors save money and highlight the best seasonal attractions for visitors to Boston, minimizing the risk of an attraction being closed or unavailable." The Go Boston Winter Card is valid for 3 consecutive days, and can be displayed on a mobile device or smartphone for admission to any of the 23 included attractions. For a complete list of included attractions, visit the Go Boston Winter Card page. The Go Boston Winter Card is only available for a limited time, and can only be purchased online or over the phone from Smart Destinations. About Smart Destinations Smart Destinations helps travelers enjoy more activities in their destinations for less. With its multi-attraction passes, visitors enjoy flexible purchase options, savings of up to 55% off gate prices, and the convenience of skipping the line at most popular attractions. Available online and at walk-up retail outlets, Smart Destinations passes, including Go City Cards, Go Explorer and Go Select Passes, provide admission to more than 400 attractions across nine North American destinations, including New York, Orlando, Oahu, San Diego, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco and Boston. For more information visit: Tue, 03 Dec 2013 07:00:00 GMT ASSEMBLY ROW IS NEW HOME FOR FIRST AND ONLY LEGOLAND® DISCOVERY CENTER IN NEW ENGLAND ASSEMBLY ROW IS NEW HOME FOR FIRST AND ONLY LEGOLAND® DISCOVERY CENTER IN NEW ENGLAND -  Federal Realty and Merlin Entertainments announce 44,000 square foot LEGOLAND Discovery Center to open in 2014 ROCKVILLE, Md. (July 29, 2013) - Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE:FRT) and Merlin Entertainments (Merlin) announced today plans to build and open a LEGOLAND Discovery Center  at Assembly Row, bringing the iconic global attraction to Greater Boston and New England. The attraction will open in late Spring 2014, and will be the first-ever LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Massachusetts and the only one in the New England region. Merlin's newest attraction concept, the unique LEGOLAND Discovery Center will offer a fun, highly interactive and educational two to three-hour indoor experience specifically designed for families with children 3-10 years old. Based on the ever popular LEGO® brick, LEGOLAND Discovery Centers provide exciting LEGO rides, a 4D cinema, an insight into how LEGO bricks are made in an interactive LEGO Factory Tour experience, building workshops led by the Center's Master Model Builder, plus a range of themed play areas; special party rooms for birthdays and other celebrations, and of course the popular LEGO MINILAND exhibit - found in every LEGOLAND Park and  Discovery Center.  MINILAND is designed to reflect the iconic buildings of each individual attraction's location - at Assembly Row this will include buildings from the Boston skyline like the Prudential Tower, landmarks like Quincy Market, and more iconic-Boston structures nominated by the local community. "When open in 2014, Assembly Row and The Outlets at Assembly Row will feature a nationally-branded collection of outlet retailers, visitor attractions, sought-after regional dining, next-gen residences and Class A office space - all accessed by a brand new dedicated T station on site," said Don Briggs, SVP of development for Federal Realty. "Merlin's entertainment vision coupled with Federal Realty's ability to transform real estate into dynamic destinations and Assembly Row's unique mix of retail, dining, and entertainment will deliver a game-changing development to the Boston market, the first of its kind in the country." Commenting Glenn Earlam, Managing Director of Merlin's Midway Attractions Operating Group, said:   "The LEGOLAND Discovery Center concept is already successful in both Europe and elsewhere in the USA, and I know people will love it in New England.  We are absolutely delighted to be opening in this exciting new development.  Based on its location, Federal Realty's proven vision and experience, Assembly Row is destined to become a regional and international ‘destination' as much as it is ‘the place' for the local community.  Research shows us that Assembly Row is exactly the right location for us and for a LEGOLAND Discovery Center, being in a catchment area with a high proportion of families with young children. More than that, our experience has shown that bringing together an exciting mix of retail, dining and quality leisure attractions like the LEGOLAND Discovery Center creates a whole new element to a family shopping day, delivering significant incremental business to both the center - and to the area as a whole.  Such projects play an important part in Merlin's future growth strategy for our ‘midway' or indoor City Center attractions." "Assembly Row is an entirely new neighborhood under construction located within Greater Boston's top attractions ring and in one of the densest markets in the country. The LEGOLAND Discovery Center at Assembly Row will bring a level of family entertainment not currently offered in the area to all of New England and the almost 30 million visitors that visit Massachusetts every year," said Chris Weilminster, SVP of leasing for Federal Realty. "Together, we are setting a new standard in the real estate industry for shopping, entertainment, and experience.  The LEGOLAND Discovery Center will bring young families - a sought-after customer segment to Assembly Row, drive traffic to our other leisure operators, retailers and restaurants, and provide another great reason for our local and visiting customers to return again and again. Simply put, they are a fantastic complement to our outlet retailers and will be a magnet for tourism." Plans and designs are already being drawn up for the 44,000 square-foot space and construction is expected to begin this fall.  LEGO models for the Assembly Row attraction will be made in Merlin's specialist studios around the world and shipped in during construction, ready for the opening in 2014. For further information:   Federal Realty Media Contact: Andrea Simpson Director of Marketing & Tourism, Federal Realty Investment Trust 5 Middlesex Avenue, Suite 401 Somerville, MA 02145 Office:  617-684-1511 Cell:     617-990-7075 Email: Federal Realty Investor Relations Contact: Kristina Lennox Investor Relations Coordinator 1626 East Jefferson Street Rockville, MD 20852 Office:  301-998-8265 Email: Merlin Entertainments Sally Ann Wilkinson/Penny Roberts       Tel:   + 44 (0) 20 8899 6110 / + 44 (0) 20 8948 4225 Mobile:  + 44 (0) 7774 415372/ + 44 (0)7887 542490 Home:   + 44 (0)20 8948 3725 (Sally Ann Wilkinson) Email: Merlin Entertainments' Real Estate Enquiries in North America contact: Howard J. Samuels President Samuels & Company, Inc. 14011 Ventura Blvd., Suite 209 East Sherman Oaks, CA 91423 Tel:  (818) 817-9500 Email: Notes to Editors Photos and renderings available upon request. About Federal Realty Federal Realty Investment Trust is an equity real estate investment trust specializing in the ownership, management, development, and redevelopment of high quality retail assets. Federal Realty's portfolio (excluding joint venture properties) contains approximately 20 million square feet located primarily in strategically selected metropolitan markets in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and California. In addition, the Trust has an ownership interest in approximately 1.0 million square feet of retail space through a joint venture in which the Trust has a 30% interest. Our operating portfolio (excluding joint venture properties) was 95.1% leased to national, regional, and local retailers as of March 31, 2013, with no single tenant accounting for more than approximately 3.2% of annualized base rent. Federal Realty has paid quarterly dividends to its shareholders continuously since its founding in 1962, and has increased its dividend rate for 45 consecutive years, the longest record in the REIT industry. Federal Realty is an S&P MidCap 400 company and its shares are traded on the NYSE under the symbol FRT. About Assembly Row When fully built across 50 waterfront acres on the Mystic River, the Assembly Row neighborhood will feature a total of 500,000 square feet of outlet shops and restaurants, 1.75 million square feet of office space, a 200 room boutique hotel, 2100 residences, and a six acre waterfront park that features a children's area, sunken amphitheater, and events and a dedicated MBTA transit stop on Boston's Orange Line. Phase One of Assembly Row will open in mid-2014 and will include 30 nationally branded outlet shops, a variety of sit-down restaurants and cafes, a 44,000 square foot LEGOLAND Discovery Center, a 12 screen AMC Theater, 100,000 square feet of office space, 450 residences, the new six-acre waterfront park, and the Assembly Station on Boston's Orange Line.  In the heart of the neighborhood, urban commercial streets will be lined with wide sidewalks and interspersed with street side cafes, parks, outlet shops, restaurants, bike paths, and entertainment venues. Closer to downtown Boston than most of Boston, the Assembly Row neighborhood and The Outlets at Assembly Row are accessible via two exits on and off I-93 and a the new Orange Line MBTA station. For more information please visit MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS is the leading name in location-based, family entertainment, and has seen the most successful and dynamic growth of any company in the sector over the last five years. Europe's Number 1 and the world's second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin now operates 98 attractions, eight hotels/three holiday villages in 22 countries and across four continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its 54 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and more than 21,000 employees.  Merlin has nineteen attractions in the USA  - including two stunning LEGOLAND Resorts - LEGOLAND Florida with its Water Park and LEGOLAND California theme park with Water Park, SEA LIFE aquarium and exciting new hotel; Madame Tussauds celebrity wax attractions in New York, Washington DC, Las Vegas and Hollywood; LEGOLAND Discovery Centers in Chicago; Dallas/Fort Worth; Kansas City Missouri; Atlanta, Georgia; and Westchester, New York; and SEA LIFE aquariums in Phoenix, Arizona; Kansas City, Missouri; Dallas/Fort Worth; and the Mall of America in Minneapolis - underlining the company's position as the world's biggest global aquarium operator.    Mon, 29 Jul 2013 07:00:00 GMT Saunders Hotel Group Receives WTTC Community Benefit Award Saunders Hotel Group Receives the Community Benefit Award at the 12th World Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit in Tokyo 2012 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards winners unveiled. Three companies and one destination, from four continents, have been recognized for their best practices in sustainable tourism at this year's WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. Congratulations to Saunders Hotel Group for receiving the Community Benefit Award. Community Benefit Award - Saunders Hotel Group, USA This local family-owned hotel group has been a leader in sustainable tourism practices as far back as the early 1980s, when they converted an old police building in Boston, Massachusetts into an historic hotel and worked with local community partners to build affordable housing in the same area. Through initiatives that are driven and supported by all levels of their staff, the group supports dozens of local charity and non-profit groups with a combination of financial backing, volunteer time, and in-kind resources that goes far beyond most corporate social responsibility efforts. For Saunders, community service begins at ‘home', where helping people in need is part of the company mission, recognizing that disadvantaged communities can also exist in a major city in the United States. Congratulations to All! Tue, 17 Apr 2012 07:00:00 GMT Omni Parker House team named “Sales Team of the Year” Thursday, 08 March 2012 09:29 Congratulations to the Omni Parker House team who has been named "Sales Team of the Year" for all of Omni Hotels & Resorts for 2011! They were in the spotlight at the recent Omni Sales Incentive Trip and awards gala in Cancun. Not only did they achieve the Highest Revenue Percentage Over Goal, but Omni's corporate VP's also praised the team for their collaboration, putting the success of the team over the success of each individual, local market leadership, and embodiment of Omni Sales Intensity. "This award is a testament to the team's consistent focus on producing results and making the Parker House a huge contributor to the success of Omni Hotels & Resorts," said the hotel's General Manager, John Murtha. "Service is one of the key elements of our team's success in delivering unique and memorable events, building client relationships and driving repeat business," said Dave Ritchie, Area Director of Sales & Marketing. Over the past 10 years, Omni Hotels & Resorts has consistently been ranked Top in Guest Satisfaction for Upscale Hotel Brands by J.D. Power & Associates. Congratulations to All! ~ Your Friends at The Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau Thu, 08 Mar 2012 07:00:00 GMT Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Annouces the Public Opening Date and Inaugural Programming MEDIA CONTACTS ? Matt Montgomery Director of Marketing and Communications, 617 278 5184, ? Katherine Armstrong Layton Public Relations Director, 617 278 5107-work, 617 956 2565-cell, For Immediate Release Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Annouces the Public Opening Date and Inaugural Programming Higlights of the New Renzo Piano-Designed Wing: Thursday, January 19, 2012 May 12, 2011-Boston, MA ? The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum announced today that it will open its new wing, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, on Thursday, January 19, 2012. The public opening celebration will begin with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino officiating. The Museum will honor its legacy by opening the new wing in January, as Isabella Gardner originally unveiled the Museum on January 1, 1903. Among the inaugural season programming highlights announced today are exhibitions in the new Special Exhibition Gallery and historic building, as well as an expanded concert series showcasing three works commissioned in honor of the new Calderwood Performance Hall. The wing will house essential programming and visitor amenities in purpose-built spaces, enabling preservation and restoration work in the historic 1903 building. Eight months out from the opening, the new wing is almost completely clad in its exterior materials of glass, brick and patinated copper with many interior systems going into place. "The new wing will reveal the vibrant programming that has been constrained by the historic building's spaces-a true opening up of the Gardner Museum. Our opening celebration in 2012 will feature all of this programming in purpose-built spaces for the first time in the museum's history. We invite the public to join us as we celebrate the renewal of the Gardner Museum and the premiere of Renzo Piano's brilliantly designed spaces which give contemporary form to Gardner's legacy," says Anne Hawley, Norma Jean Calderwood Director of the museum. Inaugural Exhibitions The inaugural exhibition in the Special Exhibition Gallery in the new wing presents the first American museum solo show of artist Victoria Morton (b. 1971, Scotland), who was a Gardner Museum Artist-in-Residence in 2009. The yet-to-be-titled exhibition will feature new paintings created specifically for the new gallery and the opening of the new wing. The exhibition will include a film about Morton at work in her studios in Glasgow and Urbino, as well as a live concert in the new performance hall by her band Muscles of Joy, whose members are all women artists. Following their U.S. debut at the Gardner Museum, the group will perform at Location One, New York. "Victoria often creates three-dimensional paintings that question the so-called ‘dilemma of the edge': frames, no frames, or multi-tasking frames. Visitors will see connections between Morton's work and the richness of paintings in the Gardner collection, particularly exploring the context of the unique and surprising adjacencies present in Isabella Gardner's installations," says Pieranna Cavalchini, Gardner Museum Curator of Contemporary Art. A complementary exhibition, on view in the Special Exhibition Gallery's smaller space, will celebrate the Gardner's Artist-in-Residence program, which commemorates its 20th anniversary in 2012. The exhibition will examine the history of the program through selected works by past participants, as well as works by artists who had personal ties to the Museum, such as John Singer Sargent, whom Isabella Gardner invited to paint in the museum in the winter of 1903. Another inaugural exhibition will present the work of Luisa Lambri (b. 1969, Italy), who was an Artist-in-Residence in 2008. This exhibition will be presented in a new gallery space that currently serves as the entrance vestibule to the historic building. Lambri, who travels the world photographing architectural interiors, has photographed the Gardner Museum extensively and will return to the Gardner this year to photograph the completed new wing. She is now creating an artist book of these photographs, which will be juxtaposed with the diary of Willard Sears, the architect of the historic building. The artist book will be available in the new Museum Shop. Site-Specific Installation The inaugural exhibitions will also extend outdoors, as a site-specific work by Stefano Arienti (b. 1961, Italy) will be installed on the exterior of the new wing. An installation artist who works with found images, Arienti was an Artist-in-Residence in 2004. In 2007, he presented The Asian Shore, an exhibition inspired by archival imagery of the Second Chinese Room, Isabella Gardner's private meditation space. Arienti has been invited to produce a temporary work for the façade of the new wing, where architect Renzo Piano has designed a 36-foot-high by 16-foot-wide space for changing art installations. Arienti also will produce a guest book for the Living Room orientation area, where visitors can log memories or anecdotes from their visit. Opening Music Season Among the most dramatic changes is the relocation of the Museum's music programming from the Tapestry Room to the unique, cube-shaped, intimate Calderwood Performance Hall. The Gardner Museum's celebrated music program will return in 2012 after a brief fall hiatus, offering expanded programming in the program's key areas of chamber music, new music, and jazz. The new hall is designed to showcase a diverse range of programming, from solo performances to large ensembles, as well as lectures and talks. From January through June 2012, the Sunday Concert Series will feature 18 concerts, including world premieres of three works in honor of the new hall by young composers commissioned by the Claremont Piano Trio, and a new collaboration with the New York Festival of Song. Jazz at the Gardner will continue on the third Thursday of each month, presenting globally inspired jazz performed by Berklee College of Music students. Avant Gardner, the museum's celebration of cutting-edge classical music, will offer an extended number of programs on a new evening (the first Thursday of each month), welcoming back the Composer Portraits series from Columbia University's Miller Theater, as well as Boston's own Callithumpian Consort, who will celebrate the 100th birthday of groundbreaking American composer John Cage. Landscape Residency Fellowship In 2012, the Museum will launch its first Landscape residency under the leadership of its recently named Consulting Curator of Landscape Charles Waldheim/Urban Agency. The bi-annual Gardner Residential Fellowship in Landscape Studies will recognize the work of an emerging design talent whose projects articulate the potential for landscape as a medium of design in the public realm. The Gardner Fellow will be selected by an international jury of leading voices in landscape architecture and will be awarded a three-month residency at the museum in the summer of 2012, living on-site in one of the Renzo Piano-designed apartments. Lectures A four-part lecture series focusing on the theme of Masterpieces will reconnect audiences with some of the Gardner Museum's most intriguing objects through public conversations that both celebrate and interrogate the concept. Addressing works of art from a Roman sarcophagus to Matisse's The Terrace, St. Tropez, scholars will explore this compelling idea across medium and culture. The new lecture series explores how influential artists and collectors have assigned celebrity to certain works of art and how ideas of a masterwork change over time. The Landscape program also will continue to present scholars and thinkers in the field through its annual four-part lecture series, the first to be organized by Charles Waldheim/Urban Agency. New Public Spaces The opening of the new wing will also introduce a truly unique visitor orientation space, called the Living Room, which will acclimate those unfamiliar with the distinctive world of the Gardner, as well as remind returning visitors of the experience ahead. Inspired by a project of the same name that was created for the museum in 2000 by Artist-in-Residence Lee Mingwei, the Living Room will have a domestic aesthetic that echoes the essence of Isabella Gardner's Palace, where personal and public spaces blend seamlessly. The space will be furnished with comfortable couches and chairs, reading tables and potted plants, creating an intimate and comfortable space for visitors who wish to linger and interact. The Living Room will be a lively space, where visitors can experience the "museum-at-work," much like in the adjacent greenhouses, classroom and education studio. Carrying on the tradition of Gardner's gracious hospitality, tea will be served in the Living Room in the afternoon. Home to the museum's School and Community Partner Programs, the Studio provides a hands-on art-making workshop to complement the teaching in the galleries. The space, previously located in the basement of the historic building, will now be part of the public experience. Across from the Studio in the public hallway, an exhibition space will be devoted to the display of works from students and the public. The first exhibition will be a photographic interpretation of School Partner Tobin Elementary School's journey from Tobin to the Gardner Museum. On the weekends during open hours, the space will be used for drop-in art-making for visitors of all ages. Preservation Update ? Tapestry Room, Lighting Project, South Façade For the first time since it opened in 1914, the 4,000-square-foot Tapestry Room is being restored to its original glory and will once again take its place as one of the nation's great tapestry halls. The restoration of this space will return the Tapestry Room to its original configuration for the first time since a temporary stage, chairs, and other modern elements were added to accommodate formal concerts in the early 1970s. While occasional smaller musical performances and talks will continue once the space is fully reinstalled, the Tapestry Room will primarily serve as a grand gallery for viewing tapestries and other works of art. Conservation treatment of the Tapestry Room will encompass cleaning, restoration, and reinstallation of many parts of the gallery-including its Mercer-tiled floors and French medieval stone fireplace, select art and furniture objects, and new lighting. The historic arrangement of furniture in the center of the gallery and other vignettes around the windows as depicted in early photographs will also be restored. The multi-year Lighting Project will be completed in time for the opening of the new wing featuring updated electrical systems, replaced or refurbished historic lighting fixtures, and the installation of a three-part shade system on gallery windows. Exterior work will restore the southern façade of the 1903 building facing the new wing with reinstalled historic windows and other architectural features. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum • 280 The Fenway Boston MA 02115 617 566 1401 • Modeled after a 15th-century Venetian palazzo with an interior courtyard garden, the Gardner Museum houses a collection of fine art spanning 30 centuries and featuring works by Titian, Rembrandt, Botticelli, and Sargent, as well as changing contemporary and historic exhibitions, classical concerts, lectures, and special events. The museum will open its new wing, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, on January 19, 2012.   Building on a Legacy Website ?   ### Thu, 19 Jan 2012 07:00:00 GMT The Fairmont Copley Plaza Announces more than $ 20 Million Restoration Contact: Suzanne Wenz The Fairmont Copley Plaza (617) 867-8574 The Fairmont Copley Plaza Announces more than $ 20 Million Restoration Fitness Center and Guestrooms Projects To Begin in 2011 in Preparation for Centennial Celebration in 2012 Boston, Massachusetts, March 4, 2011 - The Fairmont Copley Plaza, in preparation for the property's centennial celebration in 2012, announces a comprehensive restoration project totaling more than $20 million. For nearly a century, The Fairmont Copley Plaza has been a landmark in Copley Square and one of the premier social and corporate meeting locations in Boston. The restoration will include enhancements to the hotel's 383 guestrooms and Fairmont Gold Lounge, including new furniture, fixtures and equipment. Parker Torres, a Massachusetts-based international interior design and architectural firm specializing in hospitality design, will manage the project. The firm will incorporate the marble colors and hues of the public space into the guestrooms bringing elegant plum and blue color schemes into the guestrooms and suites. The effect in the guestrooms and corridors will be a design palette of quiet sophistication that leverages the hotel's rich history and Back Bay location while meeting the needs of today's sophisticated traveler. The Fairmont Copley Plaza will also be adding a new state-of-the-art fitness center on the roof of the building, which will include 2,400 square feet for machines and free weights, as well as a more than 700 square foot outdoor deck perfect for relaxing before or after a workout. The fitness center is scheduled to debut in August of 2011. The hotel's signature function space and elegant lobby will receive some enhancements as well. The project also includes upgrades to mechanical and electrical infrastructure, as well as heating ventilation & air-conditioning improvements, including a new sidewalk on the St. James Avenue façade of the building. "The projects currently underway and planned for The Fairmont Copley Plaza are exciting and will enhance the hotel's preeminent position in the marketplace," said Paul S. Tormey, regional vice president and general manager. "With our 100 year anniversary approaching, the timing is perfect. This investment in the hotel will ensure that The Fairmont Copley Plaza will shine more brightly than ever as we begin our next century of service." This restoration program will be thoughtfully phased to ensure that the hotel operation is not interrupted. The Fairmont Copley Plaza will remain open throughout the renovation. The guestroom part of the project will begin in the fourth quarter of 2011, and the hotel anticipates completion by the celebration on its centennial in summer 2012. The Fairmont Copley Plaza is owned by Texas-based FelCor Lodging Trust (NYSE: FCH), which owns interests in 82 properties with approximately 23,000 rooms in in the US and Canada. Parker/Torres Interior Design, whose past design projects have included The Willard in Washington, D.C., The St. Regis in New York, The Bentley in London and The Waldorf=Astoria. Colliers Meredith & Grew is the Project Manager and Suffolk Construction General Contractor for the first phase of work at the hotel. The project will employ over 200 construction trades people. Since its prestigious opening in 1912, The Fairmont Copley Plaza has stood as a landmark and symbol of Boston's tradition of culture, history, elegance and hospitality. Designed by Henry Janeway Hardenbergh, architect of The Copley Plaza's sister hotel, The Plaza in New York, as well as The Willard in Washington D.C. and The Dakota apartment building in New York, the palatial quality and opulent décor create the feeling of a bygone era and of life lived on a grand scale. The Fairmont Copley Plaza is at the heart of Boston - it remains a timeless haven where luxury and gracious service are a way of life. For more information, please visit or call (800) 441-1414. =30= Located in world-class destinations around the globe, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a celebrated collection of hotels that includes landmark locations like London's The Savoy, New York's The Plaza, and Shanghai's Fairmont Peace Hotel. With more than 60 hotels, Fairmont is known as much for its warm, engaging service and culturally rich experiences, as its classic hotels that imbue a sense of heritage, sophistication and social importance and are often considered destinations in their own right. A community and environmental leader, Fairmont is also regarded for its responsible tourism practices and award-winning Green Partnership program. Fairmont is owned by FRHI Holdings Limited, a leading global hotel company with over 100 hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont and Raffles branded estates and luxury private residence club properties. For more information or reservations, please call 1-800-441-1414 or visit # # # Tue, 15 Mar 2011 07:00:00 GMT Boston Children's Museum ranked #4 by parents magazine Media Contact: Jo-Anne Baxter, Tel: 617.426.6500 x246 Email: Boston Children's Museum ranked #4 by parents magazine Parents magazine names 10 best children's museums in the nation (Boston, MA) February 9, 2011-Parents magazine recently announced Boston Children's Museum (BCM) the No. 4 children's museum in the nation! The magazine revealed the exclusive findings from its 10 Best Children's Museums survey. "We are honored Boston Children's Museum has been recognized by Parents magazine as one of the top early museum experiences for children," said Carole Charnow, BCM President & CEO. "Our environment is informal, but our purpose is serious. We encourage imaginative and creative exploration that leads to new insight and discovery and, of course, fun!" said Charnow. Parents researched children's museums across the U.S. to identify those with clever educational exhibits, mommy-and-me outings and festivals, healthy places for lunch, nursing areas, family restrooms and stroller parking. Parents then worked with the 300-plus members of the Association of Children's Museums and eliminated those museums without a lot for kids under 3. Then, the magazine asked the remaining museums questions to help decide the leaders. After tallying the scores, Parents went to local moms to ask for insider tips. According to the Parents survey, the ten Best Children's Museums are: The Children's Museum of Houston The Children's Museum of Indianapolis Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia Boston Children's Museum Madison Children's Museum Kohl Children's Museum Children's Museum of Pittsburgh Children's Museum of Phoenix National Museum of Play, Rochester, NY Minnesota Children's Museum Boston Children's Museum pioneered the development of child-centered, interactive exhibitions, a model now used throughout the world to engage learners of all ages and all levels of knowledge and ability. For more information about all ten museums, go to About Parents: Parents, published monthly by Meredith Corporation, has been America's #1 family magazine for more than 80 years. Since its inception in 1926, it has been a trusted source by every generation of parents. Currently, the magazine is a powerful community of nearly 16 million readers devoted to supporting the efforts of parents, educators and other citizens who strive to make the world a better place for our children. Parents can be found online at About Boston Children's Museum Boston Children's Museum exists to help children understand and enjoy the world in which they live. It is a private, non-profit, educational institution that is recognized internationally as a research and development center and pacesetter for children's exhibitions, educational programs and curriculum. Boston Children's Museum incorporates two strategies - engaging families and building communities - to impact five outcome areas for children: Creative Kids, Curious Kids, Global Kids, Green Kids and Healthy Kids. More information about Boston Children's Museum can be found at Hours and Admission The Museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and Fridays until 9:00 p.m. Adults, $12, children (1-15) and senior citizens, $12; children under 12 months and Museum members are always free. Fridays 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., all visitors $1.   # # # Tue, 15 Feb 2011 07:00:00 GMT Royal Sonesta Hotel Announces $6 Million Guest Room Renovation Media Contact: Lorie Juliano, Corporate Director of Communication, Tel: 617.421.5429 Email: Royal Sonesta Hotel Announces $6 Million Guest Room Renovation BOSTON November 2010- 200 guest rooms at the Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston will be reinvented during the first quarter as the East Tower half of the building is renovated embracing a metro style. The rooms will be crafted to give a more residential feel, with multi-functional furnishings and a modern palate. The $6 million renovation will include upgrading the building control system to incorporate lighting; recreating the way the bath and room interrelate and will give a nod to the hotel's 1960's origins. When a guest arrives at the front desk, the property management system will set a "welcome scene" for your guest room. The HVAC system will begin warming or cooling the room; and the lighting will be warm and inviting as if the room is expecting you. If you leave your guest room, when you return the lighting will remember your last setting and turn on as you enter. The bathroom and bedroom have a much more residential feel, with LED motion sensor lighting under the bed and on the floor in the bath. There is ambient lighting behind the headboard which is almost a paneled wall above the bed. There are sconces throughout the room along with task lighting at the bed, makeup mirror and desk. Several custom designed case pieces offer comfort and storage. For instance; the luggage bench is upholstered and offers additional seating and storage, the armoire offers storage for the mini-bar, wall safe and coffeemaker. The bedside tables offer pull out shelves for more horizontal space in the room. The marble bathrooms offer a towel shelf and two glass shelves for guest amenities. The tub features a shelf and the surround showers (1/3 of the rooms) offer an over-sized bench. Surface mounted sliding doors offer more room in both the bath and guest room as there is no "swing" space for traditional doors. The rooms feature a dark accent wall circa 1960, with crown molding and wood wall base installed to match the design of the 200 guest rooms in the West Tower. The inspiration for the design was an updated classy mid-century look. There are textures and color but not pattern. Metallic threads are repeated in the bed skirt and scarf. King pillows and bolsters continue the rich feel of the bed. The model guest room image is available here. "The idea was to maximize the comfort and space available in a city hotel," said designer Monica Schlick of Quantics. "The room has a sense of serenity, simplicity and ease of mind that will really resonate with its guests." Located on the Cambridge side of Boston, the AAA 4-diamond 400-room Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston is situated on the banks of the Charles River, overlooking the spectacular Boston skyline. Guest amenities include 24-hour Health Club, atrium-style swimming pool, in-room movies and video games, complimentary wireless high-speed Internet access, and complimentary hotel shuttle service to shopping and points of interest in Boston and Cambridge. The hotel recently introduced ArtBar, a warm, intimate retreat for food and art lovers - featuring innovative seasonal American cuisine designed for discovery and for sharing, communal tables and seasonal outdoor patio. The hotel is also home to Restaurant dante - where owner/chef Dante DeMagistris presents fresh and creative cuisine with modern Italian influences. The hotel is conveniently located across the street from the CambridgeSide Galleria Mall with over 120 shops including Gap, Banana Republic, Macy's and the Apple Store, and next door to the Museum of Science. Sonesta Collection is a distinctive international collection of upscale hotels, resorts and cruise ships. Every property reflects the energy, style and spirit of its location. Locally-inspired and artfully-presented cuisine, luxurious accommodations and passionate personal service create an authentic and memorable guest experience. Discover the Sonesta Collection in Boston, New Orleans, Miami, Orlando, Sint Maarten (2), Brazil, Chile (3), Colombia (2), Peru (7), and Egypt (13). Opening soon in: Cartagena and Bogota, Colombia; Miami, FL; and San Carlos, Mexico. Visit,, or call 800.Sonesta (800.766.3782) in the U.S. and Canada. *High resolution images are available at for all Sonesta hotels. # # # Thu, 10 Feb 2011 07:00:00 GMT Westin Copley's $18M Renovation Boosts Hotel's Green Efforts Media Contact: Stacy Shreffler, Media Relations, Tel: 617-867-8203 Email: Boston Images for Media: BostonUSA Image Library Westin Copley's $18M Renovation Boosts Hotel's Green Efforts BOSTON, MA - In the early stages of an $18 million renovation project, one that will see a complete guestroom and corridor redesign, the 38-story, 803-room Westin Copley Place in Boston is preparing to add to its long list of environmental achievements. In 2010, the property earned Green Key and Green Seal certification, an Energy Star rating, and significantly reduced its energy consumption, water consumption and waste sent to landfill. The hotel's green team, which deserves much of the credit for the accomplishments, is led by Jeff Hanulec, director of engineering, an industry veteran constantly on the lookout for ways to improve operational efficiencies. Hanulec, who has been at the Westin Copley Place since 2007, recently provided Green Lodging News with charts documenting electricity, gas, steam (the hotel purchases high pressure steam from the city of Boston) and water consumption between January 2006 and November 2010. While consumption has varied each month because of occupancy changes, one can easily see dramatic improvements over time. In November 2006, for example, the hotel spent $198,566 on electricity; in November 2010 it spent just $104,373. In November 2006, gas costs were $33,177; in November 2010 those costs were $14,658. In November 2006, the hotel spent $36,694 on steam; in November 2010 it spent $19,740. In November 2006 water and sewer charges were $69,447; in November 2010 those charges amounted to $39,463. Total utility costs in November 2006 were $337,883; in November 2010 they dropped to $178,235 -- approaching a 50 percent reduction during a time when utility costs were rising. There are many investments and process changes that have resulted in the cost savings. Guestroom heating and cooling is controlled thanks to a guestroom energy management system, condensate from the high pressure steam purchased from the city of Boston is used to heat the hotel's loading dock area, new boiler controls have improved combustion efficiency by 6 percent, variable speed drives are used on electric motors, and mecho shades in guestrooms reduce solar heat gain in the summer. Lighting Upgrades Help In terms of lighting, the hotel, as part of its renovation, is adding LED lighting to headboards in guestrooms and corridor lighting has been upgraded to super T-8s. At the end of 2009, kitchens were upgraded to two-bulb fixtures from four-bulb fixtures without losing any light output. Compact fluorescent lights have replaced incandescent lights where possible and motion sensors and timers are used in linen closets. "We are looking at LED lighting for our lobby -- going from 65-watt bulbs to 13-watt," Hanulec says. In the kitchens variable-speed hood controllers help to save energy, water cooled ice machines and refrigerators have been upgraded to air cooled, and an efficient ware washing system reduces re-wash of a rack by 10 percent, reducing electricity consumption by nearly 15,000 kWh annually. As part of the renovation, all 3.5 gallon per flush (gpf) toilets are being replaced with high efficiency 1.1 gpf models. Hanulec says he tested four different toilets in four different rooms -- including two dual flush toilets -- and opted for the standard 1.1 gpf. "People did not understand the button [for the dual flush]," Hanulec says. To further reduce water consumption on the property, guestroom bathrooms that previously had two showerheads are getting one 2.5 gallon per minute fixture. Pre-rinse spray valves are used in the kitchen, aerators are used in the kitchen and guestrooms, and six waterless urinals are on property. Renovation Waste Recycled All of the waste currently being generated through the renovation is being recycled. The porcelain from the old toilets will end up in asphalt, Hanulec says. As of mid-December, the hotel had prevented 129 tons of materials from going to the landfill through recycling. That is an increase of 29 percent from 2009. The Westin Copley Place now uses single-stream recycling. Cardboard, plastic, metals, light bulbs, batteries, computer equipment, pallets, ballasts and other items are all recycled. A food waste decomposition system is eliminating up to 10 tons of food waste each month and fryer oil is sent off site where it is recycled into bio-fuel. The Westin Copley Place's laundry is done off site but two programs help the hotel reduce its laundry-related impact: a towel and linen program, and a Make a Green Choice program which allows guests to opt out of housekeeping entirely in exchange for loyalty points or a food voucher. Hanulec says about 5 percent to 9 percent of guests participate in Make a Green Choice. To help improve air quality and guest and staff safety at the 100 percent nonsmoking hotel, all cleaning chemicals are being changed over to Green Seal approved products. As mentioned, the hotel's green team, led by Hanulec, has been instrumental in leading and carrying out green initiatives. The green team meets every four to six weeks with most departments represented. Between meetings, the team corresponds frequently by e-mail. Renovation of the Westin Copley Place -- its fourth since its establishment in 1983, is scheduled to be completed by mid-April. # # # Thu, 10 Feb 2011 07:00:00 GMT Visionary Cape Cod Hotel Owners Select Beaumont Solar to Implement Revolutionary Solar Technology at January 17, 2011 (Hyannis, MA)Jan Daale and Peter Martino, the visionary owners of The Heritage House Hotel and CHAUNCY's Bar & Grille, are about to achieve two milestones on Cape Cod; leadership in lodging on the Cape by being the first Hotel to power with solar electricity, and by demonstrating clear vision by deploying a new, revolutionary form of solar technology, also a first on Cape Cod. Beaumont Solar, New Bedford, Ma will install 464 patented Solyndra 200 series solar panels on the roof of the building at the Main Street, Hyannis hotel and restaurant. These US manufactured panels are formed by a series of thin tubes to achieve production over a 360-degree photovoltaic (PV) module surface. It's ground-breaking solar technology designed for the highest kilowatt hour production, ease of installation through non-penetration and superior sustainability with respect to wind-zones, snow and soil performance. "At Beaumont Solar we always strive to implement the best technology which yields the highest performance. With energy yield of 99% of optimum, non- ballasted, non penetration, 130 mph wind rating, and self tracking we feel Solyndra technology is superior. We applaud the Heritage House Hotel for having the vision to lead by being the first Hotel on Cape Cod to implement this solution by selecting Beaumont Solar and Solyndra." said Phillip Cavallo, President and CEO of Beaumont Solar Company. Installation of the 92.8kW solar system will begin by laying down a white roof or "cool" roof, which when used in combination with the cylindrical design of Solyndra panels, allows a PV system to absorb not only direct and diffused sunlight, but reflective sunlight from the underneath. This reflecting of the sun off of the roof "cools" the roof at the same time for the added bonus of energy conservation. This enables the Heritage House Hotel to conserve energy while producing energy. "We are very pleased to be making an investment in the local Main Street Waterfront District of Hyannis, while being responsible environmentally as we move forward in our process of becoming a green hotel," said owners Jan Daale and Peter Martino. The 92.8 kW system will produce 110,103kWhr/yr of electricity. This production will annually offset some 144,734 pounds of carbon dioxide, equal to nearly 7,400 gallons of gasoline each year (about 153 barrels of oil), or the electricity used by 20 households per year. There will be a monitoring station set up in the lobby of the Heritage House Hotel so guests can view real-time energy production of the system as it happens. For more information on this unique and innovative property, please contact Peter Martino, co-owner of the Heritage House Hotel and CHAUNCY's Bar & Grille at or (508) 775-7000. Additional information can be obtained through Frank Carotenuto, Cape Cod Regional Manager for Beaumont Solar at or (508) 245-5952. About The Heritage House Hotel and CHAUNCY's Bar & Grille The 143 room Heritage House Hotel and 152 seat CHAUNCY'S Bar & Grille have been the anchor on the east end of Main Street in Hyannis since 1968. The current owners have spent millions of dollars in upgrades and refurbishment of the property since they purchased it in 1999. The Hotel is a AAA Three Diamond Hotel which runs full service seasonally and Functions, Weddings, and Meetings on a year-round basis. We are currently in the middle of our winter renovation projects whose completions will be right about the same time as the Re-Opening on March 25, 2011. About Beaumont Solar Company The Beaumont Solar Company, based in New Bedford, MA, has been developing with renewable energy projects for the past five years - we are a full service company with our base roots in sign design, manufacturing, and installation. Unlike other solar companies, Beaumont Solar has large facilities, infrastructure, core project management competency, capital equipment, trained staff, and discipline which makes the company uniquely suited for all types of solar system implementations. We are currently offering large scale commercial and smaller scale residential solar solutions, in both solar PV and solar thermal.   ### Thu, 27 Jan 2011 07:00:00 GMT