Choice Hotels Ascends to New Heights
When Hurricane Sandy struck, no one believed there would be such devastation. True heroes rose during that time and the travel industry was put to the test. Fleeing residents were welcomed to local hotels and exceptions were made everywhere, from accepting pets to making school lunches. I found myself in the middle of Sandy’s wrath with a both family and friends in New York and New Jersey. My daughter lives in Long Island and I witnessed the long gas lines, boarded-up stores, power outages and totally booked hotels. While searching for shelter for my family I met a truly remarkable man Peter Reyes, the General Manager of Hotel de Point in Flushing , NY.
Peter notified us immediately when the online booking sites were confirming reservations for already fully booked hotels, thereby standing travelers who arrived at hotels to find no rooms available. More disturbing was that some sites appeared to be price gouging as well. They say good comes comes from bad and that was the case with my meeting Peter, who sent out of his way to assure his hotel guests were well cared for.
Choice Hotel Chain has launched a new upscale property line with a twist, The Ascend Collection. In an effort to connect travelers with culture and community, the Ascend Collection offers luxury upscale properties that reflect the community location. The Flushing New York property, Hotel de Point, is attached to an ethnic supermarket and will soon have a full fitness center. Upon stepping off the elevator you enter a tranquil lobby complete with fireplace and vast lounging area. The rooms are extremely modern and fashioned after numerous Parisian hotels. According to Peter, “Each Hotel is uniquely different, embracing the culture of the community, and all properties offer the same high standards of service”. The Hotel de Point is offering some wonderful winter packages for anyone who is headed to NY. Flushing is a quick train ride into the city. Having had the pleasure of staying in this property I can personally vouch for the wonderful service and the heavenly rooms. High ceilings and windows give openness to the room and the bathroom is state of the art. The hotel was completely booked during my stay and yet I did not hear a sound.
I also want to applaud the Doral Arrowwood in Rye, NY . I have stayed here many times, but what I saw after Hurricane Sandy touched my heart. They opened their doors to local families and overlooked their “no pet” policy. Children had lunches prepared for school and their goal was providing comfort as well as shelter for their guests. For calmer times, The Doral has a large conference center sitting on a beautiful golf course and is a great place for a summer visit.
A special thank you goes to all the hotels that opened their doors and hearts during a most difficult time. It is easy to report on wonderful hotels and travel when everything is calm and good, but it is commendable when those properties stepped up in a very difficult time. I was very impressed with the Ascend Collection Hotel, and if all the general managers are as kind as Peter Reyes, your stay will feel like home.