While it’s yet to be determined what affects IHG’s acquisition of Kimpton in late 2015 will have on group programming, Kimpton remains a big player in the boutique hotel segment. The newly opened Taconic Hotel in Manchester, Vt., named for the area’s Taconic Mountains, is one case in point. Drawing from Vermont’s grand inns of the 19th and early 20th centuries, the 4-star hotel’s bygone era spirit is already capturing corporate and incentive groups in numerous ways. Greeted by gracious hospitality and classic clapboard architecture, groups can settle in at the 110-seat tavern and its wraparound porch for local craft beer tastings or an icebreaker dinner exploring Vermont’s farm-to-fork culinary traditions. Another option is the 2,800-sf ballroom and solarium—part of the hotel’s 9,600 sf of meeting space—which open toward a terrace and private event lawn with lush arbor vitae and honey locust trees. Eighty-seven guest rooms and cottages maintain this breezy, gracious atmosphere through earthy tones, plush bedding, clawfoot soaking tubs and local art, not to mention expansive mountain views (and perhaps a covered bridge or two in the distance).
Close proximity to two award-winning ski resorts is just part of the equation in terms of outdoor group activities. The hotel’s event staff takes pride in curating group experiences—from hikes to secret swimming holes and waterfalls to the best fly fishing spots on the Battenkill. Local immersive experiences such as art workshops, antique shopping, visits to local farms and orchards, and exploring nature in countless ways also abound; just ask.
Equally evocative, the Hotel Monaco, a 248-room design-driven Kimpton hotel close to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center and Cultural District in downtown Pittsburgh, also opened late last year. The hotel’s rich color palette of green, red and gold, and bold accents—consider a bedside chandelier ensconced in a golden birdcage—inspire curiosity and creativity. The spa comes to you here, where in-room treatments feature wild-crafted, natural and organic ingredients. Hotel Monaco feeds off of Pittsburgh’s social vibe, currently buzzing with start-ups, by offering 11,300 sf of meeting space that strikes a balance between swagger and smarts. Fine wine, served with a twisty straw? But of course. The hotel’s 9th Floor Rialto Suite has rooftop access for events that need a little “wow,” and a 2,337-sf ballroom gussies the place up for formal events, with its original Beaux-Arts ceiling and 13-foot chandeliers.
Kimpton was busy overall in 2015, also adding hotels to Austin, Seattle, Huntington Beach, San Francisco and Washington. On the horizon, new hotels are booking in Cleveland, Winston-Salem and Washington. The Grand Cayman is getting its first Kimpton (and first boutique) this winter.