Omni’s latest acquisition, the Montelucia Resort & Spa, is known as a Mediterranean oasis in the desert with good reason. The 5-year-old property’s Spanish Andalusia-infused architecture, intriguing position in Paradise Valley near Scottsdale and modern luxury meeting spaces are a regular draw for corporate, pharma and sport’s meetings. The resort marks Omni’s sixth grab from KSL Capital Partners since last July. Yes, the things that make you go “hmmm…” Ed Netzhammer, Omni’s VP of operations assures us there is no underlying conspiracy but still a good bit hoopla and plenty of food for thought.
“We looked at Montelucia before KSL after getting a lot of feedback from meeting planners who wanted an Omni in Scottsdale—and we wanted to be in Scottsdale. For a 300-room hotel, Montelucia’s 100,000-sf functional/meeting space, exquisite design and beautiful Camelback Mountain and Sonoran Desert backdrop was a great fit.”
The Montelucia was one of many businesses in Paradise Valley hit hard by the global recession back in 2008. Much of the positive bounce-back can be credited to the Scottsdale CVB, whose robust multi-layered marketing campaigns (including close to 1 million free rooms, meals and activities provided by CVB members, a digital makeover of the website that resulted in $87.7 million in online revenue, and the decorating of three New York subway cars with sweeping Scottsdale imagery) helped bring the area back to grace.
“We’re here long term and Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa Montelucia is a great place to hold meetings,” Ed reassures. “With highly customizable programs, great service and a team ready to drive the purpose of your meeting or incentive, there’s no better place.” Ed backs this up by mentioning “engage!13,” a luxury wedding business summit held at the resort this past December by Engaging Concepts, an international wedding strategy consulting firm. All of Omni’s recent additions (Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa, Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, Omni Ranchos Las Palmas Resort & Spa, The Omni Grove Park Inn and the Omni Homestead Resort) including Monetlucia are prized as iconic leisure destinations, a generalization that Ed hopes will change as more MICE industry professionals continue to explore Omni’s meeting’s side.
Perusing through Montelucia’s 29,000 sf of indoor meeting space it’s easy to see the potential. Most fetching are the Castillo Lucena, Alhambra and Valencia ballrooms, Granada Boardroom & Parlour and Camelback Villa, all of which ooze 16th century Lucena, Spain in varying degrees. But don’t let the bathwater-like warmth of the colors and decor and Old World vibe pull the wool over your eyes—the spaces are also tech and service driven.
Ed says all of Omni’s recent portfolio additions come with an Experience Planner Department that helps customize experiences that “meet or exceed planner expectations,” from hashing out bare knuckle logistics to helping planners get the most out of onsite restaurants, amenities and activities—a gamut so extensive, leaving the resort is really optional. The Moroccan-inspired Joya Spa receives roughly 26,000 calls annually and Omni chefs go through a culinary bootcamp across the boards. “People rate you higher and have more loyalty based on food and beverage experiences,” Ed remarks, and Omni’s Director of Food & Beverage, David Morgan agrees.
“Every year we do a ‘Flavors of the World’ campaign to provide guests with an authentic international experience. Training is currently underway in Washington State where some of the best wines in the world are made.” The campaign entices guests to “travel the world in just one bite,” though it is unlikely one bite will be enough.
Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa is currently in its introductory stage with no major renovation plans. The property will be marketed under Omni’s leisure/meetings schema.