GAINESVILLE, Fla., Nov. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The 205-room DoubleTree by Hilton celebrated the official grand opening event in style with a tailgate-themed party featuring the University of Florida's cheerleaders and dazzlers. Guests, local dignitaries and Hilton Worldwide executives were joined by Ken Ferretti, vice president at CrossHarbor Capital Partners; Steve Johnson, executive vice president of Driftwood Hospitality Management; and Dennis Morgan, director of brand performance for Hilton Worldwide, to help officially welcome the hotel to Gainesville.
"We're excited to offer a hospitality, bar and dining experience unlike anything else in Gainesville," said Ken Ferretti, vice president at CrossHarbor Capital Partners, who led the redevelopment. In 2015, CrossHarbor acquired the property - formerly known as the independently-flagged Cabot Lodge, and successfully led the transformative process to fully redesign, renovate and convert the property to DoubleTree by Hilton. Driftwood Hospitality Management will be the hotel manager.
"We were fortunate to have the opportunity to start with a blank slate and design a hotel that would excite and attract guests and give them a reason to call us home. With the hard work of Connor & Gaskins, (general contractor), DLR (architect) and PDSI (construction manager), we are thrilled with the hotel and guest experience we have created here in Gainesville."
To introduce the community to the property, the hotel hosted an evening cocktail reception with live DJ, champagne toast, hors d'oeuvres and the spirit of the University of Florida cheerleaders and dazzlers. Wednesday's occasion gave attendees the opportunity to tour the hotel and experience first-hand the atrium-style lobby and bar area and outdoor courtyard space ideal for social events and corporate meetings – where guests may unwind over a variety of beers and cocktails, while watching sports on the 12-foot-wide TV wall.
Each attendee received a "playbook" to be stamped in seven different rooms throughout the tour – signifying a touchdown scored at the end and further connecting the event to its tailgate theme. Guests also participated in a raffle, raising more than $500 for the University of Florida's Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, in return for the chance to win prizes provided by the hotel.
With an academic and Gator-theme woven throughout the fully-renovated, 205-room contemporary hotel is the first in Gainesville for DoubleTree by Hilton – one of Hilton's (NYSE: HLT) 13 market-leading brands. Ideally situated just two miles from the nearby university campus and UF Health hospital, DoubleTree by Hilton Gainesville is a short walk from shops at Butler Plaza and offers convenient access to I-75 and Archer Road.
Each spacious and newly-renovated guest room has fashionable décor that is both charming and functional. Rooms are furnished with a large, 50" HDTV, guest baths featuring granite stone tops, subway tile showers and DoubleTree Sweet Dreams® Sleep Experience beds. The property also houses Fodder and Shine – the hotel's casual rustic restaurant.
In addition to the iconic warm Chocolate Chip Cookie welcome, the hotel provides a full complement of services and brand amenities, including the Wake-Up DoubleTree Breakfast, an assortment of gourmet in-room tea and coffee offerings by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® and a refreshing array of the Aroma Actives Essentials natural skin and body care line.
The property is also a preferred hotel provider of the Florida Gators and all games and events will be shown live.
About CrossHarbor Capital Partners LLC CrossHarbor Capital Partners LLC (CrossHarbor), based in Boston and with offices in Newport Beach, is an alternative investment management firm that invests in core-plus, value-add and opportunistic commercial real estate transactions. The firm seeks short and medium duration debt and equity investments that offer a compelling case for generating high absolute returns. CrossHarbor was founded in 1993 and has invested in more than $12 billion of commercial real estate on behalf of a diversified and highly regarded group of endowments, foundations, public and corporate pension plans, financial institutions, family offices and sovereign entities. For more information, visit www.crossharborcapital.com.
About Driftwood Hospitality Management Driftwood Hospitality Management is a leading hotel management company currently operating approximately 40 hotels with more than 8,000 rooms throughout the United States and Costa Rica. The company's portfolio includes a broad cross-section of branded hotels ranging from large full-service to mid-size, extended stay and limited-service properties, as well as independent hotels, boutiques and resorts. Members of the company's senior management team have an average of 20 years of experience in all segments of the lodging industry and have proven highly successful in the development of new hotels and hotel takeovers, as well as re-positioning and optimization of hotel operations. Driftwood has extensive management experience and relationships with most major brands, including Hilton Worldwide, Marriott International, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, InterContinental Hotels Group, Inc., Choice Hotels International, Inc. and Wyndham Worldwide, and has successful cultivated long-term relationships with some of the most renowned institutional investors and banking institutions in the world.
About DoubleTree by Hilton DoubleTree by Hilton is a fast-growing, global collection of more than 465 upscale hotels with more than 112,000 rooms in gateway cities, metropolitan areas and vacation destinations across six continents. Everything about DoubleTree by Hilton aims to return the human touch to travel, starting with the presentation of a warm chocolate chip cookie upon arrival and continuing throughout with Team Members dedicated to Creating a Rewarding Experience (CARE) for hotel guests, other Team Members and the communities the brand proudly serves. DoubleTree by Hilton properties offer unique, contemporary accommodations and full-service facilities including restaurants and lounges, room service, health clubs, business centers and meeting and banquet space. Hilton HHonors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels receive instant benefits, including an exclusive member discount that can't be found anywhere else, free standard Wi-Fi and digital amenities like digital check-in with room selection and Digital Key (selected locations) available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton HHonors app. To make reservations at any DoubleTree by Hilton hotel, travelers may visit our brand website at doubletree.com. Social media users may connect with us at facebook.com/doubletree, twitter.com/doubletree and youtube.com/doubletreehotels. Reporters and bloggers may visit our DoubleTree by Hilton Global Media Center at news.doubletree.com for more information.
About Hilton Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, comprising more than 4,700 managed, franchised, owned and leased hotels and timeshare properties with over 775,000 rooms in 104 countries and territories. For 97 years, Hilton has been dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences. The company's portfolio of 13 world-class global brands includes Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio - A Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton HHonors®. Hilton HHonors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to benefits including an exclusive member discount, free standard Wi-Fi, as well as digital amenities that are available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton HHonors app, where Hilton HHonors members can check-in, choose their room, and access their room using a Digital Key. Visit news.hiltonworldwide.com for more information and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn and Instagram.