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A Charitable Perspective

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It seems that as the weather changes and the leaves begin to fall from the tree, people’s mindset of importance changes.  From carefree, sun-soaked days on the beach to overcast weekends, cuddled up with loved ones indoors, the very season shift calls for a sense of unity, togetherness and warmth.  Maybe this is why people seem to be more in the holiday spirit of giving;  maybe it’s because of the Christmas trees and decorations that are sold in Costco, all over America, the day after Labor Day each year.  Whatever the reason, one fact remains.  This time of the year, people are in the holiday spirit and a more charitable than other times of the year.
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Well, whatever the reason, we share the same sentiment at BLVD Hotels.  To date, we have participated in a handful of non-profits and foundations, including the recent 2015 Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles.  And, even though we have participated in charitable organizations all year-long, we really ramp things up in the fall/winter.  As a brand, we feel that it is important to be a great neighbor and contributing to the communities where we reside comes second nature to us

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This very month, we are continuing our efforts with the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  We have a room package that allows guest a discount in room rate, while also contributing to the wonderful cause seeking to end Breast Cancer.  Last year was the first year of our participation with the Susan G. Komen Foundation and we were thrilled by the support and enthusiasm we felt from our guest.  So much so, we decided to make this a yearly package.
Komen logo for CMS

Next month, we continue year two of our efforts for Movember US.  Similar to Susan G. Komen Foundation, we have a package that raises funds and awareness for our hotel guest.  The man difference though, is that a lot of our hotel staff participates in the Movember US cause by shaving their beards and growing a mean stache for the month.  The cause fights to “change the face of men’s health”, and we gladly oblige.
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In December, we cap our year of charitable endeavors with our partnership with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.  In this campaign, we have both a room package and an opportunity to complete a donation for a paper butterfly that will be displayed in the lobby of our hotels.  The goal, as always, is to raise funds and awareness for the great impact that CHLA is making on a regular basis CHLA-Butterfly-Logo-RGB-450x245

We hope that you will join us in the final quarter of the year and be apart of our fight to support great cause throughout our community.  At the BLVD Hotels, we feel that charitable and philanthropic efforts are a 365 days commitment.  We look forward to you participating with us and thank you for your contribution.

On the Horizon

As a brand, we strive to provide our guest with an environment where they can Live Beyond Expectations™.  From our rooms to customer service, we take great detail to ensure our guest needs are met.  Understandably, as our customer-base is diverse, so too are the needs of our guest.  We try and meet that need by providing our guest with outlets to share their experiences with us throughout their stay.

On the horizon, we are outfitting our rooms with an interactive tablet that will allow guest to order food, drinks, movies and hotel amenities.  Furthermore, these tablets will allow guest to interface with the hotel in real-time, assuring that their needs are met on a more timely fashion.

When you travel, what are some ways that you liketo connect with your hotel.  We are always trying to align our resources with customer needs.

 

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New Year – New you?

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Every year around this time, millions of people around the world make concessions of their prior year shortcomings.  Maybe you meant to lose weight, read more, spend more time with family or travel more; or, maybe your goal was more service related.  Whatever the concession and past missed goal, it is just that – the past.

There is a school of thought that likes to look at a calendar year in sections.  The believe is to live your life, and year, in quarters.  If it works for business finance, why can’t it work for our own personal lives, right?  In doing this, you take the year in 3-month clumps and set up many short, measurable goals.  Not only will this make the daunting task of having a successful year possible, but it will also give you a much shorter path to focus on.

So, how does one go about fashioning a quarter system to their year?  You start by deciding on categories to focus on.  For example, you may want to focus on: health and wellness, finances, career, relationships.  From there. you identify goals for the year – your “new year’s resolutions” if you will.  Once you identify those, you drill down a bit further to a few steps necessary to achieve them.  Those steps will be what you divide up into the individual quarters of the year.  Seems simple enough right?  But, what does it look like in action?

What if my your goal is to lose 40 pounds in 2016?  

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You already know that means that you would need to lose an average of 10 pounds a quarter, or every 3 months.  Additionally, looking into it deeper, you would need to have goals related to diet, exercise and rest.  So your 4-quarter plan may look a little like this.

Quarter 1

  1. Reduce eating sweets, alcohol and fried foods
  2. Walk/run a mile daily
  3. Eat more fruits and vegetables, daily
  4. Replace water with juice or soda, when possible

Quarter 2

  1. Eliminate all fried foods
  2. Increase walk/run distance to 1.25 miles
  3. Have a fruit/vegetable snack twice a day
  4. Severely reduce alcohol intake

Quarter 3

  1. Limit yourself to sweets, once a month
  2. Mix cardio with a weight workout
  3. Replace a meal with a healthy and hearty salad
  4. Start to look for new cloths

Quarter 4

  1. Reassess the healthy foods you enjoy eating and add more to your diet
  2. Alternate days of cardio and weights
  3. Buy a new wardrobe
  4. Adjust your fitness goals to focus on maintenance for 2017

This type of thinking can be applied to anything.  If traveling more is your 2016 goal, the same principles apply.  Think about utilizing this method in planning your 2016 resolutions and you will be sure to find more success and longevity in them, then past years.  Happy pursuit and remember…BLVD Hotels wants you to always Live Beyond Expectations™.  May everyday in 2016 be the best of your yesterdays and the worst of your tomorrows.

The Meaning of “Special” in the Olympics World Games

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As the 2015 Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles have begun, I am overcome by the many images of courage, triumph, success and joy.  What a great honor it is to represent yourself, your family and your country.  With 6,500 athletes and 2,000 coaches representing 165 countries, along with 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators, the 2015 Special Olympics World Games is the largest sports and humanitarian event this year.  So, what is it about the Special Olympics that makes it so “special”?

We recently attended the California Dreaming – Host City event for the delegates from Cuba and the Czech Republic at the CBS Studio Lot in Studio City, CA.  This event was filled with athletes, coaches and support families for both countries, as well as food, drinks and entertainment.  Overall, the event was great and proved to be the best taste of the city that the delegates got before the games began.  In and of itself, there was more than enough proof as to why the Special Olympics are so “special”.  However, it was an interaction that I had with two gentlemen (pictured below) that changed my night and my whole outlook on what makes the Special Olympics so wonderful.

Herbert Jefferson Jr.

The gentleman to the left is Herbert Jefferson Jr.  He is an actor that has starred in roles such as, Battlestar Galactica, Apollo 13 and Outbreak.  However, according to him, “Acting is what I do, this [Special Olympics volunteering] is who I am”.  What a powerful sentiment, and one that he has definitely supported with action.  As he mentioned to me, this year marks his 42nd year volunteering with the Special Olympics.  He has participated on every level imaginable and does so because of the beautiful simplicity of those he affects.  “The athlete’s love what they do and their interaction with you.  It warms my heart each time I have another encounter”.  He then proceeded to introduce me to the Czech Republic Coach, who is a brilliant man himself.  He has coached for over 2 decades and trains athletes in over 5 events.  He thanked me for speaking with him, being welcoming to his athletes and supporting the games.  We spoke for about 15 minutes in total and ended our conversation as more of long lost friend, rather than stranger who have just met.  Oh, and English was definitely not his first language, though you would never know it from hearing him speak.  You could tell that he not only learned multiple languages, but also took great pride in being proficient in them.

It was then that it completely hit me.  I know exactly what it is that makes the Special Olympics so very special.

Throughout the remainder of that night and the days following that led up to the Opening Ceremony, I went out of my way to connect with the delegates I came across on a deeper level.  Many of them had never been out of their town or state, let alone the country.  Most, if not all, had huge aspirations for the games, as well as their life as a whole.  It was quite beautiful to see their eyes light up when the conversation went beyond a simple hello.  How simple, yet beautiful.  After all, the Cuban delegates were making history.  Had these games been just a year sooner, there would be no representation present.  The Special Olympics is all about what is still right and beautiful in the world.  Companionship, support, sportsmanship, unity and celebration all embody the very essence of the Special Olympics World Games.  It’s not all about winning and losing, though the athletes are definitely trying to win, but rather the connection and elevation of humanity that is taking place with every event, every day and with every athlete.

BLVD HOTELS AND 2015 SPECIAL OLYMPICS WORLD GAMES PARTNER

BLVD Hotels Partners with 2 Host Cities for LA2015

BLVD Hotels, a family of boutique hotels, closed the first half of 2015 with great momentum.  Not only did BLVD Hotels have great occupancy through the first quarters of the year, but the brand collective also saw the continued momentum of a very strong charitable campaign season – a season that saw funds and awareness raised for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Susan G Komen Foundation, Movember US and the Festival of Giving through Studio City’s Annual Winter Family Festival in the past 6 months.  The philanthropic endeavors are continuing with the brand’s latest supportive partnership with the 2015 Special Olympics World Games.

The games, which are hosted in Los Angeles will be the largest event in the county since the 1984 Olympics were hosted here.  Furthermore the:

2015 Special Olympics World Games, the sporting event with 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 countries, along with 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators – being staged in Los Angeles July 25-August 2, 2015 – will be the largest sports and humanitarian event anywhere in the world in 2015, and the single biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games. The 2015 Special Olympics World Games, with the unparalleled spirit, enthusiasm, teamwork, joy and displays of courage and skill that are hallmarks of all Special Olympics events, will feature 25 Olympic-style sports in venues throughout the Los Angeles region. The Opening Ceremony, to be held July 25, 2015 in the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, site of the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games, is expected to attract 80,000 spectators. On April 30, 2014, LA2015 and ESPN announced a global programming deal that will see ESPN bring coverage of World Games to millions of fans around the world. Honorary Chairs of the Games are President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and California Governor Jerry Brown serving as Honorary Hosts. ~LA2015.org 

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Being a brand that has a passion towards charitable and philanthropic endeavors, BLVD Hotels joined the Special Olympics World Games as a sponsor.  In the city of two of its locations, Studio City and Costa Mesa, BLVD Hotel & Spa and BLVD Hotel, respectively, are participating with the local host city.  Their sponsorship, which is a combination of financial and in-kind donations, supports the athletes, coaches and delegates in each of the host city.  Special events are taking place for the hosted countries’ athletes, hailing from Czech Republic & Cuba (host city Studio City) and Aruba & Bahamas (host city Costa Mesa).  The in-kind donations will be distributed to the athletes, delegates and coaches as these events, as well as opportunities for interaction between athletes, volunteers and city residents.

We take great pride in our charitable efforts and do our best to align our resources with worthy cause.  In looking at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, I don’t think there is a cause that speaks more to the family-friendly, community-minded outlook we have as a brand.  We are all avid fans of these athletes and their pursuit of greatness and are very proud to say that we are a partner with them.  – Colin Diaz, Director of PR, BLVD Hotels

 Overall, we are excited about “supporting the world’s most courageous and inspiring athletes as they journey to Los Angeles… to compete in the largest sports and humanitarian event ever, The Special Olympics World Games 2015 in Los Angeles (LA2015)”.

About BLVD Hotels

In 2011, BLVD Hotels opened its first location with BLVD Hotel & Spa in Studio City, CA.  Located on historic Ventura Blvd., the hotel has the intimate appeal of a boutique hotel with California-cool characteristics.  Its prime location in Studio City makes attractions like Universal Studios Hollywood and the Los Angeles Metro Station walking distance away, and close proximity to all business centers in the Southland.  In the following years, BLVD Hotels boutique family opened two more location, BLVD Hotel & Suites (2012) in Hollywood, CA which is located near Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood Blvd., and Sunset Blvd and BLVD Hotel (2013) in Costa Mesa, CA which is located near John Wayne Airport, South Coast Plaza, OC Fairgrounds and Event Center and the beautiful beaches of Orange County.

BLVD Hotels properties are trendy up-scale boutique hotels with current Southern California locations in Studio City, Hollywood and Costa Mesa. The allure and feel flow through the staff, guestrooms and social commons. With a welcoming and familiar vibe mingling throughout, the hotels pride itself on making every guest stay memorable and one of a kind. It’s one of the reasons the BLVD Hotels exudes Live Beyond Expectation™ experiences.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Colin Diaz at 949.682.8604 or email at pr@blvdhotels.com.

4 Summer Fun Tips

According to a Glassdoor survey, Americans took advantage of only about half of their paid vacation last year.  This is an alarming statistic, considering how much people love taking vacation.  So, whether this was attributed to timing, cost, or an overall combination of other factors, vacations have been few and far between.
So, when you do actually decide that its time to hit the road and head on vacation.  It’s important to ensure that you are getting the best bang for your buck.  After All, vacations are the things that memories are made of.  Wouldn’t you rather yours be enjoyable ones?  Below is a short list of summer fun tips.  These are things to keep in mind, as you go about enjoying your fun in the sun.
1. When you book matters…
An Expedia report shows that booking a flight on Tuesday yields the best fares and that you can save about 20% by leaving on Thursday rather than Friday and returning on Monday instead of Saturday.  Remember, however, that with prices changing minute by minute and second by second, this isn’t an exact science.
2. Pack smart, from the start
Don’t buy into the hype around vacuum sealing. Instead, use gallon-sized Ziploc bags to pack your clothing – either by outfit or

by type of rolled item (tanks, T-shirts, dresses) – to achieve the same effect. Toss in a stack of dryer sheets to remove any static cling, and you’re good to go.
3. Take it easy, on vacation
Be sure to build a rest day into your vacation. There will be times when you feel burned out and will want to relax.  Be sure to do so.  There is nothing worse than coming back from vacation burnt out.  Rigid schedules are waiting for you back home

4. Cash is king, credit is security

As anyone’s who’s ever gawked at their credit-card bill can confirm, people spend 12 to 18% more on average when using credit cards as opposed to cash. Instead of this, budget out a daily allowance for the things you want to do.  If you end up near the end of your daily budget, you’ll know to slow down a bit.  This will help you manage your vacation budget, while also giving you peace of mind.  With that being said, however, it’s always smart to bring an emergency card just in case.  You never can be completely sure of what expenses might pop up.
So, whether your travels take you foreign, domestic or some combination of the two, trust in knowing that a vacation planned well is a well-planned vacation.  We look forward to hearing your upcoming stories of travel and hope you choose to stay with BLVD Hotels on future trips.

About BLVD Hotels

In 2011, BLVD Hotels opened its first location with BLVD Hotel & Spa in Studio City, CA.  Located on historic Ventura Blvd., the hotel has the intimate appeal of a boutique hotel with California-cool characteristics.  Its prime location in Studio City makes attractions like Universal Studios Hollywoodand the Los Angeles Metro Station walking distance away, and close proximity to all business centers in the Southland.  In the following years, BLVD Hotels boutique family opened two more location, BLVD Hotel & Suites (2012) in Hollywood, CA which is located near Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood Blvd., and Sunset Blvd and BLVD Hotel (2013) in Costa Mesa, CA which is located near John Wayne AirportSouth Coast Plaza, OC Fairgrounds and Event Center, Disneyland and the beautiful beaches of Orange County.

BLVD Hotels properties are trendy up-scale boutique hotels with current Southern California locations in Studio City, Hollywood and Costa Mesa. The allure and feel flow through the staff, guestrooms and social commons. With a welcoming and familiar vibe mingling throughout, the hotels pride itself on making every guest stay memorable and one of a kind. It’s one of the reasons the BLVD Hotels exudes Live Beyond Expectation™ experiences.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Colin Diaz at 949.682.8604 or email at pr@blvdhotels.com.

Splash Lounge will refresh it’s guests

BLVD Hotel in Costa Mesa, the 3rd of the BLVD Hotels family of boutique hotels, has been going through a renovation to it’s lobby.  The construction, set to be done later in 2015, will produce a beer & wine lounge named Splash Lounge.  As the lounge continues to develop, guest staying with the hotel have an opportunity to enjoy the open floor plan.

1 Close up lounge shot Lounge Seating

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