“Only The Best”

Mark your Calenders! The Second Annual Only the Best Bridal Show is back at The National Museum of Dance on November 7th, 2010.  This event, from 1-4pm will feature top notch vendors from all around the area.  Be sure to check it out, we’ll see you there!

Fun Find: Maptotes

I came across this on The Knot and just loved it!  Maptotes are canvas bags (reusable!) that literally have maps printed on the front of them, and they come in a variety of cities.  No Saratoga yet, but who’s to say you couldn’t make one?  Or contact the company to see if they will customize one?

When I saw this, the first thing I thought was Guest Bags!! Remember this post? How great would this be because it doubles as a map!! I LOVE this idea, everyone can always use more reusable canvas totes, and this saves you from printing maps on paper, and saves trees! Plus they’re cute! Also, they can double as a favor for your guests!

Hotel Highlight: The Hilton Garden Inn

The first time I met Jason Bretz from the Hilton Garden Inn he was stopping in to Saratoga National to bring us chocolate chip cookies-needless to say I knew right from the start that we would be pals.  I then had the privilege of meeting with him again at the Hilton Garden Inn just prior to the Holidays.  Jason and his team have always been fabulous to our couples so I wanted to get the inside scoop on the hotel and everything they have to offer.  Here is what I found…

Location Location Location

Located right on Broadway you just can’t get any better than this for you and your guests.  You are just a stone’s throw away from the Saratoga Scene and close to some great attractions like museums, the track, and those ever famous natural springs.

Full Service

The hotel has 112 guest rooms with three suites, a pool, a great patio, free parking, a workout facility, complimentary laundry facilities, complimentary wireless internet access throughout the hotel and a complimentary 24 hour business center!

The hotel also boasts a great breakfast spread from their Great American Grill with bacon, eggs, yogurt, bagels, cereal, fruit, granola, you name it! You can enjoy all of this deliciousness in the fabulous lobby-I am loving the windows and natural light here!

The rooms have everything you or your guests could need; refrigerators, microwaves, individual climate control, iron & ironing board, hair dryers, a 32″ high def LCD flat screen tv and the world’s most comfortable desk chair.  Now I know what you are thinking…”A desk chair, Sarah? Really?”  Well I wouldn’t believe it if I didn’t sit in it either.  Jason insisted that I try it out and after just a few seconds I knew the Mirra chair by Herman Miller would be on my office wish list for 2010.  At nearly $800 smacks each I may be waiting a while for that one… 🙂

Guests can also enjoy food and drink late into the night-the hotel works with Inferno located across the street so guests can have lunch or dinner delivered right to their room.  There is also an honor bar set in the lobby most evenings until midnight so if you or your guests want to stay close  and enjoy a cocktail look no further than the lobby! At $5 each you can’t beat it!  For a snack anytime there is the Pavilion Pantry, open round the clock, which has ready to eat items and microwavable meals.

Wedding Blocks

Jason has been great to our couples and starts everyone off with 10 to 20 rooms for their block-depending on the date or dates and subject to availability.  As they book up and you need more he will add more to your block if they are available.  Everything is on a case by case basis and Jason and his team will work with you to customize based on the size of your group and dates you need the rooms.

Jason will also set up a personalized Group Webpage which allows your guests to book online 24 hours a day at the special rate you locked in with the hotel.  It also lists information on the room types available, directions, check in information, and amenities available at the hotel.  You can put the link to this site on your personal wedding website or send it out with your Save the Dates.

There is also the Guest List Manager which gives you access to your block information and allows you to keep track of which guests have booked rooms and who is slacking off!

So if you are looking for a great hotel with a friendly staff and stellar amenities check out the Hilton Garden Inn in Saratoga Springs!

Hotel Highlight: The Saratoga Hilton

I get a ton of questions about local accommodations and what each hotel has to offer in the area so I thought I would start a Hotel Highlight feature!  Each month I will visit a local hotel and give you the inside scoop on what they have to offer brides, grooms and their families for the big wedding weekend!

This morning I met with my pal Kate Bunn at the Saratoga Hilton on Broadway in Saratoga Springs.  I got a personal tour of all three room types, the fantastic spaces for brunches and rehearsal dinners as well as a sneak peak at the brand new Union Grille that celebrated their grand opening last night!  Here is what I found out….

Contempo Casual

First things first…the lobby is fantastic!  Not only is it contemporary but it is also cozy with a wonderful gas fireplace located right next to the front desk.  You can hang out in style in the comfy chairs and bask in the natural light streaming in from the windows throughout the space.  You can also grab a latte (and I am always up for a cup of coffee) at The Brewing Boutique which not only serves specialty coffee drinks but houses a great spread of Saratoga gear, trendy jewelry, and anything you may have forgotten at home!

Hilton Lobby

The Suite Life

The Saratoga Hilton has three levels of rooms (though all were larger and nicer than most of the apartments I have lived in!!) for you and your guests to select from.  The first is the standard which comes as a double or a king and is incredibly spacious.


The signature suites are perfect for families traveling with little ones as it has a sitting area (which doubles as a pull out bed) in addition to the king bed.

Hilton Suite living room

If you are looking for a place for you and your groom to stay you will want a luxury suite for sure!  This is the perfect place to get ready with your girls the day of-there is plenty of room and has a fantastic large dining table perfect for your hair and make up team to set up shop.  There is a sitting area, a wet bar, and a separate room for the master suite.  Some of these suites even have a balcony!

HIlton Dining Room

The one thing all of the rooms have in common is their Manhattan loft feel.  The carpeting is modern along with all of the light fixtures and the furniture is a great dark wood with clean lines.

Celebrate in Style

If you are looking to host any pre or post wedding parties where your guests are staying you have a few different options at the Hilton.  The Union Grille is the in-house restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch & dinner and also provides room service for the entire hotel.

Union Grill

The staff was incredibly friendly and the space is perfect for a rehearsal dinner or late night cocktail.  Kate even mentioned that the Grille can be rented out for after wedding parties which means your guests won’t have to go far to get back to their rooms at the end of the night!

If you are looking to host an after wedding brunch there are three spaces available: The Broadway Ballroom, The Gallery or the Saratoga Ballroom.  The Broadway Ballroom is perfect for groups of 100 or less while the Saratoga Ballroom can accommodate larger parties.  The Gallery is an open space off of the lobby that has beautiful skylights and high ceilings.

Deals & Details

If you book a block of rooms at the Hilton there is a discounted rate available which changes depending on the season.  Each couple can start with a max of 20 rooms and add on more once you fill up the first 20.  Kate even offers a complimentary room for every 50 rooms booked! Another great perk is that when you set up your block Kate will create a personalized group web page that you can put on your save the dates and wedding website which allows guests to reserve rooms directly-and you can see who has (and who hasn’t!) reserved their room already.

The Hilton also works with All Occasion Limo to provide shuttle service to and from Saratoga National Golf Club or the Hall of Springs in Saratoga at a great rate.

If you are doing gift bags, boxes or baskets the Hilton will hand deliver them to your guest rooms for a small fee of $3 per bag.  This charge is standard at hotels (as it covers the staffing/labor/time) and the Hilton’s hand delivery system is fabulous-your guests won’t have to fumble with luggage, keys and a gift bag at the front desk at check in…it is brought right to their door!

A big thanks to Kate for giving me the inside scoop and be sure to check out the Saratoga Hilton for your upcoming wedding room block needs!