On Aug. 13, several members of the Benchmark Hospitality team dropped by the Smart Meetings office in Sausalito to share the latest news about their group of resorts and hotels. Our visitors, pictured above,  included (l-r) Jeff Overgaard, sales manager for Cheyenne Mountain Resort & Club in Colorado Springs, Colorado; John Annicchiarico, director of sales and marketing for Villas of Grand Cypress in Orlando, Florida; Teresa Winfield, director, global accounts for Benchmark Hospitality International; and Brynn Kessler, senior sales manager for Chaminade Resort & Spa in Santa Cruz, California.

While all Benchmark properties are different and have their own unique personalities, they are linked by a philosophy that emphasizes staff training and a focus on high quality guest service.

Winfield was particularly excited to announce the unveiling of Hotel Zelos in San Francisco. It just opened in what was formerly Hotel Palomer SF. The boutique property, centrally located downtown in Union Square, is hip and sophisticated. It features 202 guest rooms, 5,000 sq. ft. of event space, a heated patio and Dirty Habit restaurant, a local hotspot.

Kessler discussed the complete guest room renovation at Chaminade Resort & Spa in Santa Cruz, where the 156 guest rooms are being lightened up and given a more contemporary look and feel. Tech improvements will include flat screen TVs and easily-accessible charging stations. Room renovations are also planned in early 2016 for the 316 guest rooms at Cheyenne Mountain Resort & Club. The breathtaking Colorado Springs resort, which features 40,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, opened a new spa in June, and renovated the lobby and bar area.

There is also lots of excitement at the Villas of Grand Cypress in Orlando. John Annicchiarico points out that the high-end luxury resort and renowned golf mecca has completed a thorough renovation of its meeting space, with the anticipation that it will be a showcase in an upcoming expansion of the already impressively large resort. A re-branding of the property is anticipated in October.

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