Five Chapel Hill/Orange County NC Hotels Receive National Accolades

CHAPEL HILL, N.C., March 27, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For an area already renowned for its Southern hospitality, five Chapel Hill/Orange County (NC) hotel properties recently received national and international recognitions – quite a feat for a destination that only has 1,623 total hotel rooms.

The remarkable roll call of accolades are:

Hampton Inn & Suites Chapel Hill-Carrboro/Downtown (Hilton Worldwide)

Deal of the Year Award for the Hampton Hotels brand



Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel (Richfield Hospitality)

Top Performing Guest Service Hotel for Richfield Hospitality

Workplace Excellence Award for Richfield Hospitality

Sales Excellence Award for Richfield Hospitality

Sales General Manager and Director of Sales of the Year Awards for Richfield Hospitality

Siena Hotel (Autograph Collection by Marriott)

Top 5 Overall Guest Satisfaction for Americas (North and South America)

No. 1 Staff Service Overall for Americas (North and South America)

Marriott Service Excellence Award (one of 12 hotels recognized for all Marriott full service brands)

AAA Four Diamond rating for hotel (19th straight) and Il Palio Ristorante (25th straight)

The Carolina Inn (Destination Hotels)

Forbes Four Star rating for Carolina Crossroads Restaurant (15th straight)

AAA Four Diamond rating for hotel (18th straight) and restaurant (13th straight)

No. 1 Guest Survey Scores among entire Destination Hotels collection

No. 1 Urban Hotel among Destination Hotels collection

The Franklin Hotel (Curio Collection by Hilton)

No. 1 Guest Service Scores (among Curio collection)

A common thread among the awards is superior guest service, a daily mantra across the destination.

"Chapel Hill/Orange County is a fantastic place to hire employees as hospitality is really ingrained in people's hearts," said Anthony Carey, General Manager of the Siena Hotel. "Each hotel in the market works hard to differentiate our guest experiences and make them unique to their specific property.

"Our associates pay attention to each guest's needs and take amazing notes tracking all the details from cocktail preferences to room location and temperature to favorite activities. We challenge ourselves daily to use this information to emotionally connect with our guests."

And the guests are positively acknowledging those efforts with the Siena being recognized among the Top 5 for Guest Satisfaction in the Americas (North and South America among Autograph Collection by Marriott) and bestowed a Marriott Service Excellence Award (one of 12 hotels recognized for all Marriott full service brands).

At The Franklin Hotel, consistently boasting the No. 1 Guest Service Scores among the Curio Collection by Hilton, each guest has a personal host assigned to them serving as a point of constant contact from booking through stay and post stay. According to General Manager/Owner Jay Patel, "we are able to personally get to know our guests before they get here so we can customize their experience and help them make the most of their visit to The Franklin, Chapel Hill, and Orange County. That is a level of hospitality and service that's hard to deliver in big box hotels in large markets."

A few blocks away at The Carolina Inn, Chapel Hill's only true independent hotel, Mark Sherburne's team focuses each morning on the logistics of that day to deliver a superior guest experience. The historic hotel achieved top scores within the Destination Hotels portfolio to earn the No. 1 Guest Service rating and also was recognized as Destination's No. 1 Urban Hotel.

The Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel, part of Richfield Management Group, has been a Top Performing Guest Service Hotel and received Sales Excellence Recognition for driving group sales revenue. General Manager Nitin Khanna attributes portions of the hotel's double digit growth in group sales the past two years to the partnership between the hotel and the Visitors Bureau.

Carey echoes those Visitors Bureau sentiments with many leisure marketing programs and branding campaigns driving more demand and engagement across the destination. His Siena guests are extending their visits beyond attending a UNC athletic event, for example, to enjoy music at Cat's Cradle, shop at the Carrboro Farmers' Market and pick up a few items at Southern Season.

"The Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau has increased its focus on marketing to business travelers on the Atlantic Coast; as well as leisure travelers who tell us they love our food, music and edgy vibe. Our print, on-line and Pandora radio campaigns have been positively received and we are happy to see both an increase in visitors and such positive marks for our world renowned Southern hospitality," said Laurie Paolicelli, Executive Director of the Visitors Bureau.

Located in close proximity to some of the aforementioned activities, Chapel Hill-based Atma Hotel Group was recognized by Hilton Worldwide for its development of the recently opened Hampton Inn & Suites Chapel Hill-Carrboro/Downtown. The 142-room hotel was honored with the Deal of the Year Award for the Hampton Hotels brand, which goes to the top new-build Hampton hotel in the Americas.

"It's an honor to be recognized for our development efforts," said Manish Atma, President and CEO of Atma Hotel Group. "The hotel was a deal seven years in the making, and we are thrilled to bring another quality lodging option to the Chapel Hill area."

As the official destination marketing organization of Chapel Hill and Orange County, the mission of the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau is to develop and coordinate visitor services in Orange County and to implement marketing programs that will enhance the economic activity and quality of life in the community. For more information visit www.VisitChapelHill.org.

Photo L to R - Jay Patel, Owner/General Manager of The Franklin Hotel; Anthony Carey, General Manager, The Siena Hotel and Nitin Khanna, General Manager, The Sheraton Chapel Hill (photographer credit Alicia Stemper, Carrboro NC).

A photo accompanying this release is available at: http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=31735

CONTACT: Patty Griffin, Communications Director Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau (919) 245-4321 pgriffin@visitchapelhill.orgSource:Chapel Hill Orange County Visitors Bureau