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MIKE STOMMEL, PRINCIPAL
In the News
-BECCA RESTAURANT & GARDEN- POPULAR RESTAURANT AT THE CAVALIER HOTEL ENLIVENS THE VIRGINIA BEACH DINING SCENE
Executive Chef Dan Elinan Embraces Summer with Seasonal Featured Dishes
Already a Virginia Beach dining destination, Becca, a modern restaurant inspired by farm-to-table practices, is the culinary essence of The Cavalier Hotel. Featuring bright and inspired cuisine using only the freshest local ingredients, Becca, under the direction of the hotel's skilled executive chef Dan Elinan, demonstrates a true commitment to sustainable cooking.
Elinan and his culinary team capture the spirit of summer with an ever-changing menu dependent on seasonal produce and seasonal catches. Serving lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, diners enjoy exquisite tastes while surrounded by Becca's lush gardens and stunning ocean vistas.
Chef's current features include Chilled Summer Squash Soup with Mountain View Creamery Feta, lime basil, beniseed cracker, and bright salads like the Arugula & Pickled Strawberry Salad with Goat Lady Goats Cheese, shaved fennel, espelette sunflower seeds, and lemon miso vinaigrette and the Grilled Baby Gem with pickled toy box tomato, shaved pecorino, garlic parmesan dressing, and sesame semolina crumble.
Where to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in Virginia Beach
The Washington Post
By Candy Sagon
The grand reopening this spring of Virginia Beach's historical Cavalier Hotel, following a four-year, $85 million renovation of the 91-year-old oceanfront landmark, is a fitting symbol of the city's booming tourism business and rapidly changing culinary scene. The latest state tourism data shows that the last five years have brought record numbers of visitors to enjoy the city's pristine beaches and family-friendly atmosphere, but the biggest changes have come from a coterie of young, innovative chefs determined to shake up the city's staid eateries. In the laid-back Vibe district, just blocks from the busy beachfront, one can find new craft coffee shops and farm-to-fork restaurants worthy of big-city neighbors. The Cavalier is also capitalizing on the national love for craft spirits with its own working distillery for making bourbon, rye whiskey and vodka - a throwback to the hotel's Prohibition days.
Your Next Hotel May Have an Attached Brewery or Distillery
NEW YORK TIMES
Capitalizing on a growing love of craft beer and spirits, more hotels are adding on-site breweries and distilleries to lure travelers into destination trips and longer stays.
By Elaine Glusac
June 18, 2018
Today's trendiest hotel amenity is an operational brewery or distillery on site, and it means guests won't have to worry about a designated driver after a flight of craft beers or carefully-distilled whiskey.
Following the path blazed by winery inns and microbrewery hotels like McMenamins, a chain of hotels in Oregon, a new crop of American hotels offers not just a comfortable bed and a leisurely stay, but also adult beverages you can't get anywhere else.
VODKA WITH A LOCAL TWIST
The Cavalier Hotel, a Gold Key | PHR property and Marriott Autograph Collection member in Virginia Beach, Virginia, is the first U.S. hotel with an on-site distillery, producing three kinds of whiskey (guests can barrel their own batch) and a plan to distill gin. It also distils vodka: When Andrew Yancey and Josh Canada proposed opening the Tarnished Truth distillery in the hotel to CEO Bruce Thompson, he insisted on it. "If you go into a liquor store, there's more vodka than anything else so it's hard to compete in that realm," Yancey says, " but if we're doing local stuff, might as well do everything we can."
2018 Top Hot Spots For Winter Events
GULF SHORES, Ala. (May 15, 2018) - After a review of our entire 16 state coverage area, our editorial team selected an elite group of ten hot spot cities for winter events. We then asked our readers to vote for the hottest meeting sites within these hot spots, determining the "Hottest of the Hot". Please see winners below. The July 2018 Issue of ConventionSouth will showcase the below sites with an editorial spotlight:
The Founders Inn & Spa
Oceanaire Resort Hotel
We Planned the Perfect Weekend in Virginia Beach
Coastal Living Magazine
By Tracey Minkin
The historic Cavalier Hotel, a grande dame that's welcomed 10 U.S. presidents, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, and other luminaries since it opened its opulent doors in 1927, has reopened in 2018 after a four-year renovation. With much of the historic detail restored, new pleasures have joined the fun, including an on-site distillery, a full-service spa, and a reimagined Beach Club opening on Memorial Day. Rates for the 62 rooms and 23 suites start at $189.
What You Should Know Before Visiting These 31 Popular Travel Destinations
Consider yourself armed for your next big adventure
April 16, 2018
Planning a trip can be a daunting task. Curating the perfect itinerary for a short getaway while avoiding the ever-present fear of tourist traps and gaffes can ruin a trip before it even begins. Being aware of activities and sites to skip is just as important as making time for the secret can't-miss spots. Below are 31 destinations, with insider tips to match, to take the pain out of planning.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Experience the historical side of Virginia Beach in the newly renovated Cavalier. Playing host to ten presidents, as well as celebrities including Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, and more, this waterfront icon was built in 1927 by architect Clarence Neff and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Treat yourself to a tour of the hotel's private onsite distillery or a game of billiards in its historic Raleigh Room and be transported to a glamorous Art Deco fantasy.
Cavalier Hotel reopens after $81 million renovation
March 29, 2018
by Paula C. Squires
Hospitality executive Bruce L. Thompson once told the Virginia Beach City Council that he didn't want to be "the guy who tore the hotel down."
These days, Thompson and his business partners are being praised as the group that saved the iconic Cavalier Hotel. After nearly five years and $81 million in renovations, the historic Virginia Beach hotel officially reopened March 7.
"It could have had 3,200 units on it," Thompson, CEO of Gold Key| PHR, a Virginia Beach-based hospitality company, told a large gathering that attended the property's ribbon-cutting celebration.
Thompson was referring to other developers who wanted to demolish the hotel and put up high-density residential projects after a judge ordered that the property be sold in 2012. The order was aimed at resolving a lawsuit over minority shareholder rights that had been filed by warring factions of the Disthene Group, the hotel's owner at the time.
10 must-see sights at this historic under-the-radar gem
Jennifer Franklin, for Visit Virginia Beach
Virginia cities like Williamsburg and Richmond have a reputation for being historical gems, but Virginia Beach boasts a robust history all its own. Paired with a thriving arts scene and, of course, outdoor experiences on the beach itself, this coastal city is packed with history to engage every member of the family. Consider this your primer. Here are the top 10 historic sites to see on your next trip and help you start planning your own Virginia Beach itinerary, which will check all the must-have boxes on your next vacation.
The Cavalier Hotel Reveals Extensive Renovations
Will Speros • March 16, 2018
The Cavalier Hotel has returned to Virginia Beach following a four-year, $85 million renovation by Norfolk, Virginia-based Hanbury Architects.
The entrance has been restored with its original four-column portico and brick porte-cochère leading to the lobby, which channels the Jazz Age of the Roaring Twenties with historic elements, including soaring ceilings, sparkling fixtures, and ornate architectural moldings. Anchored by a central fireplace, the Raleigh Room merges modern style with classic Southern charm, serving as the main salon with seating, drink carts, and gaming. The indoor-outdoor eatery Becca features intimate garden seating as well as contemporary interiors, while the distillery and tasting room Tarnished Truth and the Prohibition-inspired tavern the Hunt Room serve as additional social and convivial lounges. The Hunt Room also boasts a fully rebuilt, oversized hearth that was a key fixture of its original design.
First Look: Virginia Beach's Cavalier Hotel
Garden & Gun
A storied seaside hotel returns to its Jazz Age glory
By Elizabeth Hutchinson
March 15, 2018
Muhammad Ali, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, and Bing Crosby all partied in the famed Crystal Ballroom at the circa-1927 Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach. Designated trains from Chicago and D.C. deposited glittering guests feet from the front door of the brick neoclassical tower perched on a grassy hill overlooking the Atlantic. Ten U.S. presidents soaked in the hotel's claw-foot tubs outfitted with extra spigots to draw restorative salt water baths. A Prohibition-era speakeasy and casino reportedly operated out of the basement. Perhaps juiciest of all, Richard Nixon allegedly burnt the White House tapes' missing eighteen-minutes in the fireplace of the hotel's subterranean Hunt Room lounge. But by the early twenty-first century, the once-regal Cavalier was embroiled in a family feud and had deteriorated to the point that Stephen King's Jack Torrance would have been right at home in its musty near-empty halls. Then in 2013, the folks at Gold Key PHR, a local hospitality and real estate management firm, purchased the aging grande dame.
Presidential stay: Hotels that hosted the commander in chief
By Susan B. Barnes
Reopening in March 2018 after three years and more than $80 million in renovations, The Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach has hosted U.S. presidents including Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon. In fact, Nixon was seen burning papers in the hotel's oversized fireplace late at night in the middle of summer during Watergate. His daughters made some friends at the beach and invited them back to Washington, D.C. to tour the White House.
8 AMERICAN CITIES MAKING BIG IMPROVEMENTS IN 2018
By Matt Meltzer
Virginia Beach, Virginia: Surf Park
Pharrell brings waves of energy to the Oceanfront Dome
For more than 20 years, the former site of the Oceanfront Dome music venue in Virginia Beach has sat as an oceanfront parking lot. The city views its development as the lynchpin in making VB a year-round tourist destination, and musician Pharrell Williams thinks he has the answer: a surf park. Last year, he and his partners entered into a deal with the city to develop a $20 million park as part of a $300 million retail development, where surfers can catch 6-foot artificial waves, 30 per hour.
Beyond the surf park, Virginia Beach has seen some other attractive new developments. The historic Cavalier Hotel reopened this year, and after a $75 million restoration also opened the first distillery completely set in a US hotel at Tarnished Truth. Plans for a new 880-foot concrete pier jutting out from 15th Street are also in the works, complete with a Ferris wheel. Look for Virginia Beach within a few years to be considered a primo American beach destination, a jewel on one of the country's most underrated stretches of coast.
Couples celebrate Valentine's Day and get a first look at The Cavalier Hotel's renovations
By Stacy Parker
As Julie MacKinlay walked her dog along the brick pathway to The Cavalier Hotel during the landmark's years-long restoration, she couldn't wait to see what it would look like.
Would the ballroom where she and her husband celebrated their wedding 53 years ago be as grand as it once was?
On Wednesday, she got her answer.
About 75 couples, including the MacKinlays, attended "The Cavalier Unveiled," a Valentine's Day celebration at the Oceanfront icon.
Career fairs continue as Cavalier Hotel gears up to reopen in March
Virginia Business Magazine
Gold Key | PHR is looking to hire more people for the March 7, reopening of the The Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach. Two career fairs will be held on Jan. 5 and Jan. 6 at Gold Key's Career Center at 313 Laskin Rd., Suite 103, in Virginia Beach.
Gold Key said it already has hired 125 people and still has nearly 100 associate positions available. The Virginia-Beach based hospitality management company said The Cavalier Hotel is looking to hire experienced hospitality workers from managerial full-time employees to bar and wait staff, culinary professionals, banquet servers and housekeeping staff.
While some employees have started work, all 225 associates will begin employment at the hotel by Feb. 5, in time for its reopening the next month.
Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach holding job fair to find 225 workers
By Stacy Parker
The Cavalier Hotel at the Oceanfront is looking to hire workers as it gears up for its grand opening.
Gold Key | PHR will hold a job fair on Tuesday for 225 hospitality positions, including full-time managers, bar and waitstaff, culinary professionals, banquet servers, housekeepers and more.
Salaried positions will pay $48,000 to $80,000. Front desk agents will make $12 to $15 an hour, and a room attendant will earn $11 an hour, according to a Gold Key | PHR spokesperson.
Renovations roundup: These hotels look better than ever
By Nancy Trejos
The hotel industry is thriving, with new properties popping up all over the USA. As a result, existing properties are renovating to keep up. This month, USA TODAY takes a look at notable hotel renovations.
The Cavalier in Virginia Beach
Built in 1927, the design of the hotel was inspired by Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
It played host to 10 U.S. presidents and celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, Doris Day, Muhammad Ali, and Frank Sinatra. It was also a venue for performances by Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller of the Big Band era.
Cavalier's Top Chef a Familiar Face
By Patrick Evans-Hylton
As the much anticipated reopening of The Cavalier hotel approaches, work is finalizing on many details, like, what's there to eat. Dining at the historic Oceanfront hotel, which opened 90 years ago in 1927 includes a number of properties. Overseeing them all will be Executive Chef Dan Elinan.
Reclaiming the Cavalier: A distillery takes shape inside a former laundry room
By Stacy Parker
Bright lights illuminate an interior room on the ground floor of The Cavalier Hotel. It used to be where the hotel's laundry was washed. Now something much different is taking shape: think Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory with shiny copper machinery, pipes, gauges and thermometers. But instead of candy, this equipment will make spirits - vodka, bourbon, gin and rye whiskey. It will be one of the only craft distilleries in the world operating inside a hotel.
19 PRESIDENTIAL RETREATS WHERE YOU CAN VISIT AND STAY
By Nadine Jolie Courtney
While many of the former so-called summer and winter White Houses have been turned into museums-like Harry S. Truman's Little White House in Key West, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Little White House in Georgia, or Thomas Jefferson's Monticello in Virginia-a slew of presidential playgrounds exist where the public can actually stay.
THE CAVALIER HOTEL: A MODERN AMERICAN ICON
Garden & Gun
By Jennifer V. Cole
Across the South, historic hotels are regaining their former grandeur. Modeled after Jefferson's Monticello, this brick-and-stone tower opened in 1927 as a neoclassical playground for the rich and famous, catering to everyone from Bing Crosby to Elizabeth Taylor to Washington power players. Railways deposited guests just feet from the hotel, where amenities included tubs with an extra spigot to draw saltwater baths and a broker on-site with a live ticker tape from the New York Stock Exchange. Its heyday ended during World War II, when the navy took over the hotel for radar training. But this summer, the regal Cavalier is scheduled to ride again after a $75 million restoration, with special attention paid to preserving the original design elements (exterior pedestals and finials, portico columns, terrazzo floors, painted ceilings).
Virginia's Cavalier Hotel to Join Autograph Collection After Massive Renovation
Successful Meetings Online
By Matt Alderton
The Cavalier Hotel has been a fixture in Virginia Beach, VA, since 1927, when it opened just steps from the Atlantic Ocean. Ninety years later, the hotel that once hosted famous guests such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and Elizabeth Taylor -- not to mention at least 10 U.S. presidents, from Calvin Coolidge to Jimmy Carter -- is preparing for a rebirth: In December, it will unveil the fruits of a $75 million renovation and restoration when it reopens as a member of Marriott International's Autograph Collection, it announced this week.
TRANSFORMATIVE PROPERTIES? NEW AND UPDATED RESORTS WILL GIVE VIRGINIA MORE CONVENTION SETTINGS IN 2017
by Elizabeth Cooper
CAVALIER HOTEL SEARCHING FOR 84 COUPLES WHO WERE MARRIED OR HONEYMOONED AT THE HOTEL TO RETURN & RENEW WEDDING VOWS WITH ONE COUPLE SAYING "I DO" FOR THE FIRST TIME
RECLAIMING THE CAVALIER: REBUILDING THE HUNT ROOM FIREPLACE BRICK BY BRICK
By Stacy Parker
RECLAIMING THE CAVALIER: THE ENTRANCE AND PORCHES
By Stacy Parker
RECLAIMING THE CAVALIER: ON THE ROOFTOP
By Stacy Parker
CAVALIER HOTEL GROUNDSKEEPER IS THE KING OF CURB APPEAL IN VIRGINIA BEACH
By Stacy Parker
2016 TOP STORIES | 4. HOTELS
By Sandra J Pennecke
FOR THE CAVALIER, A FACELIFT TRUMPS THE WRECKING BALL DEVELOPER BRUCE THOMPSON TAKES ON RENOVATION OF ONE OF HAMPTON ROADS' MOST BELOVED HOTELS
By Elizabeth Cooper