Registry Tampa Bay

On Wednesday August 14, the Renaissance International Plaza Hotel celebrated its 15th anniversary by showcasing its newly renovated meeting spaces and updated food and cocktail selections.

Over the last several months the Renaissance has been going through a makeover — not just meeting spaces, but ballroom, banquet hall, conference rooms and common areas, too. It was already a luxury hotel, but this facelift brings it to a whole new level, giving the property a warmer, more sophisticated look.

The anniversary celebration struck a festive mood from the outset, with live music in the lobby by Mallory Moyer, a slide show by artist Meclina, whose work is featured throughout the hotel, and two wine tasting areas. One table offered wines from Spain and the other was serving a Decoy Merlot (from the same family as Duckhorn in Sonoma County); I favored that wine over the other choices.

Off the lobby area, Gabriella’s invited us in. A classy bistro and tapas restaurant that overlooks the outdoor landscaped courtyard in the middle of the hotel, it would be the ideal spot to enjoy a morning coffee or a cocktail later in the day. As we wandered through, there were samplings available of Brown Bear coffee and Woodford Reserve bourbon, and the bar area was enticing us with  classic Old Fashioned cocktails.

Under the watchful, talented direction of Senior Catering Sales Executive Maria Campos, fabulous food stations were set up for guests’ enjoyment as they explored the changes to the hotel. The pasta station offered three choices; my favorite was the wild mushroom ravioli. There was also a huge paella station (definitely a Tampa specialty), a carving station serving up juicy prime rib and baby potatoes, and a dessert station displaying several delicacies (the chocolate petit-fours were delicious).

General Manager Jim Bartholomay, who has been with the hotel since the beginning, addressed the crowd, thanking everyone for attending. He singled out Destination Sales Executive Mandy Warner for putting the event together and reserved special thanks for the new owners, Clearview Hotel Capital out of Newport Beach, California. Clearview bought the hotel last summer and invested in the renovations to bring the property to its new level of luxury. With 12,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor space plus close proximity to shopping and outstanding restaurants, this hotel is now a number one choice for any event.

Incidentally, the space once devoted to the Pelagia Trattoria restaurant has now been transformed into a room for special events. Given the plethora of restaurants accessible via a walkway to International Plaza, the Renaissance decided to create a fun, inviting venue that was different from their ballrooms. With floor-to-ceiling windows along one side overlooking a lovely patio area, hardwood floors, a built-in bar area and a wide open space to create any seating configuration you desire, the new space would be an ideal spot for your next fabulous bash.

If you are looking for a venue to have your vision come alive – contact Mandy Warner at the Renaissance International Plaza Hotel at 813-313-3224.

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