Long a buzzed-about name in the meetings world, Dolce Hotels and Resorts has been quietly making its mark in the leisure market with a fast-growing roster of hotels and resorts and an affinity for well fleshed-out guest experiences.
“Dolce is probably lesser known in the U.S. but more well known in Europe,” says Barry Goldstein, Dolce’s newly appointed chief revenue officer. “We see ourselves, in terms of our brand, as a collection of properties that falls into two segments of the hotel business: conference centers and hotels and resorts. Quite frankly, we’re a place to go for inspiration…whether it’s an experience with groups or with leisure travel.”
According to Goldstein, the brand’s vision is composed of three values represented as intertwining rings in the “o” of Dolce’s logo. “We pride ourselves around three different elements of our brand,” he says. One ring is nourishment, centered around refueling of mind and body through spas, amenities and great cuisine. This last aspect is a particular forte of Dolce’s, as the brand takes pride in its gourmet and healthy culinary offerings and has, in fact, won quite a few awards for their efforts, including a Michelin star for the Carmontelle Restaurant at Dolce Chantilly in France.
The second ring, or element, is connectivity, which focuses on more than just technology and functional design. “Whether you are at a meeting or social event, we create a stimulating environment, putting people together for thoughtful exchanges or welcome experiences,” says Goldstein.
The third ring is community—having a positive impact on each hotel’s “guest community” as well as that which surrounds the property, plus being involved in green initiatives. “This is really about getting people together and providing a superior service around and within the community,” he says. He adds that, “What makes us different with those three elements is that this allows us to reward our customers both in business or pleasure or leisure—to really have a full experience, not just an individual one.”
Because their growth in the hotels and resorts business is recent, their relationship with agents is fairly new. Future plans include the launch of an agents-only website where you can learn about the properties and what they offer as a brand, as well as a possible loyalty program. Clients will benefit from several signature elements or experiences, as well as a refreshing of its spa component. Given that inspiration is at the forefront of Dolce’s development and commitment to guests, the brand is constantly working on nourishing experiences so that guests can express and refuel themselves in an innovative and comfortable setting.
One of the better known properties in its North American family is the Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose, CA, a century-old resort and spa considered one of the South Bay’s most unique historical structures. Formerly a private estate, it’s a renovated Spanish colonial revival-style hotel listed on the National Register of Historic Places, with beautiful mountain views and the only Being Spa in North America (Being Spas are found throughout Taiwan). Golfers may enjoy a game at nearby Los Lagos, while foodies can take advantage of an award-winning Sunday brunch. The property’s beautiful setting and romantic design has made it a popular location for weddings.
Dolce Chantilly, another “star” in the Dolce roster, is just 40 minutes outside of Paris. The hotel underwent a refurbishment in 2008 and is surrounded by the lovely Chantilly Forest, with close proximity to the Chantilly Castle and its fine art collection as well as to the town of Senlis. The guestrooms are bright and airy, with stenciled equestrian motifs and rain showers. There are jogging trails and a hammam, as well as an 18-hole course in an inland links design for year-round play.
Next month sees the grand opening of the Dolce Munich Unterschleissheim, just 20 minutes away from Munich Center and featuring an Executive Sky Lounge, Dolce Vital Spa with indoor pool, and state-of-the-art technology for special events.
The company was also recently appointed to manage The Thayer Hotel, a historic property on the grounds of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point—one of several Dolce properties affiliated with educational institutions. Dolce has properties in 12 U.S. states as well as in Ontario, Belgium, Germany, Spain and France.