December 24, 2008
December 8, 2008
Education Appreciation Promotion
for our St. Johns County Educators
The Casa Monica Hotel and Prime Outlets would like to give back this holiday season to those that spend the rest of the year giving!
For the dates of December 21 – 25, 2008, spend a night in a European Room at the
luxurious Casa Monica Hotel for only $18.88 in honor of our 120th year!
Upgrades Available! Deluxe Room: $48.88 / Premium Room: $78.88
Dine in the renowned 95 Cordova Restaurant and receive a 20% discount.
Complete your holiday shopping with a Shopping Tote
and a valuable Coupon Book from Prime Outlets of St. Augustine.
Call directly at 800-648-1888 or click here: TEACH
Promo code: TEACH
$14 Resort fee and $20 Valet Parking will apply. Limit 2 rooms per educator.
Must present school ID upon check-in.
December 3, 2008
Photo courtesy of Alison Miller
November 26, 2008
Thanksgiving Grand Buffet
November 27, 2008
Seating from 11am to 8pm
Chef Attended Omelet Station with Embellishments
Fresh and Fluffy Scrambled Eggs
Apple Wood Smoked Bacon, Sausage Links
Gary’s Famous Grits
Southern Style Biscuits with Country Gravy
Assorted Cereals with Skim or Whole Milk
Belgian Waffles with Berry Compound and Whipped Cream
Chef DeJuan’s Crème Brulée French Toast
Fresh Seafood and Shell Fish Display
Orangewood Smoked Atlantic Salmon
Coconut Seafood Ceviche
Smoked Mussels and Scallops
Boiled and Chilled Tiger Shrimp
Fresh Local Oysters on the Half Shell
Indonesian Crab Claws
Condiments station with Fresh Horseradish, Mustard Dill Sauce, Black Pepper Minuette, Sweet Chili Sauce, Lemon and Lime Wedges, Assorted Crackers
95 Cordova Crab Cake Station
Spicy Oriental Crab Cake with Fresh Ginger
Maryland Crab Cake with Fiji Apples
95 Cordova Crab Cake with Dijon Mustard
Accompanied with Lime Aioli, Sweet Chili Sauce,
Remoulade Sauce and Cocktail Sauce
Roasted Artichoke Bisque
Pumpkin and Blue Crab Bisque
Whole Roasted Prime Rib of Beef
Roasted Butter Basted Turkey
Pork Steamship Round with Natural Au Jus
Home-made Giblet Turkey Gravy,
Sweet Caramelized Vidalia onion Sauce
Wild Cranberry Sauce and Mango Chutney
Rosemary Au Jus
Sides and Entrees
Traditional Bread and Italian Sausage Stuffing
Traditional Corn Bread Stuffing
Yukon Mash Potatoes
Bourbon Sweet Potatoes
Roasted Root Vegetables
Green Bean Casserole
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Chef DeJuan’s Gourmet Cheese Cart
An assortment of decadent, creamy, sharp and savory cheese
from around the world served tableside
Bread & Dip Display
Sweet Corn Muffins
Rustic Asiago Cheese Bread, Italian Herb and Olive Loaf
Yeast Rolls, French Baguettes, Grilled Flatbreads
California Sun Dried Tomato and French Hummus
Creamy Spinach and Cheese Dip
Warm Brie Display
Puff Pasty Wrapped Brie with Warm Mango
Chutney and Cranberry Relish
Pastry Wrapped Brie Brushed with Honey and Candied Nuts
Cantaloupe and Honeydew Melons
Blueberries, Blackberries and Raspberries
Pineapple and Grapes
Eggplants, Yellow and Green Roasted Squash with Italian Marinade
Artichokes with Basil Dressing
Assortment of Imported Olives tossed with a Savory Marinade
Marinated Button and Wild Mushrooms
Spanish Smoked Chorizo Sausage and Peppers
Cured Prosciutto Ham and Pecorino Romano Cheese
Marinated Stuffed Grape Leaves with Risotto Rice
Fresh Spinach Salad with Sliced Strawberries, Toasted Pine Nuts
and Red Onions with a Raspberry Vinaigrette
Romaine Lettuce and Asiago Cheese with Caesar Dressing and Croutons
Vine Ripe Tomato and Mozzarella Cheese
Dessert Action Station
Kessler’s Banana Foster Station
Bananas served with Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
The Unlimited Dessert Display
Apple, Pecan, Sweet Potato, Pumpkin and Key Lime Pies
New York Style Cheese, Carrot, Double Chocolate and Red Velvet Cakes
Deep South Bread Pudding with Carmel Sauce
Grande Italian Tiramisu and Carmel Flan
Decadent Chocolate Dipping Mirror with Strawberries
69.95 Per Person
Children 6-12 $19.95
Children under 5 free
20% gratuities will be added to parties of 6 or more
November 18, 2008
This video is courtesy of My Bridal Connection
Come and see the BIG event on January 18, 2009!!! The Jacksonville Ultimate Bridal Fantasy held in St. Augustine at the Renaissance World Golf Village. I look forward to seeing you there! Look for Casa Monica's booth! With amazing vendors, a great fashion show and amazing give-a-ways, you don't want to miss it! This event is the best yet and will give you the opportunity to check out top trends, get ideas, meet vendors and network with other elite brides! I look forward to seeing you there!
For more information, please http://MyBridalConnection.com!
November 6, 2008
Savannah Again Listed as a Top 10 U.S. City
Savannah, Ga. and St. Augustine, Fla. (November 6, 2008) – Hotelier Richard C. Kessler’s AAA Four-Diamond Mansion on Forsyth Park in Savannah, Ga. and AAA Four-Diamond Casa Monica Hotel in St. Augustine, Fla. have both been named to Condé Nast Traveler’s annual Top 100 Readers' Choice List in its November issue. This is the second consecutive year that the Mansion on Forsyth Park has been named to the prestigious "Top 100 U.S. Mainland Hotels" list.
According to the magazine, its 21st annual Readers' Choice Awards is not only an award for the destinations, lodgings, and modes of transportation that exceed expectations, it is also a credit to the worldly expertise of Condé Nast Traveler readers.
Tina Harlow, general manager at the Mansion on Forsyth Park, says, “Our goal is to continue to exceed our guests’ expectations whether it is the first time staying with us or the fifth. Each of our talented Grand Performers work diligently to provide services and accommodations that are unmatched. We are honored that these well-traveled readers have received that remarkable experience and to have been named to the list.”
Earlier this year, the Mansion on Forsyth Park was also named to Condé Nast Traveler's prominent Gold List, was designated as the "Best of the South" by Meetings South magazine, and named one of the “World’s Best Hotels” on the Expedia® Insiders’ Select™ list 2008. The hotel’s on-site state-of-the-art 700 Kitchen Cooking School was named the “#1 Attraction in Savannah” and “#2 Thing to Do” in the United States on TripAdvisor.com.
Anthony Lazzara, general manager at the Casa Monica Hotel, says, “Guests we have had the pleasure of hosting continuously remark about their experience as being one of the best they’ve ever had. We aim to inspire and treat all guests to the relaxation, luxurious appointments and memories they deserve. Being named to this honorable list assures that we are doing just that.” (more)
Page 2… Mansion on Forsyth Park / Casa Monica Hotel - CNT Readers' Choice 2008
Among other major highlights this year, the Casa Monica Hotel became a designated Florida Department of Environmental Protection Green Lodging Member, was named to The Knot magazine’s “Best of Florida Reception Sites” two years in a row, named one of the “World’s Best Hotels” on the Expedia® Insiders’ Select™ list 2008, awarded Florida Trend magazine’s Golden Spoon Award, and was mentioned on Good Morning America’s "International Getaways in the United States" travel segment.
About Mansion on Forsyth Park
The AAA Four-Diamond Mansion on Forsyth Park in Savannah, Ga. opened in April 2005 as a new hotel built adjacent to a renovated 1888 mansion. The original 18,000-square-foot Victorian-Romanesque building houses the gourmet 700 Drayton Restaurant with six private dining galleries, the hands-on 700 Kitchen Cooking School, Casimir's Lounge and intimate Carriage Wine Cellar. The hotel features 126 captivating guest rooms and suites, full-service Poseidon Spa, 8,500 square feet of opulent meeting space, over 400 pieces of original artwork, three Bösendorfer pianos, a vintage ladies hat collection dating from 1860 -1960, Grand Bohemian Gallery, chic Bösendorfer Lounge, Viennese Ballroom, outdoor pool, full-time concierge, 24-hour fitness center, business center and valet parking.
For additional information, visit www.mansiononforsythpark.com or call 912.238.5158.
About the Casa Monica Hotel
The Casa Monica Hotel is a restored majestic 1888 landmark hotel located in historic St. Augustine, Fla. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Casa Monica Hotel is the city’s only AAA Four Diamond hotel. The castle-like Spanish architecture transports guests to a world of first-class service and luxury. 138 decadent guestrooms and 14 unique suites are complemented by amenities such as the AAA Four-Diamond 95 Cordova Restaurant, The Lounge at 95 Cordova, over 10,000 square feet of meeting space, 24-hour fitness center, business center, outdoor garden-style rooftop pool and chandeliered Sultan’s Pavilion, valet parking, and a full-time concierge. The hotel offers an inspired setting for rejuvenation, captivating weddings and cutting-edge meetings. Nearby, championship golf and privileges at the exclusive oceanfront Serenata Beach Club awaits.
For more information, call 800.648.1888 or visit: www.casamonica.com.
October 8, 2008
On another note, I was standing at the front doors of the Casa Monica this past Saturday afternoon waiting for a Bride and Groom's arrival and who walked through the doors towards his car? KID ROCK! Kid Rock had a concert at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre and stayed with us in the St. Francis Suite on Friday night. Pretty cool week with some Rock Stars at the Casa Monica! :)
We have three great wedding coming up this weekend and are looking forward to beautiful October weather! Have a great rest of your week!
September 24, 2008
This next two cakes was done by Signature Cakes By Paul, this couple loves to travel and LOVES Paris! Congraultions to Kellie and Randy!
All of these pictures were taken by myself or by Paul from Signature Cakes by Paul.
1. First we have had some intersesting cakes recently! So I will be posting some of those pictures as well as vendors.
2. We also did our first GROUP tasting, what a success! It was a chance for a select amount of upcoming Brides to come in and be treated to all the wonderful items that they would be able to choose from for their reception and see different decor set ups, be entered for door prizes and spend some time with your Chef's, and Megan and I to answer questions! If you were not invited to this Tasting, have no fear, if you are one of our 2009 Brides, you invite will be coming !
3. I recently attended Sales Training one of our AMAZING, sister properties, El Monte Sagrado in Taos, New Mexico, WOW! is just about how I can sum it up, I will post some pictures of the property that we took. If you are looking for a romantic, calming, honeymoon where you can stay at the resort and spa or take a horseback ride up the mountain, go skiing, white water rafting, all sorts of activities. El Monte Sagrado is located half way up Taos Mountain and offers unbelieveable views and experiences!! Great food too!
I will get these posts up soon, but I also just wanted to check in! Remember to contact either Megan or I with any questions you have. I am 5 months out from my wedding and wow, there is a lot of work to do! Let us know if we can be of any assistance to you!
August 5, 2008
Megan and I decided since we are a little bit slower this month to take the opportunity to visit our fabulous Orlando vendors that we hope to see more and more here at Casa Monica. Many of them are currently Preferred Vendors at two of our sister properties, The Grand Bohemian Hotel and the Celebration Hotel.
We started out with fabulous floral and event design company FLOURISH with Richard and Brian and along with them we met phenomenal designer, Lindsey Luxa, with DRAGONFLY, if you are looking for unique invitations, menu cards, place cards, thank you notes, anything, pairing Dragonfly and Flourish is a smart choice! These two companies work so well together from the custom designed and hand-made invitations complimented by the design, decor and flowers for the ceremony and reception!
Next we were on to the Winter Park office of the Heather Snively and Emily Darling and their team from WEDDINGS UNIQUE, Heather and her team can often be seen on wedding shows such as Platinum Weddings! You don't have to be hosting a Platinum Wedding to have these organized and creative wedding planners. They have many different packages that they offer. Check out their award winning planning and design! Weddings Unique is very familiar with the Casa Monica!!
We then went onto see the fabulous studio of JOHN UNRUE PHOTOGRAPHY. We can't say enough! We love John, Ricardo and Kristal! Not only are these photographers simply stated AMAZING, they are hilarious! Both Megan and I had trouble talking as we were laughing so hard! Quick Fact: among the amazing weddings that they have done, they did Johnny Damon's Wedding!! Check out their blog for the most recent work and start learning more about the dedication and fun they have while photographing!
We ended our first day with special event decor company, RAINING ROSES, meeting Chris, Jesus and Diana. It was great to be able to see the "behind-the-scenes" work that they do! Wow, they make all of their props and design, paint, build, anything you can think of! Raining Roses is hired by many of our Brides for floral production as well as event decor!
As day one ended, Megan and I checked into the Grand Bohemian Hotel, one of our sister properties and enjoyed a dinner downtown, above is a picture taken by our intern, Sarah who happened to be in town that evening as well!
Day two began with visiting our Coporate Office, The Kessler Collection, it was a chance to put faces to names and see a small portion of Mr. Kessler's favorite artwork which he gladly shares throughout all of his properties!
We then stopped be to see the fabulous and talented family at BAKE ME A CAKE, at their Pastry Shop and Bakery. YUM!!!!! We were given an entire box full of samples for the ride home! We sat and looked and smelled and looked again at amazing designs. I wonder how people can be so creative with cakes and just how do they do it?! Beautiful and FUN cakes for Wedding Cakes, Groom's Cakes, Birthdays, Showers, etc...Check them out!
We also had a chance as we were heading back towards St. Augustine to see Corrine and Gregory Heck at DETAILS FLOWERS AND PHOTOGRAPHY in Daytona Beach! This amazing husband and wife team have a beautiful studio right off the beach to showcase their distinctive floral and event design as well as Gregory's Fine Art Wedding Photography.
Megan and I truly appreciate all of the amazing vendors we were able to see in the Orlando area! Thank you for your time and we look forward to seeing you at the hotel! For those looking for vendors, be sure to take a look at these vendors!
I had the pleasure to join some of the other Kessler Collection Wedding Teams in Atlanta, GA in July for a trade show at the Grand Hyatt in Buckhead. What a great turnout from the Brides and Grooms from the area! Thay had a wonderful fashion show and we did a give-a-way for a two day/one night stay here at Casa Monica! I was joined by Jen Hamill and Angela Sheets from the Exceptional Events Team from the Mansion on Forsyth Park in Savannah, GA and the newbie to the company, the Bohemian Asheville (which is opening in December) in Asheville, North Carolina had General Manager, Marc Bauer and Exceptional Events Manager Jordan McKelvy attend.
July 10, 2008
July 1, 2008
It is a hot and sunny day here in Saint Augustine, we have been having our typical afternoon storms to cool things off, but it is not stopping people from getting married! Megan and I just received these photographs from Robert, Weddings By Robert.
You can check out more of Robert's photography at www.weddingsbyrobert.com.
June 24, 2008
The above pictures are from Andrew and Tiki's Wedding, shot by wonderful, local photographer Alison Miller! Their ceremony was in the Courtyard of the Lightner Museum and then their fabulous reception was in the Flagler Ballroom! Congratulations Andrew and Tiki!
June 6, 2008
Happy Friday! It is a gorgeous summer day here in St. Augustine, I recently attended engage!08 hosted by Rebecca Grinnals and Kathryn Arce from Engaging Concepts, at our sister hotel, Celebration Hotel in Celebration, FL! Wow! Is first what I need to express. What an amazing chance to get together with other professionals in the industry and share, discuss, network and learn.
Loaded with amazing speakers as Rebecca Grinnals, "Release Your Brilliance" author, Simon T. Bailey, Susan Moynihan, Harmony Walton, Liene Stevens and Christine Boulton. It was a such a great chance to get to know others and learn about different oppotunities and trends to be able to serve our Bride and Grooms better! Simon T. Bailey , an AMAZING motivational speaker pumped us up about "releasing our brilliance!"
To add to the packed list of great speaker, Rebecca and Kathryn lined up the amazing and talented wedding/event planner, MARCY BLUM and wedding/event designer to the stars, PRESTON BAILEY to come in and speak candidly and honestly in a question and answer session with all of us! I have to say it was an exciting time! We were also given fabulous gift bags, made by Tulla Belles, that included Simon T. Bailey's book, "Release Your Brilliance," and Preston Bailey's book, "Inspirations." Check out the pictures above that I captured with my camera, so exciting!!!
A big thank you for Rebecca and Kathyrn for hosting such a wonderful event! Thank you and we can't wait to hear abour the next one!!!
April 30, 2008
March 25, 2008
March 20, 2008
These pictures are of Shannon and George on their way to the Rehearsal, Shannon and I just waking up in the St. Francis Suite (we slept soo well, the beds are amazing!) the morning of their wedding, Shannon getting her hair and makeup done by Megan at Small Indulgences Day Spa, kissing and becoming Mr. and Mrs. DeLeon, small Bridal Party shot on Flagler College campus, Shan and George on the carriage that took us around for pictures, my sister and I, Landon and I, their cake by Irma Kay Strickland, and George who was surprised by the NY Yankees garter I got Shannon, his favorite team! (All of these pictures were taken from my personal camera by Landon, my father or myself.)