Hilton serves up in-room cooking demos


LAS VEGAS -- "This can't happen at most hotels," said David Lusvardi, national sales manager for Hilton Grand Vacations Club Resorts.

Lusvardi was referring to the new Romance Package, in which guests at the Hilton Grand Vacations Club (HGVC) here are treated to an in-room cooking demonstration by a professional chef, who then serves the resulting gourmet dishes. It's a foodie's dream, one that's been specially designed for couples.

It's a dream made possible by the kitchens inside the suites at the HGVC, in combination with the talents of chefs at the nearby Creative Cooking School.

In addition to the kitchen amenities, the suites feature a master whirlpool bath, washer and dryer, cable TV and a VCR. Occupancy is generally 75% hotel guests and 25% time-share members.

The Romance Package can be enjoyed for either one breakfast or one dinner during a three-night stay.

The current breakfast menu ranges from champagne mimosas to creme brulee French toast and heart-shaped dried cherry and chocolate chip scones with whipped walnut butter. Dinner includes raspberry royale champagne refreshers, beef Wellington and chocolate decadence with raspberry coulis.

The Romance Package is based on a one-bedroom deluxe suite, booked for three nights and beginning on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.

Commissionable at 10%, it sells for $179 per night ($537 total), with that pricing holding at least until Oct. 1.

There's more on the horizon. The company is set to open a second HGVC on the Las Vegas Strip on Nov. 1; the Romance Package will be available there from day one. Other themed packages may follow, said Lusvardi.

Chocolate, for example, could define a menu that is served during a screening of the movie "Chocolat." Another possible package, tentatively set to begin next year, will pair a stay at either Las Vegas HGVC property with a series of classes at the Creative Cooking School. There may also be a component involving a noteworthy local restaurant.

For more information or to book this package, agents can place a toll-free call to Hilton GVC Reservations at (877) 651-4482 and ask for Shireen.

Sales Pitch
• Travel agents can spread the word about this unusual offering to their clients with especially relevant activities, such as a Vegas-themed party night, complete with destination posters and refreshments that represent the planned menus.
• If permitted by local regulations, Vegas-style games could be staged with play money redeemable for discounts or bonuses. A real capper would be an Elvis impersonator.
• Other possibilities include a glitz and glitter mailing to Vegas-favoring travelers, or a clever "Viva Las Vegas" style e-mail.

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