Some Loews Hotels are turning what started as a nostalgic holiday promotion into a standing event option that allows planners to “pack” their group events and cocktail receptions with an out-of-the-ordinary bar experience.
The Bellhop Bar by Loews Hotels is available at Loews properties in Orlando, Miami, Coronado, Seattle, and Chicago. Launched in late 2018 in select bars and lounges in 19 of the company’s hotels, the retrofitted, oversized steamer trunk opens to reveal bespoke beverages and antique, apothecary-style bottles.
The concept pays homage to “the golden age of the cocktail era,” Loews said last year on its website. Planners now can incorporate the bar into their events by featuring whatever specialty cocktail or wine they wish to showcase.
“Regardless of the drinks being featured, these bars are always certain to spark conversation and engage attendees,” said Jennifer Hodges, area director of public relations at Loews Hotels at Universal Orlando.
Hodges told Convene that at a recent event at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando, five types of bourbons were served from the Bellhop Bar, which also featured a smoking box to create the classic Old Fashioned cocktails. Large spheres of ice completed the retro feel of the event.
For an event at Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando, the event organizer planned three different cocktails that were pre-batched in the apothecary bottles — just like the original Bellhop Bar concept did. The hand-crafted cocktail experience was enhanced when bartenders poured the drinks from the apothecary bottles into an ice shaker, then served them in the appropriate blast-chilled glass with special garnishes.
The Bellhop Bar concept is a spinoff of the brand’s earlier success story, The Traveller Bar, which started in Chicago in 2016 and ran until 2018, said Kathleen O’Connell, area director of public relations for Loews Chicago, O’Hare and Minneapolis.
At the time, O’Connell told Convene that Loews was considering if the concept might work as an option for meetings or events. Apparently, what’s old is new — again.
- To get an idea of what kinds of drinks could be served, read our earlier story about the Bellhop Bar holiday promotion.
Curt Wagner is a Convene associate editor.