Kevin W. Luque of Kingston Resorts Named Best Seafood Chef in South Carolina

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – (February 14, 2012) – Kevin W. Luque, executive sous chef at Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort and Embassy Suites Myrtle Beach at Kingston Resorts, was named the best seafood chef in South Carolina. The competition and awards are part of an annual program by the Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Supply Show of the Southeast.

Luque competed against 19 other chefs in the seafood category to win the top prize. His winning dish was pan seared mahi mahi over corn maque choux with a spicy tomato sauce accompanied by a fennel, onion and blood orange salad. Luque won a $1,000 cash prize as well as airfare and accommodations to compete in the Great American Seafood Challenge in New Orleans in August.

In the South Carolina competition, more than 74 chefs competed in the three categories that included seafood, cold dishes and hot dishes.

“We are thrilled to have the top seafood chef in South Carolina at our resort and part of our team,” said Bob Barenberg, complex manager, Kingston Plantation.

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Coastal Culinary Delights: Sixty Miles of Coastline with an Endless Array of Eclectic Cuisine in the Myrtle Beach Area

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – (February 7, 2012)
VisitMyrtleBeach.com by Ann Marcum

Travelers world‐over journey near and far to discover the unfamiliar and the types of tastes that distinguish forever‐lasting vacation memories. Visitors to the Myrtle Beach area are in for a treat that pleases each and every palate with the area’s various styles of strikingly delicious cooking. The area is historically known for its fresh local seafood, rice, grits, sweet potatoes, peaches, berries and a fresh produce season that starts in early spring – making Myrtle Beach a paradise for every “foodie” to indulge.

At the northern end of the Grand Strand, North Carolina‐style Calabash reigns supreme, with its traditional lightly‐breaded, fried seafood meals. Calabash buffets – the most famous being the Original Benjamin’s Calabash Seafood – line Highway 17 for miles, offering guests hundreds of delicious options to choose from; everything from deviled crab to flounder and black bass. With wallet‐friendly prices, Calabash has remained a steadfast cooking style since the Myrtle Beach area became a vacation resort in the mid‐Twentieth century.

Venture further south and travelers will find themselves in the heart of Low Country, where chefs utilize local ingredients such as Carolina rice, stone‐ground grits, shrimp, blue crab, grouper and country ham, in traditional recipes handed down from the Gullah community of the southeastern coastal states. Today, young professional chefs in the Myrtle Beach area are taking this culinary genre to a new level with innovative interpretations of those traditional dishes. These “Carolina Coastal” chefs are using locally sourced ingredients, sustainable meat, fish and seafood, as well as regionally grown produce to enhance the taste and quality of cuisine. One of the most interesting spots to experience this style of cooking is in the community of Murrells Inlet – the seafood capital of South Carolina ‐ where a slew of restaurants sit along the picturesque Murrells Inlet Marshwalk, offering a range of flavors for every taste and wallet.
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Embassy Suites at Kingston Plantation Undergoes Renovation

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – (February 1, 2012)Embassy Suites at Kingston Plantation, an oceanfront resort in Myrtle Beach, has begun renovations to the lobby, restaurants and common areas of the hotel. The multi-million project, slated for completion in early April, follows recent renovations to the hotel’s 255 guest rooms and the resort’s Sport & Health Club that were completed last year.

The lobby will have a new check-in area that is being designed for efficiency and ease of service. The renovation will modernize and open up the reception area with a vibrant and contemporary first impression.

“Our new lobby will roll out the welcome mat, and it has been designed to create comfort and ease when guests check in,” said Bob Barenberg, managing director, Embassy Suites Myrtle Beach. “Our design team carefully selected fabrics and color palettes to create a more relaxed and inviting atmosphere.”

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Embassy Suites at Kingston Plantation Undergoes Renovation

Hotel Redesigns Restaurants and Lobby Are

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – (February 1, 2012) – Embassy Suites at Kingston Plantation, an oceanfront resort in Myrtle Beach, has begun renovations to the lobby, restaurants and common areas of the hotel. The multi-million project, slated for completion in early April, follows recent renovations to the hotel’s 255 guest rooms and the resort’s Sport & Health Club that were completed last year.

The lobby will have a new check-in area that is being designed for efficiency and ease of service. The renovation will modernize and open up the reception area with a vibrant and contemporary first impression.

“Our new lobby will roll out the welcome mat, and it has been designed to create comfort and ease when guests check in,” said Bob Barenberg, managing director, Embassy Suites Myrtle Beach. “Our design team carefully selected fabrics and color palettes to create a more relaxed and inviting atmosphere.”

The hotel’s food and beverage outlets will also receive renovations to modernize and enhance the facilities as well as offer breathtaking views of the surrounding natural beauty of Myrtle Beach.  A new upscale 44-seat oceanfront restaurant is being added and will offer scenic views along the Atlantic Ocean.  The existing lobby restaurant, Fisheye Grill, will be completely transformed into a new open kitchen concept with modern fixtures. This restaurant will serve the hotel’s complimentary, cooked-to-order breakfast, as well as lunch and dinner.  A new lobby bar is also being added with large-screen televisions for guests to enjoy news and sporting events. The current café bar in the lobby that offers Starbucks™ products will be expanded with additional seating and an extended menu offering grab-and-go sandwiches, milk shakes and pre-made salads. In addition, improvements will be made to the lobby retail and gift shop.

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Embassy Suites Wins ConventionSouth Readers’ Choice Award

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – (January 23, 2012) – Embassy Suites at Kingston Plantation, an oceanfront resort in Myrtle Beach, was selected as a winner of 2011 ConventionSouth Readers’ Choice Award, according to the magazine.

The annual awards highlight the South’s most creative and professional convention and visitors bureaus and meeting sites as selected by the readers of ConventionSouth magazine, the #1 national meetings publication focused exclusively on the South for the past 28 years.  The Readers’ Choice Award Winners are nominated and voted on by meeting planners who receive ConventionSouth monthly.

The 255-suite oceanfront Embassy Suites Hotel is part of one of the most comprehensive oceanfront conference destination between Atlanta City and West Palm Beach. The resort complex of four oceanfront towers combines more than 113,000 square feet of meeting space offering state-of-the-art audio/visual conferencing facilities, wireless high-speed internet access, banquet and catering facilities along with a dedicated and experienced meeting staff. Kingston Plantation Conference Center at Embassy Suites features 65,000 square feet of meeting space in 17 rooms that can accommodate groups from 50 to 2,000. The 20-story Embassy Suites combines breathtaking views with the comforts of home—perfect for meetings and corporate gatherings and family or romantic getaways. Embassy Suites guests enjoy a number of additional amenities, including a daily complimentary buffet breakfast and manager’s cocktail reception every evening.

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Meetings, Group Business in Sights

Hoteliers unite, court meeting planners

SUN NEWS – (January 2012) – By Dawn Bryant dbryant@thesunnews.com

You might start seeing more visitors with conference nametags wandering around town or stepping out of motorcoaches if the new strategies promoters are using to lure these types of groups to the Grand Strand work.

The Myrtle Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and lodging properties with lots of meeting space have tweaked their recruiting tactics in recent months aiming to bring more groups and conventions to the beach – just as that segment of travel starts to slowly rebound nationally after years of drastic cutbacks amid the wobbly economy.

Group business – which mainly includes annual conventions, meetings, sports events and motorcoach tours is a small sliver, about 10 percent, of the overall number of visitors to the Grand Strand each year – leisure vacationers dominate, of course. But most meetings happen in the spring and fall, making it an ideal type of business for the Grand Strand to supplement the busy summer season, experts say.

“It seems like the perfect match,” said Bill Geist of Zeitgeist Consulting, which studied the Myrtle Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau’s efforts and suggested ways to improve a few months ago. “They are meeting when you need rooms.”
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