By Jennifer Puckett
I haven’t even made it past the first floor before I stop wide-eyed in admiration of the Sovereign Ballroom. The regal space paints the exact picture of where Richard Burton proposed to Elizabeth Taylor and the room’s impressive beauty has me wanting to see more.
As a guest, I stand in awe; but as an executive assistant, I see a preferred venue.
The ballrooms are architectural gems and can be transformed into beautiful and energetic spaces, including the 17th floor Crystal Ballroom, which is truly fit for royalty. “It’s not your typical four walls,” says a catering sales manager for the hotel as she smiles broadly. As an extension of the hotel’s renovations, $6.5 million was spent to bring the space to fire code, restore the ballroom to its previous opulence, and underline it as one of the most spectacular venues in the city.
Many factors come into play when booking a space for meetings and events, which often requires creative thinking. The hotel provides flexible function space and strives to accommodate all requests. Suites can even be shifted to hold private meetings and the Royal Suite seats 12 at its dining table and is equipped with a butler’s kitchen.
The meeting rooms are soundproof and can host private meetings, executive dining, receptions, socials, roadshows, and interviews – to name a few. Tables and seating, in most rooms, can also be adjusted to allow for creative floor plans that maximize the space in a comfortable way.
To deliver consistent, high-quality service, all event catering is done in-house and the hotel partners with Freeman for outstanding audio-visual and internet support.
All of the hotel’s rooms and suites have been renovated, providing guests with lavish accommodation and modern touches. Grand arm chairs complement the high ceilings, rooms are spacious with large closets, and each room is equipped with a workspace, Keurig coffee machine, laptop-sized safe, and mini fridge (left empty for conveniences such as storing medication or personal beverages).
For a nominal fee, guests can enjoy the Royal Club Lounge on the 11th floor. The upgrade provides morning car service within 3 km, deluxe continental breakfast, evening hors d’oeuvres with complimentary domestic beer and house wine, snacks throughout the day, as well as access to a computer, printer, and two meeting rooms that can be blocked for three hours at a time on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The King Street hotel was originally built in 1903 to provide luxury accommodation to business travellers and an exclusive destination for the elite. Over a century later, the landmark property preserves its history and charm through its grand spaces and elegant detailing and, with the recent renovations, moves forward to attract the next generation of travellers.
The hotel is one of over 50 Omni Hotel and Resorts across North America and a sales manager at the King Edward tells me how the owner of Omni stresses the importance of customer service across all properties. The company takes pride in their exceptional service and “no messages program” to ensure that the customer always gets a hotel staff member on the other end of a call and, during weekdays between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., a sales representative is always available to assist.
When a venue and its staff understand luxury, it comes with a paralleled quality of prestigious hospitality and customer service that saves time for both executive assistants and their executives – as everyone knows, “time is a luxury.”