As you’ll probably agree, hands-on experience, continuing professional development and on-the-job training represent the most beneficial side of learning.  What could be better than offering an experience like that to this budding generation?    

This Desmond Project is unique and is acknowledged as the only program in the nation to offer high school students an advanced working relationship with a local business and allows students to encounter real-life learning experiences in a hands-on business application. Students learn to work as a team to accomplish goals, pinpoint prospects, spot challenges, integrate risks with opportunities, and map out solutions and business plans.

“The mission has always been to provide students with educational experiences that help them make real world connections and develop the soft skills needed for success after graduation”, says Michael Chain, General Manager of the Desmond Hotel Malvern. “Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders, and we’re proud to support them through this integral learning experience. Not only does The Desmond Project raise money for important causes and organizations, it contributes richly to the community, the students and The Desmond.”  2022  marks the 27th anniversary of The Desmond Project.

So far the rewards for the Great Valley High School students are great and they’ve accomplished so much in 27 years:

  • Raised over $500,000 overall
  • ​Donated money to numerous charities

  • Celebrated 1,800+ student achievers over the years

  • Directed and organized 100+ event

Even though it’s an accredited course, the students get much more than course credit! They make connections, gain authentic experience and collaborate with others in a real-life work setting. From start to finish, the students are empowered  to manage their own holiday Senior Citizen’s luncheon and spring hotel dinner banquet, with over 200 guests in attendance. To prepare, students participate in real world interviews with hotel and district leaders to earn positions working alongside professionals from the hotel. In assignments such as marketing, fundraising, menu creation, food prep, publicity, and leadership, students work together to plan and host both events, and literally take-over the hotel on the day of banquet. After a long interview process, these exceptional students were hired as the top 3 Desmond Executive Officers to take charge (all are seniors and in their 3rd year of The Project): Charlotte Borger, DEO; Lauren Pizzi, Assistant DEO and Kelly Sullivan, Assistant DEO.

Each student gets the opportunity to shadow professionals at The Desmond to learn on-the-job skills and connection problem-solving techniques. You’ll find them working with marketing, sales, finance, banquet services and also in the kitchen. The banquet will take place this year on Sunday, April 24th. The evening itself will honor high-achieving students and recognize their contributions; it represents the pinnacle of the Desmond Project. Student banquets to date have raised money to contribute to student scholarships. They lead and orchestrate to raise the money through obtaining sponsorships and advertising from local businesses. They are so appreciative to have secured, thus far, these sponsors for the scholarships this year: Charlestown Paving, Krapt Coaches, Payroll Factory & Abel Brothers Towing. LEARN MORE ABOUT SPONSORSHIPS – CLICK HERE

Approximately 1,400 Great Valley students have participated in the Desmond Project since its inception in 1995. The partnership has become woven into the fabric of the great valley community. A winner of various awards, The Desmond Project was most recently recognized by The Youth Mentoring Partnership (YMP) for its multilevel mentorship approach, and by the Main Line Chamber of Commerce for philanthropic work in the community.

In addition to the annual keystone projects, students in The Desmond Project plan and participate in a number of school and community events throughout the year. These events raise awareness and funds for The Project and often benefit other community organizations.

Finance

Great Valley School District is located in Chester County, approximately 25 miles west of Philadelphia. There are approximately 73 students enrolled in The Desmond Project for the 2021- 2022 school year.

CONTACT THE DESMOND PROJECT

Food and Beverage Team (pictured Desmond GM, M. Chain & Desmond Banquet Dir., A. Davidson) 

Sales Team (pictures K. Kessler, Director of Sales, Desmond and Mr. Venarchik, Business Teacher, GVHS)

About The Desmond Malvern, a DoubleTree by Hilton

 

For over 25 years, The Desmond Malvern has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort featuring 194 non-smoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities. Situated on beautiful grounds, this luxurious property is a part of the highly regarded Hilton Hotels offering five dining options including a late night pub, room service and outdoor dining. Providing scenic walking trails, onsite basketball & tennis plus indoor fitness center and swimming pool, The Desmond is the perfect setting for an overnight stay, wedding weekend or any occasion. Together with award winning restaurants & a creative Chef, they have become a local’s favorite spot for a night out, a delicious meal or special celebration!

Congratulations Marissa and Tyler! Married 5/28/21 – Here is their full interview:

 

How did you hear about The Desmond?

“We had a very specific wish list when it came time to look for a reception venue. It had to be local to our West Chester church ceremony, it had to have fantastic food, it had to have a hotel attached for our out-of-town guests, and it needed to look absolutely elegant for our fairytale-inspired wedding. My mother had planned conferences at the Desmond in the past through her work place and recommended that we take a look at the Desmond’s ballroom online. After taking a look at the Desmond’s highly-rated profile on The Knot, the venue immediately caught our eye, and we scheduled a venue tour.”

Why did you choose the Desmond to host your wedding?

“We chose the Desmond to host our wedding because it checked off everything on our wish list. We absolutely fell head-over-heels for the elegant ballroom! We are big Disney fans, but we wanted to include small touches of this in a very elegant way at our wedding. The chandeliers in the ballroom reminded us of the ballroom in Beauty and the Beast. We ate at the Fork and Bottle restaurant to try out the food right before choosing the venue, and fell in love with the delicious steak and scallops, as well as the famous bread pudding dessert! Finally, the service we received even before we signed our contract was impeccable. We were treated like the Desmond’s only clients, despite the Desmond staff trying to juggle both 2020 and 2021 weddings during uncertain times with ever-changing guidelines from the state regarding COVID-19 regulations and safety precautions.”

How did everything go?

“Our fairytale wedding was absolutely magical! The Desmond brought the magic, wonder, and timeless elegance of a Disney fairytale to Malvern, PA! My husband and I, and our guests, were treated like royalty. Tyler and I couldn’t have asked for more from the Desmond!”

What was your favorite part of your wedding reception?

“Gosh, where do I start! One of my favorite parts of the night was our special dances at the beginning of the reception, including our First Dance as a couple, and the Father-Daughter Dance. My husband and I took dance lessons to perform a choreographed waltz to Ed Sheeran’s song “Perfect.” During both the First Dance and Father-Daughter Dance, I truly felt like a princess spinning and waltzing around underneath the beautiful chandeliers. Another special touch that the Desmond pulled off was at the beginning of dinner service, the Desmond staff coordinated with our band, Strangers from BVT Live, to play Be Our Guest from Beauty and the Beast as the wait-staff brought out food. It was such a unique moment that our guests really loved! Finally, I can’t forget to mention the amazing food and drinks! One of my favorite food and beverage items that the Desmond staff was able to make happen was my specialty drink as the bride. There is a special frozen drink served in Disney’s Epcot that I absolutely love called La Vie En Rose. After finding the recipe online, the Desmond was able to serve this as my specialty cocktail (and it tasted the exact same as the drink served in Disney)!  It really made us feel special that the Desmond would go out of their way to make special moments like these happen for us.

Any “learned” advice to a potential couple looking to book at the Desmond ?

“One piece of advice I would give to future Desmond brides would be to ask for what you want at the Desmond.  We had some very specific special requests, and the Desmond was able to accommodate all of them! I would also recommend for any future bride to stop for a few moments on your wedding day and take it all in! Enjoy the night you have worked so hard to plan for the last year or more- it goes by in the blink of an eye!”

PHOTO CREDIT: George Street Photo & Video: www.georgestreetphoto.com @GeorgeStreetPV

 

 

About The Desmond Malvern, a DoubleTree by Hilton

For over 25 years, The Desmond Malvern has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort featuring 194 non-smoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities. Situated on beautiful grounds, this luxurious property is a part of the highly regarded Hilton Hotels offering five dining options including a late night pub, room service and outdoor dining. Providing scenic walking trails, onsite basketball & tennis plus indoor fitness center and swimming pool, The Desmond is the perfect setting for an overnight stay, wedding weekend or any occasion. Together with award winning restaurants & a creative Chef, they have become a local’s favorite spot for a night out, a delicious meal or special celebration! 

 

HOTEL RECEIVES TOP HONORS FOR GUEST SATISFACTION SCORES

DoubleTree by Hilton Brand Recognizes Hotel for Highest Guest Satisfaction Scores in the U.S. and Canada. The Desmond Malvern, a DoubleTree by Hilton earned its way to the #1 Spot this Quarter!

MALVERN, PA (November 18, 2021) The Desmond Malvern, a DoubleTree by Hilton has been recognized with the regions quarterly CARE Strong Award. The award is given to the hotel that achieves the highest DoubleTree by Hilton SALT (Satisfaction and Loyalty Tracking) score from the following metrics within the respective quarter and region U.S. and Canada.

  • Overall Service
  • Problem Resolution
  • Feel Welcomed
  • Cleanliness of Guestroom

“Congratulations to the third quarter’s CARE Strong Award Winners. Their performance is proof that when you CARE, it shows,” said Shawn McAteer, global brand head of DoubleTree by Hilton.

“This award is a reflection of our staff. Each and every day, our team members choose how they will show up for our guests. Even throughout the most exhausting days of the global pandemic, our staff has consistently chosen to embody relentless, authentic kindness and an unmatched work ethic to ensure that our guests have a clean and comfortable experience — the hallmarks of our unique brand. I couldn’t be more proud of our team”, said Michael Chain, general manager, The Desmond Malvern a DoubleTree by Hilton

The Desmond Malvern, a DoubleTree by Hilton is part of Hilton Honors®, the award-winning guest loyalty program for Hilton’s 18 world-class brands. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else and free standard WiFi. Members also have access to contactless technology exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors mobile app, where Hilton Honors members can check-in, choose their room and access their room using Digital Key.

About The Desmond Malvern, a DoubleTree by Hilton

For over 25 years, The Desmond Malvern has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort featuring 194 non-smoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities. Situated on beautiful grounds, this luxurious property is a part of the highly regarded Hilton Hotels offering five dining options including a late night pub, room service and outdoor dining. Providing scenic walking trails, onsite basketball & tennis plus indoor fitness center and swimming pool, The Desmond is the perfect setting for an overnight stay or any occasion. Together with award winning restaurants & a creative Chef, they have become a local’s favorite spot for a night out, a delicious meal or special celebration! 

Contact  Follow: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

About DoubleTree by Hilton

DoubleTree by Hilton is a fast-growing, global portfolio of more than 615 hotels with more than 142,000 rooms across 50 countries and territories. For more than 50 years, DoubleTree by Hilton has continued to be a symbol of comfort for business and leisure travelers around the world, from welcoming guests with its signature warm DoubleTree chocolate chip cookie, to serving the local community. DoubleTree by Hilton offers contemporary accommodations and amenities, including unique food and beverage experiences, state-of-the-art fitness offerings and meetings and events spaces. Experience a positive stay at DoubleTree by Hilton by booking at doubletree.com or through the industry-leading Hilton Honors appHilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits.

Learn more about DoubleTree by Hilton at newsroom.hilton.com/doubletree, and follow the brand on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

 

The Desmond Malvern, a DoubleTree by Hilton | One Liberty Boulevard | Malvern, Pennsylvania | 610-296-9800

JACKIE

I sat down with Jackie. I thought about how to describe her.  Superstar? Extraordinary? Magnificent? This is not easy….How to convey the qualities of Jackie, a restaurant server for over 23 years at The Desmond Malvern, a DoubleTree by Hilton.

What adjective could possible describe all that she is? 

To begin with, here are just a few (of many) customer’s written praises from their ‘who rocked it’ comment cards displayed throughout the hotel  – “simply terrific” – “force of nature”-  “pleasant & perky” – “real treasure” – “delightful” – “deserves 5 stars” – “efficient with smiles & good humor”.

When I read these to Jackie  – she just smiled. She told me that this is what keeps her content at her place of employment after all these years…the guests.  And these people are very special.

JACKIE’S FAMILY & NEW ADDITION

She brought out 2 large pieces of paper which displayed 92 hand written names that she keeps with her. Who are these people I asked? Customers.  Good customers. Her customers. WOW. Amazed, I asked her if all these people request her as their server when they dine at The Desmond. Yes, yes they do, she said. Some even call her on her personal cell phone and ask her schedule for the week. For good reason. Jackie will remember your name and she’ll remember your drink plus she’ll remember your favorite dish as well!

Jackie was born in Vietnam. She feels very fortunate to have traveled from China to the US at 16 years old, with her whole family, and with the help of her church. She is very grateful. She didn’t speak any English when she arrived, but learned the language through the help of her school and the church. She speaks 4 languages now!

Her favorite hobby? Cooking. She just loves to spend time by the stove! Her culinary mastery was obtained from her Mom, Dad and Grandmother who were also in the hospitality industry. Like a sponge, Jackie soaked up every bit of culinary knowledge from them.

The hardest part of her job?  The commute.  Jackie lives in New Jersey! For over 23 years, she’s driven back and forth to The Desmond. 1 hour in the morning and the travel home is longer.  The drive doesn’t bother her and this is why, she says, “If you love your work, you don’t work a day in your life”.

Jackie has so many great Desmond memories…  fussing over Mr. Desmond & his frequent dining visits … a hectic week long stay during a very bad blizzard …the senior citizens bus pulling in at midnight with all eyes on decaf…and the panic that set in after spilling lemonade on the Executive Chef’s wife to name just a few.  Her funniest memory? She shared many laughs with her customers in her early days because of her broken English, customers used to think she was saying “crap cake” (crab cake) and “all-rotten potatoes” (au gratin potatoes)!

JACKIE’S FAMILY

Although she is no longer working triple shifts, 7 days a week, like she used to, Jackie says that she will stay and work at The Desmond as long as she can – into her senior years, even if that means serving customers on a walker!  Everyone makes her feel so special including her peers and the management team.  Her co-workers, now good friends, have amazing tenures themselves: Ann Marie, 17 + years, Carman – 15 yrs – Michael 16+ yrs. and Colin 30 yrs.  They are her 2nd family. The Desmond truly is her home.

JACKIE, COLIN, MICHAEL

To say Jackie is “good with people” is an understatement. When she first approaches your table, you will feel like you’ve just reacquainted with a long lost friend. As one guest wrote,  “Jackie brightened our day! She should have her own TV show to bring happiness to others!”.

What do you say WCAU?

 

For over 25 years, The Desmond Hotel has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort. We feature 194 non-smoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities. Our luxurious property is a part of the highly regarded Hilton Hotels.  We offer five dining options including a late night pub, room service and outdoor dining situated on beautiful grounds.  When the weather is nice, we have outdoor walking trails, basketball & tennis but provide an indoor fitness center and swimming pool too. We have the perfect setting for you—no matter the occasion. The Desmond is ideal for indoor & outdoor wedding receptions, corporate meetings and retreats,  and any kind of celebration. We are a local’s  favorite spot for a night out & a delicious meal or a quick stop for a friendly hello & cocktail, because after-all, we treat every guest just like family.  Contact us today: Info@desmondgv.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN YOUR OPINION CHRIS, WHAT IS THE BEST GRILLING MEAT? Skirt Steak and thinly cut beef chuck flap.

WHAT IS A TIME-SAVING KITCHEN HACK FOR THE BBQ? A time-spender early, but a time-saver later! Blanch and shock vegetables such as asparagus, baby carrots or cabbage leaves.  Pat dry and toss with EVO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil), salt, and any other seasoning you prefer.  When ready to eat, quickly grill over high heat to obtain grill flavor and slightly char the exterior.  This will keep them fresh and delicately charred without drying out. (Eggplant, tomato, zucchini etc. you would not blanch)

WHAT IS YOUR #1 GRILLING TIP? Constantly flip the meat…don’t worry about getting those “commercial perfect” crosshatch grill marks or you’ll sacrifice the overall quality of the meat in return for a nice picture.  Any concentration on one side and the meat will rubber band and curl like a shoehorn. Also, when “marinating” or “saucing while grilling”, avoid too much sugar in all forms – this will definitely make the meat burn.  Grilling should be high heat.   Only slow cooking (like smoking) should there be more than just a bit of sugar.

WHAT’S THE SECRET TO FLAVORFUL & TENDER MEAT ON THE GRILL? Back to turning the meat often on the grill bars.  Think of it like it being on a rotisserie.  Also, if the meat is too thick, it probably should not be grilled.  Nice, quickly cooked meat (no more than 1.5″) is best in my opinion. {Thicker products can be grilled, but they should be allowed to rest off the heat on a rack after about 75-80% cooked.  Then return the meat back to the grill to finish the remainder of cooking when almost ready to sit down and eat.}

CHRIS’ SECRET SAUCE RECIPE: (For Marinade or Heated for Finishing)

In a blender: 2 garlic cloves peeled – 1/2 C. parsley rough chopped – 2 scallions rough chopped – 1/2 C. EVO – 2 tsp salt – 1 tsp good paprika – 1 T. red wine vinegar

 

 

 

For over 25 years, The Desmond Hotel has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort. We feature 194 non-smoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities. Our luxurious property is a part of the highly regarded Hilton Hotels.  We offer five dining options including a late night pub, room service and outdoor dining situated on beautiful grounds.  When the weather is nice, we have outdoor walking trails, basketball & tennis but provide an indoor fitness center and swimming pool too. We have the perfect setting for you—no matter the occasion. The Desmond is ideal for indoor & outdoor wedding receptions, corporate meetings and retreats,  and any kind of celebration. We are a local’s  favorite spot for a night out & a delicious meal or a quick stop for a friendly hello & cocktail, because after-all, we treat every guest just like family.  Contact us today: Info@desmondgv.com

 

It seems a lifetime ago, that we chose our winner for the Military Wedding Giveaway (2019)! As expected, like so many others, our winning couple had to postpone their chosen wedding day in the summer of 2020. But we are happy to report… the Wedding is ON! And it’s coming up quickly!  June 18, 2021.  Diana and Andres are excited to finally have their dream wedding come true!

All of these generous vendors have donated their time and services for this wedding, and for that, we are truly grateful. Please consider their services for your event! 

DAVIDS BRIDAL – Thank you for the wedding dress Kate! www.davidsbridal.com 
SAGET’S FORMAL WEAR  – Thank you for the tuxedo James! www.sagets.com
JOURNEYS OF THE HEART – Thank you for officiating Susan! www.journeysoftheheart.org
THE MASTERS BAKER – Thank you for the cake Chad! www.themastersbaker.com
VALLEY CREEK PRODUCTIONS – Thank you for the video Justin! www.valleycreekproductions.com
LA SPOSA BY ASHLEY SORRENTINO – Thank you for the hairstyle Ashley! www.lasposastyles.com
KATHARINE WINTER MAKE UP – Thank you for the make up application Kat! Katharinewinter@aol.com
BLUE MOON FLORIST – Thank you for the centerpieces Ami! www.bluemoonflorist.com
SPENCER STUDIOS –  Thank you for the shooting the ceremony & portraits Tim! www.spencerstudios.biz
DUCA STUDIOS – Thank you for the reception photos Amanda & Tony! www.ducastudio.com
MARK SHEPPERD PRODUCTIONS – Thank you for the dancing music Mitch & Mark! www.markshepperddj.com

Read Diana & Andres winning love story below:

 “WHEN LOVE IS GREATER”

We met our freshman year in high school. I was in Physical Education class when this six- foot, three hundred pound, fifteen year old approached me and introduced himself as Andres. We were instantly friends. He was such a sweet boy, always showering me with gifts and helping my single mother in all her endeavors to provide for my sister and I. These attributes slowly made me start having feelings for him and by the end of the year we were dating. We graduated at seventeen and two months later my “love-bug” left for Army boot camp and by August I was heading for boot camp too. With both of us in basic training, we could not talk to each other. Our communication was solely by mailed letters.

One day, as I was standing in formation, waiting for the drill sergeant to call names for letter dispursement, I received mine, but little did I know this one letter would change my life. In it, my boyfriend asked if I would marry him! So without hesitation, I responded with a “Yes!” and sent the letter. A couple of months later, everything had been arranged for the wedding by my boyfriend and my mother-in-law. We had not seen each other for five months and we were meeting again the Friday night before our wedding. The next morning we were at the old, brick building, musty court house.

There were only ten of us in there including the judge. The only friends I had with me were my two battle buddies who were currently in training with me. The wedding was done on less than my husband’s  E-3 pay check of $1049 a month. His aunt gifted us the cake and his brother bought the Chinese food for the party.

My wedding dress was my thirty dollar Quinceanera dress my mom had bought years prior on her house keeping salary, which I had worn for a mass in my honor since I couldn’t have a Quinceanera either.

The hotel room to spend our first night as a couple, was gifted by a family friend who worked there. My father could not walk me down the aisle since he resided in Colombia, thus neither the anticipated Latino culture Quinceanera nor the wedding were what I ever dreamed of. The “reception” was held at my brother-in-law’s living room were a few more family friends were able to attend and by the following day, my husband dropped me back in training and headed to California to his first duty assignment.

Getting married young was not easy and by our first year anniversary, we had endured the tragic loss of our first and only daughter. I vividly remember the Chaplin at our daughter’s bedside trying to comfort us, but also warning us that this tragedy we were facing could either make or break us. Since we were always so far away from family during our military life, we didn’t get the chance to have an official wedding. Then I decided that my dream would be to wait until our twenty year anniversary and combine his retirement ceremony and our wedding at the same time. However, life threw a huge curve ball and that did not happen at all.

In 2015, while stationed in Kentucky, my husband was diagnosed with a brain AVM (arteriovenous malformation). A “perfectly” healthy soldier was now facing a life altering diagnosis to include the need for brain surgery. Our third boy was born and five weeks into our new parenting adventure, my husband had to be medevac’d due to severe brain swelling and hemorrhage.

My husband is not the same person he was. We now choose to embrace the new him, the new normal and adjusting to a life that’s very different from what we had.

Remember the dream that I had mentioned earlier about having my wedding and my husband’s retirement all at the same time? Well, that dream was crushed. It will be 22 years of marriage this November and I have yet to have a wedding. I keep putting it off and saying, “Well, maybe for our 25th year anniversary, maybe our 50th and so on, but what if that day never comes?” And just today,  as I was writing this essay, my husband was diagnosed with dementia.

It doesn’t matter how our story began, but how it will end. We have each other and our three beautiful boys to be thankful for. Our love story is a story of commitment, endurance, and perseverance despite all odds and that to me is a love story, an unfiltered love story. We deserve this wedding because my husband deserves to be able to actually SEE me walk down the aisle, the way it’s always meant to be. I want our children to have that memory before they leave home.

Our family needs moments of joy and a promising culmination of all that we have faced. I want to be able to show how much I love this man and how we are forever meant to be.

Diana and Andres: Follow the couple’s journey here

———–

For over 25 years, The Desmond Hotel has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort. We feature 194 non-smoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities. Our luxurious property is a part of the Hilton family and held in high regard. We offer five dining options including a late night pub, room service and outdoor dining situated on beautiful grounds.  When the weather is nice, we have outdoor walking trails, basketball & tennis but provide an indoor fitness center and swimming pool too. We have the perfect setting for you—no matter the occasion. The Desmond is ideal for indoor & outdoor wedding receptions, corporate meetings and retreats,  and any kind of celebration. We are a local’s  favorite spot for a night out & a delicious meal or a quick stop for a friendly hello & cocktail, because after-all, we treat every guest just like family.  Contact us today: Info@desmondgv.com

PA Prostate Cancer Coalition celebrates The Desmond Hotel in Malvern, PA for their commitment to fighting for prostate cancer awareness.

Malvern, PA: On Saturday, March 30, 2019, the PA Prostate Cancer Coalition awarded Michael Chain and his team at The Desmond Hotel in Malvern, PA, for their service in prostate cancer awareness. The Desmond Hotel has hosted the PA Prostate Cancer Coalition’s flagship event, Bottoms Up for Prostate Cancer Awareness, for five years, helping to raise over $100,000 to fund prostate cancer education and outreach.

“Hank Porterfield and the Porterfield Family Foundation have been fighting for prostate cancer awareness for over 25 years,” explained COL (Ret) James Williams (USA), Chairman of PPCC and prostate cancer survivor. “When he passed last year, we knew we had to do something to keep his fighting spirit alive. The Hank’s Heroes award is given to businesses and volunteers that have made the decision that prostate cancer awareness matters. These awards are our way to honor Hank’s legacy and the amazing work being done in the field to help keep men healthy and alive.”

Over 200 people were in attendance at the 5th Annual Bottoms Up for Prostate Cancer Awareness, including headlining guests Nick McIlwain from WMMR Radio’s “Preston & Steve Show” and Fox 29’s Dr. Mike Cirigliano. Accepting the Hank’s Heroes award on behalf of The Desmond were Michael Chain, John Elwanger, Kim Mullen, and Burt Ockerman.

About Bottoms Up for Prostate Cancer Awareness
The PA Prostate Cancer Coalition has partnered with the Desmond Hotel and Steve Morrison (of WMMR’s “Preston and Steve” show and a prostate cancer survivor) for five Bottoms Up for Prostate Cancer Awareness events. In 2015, the event had an attendance of 70 people and raised $8,000. Over the next several years, the event has grown to over 200 attendees a year and raises over $20,000 each year.

The event is refreshed each year, but always includes live music, food pairings, craft breweries, wines, signatures cocktails, silent auction, and more. This flagship event highlights the importance of prostate health and early detection in suburban Philadelphia communities.

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Julia Child said it best: “A party without a cake is just a meeting.” The simple truth is that great eats and entertainment are the backbone of any unforgettable gathering.

When planning something special like a wedding, retirement party or Bar or Bat Mitzvah, it can be easy to get hung up on the details. Although the favors, place cards and invitations are important, the real test of a successful party is how many smiles and laughs were shared and how everyone’s bellies feel afterward.

We believe food, drinks and entertainment equal fun — because that’s what guests remember most. Luckily, we excel at providing all those things! Take a look at our top five tips to ensure the next celebration you’re planning is downright memorable.

1. The Space

Every great memory needs a setting, and we have just the right background for you. Our special events planners have the knowledge and expertise to help you find exactly the right spot at The Desmond for your special day. We have beautiful spaces — indoors and outdoors — that work for every special occasion. Our well-appointed ballroom (ask about the conservatory next door!) elevates any event with elegant style. Fans of the great outdoors can’t go wrong with our picturesque grounds and garden gazebo. Plus, the large outdoor deck that sits adjacent to our restaurants provides ample room to spread out and party the night away in a more relaxed setting. We specialize in something for everyone.

2. The Food

Food — we’re known for it! There are many reasons why we continue to win awards from theknot.com and weddingwire.com, and one of them is our culinary prowess. From breakfast to dinner and buffet to banquet, our dedicated kitchen staff is ready to create the meal of your dreams. Top-notch purveyors and an array of local and global flavors give our cuisine the distinction of truly having something everyone will enjoy (while accommodating every dietary concern). When you work with us to create a menu, you can rest assured that we’ll craft a meal worthy of a toast!

3. The Drinks

Libations are a fantastic way to complement a wonderful event. Our selection of craft beers, fine wines and select spirits are carefully procured to delight you and your guests. Our mixologists can create a signature drink to mark the event, too! Talk to one of our event consultants to find out more.

4. The Entertainment

When there’s great entertainment, an event seems just that much better. Our event consultants will share our referral list of preferred vendors for music, but why not consider going the extra mile with a caricaturist or photo booth? The right balance of entertainment creates novel enjoyment without being too busy.

5. The After-Party

Nothing beats taking the elevator home! When the night calls for drinks, let us help you and your guests skip the driving. We offer discounted guest room blocks for all of our wedding groups (contact us for details). Bonus: Enjoy our award-winning brunch the next day and keep the party going in style!

For 25 years, The Desmond Hotel has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort. We boast 194 well-appointed nonsmoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities and hotel-wide free Wi-Fi. Our luxurious property offers three onsite dining options, two bars, indoor and outdoor fitness and beautiful grounds. We have the perfect setting for you—no matter the occasion. The Desmond is ideal for corporate meetings and retreats, wedding receptions and any kind of celebration. Events of all sizes welcome!

Nathan Greenwood

 

When Julia Davis Chandler published the first recipe for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in 1901, she ended up changing the food landscape forever. The idea was simple: Combine already great ingredients to create something even better. While bread, peanut butter and jam were all commonplace, their combination became a brand-new sensation. Synergy like this is the cornerstone for innovation and newfound excellence.

In the same spirit that Julia Davis Chandler embodied back in 1901, we are pushing forward to offer even more to our customers. How? By taking The Desmond you know and love and joining forces with The DoubleTree by Hilton (and all of the great amenities it adds)!

The spirit and staff of the Desmond will still be hard at work, and we’ll remain family-owned. You will, however, find a lot that’s new (and we think you’ll love all of it!).

So what’s new?

The Space

We’ve always focused on providing a wonderful space for our guests, whether they be travelers, wedding parties or corporate clients. Now we’ve just made it better. We’ve updated our restaurants and guest rooms. From the hallways you’ll walk down to the bathroom and bedding in your room, you’ll notice modern upgrades and a clean, contemporary style.

Our Conference Center remains true to its roots and has also received a brand-new makeover. The dedicated staff — from planners to coordinators — are here to help at our IACC Certified space, and the updated furniture and surroundings establish our mutual evolution with the business world and our clients.

The Menu

Chef Chris Calhoun’s focus on the best ingredients drives the menus for our restaurants year round. We’ve spent years finding the best dairies, farms, fisheries and ranches to bring our guests unparalleled food. Our menus change with the seasons and draw on inspiration from everywhere. Come dine with us and see what’s cooking!

The Perks

When we joined with The DoubleTree by Hilton, we knew we wanted to offer the Hilton Honors membership (offering redeemable points on your stay, special member pricing and digital check-in from any device). Just like putting new tires on a race car brings it to another level, incorporating these perks into our already established hotel adds something small that is actually quite big. After all, points add up, and that means more for you when you stay with us.

We’re growing, because that’s what great businesses do. Sometimes it means growing bigger or changing with the times, and sometimes it means joining forces to create something completely different. Innovation comes in many forms, whether it’s a timeless recipe or two companies coming together. Oh, and don’t forget that in addition to the warm welcome you’ve come to expect at The Desmond, you’ll also get the DoubleTree’s legendary warm cookies.

For 25 years, The Desmond Hotel has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort. We boast 194 well-appointed nonsmoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities and hotel-wide free Wi-Fi. Our luxurious property offers three onsite dining options, two bars, indoor and outdoor fitness and beautiful grounds. We have the perfect setting for you—no matter the occasion. The Desmond is ideal for corporate meetings and retreats, wedding receptions and any kind of celebration. Events of all sizes welcome!

Nathan Greenwood

Photos: The Desmond

Not everyone has seen a black opal gemstone, but once you do, it’s easy to see why it’s so treasured. It’s a treat for the senses — not to mention extremely hard to find.

In the world of food, we love finding those special gems that bring about a culinary joy you didn’t know could be experienced — and the way that we do it is through relationships. “Try 20 to find 2,” said Executive Chef Chris Calhoun on how to find the best foods from top producers. “More and more options keep popping up every year, so you have to try them all. In addition, many are very seasonal, so time is of the essence.”

By keeping our kitchen’s thumb on the pulse of great farms and fisheries, we’re able to craft a unique menu that excels in quality and seasonality. Check out some of Chef Chris’ top picks on the menu right now:

  • Akaushi Beef: This rare beef comes from HeartBrand Ranch in Flatonia, Texas, and raises cattle with true red Wagyu genetics straight from Japan. The natural marbling found in Wagyu means incredible U.S. prime beef with a buttery flavor. While most Wagyu in the states is crossed with Angus, HeartBrand’s bloodline is undiluted.
  • Nicasio Cheese: “It’s awesome 100 percent organic farmstead cheese,” Chef Chris gushed. Nicasio Valley Cheese is situated just north of San Francisco and has won award after award (including top five in class at the 2014 World Cheese Championship). The same family has been farming the pasture-based Lafranchi Ranch that supplies all the organic milk for Nicasio cheese since 1919. We use a number of varieties in our dishes and continue to be amazed by these adept cheesemakers.
  • Fish from the Portland (Maine) Fish Exchange via Browne Trading Co.: “We’ve been using this supplier for decades. Everyone knows they’re the best,” said Chef Chris. Browne Trading Co., also located in Portland, keeps us stocked with incredibly high-quality round fish, flatfish and shellfish.

We’re always searching for something new, and it shows up in our food. “I purposely try to mix a lot of different basic cooking methods (deep poach, shallow poach, poele, braise) into every menu,” Chef Chris explained. “It’s for variety’s sake and to keep the cooks practicing these techniques.”

That variety lets us show off the amazing foods we procure in novel and interesting ways. A prime example? “The poached beef tenderloin is pretty stellar,” chef Chris noted. We couldn’t agree more! While most people think of grilling or pan-frying, we bring out the best in this cut through unique preparation in our kitchen.

Hungry? Come visit us at one of our restaurants and see what we’re cooking up today. Whether it’s uniquely sweet Kauai shrimp from Hawaii or the coveted seasonal arrival of Subarashii Kudamono pears from right here in Pennsylvania, we always have something delightful to share with you!

For 25 years, The Desmond Hotel has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort. We boast 194 well-appointed nonsmoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities and hotel-wide free Wi-Fi. Our luxurious property offers three onsite dining options, two bars, indoor and outdoor fitness and beautiful grounds. We have the perfect setting for you—no matter the occasion. The Desmond is ideal for corporate meetings and retreats, wedding receptions and any kind of celebration. Events of all sizes welcome!

Nathan Greenwood

Photos: The Desmond