The DoubleTree by Hilton Augusta’s mission is to make you forget your troubles, whether on Valentine’s Day or any other day
Just as those in love are already making plans to shower their significant others with gifts and goodies this Valentine’s Day, the DoubleTree by Hilton Augusta, home of Augusta’s largest Valentine’s Day party, is in the process of making this year’s event even bigger and better.
“We’ll probably have 600 guests again this year,” predicted Augusta DoubleTree General Manager Les Reagan. “That’s about what we did last year and we hope to beat that this year between the restaurant and the ballroom. It’s just a great event.”
The DoubleTree has long been known for its impressive prime rib and seafood buffet, which recently underwent many changes. Now offered each Friday night, it includes many more stations than in the past, some of which include a prime rib carving station, a wok station for stir fry and pad thai, sushi which can be rolled to order, and a flambé dessert station that includes cherries jubilee.
This is also the second year that the DoubleTree has expanded their Valentine’s Day buffet. In years past, the event outgrew the restaurant so, in 2012, they opened up a second buffet in the ballroom. This year they’ll do the same. And while an a la carte menu will be available on Thursday, February 14, and Saturday, February 16, the real party will be Friday night, February 15, when pretty much the entire hotel will be devoted to the event.
“Our biggest push is going to be Friday night, when we’ll have two seafood buffets and two live bands. We’re going to have pretty much the entire hotel devoted to it,” said Food and Beverage Manager Lando Marzolf. “The entire ballroom will be opened up, there will be seating in the restaurant… so pretty much from this side of the hotel all the way back to the ballroom will be devoted to Valentine’s Day.”
Flashback will play in the ballroom, while Bill Tolbert and the BTUs will entertain guests in the restaurant.
Marzolf added that, for those who don’t want the party to end, the DoubleTree is offering a package that weekend that includes a room, breakfast for two, dinner for two and a bottle of champagne for $209. That package with a suite is $259. And, as an added bonus, those reserving the package Friday night will also get reservations at the buffet, something the DoubleTree normally reserves for parties of six or more.
Despite the number of people who attend the DoubleTree’s Valentine’s Day celebration, Reagan said that one of the aspects of the event that guests love is how laid back it is.
“It’s just a very relaxed evening,” he explained. “There’s food everywhere, and it’s all accessible and very easy to get to. It’s just good food that people want to eat, two great bands and it’s not hurried. It’s just very relaxed. It can have a party feel and an intimate feel at the same time.”
That combination, Reagan added, is what has earned the DoubleTree by Hilton Augusta so many repeat guests to their regular Friday night buffets. But it’s not the only thing. Service is something the hotel and restaurant has always made a primary focus, and that focus will continue to be an important factor in 2013.
“This year’s focus is putting people on a pedestal and how we can best last year,” Reagan explained. “I ask our servers how they want to be treated better than anybody else. Then… how can you surprise that guest with something a little extra? It’s looking them in the face, it’s the welcome, it’s just that moment of two, three, five or 10 seconds that says you are the only thing that matters at that moment.”
Reagan, who is heavily involved in Augusta’s theater community, says running a hotel and theater work aren’t all that different.
“As an actor, my applause from the stage is when I look out and see somebody laughing or I’ve moved somebody to tears. I’ve made them for one second forget their problems and that’s what we really try to instill here,” he said. “This entire building is an entertainment center; that’s the way I look at it. The front desk is a main stage, the dining room a main stage, the ballroom is a main stage. We’re the actors and the people who come through the front door, that’s the audience. Local people go to a hotel for a weekend or a weekend night to get away from their problems.”
And that is never more true than during their Valentine’s Day celebration. And for those who’ve never attended, Reagan has a question.
“I think people need to ask themselves, if they haven’t been here for Valentine’s Day, why not?” he said. “What has stopped you? Come. Have a great time.”
DoubleTree by Hilton Augusta
Friday, February 15
Buffet and live music begin at 5 p.m. | $34.95 per person
Reservations for groups of six or more strongly recommended 706-855-8100 | augusta.doubletree.com You Might Also Like: