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February 14, 2013

Royal Park ranks second on list of top Michigan hotels

By Mary Beth Almond
C & G Staff Writer

ROCHESTER — Since it opened in 2004, The Royal Park Hotel has made quite a name for itself, according to Jay Haratsis, the hotel’s general manager.

“We’ve been at it for a little over eight years now,” Haratsis said. “Since then, we received a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor and we have seven to eight years of AAA Four Diamond Awards, so that tells you a little bit about us.”

The Royal Park Hotel recently added another designation to its list of accolades. The hotel, 600 E. University in Rochester, was named the second-best hotel in metro Detroit — and across Michigan — for 2013, according to a “Best Hotels” ranking released last week by U.S. News & World Report.

“It’s certainly an honor to receive this ranking among all the hotels in the state. It really is a testament to our staff, as a team, and their efforts in making sure that the guest experience is an enjoyable one — for every guest, every time they arrive,” Haratsis said. “It’s also a testament to our management team, who find the right employees, with the right passion, intuitiveness and engaging spirit. … We always like to be No. 1, but we’ll get there.”

The Royal Park Hotel was rated above The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, which placed third on the metro Detroit and statewide lists. Dearborn’s The Henry ranked No. 1 on both the metro Detroit and the Michigan lists. Others named in the top 10 on the metro Detroit list include MGM Grand Detroit, The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit, The Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport, MotorCity Casino Hotel, The Dearborn Inn, The Westin Southfield Detroit and Greektown Casino Hotel.

The rankings — which include only luxury hotels, those that consistently receive a four- or five-star “hotel class” rating — are based on an analysis of published travel experts and guests, expressed through awards, recommendations and ratings on more than 830 hotels in the state. The highest-ranking hotels, according to U.S. News & World Report, are typically those that both experts and users recognize for their exceptional quality.

Chad Smolinski, vice president of rankings and reviews at U.S. News & World Report, said in a statement that this is the third year hotels were ranked, adding that the bar continues to climb for luxury properties.

“Desirable amenities and hotel loyalty programs will no longer suffice. People are seeking hotels that go above and beyond to give their guests an unforgettable experience. Hotels that consistently meet the high expectations of experts and travelers are recognized in our rankings,” he said.

According to the magazine’s website, Royal Park Hotel was recognized for its “European-style design aesthetic,” and noted for being “a great place to escape urban Detroit.” Guests raved about “the clean, comfortable rooms,” which come equipped with “Egyptian cotton linens, spacious marble bathrooms and complimentary Internet access.” Apart from the rooms, The Royal Park Hotel was also highlighted for offering several dining options, including the “elegant” Brookshire Restaurant and even a “Royalty Tea,” held 2-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. The Royal Pak Hotel — which features 143 guest rooms and has a staff of 200 — typically sees around 37,000 guests and serves 175,000 meals per year, according to Haratsis.

“Every one of our people has a passion for ensuring that the guest experience is extraordinary at all times. Everyone goes above and beyond on a regular basis, so that it has now become the standard,” he said. “We got a nice note from a return guest the other day specifically saying not only was it nice that the staff recognizes him all the time, but they take care of him,” Haratsis said.

For more information about the Royal Park Hotel, 600 E. University Drive, call (248) 652-2600 or visit www.royalparkhotel.net.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Mary Beth Almond at malmond@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1060.