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Hotel Anthracite: Every Detail Tells a Story

  • By
  • November 5, 2018
  • Sticky
Hotel Anthracite outdoor dining

Settlers Hospitality Group Salutes Carbondale’s Heritage

Hotel Anthracite: Carbondale’s Past Revisited

Every piece of art that adorns the walls throughout the Hotel Anthracite tells a story. You won’t find a stock photo in the lobby, restaurant, hallways, or guest rooms and each piece, whether it’s a framed photograph or another medium, is in some way related to Carbondale, Pennsylvania’s rich coal mining and cultural history.

Hotel Anthracite - Kol Steakhouse
You won’t find stock photos on any of the walls at the Hotel Anthracite, Carbondale’s newest hotel. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui

Unwavering Service

Hotel Anthracite, The Settlers Inn, Ledges Hotel, Silver Birches Resort, and Sayre Mansion are all owned and managed by Settlers Hospitality Group, an award-winning hospitality company based in Hawley, Pennsylvania. The company’s goal is to provide their guests with a one-of-a-kind tribute to the heritage that surrounds each of its properties. I was a hotel guest at two of the group’s properties: Hotel Anthracite and Silver Birches Resorts and also treated to a fantastic full breakfast at The Settlers Inn.  The message is consistent – exceptional accommodations and cuisine and unwavering service.

“The key operating philosophy of the hotel arm of the Settlers Hospitality Group is to provide an independent and authentic lodging experience that is guest-focused, locally flavored, and pet-friendly,” Chris Simpler, Hotel Anthracite general manger, explained.

Simpler commented in detail about the hotel’s history and features as he sat across the table from me during our lunch in KOL Steakhouse, the hotel’s signature restaurant. As I sampled the OUTSTANDING Baby Greens and Quinoa Salad, topped with grilled chicken that was drizzled with a Champagne Blood Orange Vinaigrette, Simpler delved deeper into why guests will travel to stay and dine at the hotel. You’ll read more about the food details later in this article but suffice to say, the hotel has covered all the bases with style, creativity, and artistry.

Hotel Anthracite outdoor dining
Take your romantic dinner or gathering outdoors on the patio. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui

Simpler was born and raised in the Hudson Valley and found himself back in Northeastern Pennsylvania to partner with Settler’s Hospitality. His wife Jenna (Simpler) runs the resort side of the Silver Birches Resort, a Settlers property that celebrates the history of the Lake Wallenpaupack region.

Indoor-Outdoor Connection

Jeanne Genzlinger, the matriarch of the Settlers Inn family was the main designer and the neutral color palette she selected is an ideal backdrop for the history and outdoors’ themes. Jeff George, (artistic design), S. Robert Powell (Carbondale historian) and Juan H. Espino (artist: The Looking Glass Gallery) all played significant roles in the historical detailing within the walls of the Hotel Anthracite. The decor is the best of all worlds because as you enter the Hotel Anthracite, you’ll find historical charm effortlessly blended with modern amenities guests expect. Take note of the large chunks of official anthracite coal on display in the Hotel Anthracite lobby and the photos of the Gravity Railroad and its first locomotive, “The Stourbridge Lion.” They’re your cue that the decor is intended to educate, enlighten, and motivate you to discover more about Carbondale’s past.

“We have utilized that foundation to bring photography and recreated historical elements to Hotel Anthracite,” said Simpler.

Carbondale Anthracite Coal History
Towering Anthracite Coal immediately shine a light on Carbondale’s anthracite history. Photo courtesy of Hotel Anthracite.

Finishing Touches

Hotel Anthracite Carbondale
One of my favorite guest room features is the view overlooking one of Carbondale’s neighborhoods.

“The feeling we were going for was to bring the hotel back to emphasize what’s out the windows. The neutral palette is great to work with because you have a lot of flexibility. It’s a clean and modern look but it also fits well with the historical theme we have,” he said.

Hotel Anthracite Renovation
All rooms were recently redesigned to provide guests with all new furnishings and linens.
Hotel Anthracite business traveler
Business travelers can count on high-speed internet and an efficient work area.
Hotel Anthracite lodging
If rest is at the top of your list after sightseeing and other outdoor activities, the beds are dressed in super-soft sheets and a down-alternative comforter.

Formerly known as the Carbondale Grand Hotel and operated as a Best Western until the Settler’s group purchased and renovated the building, the Hotel Anthracite averages 15,000 stays a year in their newly-appointed rooms. The management is in tune with their guests’ needs and expectations and consequently, delivers a high-quality package. In the guest rooms, for example, guests will find all-new beds, topped with standard and king-sized pillows, towels, linens, curtains, and new sofas.   Certified botanical organic bath products are provided in dispensers rather than single-use throw-away bottles to reflect Settlers Hospitality’s commitment to conservation.

YES to Pets

Pets and their families stay in comfort with the pet program in place. Yes, the hotel has pet-assigned rooms to protect guests with allergies but Simpler said, “We always do something personal to welcome the dogs to our property.” Be sure to inquire about the pet policy when you reserve your room.

Simpler’s way of thinking about The Hotel Anthracite is, “Why not make it a great experience that people talk about.”

KoL Steakhouse Dining: A Natural, Easy Fit

Hotel Anthracite menu
Add a slice or two of protein to your Baby Greens and Quinoa salad and you’re good to go.

What thoughts does the name “Kōl” evoke? If your guess is a “play on words” reflecting Carbondale’s anthracite legacy, you’re correct, according to Simpler.

“It (the name) is a natural, easy fit,” he said. “It aligns with our history.”

Kōl Steakhouse is for diners who want a dining experience that’s different – fine dining in a casual steakhouse setting. Renowned Executive Chef Michael Bodner begins with locally sourced aged beef and then adds his own creative flair to the regional fare and daily specials.

My choice was the mouth-watering Chicken Milanese Anthracite, a moderately priced entree ($19) from the Chef’s Plates’ section of the menu. The savory breaded free bird farm chicken breast is seasoned with aromatic basil and arranged with tomatoes, balsamic, asparagus, and accompanied by creamy risotto. I said “NO” to dessert because my palette was content. My meal was a perfect-sized portion and combination of flavors.

The wine menu offers more than 100 different bottles of wine in a full range of styles and prices. A handful of local wines are available, thanks to the hotel’s sommelier who put the wine list together for all of the Settler’s Hospitality Group’s properties.  Looking for fresh, local beer on tap or in the bottle? Come to Kōl Steakhouse and quench your thirst.  The bar is stocked with a variety of liquor and chances are if you have a particular mixed drink concoction in mind, the bartender will be able to accommodate your hankering.

“You need to deliver something more – a new experience,” is Simpler’s philosophy.

View sample menus here.

“What will you do in Carbondale?”

Hotel Anthracite Carbondale
Once the weather in Carbondale turns chilly, you’ll find lodging guests and diners relaxing near the fireplace in Hotel Anthracite’s lobby. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui

Simpler noted, “In the months I’ve been here (as manager), I’ve come to know the untapped opportunity and potential here in Carbondale is huge. Settlers Hospitality management and staff have proven that folks will drive from hours away to dine at their hotels because the experience and food are so fantastic.”

Community Partnerships = Endless Opportunities

Once you’ve taken an architectural and historical tour of Carbondale, venture into local communities and set your sights on Northeastern Pennsylvania’s four seasons. The Settlers Hospitality Group partners with local businesses in each of their hotels’ locations so guests have access to a variety of activities that range from skiing, cycling, hiking, to world-class fishing that will get your heart pumping.

Travel Tip: Hotel Anthracite is a mere 25 minutes from historic sites in downtown Scranton and less than 35 minutes from Honesdale and Hawley. Allow at least a half-day to explore each town. 

The Lackawanna Heritage Trail, a popular multi-use trail system. exemplifies how a partnership is a win-win for all businesses and visitors. You’ll find the Carbondale Trailhead literally across the street and less than a half-block away from Hotel Anthracite. Simpler says guests can borrow a bike through the  BikeShare program at the hotel and The Carbondale YMCA and ride to the New York border on a bicycle.  The trail opened less than a week before my visit and you’ll find the link to my companion story here.  Spend some time at the newly-built Riverfront Park along the Lackawanna River and stop in at The Chamber Gallery and view the latest exhibit.

Travel Tip: Buy your Pennsylvania fishing license and bring your fishing gear. The Lackawanna River is known for its assortment of cold-water and warm-water fish species. Depending on where you fish, the river is home to trout, bullhead, bass, perch, and bluegills. 

History buffs should plan a self-guided walking tour and take in the architecture. Carbondale’s array of historic buildings has helped put the city on the map. Don’t miss the historic Memorial Square, City Hall, and the Trinity Episcopal Church and its extraordinary tiffany-windows. Aside from walking, cycling, and cross-country skiing,  Elk Mountain Ski Resort undoubtedly has a trail for you, whether you’re a beginner or advanced skier. Inquire at the hotel about individual and family ski and rental packages. If you’re like me, combining business and pleasure does involve some advanced planning but your trips can be exceptional and memorable.

Conclusion: Whatever your reason for traveling, Hotel Anthracite is a first-rate lodging choice. Hotel Anthracite is a small-town treasure in Northeastern Pennsylvania and a base camp to explore a revitalized region with so much history and culture.

 

My visit was comped but my opinions are my own and based on my personal experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ribeiro: Small Business Resource Powerhouse

  • By
  • July 19, 2018
Interview Gabriella Ribeiro Mogul Mom
Interview Gabriella Ribeiro Mogul Mom
Gabriella Ribeiro spearheads The Mogul Mom, an online resource mompreneurs rely on for support and advice.

Meet Gabriella Ribeiro

A Small Business Resource Powerhouse

Ribiero is “The Mogul Mom” editor-in-chief and the woman at the helm of a thriving crusade. She offers mompreneurs ultrapractical daily challenges, advice, tips, and support as they forge their paths through the triumphs and trials working moms often face. She and her team are celebrating 11 years of outstanding success in 2018. If you have additional questions after reading my information-packed email interview with Ribeiro, feel free to contact her via this link or complete the form below and I’ll get answers for you.

What led you to develop The Mogul Mom site and the services you currently offer? Specifically, what are your services?

I acquired it actually back in January of this year. The previous owner is an amazing friend and a true mentor and she was ready to transition and wanted it to land in the hands of someone who could really take it forward. I am honored she passed the baton to me! We are the world’s premier site and community for dynamic women with sparkle who are raising a family, running a business and rocking both. Some members have aspirations of launching their own business so we have a vast amount of resources to help anyone in that space as well.

What words do you believe best describe your role with The Mogul Mom?

I am here to empower, motivate, inspire and share, but most of all to LISTEN to our members and help them in any way possible. I also truly enjoy connecting members to one another so they can build meaningful relationships. If I’ve accomplished all of that, I know I have succeeded in my vision.

What is your background and how does your experience enhance your ability to motivate women to succeed?

I’ve always been a self-starter, I think that came from having an entrepreneurial father and seeing him be able to fix just about any situation while building a business based on natural-born intelligence. I also saw hard times so I believe that helped me shape my vision of how a business should be run, how to be conservative and how to grow within one’s means.  Now that I am a mom, a single one at that, running three businesses, I am living the life I am helping people figure out every single day and that helps build trust. People see me being able to enjoy business success but also dealing with the day to day struggles we all do as moms, juggling schedules, negotiating, dividing and balancing time so that everyone who needs you gets your full attention including your work and when I share that, it brings me closer to the amazing women in the community and it helps to show them this all is possible. It isn’t easy, but it is absolutely possible.

How do your challenges motivate women and what are some of the challenges you’ve created?

I am always brutally honest and open about my own stories- my challenges, my struggles, my wins and my aspirations- I think that opening myself up and letting them know that beyond anything, I have been where they have been in so many regards. I have gone through a pathway myself to building businesses and creating a unique life that fuses my passions so the challenges are meant to be motivational but not authoritative, more so like a strong pair of hands on one’s back propelling someone forward while they are using their own movement as well. We’ve done a “30 Days To Your Best Self” challenge which really had our members examining their headspace, their happiness quotients, their goals, their current network vs the network they strive to have, body image, self-care, and wellness. In the end, I heard so many amazing stories about members really taking the time to think about things they usually try to ignore or put off and it has made a difference in their vision. We’re currently into a Healthy Eating challenge which hopefully is inspiring members to make great choices that work for their individual lifestyle, their body type and also to meld the head with the heart when making choices that are best for their overall life.

I’ve noticed you offer travel advice and tips. What is your role in the travel industry and how/why does travel play a part in a woman’s overall success?

I have two businesses that deal with different segments of the travel industry. One handles sales and creative marketing for hotels and destinations and the other curates unique immersive journeys for travelers that leave a footprint on their soul. Travel is, and always has been my passion so I worked hard to fuse it into business ideas to create a life that thrills me and that I truly love.  I really enjoy pushing people out of their comfort zone and with the journey planning, I get to do that. Now, with The Mogul Mom, I’m doing it for people in a different way, by helping them explore their passions and encouraging them to push themselves to develop the career and the life they have always dreamed of.

Tell me about your accolades, awards, and recognition you’ve received from the media. Do you work with magazines and/or other media to get the word out about The Mogul Mom? Where have you been featured to date?

The Mogul Mom has been so fortunate to have been mentioned in amazing publications and to have been endorsed by some wonderful thought leaders. However, what I am finding now is that the best publicity we ever could hope to receive is the wonderful word of mouth support we get from the members of our community who bring dynamic women into the network and help it grow. At the end of the day, we’re only as good as the level to which we serve our audience so right now my focus truly is on the user experience.  That being said though, we are continuing that trend moving forward with fantastic interviews with thought leaders in various industries that have really also gotten behind us to endorse us and there are some great media hits on the horizon – watch this space!

Visit themogulmom.com to sign up for Ribeiro’s newsletter

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The New York Times 15th Anniversary Travel Show

  • By
  • February 2, 2018

The New York Times 2018 Travel Show coverage

The New York Times Travel Show is the largest travel industry trade show in North America. Photos by Joan Mead-Matsui, journalist, travel writer, and photographer. 

The New York Times Travel Show 

 

The New York Times 15th Anniversary Travel Show drew a record number of participants to the Jakob Javits Center during its annual event Jan. 26 – 28, 2018.

 

Travel show organizers reported a new record of 32,398—the highest attendance in the show’s history. That number included 10,268 travel trade, 22,130 consumer attendees, and participating exhibitors, and another milestone with 600 companies representing more than 176 countries.

The New York Times Travel Show is the largest and longest-running trade and consumer travel show in North America. In addition to more than 500 exhibitors from all seven continents, visitors learn more about worldwide travel at the Travel Industry Conference and from consumer seminars and interactive exhibitions.

 

The New York Times Travel Show coverage
The crowd was equally as diverse as the countries that participated.

 “Each year, more and more travel professionals and enthusiasts attend The New York Times Travel Show and for good reason,” says Maggie Kiselick, vice president of advertising and managing director, The New York Times Magazine. “People rely on the Show to provide both exceptional travel offerings and helpful information to help them plan their trips to see the world. We look forward to hosting even more people at 2019’s show.”

Turkish Airlines was the presenting sponsor of The New York Times 15th Anniversary Travel Show. The airline offers passengers a fleet of 329 aircraft that fly to 300 worldwide destinations and 120 countries.

The New York Times Travel Show coverage
A chef and flight attendant were among the Turkish Airlines’ representatives who welcomed visitors to their booth.

2018 Show Highlights 

Opening Day: Keynote Address and Conferences

 

Although I did not attend Trade Day, the first day of the travel show on Jan. 26, the day’s events were reserved exclusively for travel industry professionals and members of the media. Among the events offered on Friday were the Keynote Address by veteran travel journalist and editor James Shillinglaw, in conversation with: CEO of Travel Leaders Group Ninan Chacko; Jennifer Tombaugh, President, Tauck; Alejandro Zozaya, CEO of Apple Leisure Group; Andrew Stuart, President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line; and Guy Young, Global Brand Engagement Officer, The Travel Corporation; and 20 Focus Conferences’ panels that covered the latest products, services, destination information and trends from travel industry experts.

The second and third days were open to all attendees and featured various cultural presentations and performances, food demonstrations, and one-on-one conversations with travel experts, influencers and celebrities including travel expert Pauline Frommer, fashion designer Zac Posen and musical artist Action Bronson. The 2018 show also highlighted new seminar topics such as: “Seeing Mexico City and Barcelona Through Their Burgeoning Art Scenes,” with art expert Maria Brito;  “The Best Travel Gadgets of 2018,” a conversation with experts of New York Times’s product review website Wirecutter; and “Sustainable and Socially Conscious Travel” with New York Times travel and lifestyle writer Shivani Vora; among many others.

The LGBTQ Pavilion, curated by gay travel expert and ManAboutWorld editor-in-chief, Ed Salvato, debuted at this year’s show. If you stopped by the booth, you found information about the latest trends in LGBTQ-centric tourism and a showcase of LGBTQ travel experts from exhibitors including ManAboutWorld,  Out in the Vineyard, Oscar Wilde Tours, Shady Ladies Tours, R Family Vacations, Quiiky-Gay Tours in Italy, Outings & Adventures, Insider Voyagers and the Stonewall National Monument.

Culinary Travel

 

The New York Times 2018 Travel Show coverage

Okonomiyaki, a Japanese-style pancake, was one of the selections prepared on-site at the travel show. Representatives from a variety of destinations took some of the mystery out of cuisine from Japan and other countries. The Taste of the World Pavillion offered an opportunity to sample the authentic fare while learning more about world’s most popular flavors. Agents from Japan, for example, prepared “Okonomiyaki,” a savory pancake that typically contains flour and cabbage with add-ins that might also include meat and seafood.

 

GALLERY

Take a moment to view additional highlights from the travel show. Story continued below.

Family Travel 

 

The Family Travel Association sponsored the Family Travel Pavillion as a means to showcase family-friendly and yes, pet-friendly destinations. Key players in the family travel industry highlighted lodges, resorts and cruise lines, while families looking to integrate transportation and accommodations could also step inside a Mantis customized camper van.

More information about Mantis and other integrated camper vans can be found at taxaoutdoors.com.  

While the adults spoke to delegates at each of the show booths, children had time to unleash some energy in the Gaga Ball Pit and other activities hosted by Camp Cody. Fitter International, Inc. offered a “Fun Zone” so families could test their balance, strengthen and stretch their bodies.

 

The New York Times Travel Show wrap up
A customized “Mantis” camper-van allows families to travel in style. Vans can be tailored to meet individual needs ranging from the elaborate to basic functionality. 

Culture Comes to Life On Stage

 

A genuine Ninja performance from Ashura’s Ninja Show was presented by Japan. 

Why do cultural performances help tourism boards attract visitors?

They work hand in hand to enhance a traveler’s overall experience and they’re an important means to strengthen cultural heritage. Dancers from The Consulate General of Indonesia and Tai Chi martial arts’ experts from the Henan Province were among the other performers that took the stage at the travel show. Stop by again soon for extended coverage. 

Accolades

 

The New York Times presented awards to the following exhibitors.

Best in Show

Turkish Airlines

Best New Exhibitor

Hostelworld

Most Interactive

Korea Tourism Organization

The People’s Choice

Puerto Rico Tourism Company

Most Imaginative

Camp Cody

 


The New York Times Travel Show is organized by The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT), a global news organization founded in September 1851 in New York City. Its entities include The New York Times and NYTimes.com and related properties.


Stop by joanmatsuitravelwriter.com again soon for continued coverage of The New York Times 15th Anniversary Travel Show. 

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