Friday, May 15, 2009

Party Planning Tips from the Experts!

Ashley Armstrong, catering manager for the Hyatt Regency Tamaya, has several tips on planning a party, making it less stressful and lots of fun. According to Ashley,


Plan in advance. Don’t let the last minute details get you down. Determine which aspects of your party are the most important to you and be sure to have those taken care of well in advance.

Ask for Help

Parties are a time for giving and sharing, and this applies to the party you’re hosting as well.

Do what inspires YOU

Don’t try to please the masses, do what makes you happy.


Whether you’re throwing a party for 5 or a party for 500, think about the type of music or entertainment you’d like to incorporate. Will your party be cocktails and mingling, warranting upbeat holiday tunes? Are you hosting a sit down dinner deserving a lower volume conducive to dinner conversation? Do you have guests ranging in age that may enjoy a holiday movie or puzzle?

Don’t Forget the Little Ones

Children enjoy the holidays more than anyone, so if your party is appropriate to invite guests of all ages be sure to have some entertainment for the little ones too.


You can decorate well in advance. Don’t be afraid to dive in and get it done, it will be one less thing to worry about the day of your party.


A light scent can help set the mood from the very beginning. The Hyatt Regency Tamaya uses a scent of cedar and pine throughout the resort to inspire tranquility and a sense of the resort’s surroundings. Finding a soft scented candle or light incense can evoke festive moods and inspirations for cuisine

Menus and Serving

If you are not utilizing a caterer, be sure to keep the menus simple and geared towards food that can be prepared ahead of time, helping you to avoid last minute messes in the kitchen. If you’re planning an open house with guests arriving at varying times, be sure to select items that will hold well and be delicious throughout your event.

Favorite Recipes

Hors d’oeuvre recipes can be prepared easily and ahead of time. Remember to keep it simple and fun.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Hyatt Tamaya Resort and Spa hotel, owned by Santa Ana Pueblo, has upgraded its ballroom, spa and bar. New flat panel televisions are going into all 350 guest rooms as well.

It might seem counterintuitive to invest so much now when the economy has hit hard destination resorts like Tamaya. But Jerry Westenhaver, general manager of the hotel, said the renovations had been budgeted for some time. Also, when business is down, it’s a logical time to do construction.

“The impact on business would be minimal,” he said. “The ballroom is the engine that drives all things, so taking it down would have little impact.”
It’s also cheaper, Westenhaver added.

“With the economy, you can get a lot more work done for less money,” he said. “It’s called leveraging.”

The Pueblo is committed to keeping the product up, he added.

“It’s our second renovation in eight years,” Westenhaver said. “Most hotels don’t go through that. They are committed to doing this and improving the property, regardless of economic conditions.”

The Rio Lounge is where changes are the most obvious. The bar that stood along the windows overlooking the Sandias and the bosque along the Rio Grande has been moved against a wall. It was blocking the best view in the house, Westenhaver said.

A new onyx panel behind the bar is lit from within, lending a pleasant golden light. Large glass doors now open onto a round terrace that has a casual restaurant and fire pits. The lounge also got all new furniture and carpeting.

The Tamaya Mist spa has new slate floors and walls, new carpeting and doors. A common outdoor area will get additional upgrades early next year with a fire pit and a waterfall, as well as kivas with turquoise accents