America’s Historic Hotels by Collette Tours

 Collette has just announced a brand new tour offering travellers a chance to stay in some of America’s most elegant and sought-after hotels. America’s Historic Hotels is on sale now for departures from May 2017 and will feature the Boston Park Plaza Hotel, the Omni Shoreham Hotel, the Tarrytown Hotel Estate, Omni Homestead Resort, Omni Bedford Springs Resort and the Equinox Resort.

Omni Shoreham Hotel Pool
Omni Shoreham Hotel Pool built in 1930.

“We are excited to be able to offer a tour with fantastic accommodation that is so rich in American history and culture. These hotels have played host to some of the great figures of American history, so our clients are in good company!’ said Alison Mead, Collette’s Australian Business Manager.

For travellers who dream of walking in the footsteps of celebrities, world-leaders, political dignitaries and sporting legends, Collette’s America’s Historic Hotels tour is not to be missed.

Guests staying at the Omni Shoreham Hotel will be in the company of true Hollywood glamour and glitterati with past-notable guests including Judy Garland, Aretha Franklin, The Beatles and New York Yankees star and ex-lover of Marilyn Monroe, Joe Di Maggio. A true Washington landmark, the Shoreham has accommodated countless US Presidents and politicians, including Barack Obama. It was also the venue for Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first inaugural ball.

Omni Bedford Springs Resort
Omni Bedford Springs Resort

With exquisitely decorated suites, including the decadent Presidential Suite, complete with its own library, crackling fireplace, lavishly-appointed drawing room with tasselled drapes, grand master- bathroom and luxurious bedding, travellers on this tour will feel like royalty.

On day two of the itinerary travellers will discover Washington D.C. with a guided tour offering magnificent views of the White House and a visit to the World War II Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. After a day of exploring the city’s decision-making capital, guests can relax and unwind at the 250-year-old Omni Homestead Resort in Virginia, famous for its mineral springs.

i Bedford Springs Hotel Rooms
Omni Bedford Springs Hotel Rooms

The Omni Homestead was visited by renowned US President Thomas Jefferson in 1818. Suffering from rheumatism, Jefferson found great relief in the healing properties of the natural springs, which is why they are now known as the Jefferson Pools. While staying at the Omni Homestead, guests can use their day of leisure to visit the Springs or indulge in some rejuvenation and pampering at the spa. For the more adventurous traveller, other highlights include mountain- biking and hiking around the hotel’s picturesque trails.

Tarrytown House Estate
Tarrytown House Estate built over 165 years ago.

Journeying on to Pennsylvania, travellers will stop at Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous creation that is now a National Historic Landmark and an international architectural marvel, before settling into the Omni Bedford Springs Resort. The Bedford Springs property boasts eight mineral springs and has been a popular retreat for the wealthy upper echelon for many years. Built in Colonial style, this stately hotel has hosted 13 US Presidents including George W. Bush, James K. Polk and Ronald Reagan, and served as the ‘Summer White House’ for President James Buchanan during his time in office.

Tarrytown House Estate is where old worlds and new worlds crossover. With a brick facade, complete with turrets, majestic archways and chimney stacks, together with its expansive lush green lawns, the estate is reminiscent of a fairy-tale. The juxtaposition of this charming exterior and contemporary amenities like the fitness centre and outdoor tree-lined swimming pool, make the hotel serve as a virtual time machine for travellers on this tour.

During their stay at Tarrytown, guests can explore New York’s splendid Hudson River Valley, or spend their free time wandering the gardens, stopping to meet the Lady of the Estate – a friendly black Labrador brought on staff to chase the geese on the lawns.

Nestled amongst the panoramic Green Mountains of Vermont, the Equinox Resort is another highlight of the tour. Through its fusion of country charm and New England flair, the property tells the story of the changing times in American history.

Tarrytown House Estate rooms
Tarrytown House Estate rooms built over 165 years ago.

For political-history buffs, a stay at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel is ideal. The décor and architecture of the hotel has been reflected in its clientele over the years, hosting all but two US Presidents since its opening in 1927. During their stay, travellers can check out the extravagant Presidential suite, decorated in New England flair and fitted out with custom millwork cabinetry.

Regression review…

 The actors. Samatha Cunnane, Tom Reed, Tim Constantine,Jason Jefferies and director Joachim Matschoss.
L-R The actors: Samantha Cunnane, Tom Reed, Tim Constantine and Jason Jefferies. The Director: Joachim Matschoss.

Regression_web copy

…. Regression is a play written and produced by Gabriel Bergmoser from Bitten By Productions and adapted and directed by German playwright, poet and theatre-maker Joachim Matschoss from Backyard Theatre Ensemble (BYTE).

The play draws out in me words such as: Penetrating, Abstract, Deconstruct, Reconstruct, Energetic, Transmutation, Ceremonial, Inclusion, Alchemy and Harmonic co-operation. And perhaps Redemption!

Performances on opening night were polished and emotionally charged, igniting spontaneous emotional responses within me.

I was captivated, entertained and emerged with a charge of resonant inspiration…

Regression written by Gabrial Bergmoser directed by Joachim Matschoss

Funny, moving and thought provoking, Regression explores identity and nostalgia, examining the ways in which people change over time and how the past informs our present whether we want it to or not.

Written by Gabriel Bergmoser the 2015 winner of the Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award and directed by internationally renowned playwright Joachim Matschoss, Regression will run for a limited season at Allpress Studio in Collingwood, from August 22- 27. With a talented cast including Tim Constantine, Jason Jeffries, Tom Reed and Samantha Cunnane and innovative use of live music and multimedia, Regression will be an immersive, exciting and original theatrical experience unlike anything else you’ll see this year.

Gabrial Bergmoser author and play writer.
Gabriel Bergmoser author and play writer.

Writer’s Notes

…The question at the heart of this play is what would happen if a deeply nostalgic person was confronted with their past as it really was, a past very different from how they remember it. If we build ourselves on the foundations of who we think we used to be, then how real are our perceptions of who we are now?

Regression is probably my most personal play, and as such figuring out how to develop it was tough. In the end, I trusted the often out-there creative vision of Joachim Matschoss and completely stepped back, knowing that a play this strange needed somebody who could take it to entirely new heights beyond what was written on the page. Knowing nothing about the shape this piece will take has been both exciting and terrifying, but I have faith in Joachim and his extremely talented cast and crew, who have had complete creative freedom over the course of this production. I want to thank them for all their hard work and ideas, and cannot wait to see how it all turned out.

 Internationally acclaimed writer, poet and director German born, Joachim Matschoss
Internationally renowned writer, poet and director German born, Joachim Matschoss

Director’s Notes

When reading Regression for the first time its simple premise excited me. What if it would be possible to meet a version of yourself? What would you say, ask?

For my interpretation of Gabriel Bergmoser’s play I wanted to ensure that the audience, by simply suspending their disbelief, would think about what they would do when meeting themselves.

Together with the ensemble of actors and the assistant director Jared Smith, I have de-constructed the piece and framed the scenes in a way that in places opposed how the playwright had placed them within the script.

Regression takes precision in terms of the balance and tone of the piece. Too much of either sentimentality or melodrama would topple this play and make the audience members ‘turn off’. I believe the deconstructing of scenes allows the audience to view some of the scenes analytically. Deconstruction also allows the director to clearly imbue their perspective throughout the play. On the page this is a realistic piece but I strongly felt it needed non-naturalistic elements to increase its theatricality, hence we have added stylised movement, projection and the constant non-verbal presence of the characters throughout the piece as well a strong aspects of sound. Comedy and drama go hand in hand. When the audience go with the comedy, they settle and are very comfortable, which allows their guard to ‘come down’. Once their guard has been allowed to drop, they are more open to being moved when the dramatic, sad, disturbing and challenging moments are played out. The work of acclaimed British company ‘Frantic Assembly’ influenced some moments of this production of Regression.