by Edie Weinstein
Although the former private residence of a physician and then an all-girls’ school is ensconced in the Delaware River town of New Hope, guests at the newly renovated luxury event space and boutique hotel, may indeed feel as if they are transported to a country estate in France.
Turn back the clock to the 17th century to discover that William Penn deeded the acreage and the buildings that house the elegant Hotel du Village to the Ely family. In 1895 Dr. George Morley Marshall of Ohio bought a parcel of the Penn Grant from the descendants of the Ely family to create a country home for his family in bucolic Bucks County.
The land was used for both residential and educational purposes in the form of the Holmquist School in 1917 and then the Solebury School less than a decade later, which was housed on the property until 1978.
According to Kristopher Hassett, Vice President of Marketing and Sales of Landmark Hospitality; the company which manages Hotel du Village, “Yes, that was the idea. To give them the feeling of a secluded and private estate. There are farm fields in the back. There is an open, airy feel to it.”
This 15-acre property is a mile and a half from the center of town where guests may enjoy shopping, strolling, sight- seeing and a variety of food delights.
With 22 lovely and lavish guest rooms, to accommodate those who attend weddings and business meetings, the hotel offers a pool, tennis courts, “and an interesting lobby which has different kinds of classic games and art pieces. The main attraction is luxury and the high end design of our guest rooms, which were completed in the summer of 2015,” adds Hassett.
Guests Feel Well Cared For
He shares that it has the feel of a “very private European country estate with historic and modern blended. We have designed the rooms to feel as spacious as possible. Details were preserved in the main event spaces which include The Colt Ballroom which can serve up to 200 guests and the Historic Ballroom which can accommodate up to 140 guests. In the bar of the Historic Ballroom, the ceiling was repurposed from the original flooring. It had two tone wood that looked particularly interesting.”
The owners, Jeanne and Frank Cretella have three decades of experience in the culinary and hospitality business, providing exquisite care and service for guests and according to Hassett they share the vision, “We want our guests to feel they have a great experience and are well taken care of by the Landmark family and come away with having a wonderful time. This is so, whether it is an event or a wedding. Staying in the guest room is part of memory making. We want them to feel they have access to what the general public doesn’t get to see.”
Farm to table is more than just a concept. At the hotel, it is a delicious way of life.
Hassett explains, “We operate two farms ourselves that are local. We pull ingredients from those sources as needed, as well as other local food vendors. We tend to change our menu as seasons change. Our customers enjoy high quality food. We are participating in that movement of trying to look for ingredients from the land we live on. While it is very trendy, we have been doing this for a number of years. Hydroponic gardens are being considered, so we can grow all year ‘round. It makes our food stand out. It is one notable difference that customers can see right away.”
They offer different menu opportunities, which include “a sit down or buffet style dinner. All kinds of menus based on what our customers’ needs are. Bucks County station, (sourced from the area) a slider station, whole roasted suckling pig, farm to table comfort foods, polenta, root vegetables. We cater to special needs: vegan, vegetarian and gluten free, religious and cultural. If a client wants to bring in their own vendors, they can.”
Hotel du Village employs a team of event stylists/wedding planners: Stacey Barone and Tara DiBianca, as well as Kristen George who manages corporate events. Each of them attends to the details that make the time at the venue positively memorable and praise-worthy.
Hassett explains that most wedding clients, “are planning a year out…that’s the trend. Sometimes there is a tighter turnaround time of six months. We are booking events into 2017-2018.”