THE ALBANY HILTON aka CROWNE PLAZA IS A GOOD PLACE FOR A WEDDING
Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of being able to DJ for Liz & Chris at The Hotel Albany, (now called The Albany Hilton) on 40 Lodge Street Albany, NY. (They have been coming for years to Villa Valenti Pub, a place I have been a disc jockey at for karaoke for a long time, and subsequently, they knew what they were getting into by booking me!)
LOCATION – You know a place must be good when it is busy, right? There were five other events in the hotel on this particular Saturday. It was very busy. There were two school functions, some kind of brunch, and a class reunion right next door to our spot at the main dining hall. While the very busy nature of the hotel does say that they a name to consider when looking for a venue conveniently located at the foot of Albany with easy access to 787, there was one problem during cocktail hour for this particular event; the busy swimming pool.
COCKTAIL HOUR – The cocktail hour was scheduled to take place outside the main dining hall, in this case, for an hour and a half. However, with all the people around and school functions, the swimming pool on the floor below us was packed more than I have ever seen in, being a DJ in the Albany, New york area for 13 years.
The way the hotel is set up is kind of like a mall where the cocktail hour takes place, in that you can look down and see the floor below. Honestly, the other times I have provided the mobile disc jockey wedding reception services as DJ Kenny Casanova at the Crowne Plaze, the swimming pool below had never played a factor, auditorily. This time, however, it sounded like The YMCA, and the village people were nowhere to be found.
(NOTE – since the Hilton took over the hotel, they have put up windows to reduce swimmingd sounds. Great move!)
Liz, the bride, has really been fun and supported us for quite sometime at our other gigs, so we wanted to make this day the best we could for her. Therefore, we set up, free of charge without discussion, to “drown out the swimmers below” – pardon the pun.
It worked for the most part. The other event coordinator at the class reunion came over a few times to ask us to turn down the acoustic music, and tunes we were playing, as not to bother the guest next door at the other party. But we managed to find a happy medium to mask the pool party splashing and it seemed to work.
One good thing about the class reunion as a neighbor, the guests were able to swipe different Hors’ Dourves free of charge off the other party!
STAFF – Everything else went off without a hitch. The staff is great to work with and made everything go really smooth, despite the fact that the event coordinator of this wedding was replaced somewhere in the middle of the reception, due to scheduling conflicts. The hotel also helped out immediately during set-up with a wiring issue and their AV guy went above and beyond to keep things professional and clean, with no visual eyesore factor to the guests.
The wait staff was friendly and helpful, and also very fast and efficient in serving all the guest. Some venues take too much time up, cutting into the dance portion of the night. This was not the case.
FOOD / DRINK – The hot Hors’ Dourves were really good. The dinner food was just average; not great, not terrible. This party was more about the drinking anyhow… and the bartenders did do a great job keeping the glasses filled with minimal wait.
In the end, a pretty good time was had by all, as many of the guests wanted the party to be extended. One good thing about booking at The Albany Hilton is that when the wedding reception is over, they have a great in house bar that stays open very late to move your after party to.
All in all, this event was my first one under the new Hilton owned Hotel Albany name. In the end, it proved to still be a great location being only a minute off of 787 in downtown Albany, with good employees, decent service and average/mediocre food.
ALBANY HILTON aka CROWN PLAZA WEDDING
For more information on using us to be YOUR wedding DJ, call 518-506-3305
Albany Weddings DJ Kenny Casanova is an event disc jockey for "The DJ Service.com" out of Upstate, NY. He has been DJ’ing for over 15 years transitioned out of sports announcing into becoming one of the best Wedding DJs in his area.
Winning awards and "BEST OF" titles from Capital Region Living Magazine and Metroland, DJ Kenny Casanova is well sought-after and is booked solid with a few gigs every weekend. For booking information, call 518-506-3305.
Visit www.theDJservice.comDJ Kenny Casanova for more information about how to keep everyone happy at a wedding reception.