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Benchmark Hospitality International Names Darren Nicholas
Director of Food & Beverage for Hotel Contessa, San Antonio,
A Benchmark Resorts & Hotels™ Property

The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, March 2013 … Benchmark Hospitality International, a leading U.S.-based hospitality management company, has appointed Darren Nicholas director of food and beverage for Hotel Contessa.  Les Utley, general manager for the hotel, a Benchmark Resorts & Hotels property located on the Riverwalk in San Antonio, made the announcement.
“It is with great pleasure that I welcome Darren to Benchmark Hospitality and to Hotel Contessa,” said Mr. Utley.  “He comes to his new position with an extraordinary record of success in operating award-winning restaurants and exceptional food and beverage operations.  He is a welcome addition to our hotel’s leadership team.”
Darren Nicholas was most recently the director of food and beverage for the Heathman Hotel in Kirkland, Washington, including its critically acclaimed farm-to-table restaurant, Trellis.  Previous to this, Mr. Nicholas served as general manager for the fine dining restaurant at the Woodmark Hotel, also located in Kirkland, which was operated by MTM Luxury Lodging at the time, a company Benchmark Hospitality International purchased in 2011. 

Throughout his productive career, Mr. Nicholas has been active in the food and beverage profession, operating large and smaller restaurants and food service outlets.  Mr. Nicholas has relocated to San Antonio.

About Hotel Contessa

Celebrating the region’s unmatched storied heritage as a fusion of cultures, Hotel Contessa pays homage to the best of San Antonio, incorporating modern interpretations of its unique architecture, hospitality, cuisine and lifestyle.  The 240,000-square-foot, 12-story hotel features 10,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting and event facilities, a dedicated fitness center, full-service spa and rooftop swimming pool, as well as a gourmet restaurant and lounge that give leisure and business travelers a true taste of the new San Antonio.  Hotel Contessa embodies Benchmark Hospitality’s thirty years of innovation and excellence in the operation and development of premium hotels, resorts and conference centers.  The property is located at 306 W. Market Street.  For more information or to make your reservation, please call 210-229-9222 or log onto
About Benchmark Resorts & Hotels™
Benchmark Resorts & Hotels™ represents the finest in lodging, dining, recreational and meeting accommodations. Many are certified by the International Association of Conference Centers, the leading professional organization governing the multi-billion dollar conference center industry on five continents, and many have also been recognized with the coveted Benchmark Conference Centers™ certification of meeting excellence.  Benchmark Resorts & Hotels deliver highly specialized service that anticipates guests’ needs and ensures a hospitality experience unsurpassed and long remembered.


Ken Ellens

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Also See: Benchmark Hospitality International Appoints Les Utley General Manager for Hotel Contessa in San Antonio, Texas / December 2012

Benchmark Hospitality International Appoints Steven DeFelice as Director of Sales & Marketing for Hotel Contessa in San Antonio, Texas / June 2012

Benchmark Hospitality International Appoints Mary Crisman-Portobanco Director of Human Resources for Hotel Contessa, San Antonio, Texas / May 2012

Benchmark Hospitality Appoints Jeff Wardlaw as General Manager for the Hotel Contessa in San Antonio, Texas / February 2012

Benchmark Hospitality International Appoints Brother Luck Executive Chef for Hotel Contessa in San Antonio, Texas / February 2012

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