Charles d’Ablaing appointed Executive Chef at Rosso


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (February 9, 2016) – Renowned Kansas City chef Charles d’Ablaing has been named Executive Chef at Rosso, the award-winning restaurant at the acclaimed Hotel Sorella Country Club Plaza. d’Ablaing, who most recently completed a four year stint at Chaz on the Plaza at the Raphael Hotel, brings to Rosso an eye for colorful, visually appealing dishes that are flavorful, satisfying and creative.

“Great dishes are a brilliant marriage of ingredients that come together, complementing each other so every bite is an explosion of flavor on your tongue,” said d’Ablaing. “This is what I strive to achieve with all my dishes, create culinary combinations that continue to entice, tantalize and surprise guests.”

d’Ablaing, who is originally from Atlanta, first made a splash on the Kansas City food scene as Executive Chef at Webster House, taking a whimsical approach to highlight local and regional ingredients. His time at Chaz on the Plaza, from 2011 to 2015 was marked with his ability to transform everyday ingredients into elegant, upscale comfort food.

“We are thrilled to have Chef d’Ablaing on board,” said Robert Leyva, Hotel Sorella Country Club Plaza General Manager. “His reputation as a well-respected chef in Kansas City was a huge draw for us. But more importantly, it is his engaging personality and inspiring approach to cooking that makes him the right fit for Hotel Sorella.

d’Ablaing started cooking at the age of 10 when his discerning palate refused the meals his mother made. When she suggested he attend culinary school, d’Ablaing didn’t even know cooking was a career possibility. He attended the Atlanta School of Culinary Arts, worked in kitchens across the country, including Kansas City, before deciding this place was his home. His experience has led him to cook for dignitaries such as former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and former First Lady Laura Bush.

“Hotel Sorella is an award-winning hotel and Rosso won the ‘Best Of’ Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator,” said d’Ablaing. “I feel up to the challenge of continuing to elevate the level of exceptional food and service as executive chef.”

“We have won the AAA Four Diamond Award every year that we’ve been open,” said Leyva. “We continue to earn accolades such as being named a U.S. News and World Report Best Hotel in the U.S., receiving a Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Award, and being TripAdvisor’s number one hotel in Kansas City. We expect to earn more in the years to come under Chef d’Ablaing’s leadership.”

d’Ablaing began working at Hotel Sorella on Monday.

About Valencia Group

Houston-based Valencia Group is a fully integrated hospitality company that provides management, development, branding and repositioning services for independent, full-service hotels owned by the company, in addition to third parties.  Exceptional service, style and location have become brand trademarks.  Earning both national and international recognition for their distinctive designs, amenities and settings, Valencia Group properties are destinations and gathering places within their respective communities, some further benefitting from and enriching their space within the cultural heart of a city.  The company continues to forge a niche with hotels that anchor and add value to urban, mixed-use environments, which further support or enhance the guest experience with superior residential, restaurant, retail and office components.  The Valencia Group portfolio currently includes Hotel Valencia Santana Row in San Jose, CA; Hotel Valencia Riverwalk in San Antonio, TX; Hotel Sorella CITYCENTRE in Houston, TX; and Hotel Sorella Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, MO.  Its newest concept, Lone Star Court, is a reinterpretation of the nostalgic motor court.  The recently opened flagship is located at The Domain in Austin, TX, and a second, Cavalry Court, is underway in College Station, TX.   Also In the development and construction phase are The George™, which will debut in tandem with Cavalry Court in summer 2016, plus Valencia Group’s first five-star property, Hotel Alessandra Houston –  anticipated to become a downtown landmark in fall 2016.  For more information, please visit



Contact: JiaoJiao Shen Trozzolo Communications Group816-842-8111


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Romance at our Boutique hotel in Kansas City

Hotel Sorella Country Club Plaza is the perfect place to plan a Valentine’s Day escape! Make memories and celebrate all month long with a romance inspired package at our sophisticated boutique hotel in the Country Club Plaza district.

Find out more!

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Hotel Sorella Country Club Plaza Named to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hotels of 2015 List

Hotel Sorella ranked No. 7 Best Hotel in Missouri

U.S. News & World Report has recognized Hotel Sorella Country Club Plaza as the No. 7 “Best Hotel in Missouri” in its annual evaluation of hotels that offer high-quality amenities and exceptional experiences.

“We are honored to be recognized as one of the best hotels in Kansas City and the state of Missouri,” said Robert Leyva, general manager of Hotel Sorella Country Club Plaza. “We are proud of our associates, who have worked very hard to ensure our guests receive the finest service that they have come to expect from Hotel Sorella Country Club Plaza.”

Read more about this distinguished honor!

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Hotel Restaurants | Among the Best

If you search “Hotel Restaurants” and almost every heading will use the descriptive of “BEST” – have you wondered why?

First of all, the properties being reviewed in this category are not family tourist, economy business or cookie cutter “big box” mega hotels. They are instead, sophisticated, intellectual, posh, trendy, and comfortable, service oriented well designed operations. These operations are multi layered and carry a sense of accomplishment and pride in the atmosphere and amongst the staff and of course the guest. Often times the restaurant is the showcase and exemplifies the sense of accomplishment and pride of the entire hotel.  As service philosophies, culinary trends and interior design change and grow the hotel restaurant can be the driving force to higher standards and success.

The grand Hotels of yesteryear from the Waldorf to the Ritz are where the finest dinners and accomplished service were experienced. Restaurants were home cooked style meals or possibly a steak.  The best chefs of Europe and in particular France were recruited throughout Europe and then to North America to serve the finest of cuisines in the finest hotels to the refined guest and local patronage who expected nothing less than the best.  Most notably “Escoffier” known as the King of Chefs and Chef of Kings was a founding contributor to Ritz Carlton and then the Cunard Line.

In the heart of the Gilded Age when society and wealth would come to have different meanings the age of the “Great Restaurant” was born. Establishments like Delmonico’s where people like Diamond Jim Brady could experience fine food with pomp and circumstance but not judgment, would be the new trend.

There were many similarities between the hotel dining and these fashionable restaurants. Each had fine imported wines and the freshest seasonal foods available. Both catered to the rich and famous and were places to be seen by those who were watching. Both had kitchens larger than the dining rooms.  Last but certainly not least, both had as much staff as they did guests. Truly, it was a grand age in food and in service.

As in all things, economy drove changes and greater profit margins could be had by offering fine dining or a variation there for the rising middle class. Chefs, Head Waiter’s and Sommeliers started to open their own restaurants and made them affordable by making them smaller. This, combined with the end of the privileged and Edwardian age changed hotel dining in a significant way.

Flash forward to airline travel, an intricate interstate system and suburbs…The finer hotel restaurants would be in the finer corporate hotels to be visited by the business executives. Still, there was a perception of dining at “an upscale” hotel restaurant and many people would frequent these on special occasions or the Saturday night out. However, as locals became more infrequent and costs grew the hotels started to model their restaurants and the novelty wore off. Now only the flagship properties could boast a fine dining experience and this was often for marketing the entire chain.

Flash forward again, through the education of wines to the public, to modern food trends and fine dining without wearing a tie. The day of Hotel Dining is/has returned and the mystique is not that different from so many years ago. The new ambience, educated traveler/foodie, and a less pretentious atmosphere make a perfect combination for hotel dining in today’s modern age.

Fine Dining in a fine hotel…An inviting doorman points to the waiting elevator that will take you to the top floor. Across the chic lobby under the mediation blue chandelier, murals and ivory white back drops and you notice a relaxed sophistication. Contemporary adult alternative music speeds you to the 7th floor and beyond the impressive wine display. The room opens to an inviting lounge with knee high cocktail tables with designer wrap-arounds. From this vantage you are overlooking the sphere shaped bar of red and black with a California spa pool on the terrace…perfect for a cocktail before dinner, please take your time.

Will you be dining with us tonight or enjoying small plates and wine? The atmosphere is incredible, un-rushed and deserving with a glass fireplace separating the lounge from the dining room, innovative comfortable furniture and a view that is arguably the best in the city. This is to be enjoyed in a single reflective moment, a romantic date night, a celebration of friends or with a new associate. Visiting a hometown hotel restaurant can be as exciting and satisfying as a weekend jet setting.

The menu is an interpretation of modern Italian Mediterranean with a taste of Northern California and  a respectful nod to local and trends. The Chef uses sustainable ingredients, supports the regional farmers and hires apprentices in order to play it forward. Health convenience choices, dietary requests and focus on fresh, seasonal, local ingredients from start to finish.

If fine dining in restaurants and Hotels had similarities they now also have differences.  Hotel Dinning does not change with trends or become locked in because of them, instead they evolve.  A first time guest is as important as a longtime regular, your comfort is important.  Relax and enjoy yourself, no rush, the table is yours for the evening.

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Posch Meetings on a Price-Conscious Budget

At Hotel Sorella Country Club Plaza, we have the opportunity to work with hundreds of meeting planners every year. Believe it or not, we have the same goal as you: to provide the best experience for your meeting within your budget. This doesn’t mean we can provide a top shelf cocktail hour on a domestic beer budget, but if you can follow these three suggestions, you may be able to host your meeting at Country Club Plaza instead of the Airport Inn and Suites.

1. Be flexible with your dates. Can your meeting start on a Sunday? Sundays are typically the softest days of the week for Hotels. If your attendees can use this as a travel day and start the meeting on a nonconventional day, you can get a better room rate, or afford a much nicer hotel than your company may have used in the past (Thursdays are the next best option)

2. Holiday season is your friend! It’s like the gift that keeps on giving. Most people think hotels are busiest during the holidays but it is quite the opposite. Hotels slow down the most the weeks before and after the major holidays such as Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The first two weeks of January are a great time to introduce programs to your employees for the new year. You could even hold your company holiday party at the tail end of a strategy meeting , potentially saving thousands while keeping your employees safe and off the roads

3. Take advantage of free or no-cost amenities and services that hotels may offer. Do you know the cost of Wi-Fi, breakfast, or other required items that may be a potential cost? Unless meeting planning is your profession, you may not think about it until you have received your final bill. Hotel Sorella for instance, offers a European Continental Breakfast at Francesca’s to each guest. Have you checked the price of a caramel macchiato lately?  Our breakfast includes complimentary lattes and cappuccinos. Couple this with complimentary Wi-Fi (often $10-$15 per night at other full service hotels) and you’ve saved thousands of dollars on your travel or employee training budget.

To find out more about maximizing your event budget, feel free to call me at 816-437-8425 or email me at or submit an RFP now. We have a professional event staff ready to serve you!


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