November 23, 2014
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Author, actor discovers Warwick hospitality, Hampton-style
HAMPTON SERVICE: Paul Gayle (right), shuttle driver at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Warwick, opens the door for award-winning writer and movie producer Robert Krantz prior to his departure Monday. Krantz made the Post Road-based hotel his weekend home during his visit to Rhode Island.

Living out of luggage is nothing new for Robert Krantz.

The nationally-acclaimed author and actor, whose illustrious career includes appearing in movies, television shows and writing screenplays for the likes of Sony, Fox and Columbia pictures, made his home in Warwick last weekend.

Krantz, whose real name is Haralambos Karountzos, came to Rhode Island from his home in Aliso Viejo, Calif., as part of a New England speaking tour that included a special stop to the Church of the Annunciation at 175 Oaklawn Avenue in Warwick.

“He needed a place close to the Greek Orthodox parish as well as the airport,” said Dick Bartlett, a Warwick resident who helped arrange Krantz’s stay. “The organizing committee thought he’d be best served at the Hampton Inn [and Suites] on Post Road.”

Thus with Bartlett’s help, local tour chairperson Marianne Phelan and her committee concurred that the Hampton Inn & Suites at 2100 Post Road in Warwick had everything that Krantz would need for a comfortable stay, including shuttle service to T.F. Green Airport.

Enter Jay Visnjic, the popular general manager at the 173-room hotel.

Phelan worked with Visnjic, through the efforts of Bartlett, and made the necessary arrangements for Krantz, who also had speaking engagements last weekend in Connecticut.

“He wasn’t going to get in until the early morning hours,” Phelan explained. “He had another speaking program in New York and had a five-hour drive after that. He wasn’t going to get much sleep, as our program was at noon Saturday. We decided the Hampton Inn would be the perfect place for Robert’s needs.”

Krantz didn’t arrive until 2:30 a.m. Saturday, but he was overwhelmed by what Bartlett called “great Hampton hospitality.”

Lya Scholianos, a front desk associate at the Hampton Inn, greeted the obviously tired Krantz who later told Phelan, Bartlett and Visnjic he was “tremendously impressed with the Hampton’s professionalism, cleanliness and exceptional hospitality.”

After an extremely busy weekend, Krantz was preparing to leave on Monday morning when he met Visnjic, who invited the award-winning movie producer and writer to have breakfast.

“He was a very humble man,” Visnjic said of Krantz. “You can see he’s a great guy; a man who is focused on everyone around him instead of himself. I really enjoyed meeting and talking with him. We certainly hope he comes back to visit.”

Krantz, who wrote, produced and acted in the award-winning movie “Do You Wanna Dance?” among many other screenplays, will indeed be back in Rhode Island. He’s currently writing the script for a new movie that will be entitled “Christmas with the Karountzos’s.”

“He was so impressed with the hospitality at the hotel at the Church of the Annunciation that he wants to schedule a screening of that movie in Rhode Island,” Bartlett said. “I’m sure that he’ll make his home at the Hampton when that happens.”


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