not your average conference room

August 26th, 2008

While the old adage suggests that one should never mix business with pleasure, we believe it’s wise to “never say never” (when it comes to hotel accommodations, at least). Luxury hotels offer meeting-goers the best in technology, sustenance, and experience – not to mention plush bedding and great views. And while the conference may be the most important part of the trip, corporations are able to add value and meaning to the retreat. Not only will meetings be efficient, morale will soar.

Nantucket, Massachusetts – White Elephant and The Wauwinet

With plenty of outdoor activities, galleries, boutiques, and museums, Nantucket allows business travelers to maximize the corporate retreat. Nantucket Island Resorts combines luxury and convenience, and with four hotels and two meeting venues, guests are never more than a few minutes from their meetings.

The White Elephant and The Wauwinet are prime spots available for meetings and conventions on Nantucket. During late spring, summer, and fall, the White Elephant can host up to 700 people in various stunning locations. For more intimate gatherings (most groups find themselves as the only meeting on the property), The Wauwinet offers the perfect solution: TOPPER’S Dining Room and the lawn overlooking Nantucket Bay are available to meetings for a whole-house buy, the lawn can be tented for 130 guests, and the Sunroom can accommodate smaller parties of 16. Additionally, The Wauwinet and the White Elephant both have newly added spas on-site for guests who want to unwind after an afternoon of meetings. Biking, boating, and fishing are just a few of the options offered to guests at these properties.

Prime example: Companies have the option to reserve only a few rooms or entire properties, as Wachovia has been doing for the last 18 years. The Jared Coffin House is located in the heart of Nantucket Town, The Cottages at the Boat Basin is just down the street in the marina, the White Elephant overlooks the harbor, and The Wauwinet, the only Relais & Châteaux property on island, sits between the bay and the ocean.

Santa Fe, New Mexico – Inn on the Alameda

At first glance, New Mexico may seem a bit unusual as a meeting destination, but when considering all that Santa Fe has to offer – from unique art to delicious food to lively culture – the city speaks for itself.

While in Santa Fe, the Inn on the Alameda is ready to fill all meeting needs. Centrally located and only a ten-minute walk from the Plaza, the heart of Old Santa Fe, the Inn is also nearby to the Palace of the Governors, the Fine Arts Museum, St. Francis Cathedral, the oldest house in the United States, the State Capitol building, and many art galleries, shops, and restaurants.

When work calls, the amply-windowed conference room can accommodate up to 40 attendees in private, comfortable surroundings. Meeting spaces can be audio-visually equipped and arranged in theater, classroom, boardroom, or seminar style, and a dividing wall allows the center to become two separate rooms. The Southwestern-style boardroom, with lots of natural sunlight, is perfect for smaller meetings of 12-24 people. The hospitality suite is beautifully situated overlooking the Santa Fe River and provides an intimate space for cocktail parties and small gatherings of up to 25 people.

Woodstock, Vermont – The Woodstock Inn & Resort

Step back in time with a classic American retreat to Woodstock. With the beautiful Vermont scenery as its backdrop, The Woodstock Inn & Resort provides accommodations for up to 300 people in newly renovated suites, houses, or guest rooms. For activities, the woods and mountains of Vermont are your playground. Groups interested in building team spirit can make their way through a forested course plotted out by an ex-Navy SEAL. Some groups have booked not only the entire Inn, but the nearby Simon Pearce studio and restaurant, or the Ice Rink at Union Arena. They always said a little competition never hurt anyone…

Riviera Maya, Mexico – Rosewood Mayakobá

Venture on south a bit more and the scenic mangrove trees and azure ocean will make any meeting feel almost like a vacation. While the Riviera Maya is becoming one of Mexico’s most well known spots, Rosewood Mayakobá is steadily gaining attention as a premier Mexican resort. Artfully designed pools throughout the resort complement the Caribbean blue of the ocean, and the beach borders the second largest coral reef in the world. The spa sits on a private island and thus offers a retreat within a retreat topped off by its own cenote, a natural limestone pool fed by subterranean springs.

While you may have to drag coworkers off the beach, Rosewood Mayakobá features three meeting rooms, a private dining room, and several outdoor reception areas for small group functions and social events. Customized event planning and exceptional catering options make the most of each and every gathering.

Prime example: Among the big names that have already held corporate events at Rosewood Mayakobá are Bain & Company, Whirlpool, and AIG Sun America.

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