Florida Life - Lifestyle
Business-- and Beyond: Luxury resorts that cater to business
Resorts that focus on business travel also understand the value of down-time amenities.
The sprawling Harbor Beach is close to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, making it convenient for business travelers. “Once the conference portion is done,” says Jay Marsella, director of sales and marketing, “we can set up group excursions outside of the hotel, in addition to offering many on-property activities such as water sports, spa treatments and fitness activities like yoga, spinning and beach boot camp.”
Business: More than 30 meeting rooms; indoor and outdoor terrace meeting space.
Pleasures: 200,000 square feet of private beach; Aloha Watersports Shack offers parasailing, wave runners and paddleboards; the Intracoastal Water Taxi can whisk guests to the city’s main drag, Las Olas Boulevard, for shopping, dining and nightlife; the hotel’s spa is one of the city’s best.
Bonus: The private Club at Harbor Beach, where members can network and entertain for business, not just at the Fort Lauderdale resort but at club partners in Arizona as well as in other locations in Florida; 3030 Ocean, a Florida Trend Golden Spoon award winner.
Rustic, elegant White Oak Plantation, which comprises nearly 100 buildings on the banks of the St. Mary’s River, was created by Howard Gilman to promote creativity among business and political leaders, who come from around the world. White Oak has hosted numerous luminaries, including President Bill Clinton, along with corporate leaders from CSX, Wells Fargo and other companies. “We build the agenda for them based on when they want to meet and when they want down time,” says guest relations manager Jamie Rogers.
Business: White Oak can host small seminars or conferences of up to 100 people.
Pleasures: “We can put together golf outings, sporting clay shoots, boat rides and more,” Rogers says.
Bonus: A conservation center with education and conference facilities and animals, including giraffes and cheetahs; a residency program where dance companies and choreographers can come to develop new work (among them, the American Ballet Theatre).
Next page: Westin Diplomat Resort and Sandpearl Resort are profiled.