Island resorts raise the bar with inspiring event space and amenities
Planners have plenty of attractive resort choices when arranging island meetings for their groups, but what sets some apart are their innovative event spaces, unique amenities and vibrant community.
As planners have discovered, several Hawaiian properties fit the bill by seamlessly blending with their heritage and surrounding area while incorporating modern features. For instance, Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa in Ko Olina, on Oahu, goes to great lengths to incorporate Hawaii’s traditional culture and cultural diversity while providing state-of-the-art meeting facilities and amenities, including a sprawling, uniquely designed water park. Montage Kapalua Bay on Maui is similarly focused on Hawaii’s heritage, and even has a cultural ambassador who oversees original programs such as “Talk Story”—a local style of storytelling—on various topics.
Some other premier island resorts in the United States, Caribbean and Europe also offer especially imaginative programs. Grand Lucayan Bahamas, which features 90,000 sq. ft. of cutting-edge meeting space, offers a host of hyper-local cultural activities, including barefoot dancing to the beat of a Goombay steel drum.
We’ve focused on these and other top island resorts that offer a particularly outstanding blend of event space, amenities and community. All of the properties are sure to keep attendees refreshed and inspired for meetings, and eager to return!
This luxury resort is located on 15 acres along the gorgeous Kohala Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii in a quiet setting that is perfect for slowing down to smell the many tropical flowers.
“Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa incorporates local Hawaiian aspects to create unique meeting experiences,” says John Dominguez, the property’s director of sales and marketing. “By sourcing locally grown produce and offering vast landscape as an event venue, the events team at the resort creates an authentic experience for groups and guests alike.”
The 555 guest rooms feature Polynesian and Asian decor, and offer garden, mountain, pool and ocean views. Hawaii Calls Restaurant & Lounge provides a daily breakfast buffet; salads, sandwiches and tropical drinks for lunch, either poolside or in the seated dining area; and American- and Pacific Rim-style cuisine for dinner.
The resort offers two championship 18-hole golf courses, a variety of water sports and Mandara Spa, which provides exotic treatments. Also, an outdoor luau featuring Polynesian food, music and dancing is held every Wednesday and Saturday evening.
Waikoloa Beach Resort boasts 28,000 sq. ft. of indoor meeting space, four ballrooms and five outdoor event areas.
After opening in September 2013, Andaz quickly joined the ranks of elite resorts when it was named to Conde Nast Traveler’s Hot List in 2014. The LEED Silver certified resort takes luxury to the next level with amazing locally sourced food created by award-winning chefs and a 14,000-square-foot spa that specializes in the use of indigenous herbs for customized treatments.
The 15,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor event space includes three oceanfront lawns with spectacular views. There are 297 guest rooms, including seven spacious suits. Free Internet is a bonus.
No trip to Hawaii is complete without beach activities and the Andaz has your group covered. Among the options are outrigger canoe paddling lessons, guided outrigger, kayak and snorkel tours, and surf lessons. Simply chilling is popular on Andaz’s 15 acres of beachfront property. Bumbye Beach Bar at the resort’s lagoon pool near Mokapu Beach is the perfect place to enjoy tropical cocktails and island-inspired dishes.
Groups in search of a deeply Hawaiian experience often opt for Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina on Oahu. It exudes native culture in everything from floor designs to outstanding cuisine. Before the property was built, Disney’s “imagineers” spent considerable time researching Hawaiian history and culture to ensure that every detail is accurate.
“With Aulani, we’ve introduced an entirely new Disney experience for incentives and meetings,” says Joe Medwetz, the property’s sales director. “Aulani has the powerful ability to emotionally connect with guests by honoring Hawaii’s rich history and cultural diversity. At Aulani, we pay attention to the details as evidenced by the unique experiences we offer to meeting and incentive groups through spectacular event locations, luxurious spa treatments, inspiring entertainment offerings and more. Aulani is truly a Hawaiian paradise with a touch of Disney magic.”
Aulani opened in 2011 on 21 acres of oceanfront property that is a 35-minute drive west of Honolulu. The 840-room property was developed in two phases: The last phase, completed in 2013, consisted of supplementing the ever-popular Waikolohe Valley water recreation area and adding an outdoor event space, the 16,000-square-foot Halawai Lawn. The resort also has 34,000 sq. ft. of ballrooms, meeting rooms and additional event lawns.
One of the property’s main attractions is Laniwai, a Disney Spa at Aulani. It covers 18,000 sq. ft. and includes treatment rooms and salon services. It also features Kula Wai, a hydrotherapy garden with bubbling whirlpools, a reflexology path and several other features, all set under Frangipani trees. After sunset, Kula Wai transforms into an enchanted setting for private gatherings of up to 150 people.
The North Shore of Oahu has long been known for giant waves that attract surfers from all over the world, and beautiful Turtle Bay Resort in Kahuku moonlights as the perfect events destination.
Turtle Bay Resort, with 25,000 sq. ft. of indoor space and 850 acres of outdoor space, offers beachfront adventure team-building activities and themed events that make a meeting feel much like a vacation.
Turtle Bay recently completed a $45 million renovation and each of its 452 suites, beach cottages and ocean villas has an ocean view. Dining includes Pa’akai restaurant, specializing in locally sourced Hawaiian “sea-to-table” dishes.
The coastline golf course designed by Arnold Palmer was named one of the top 100 golf courses in the United States by Golf Digest; resort guests are eligible for preferred rates and tee times. Other activities include a Hawaiian luau every Sunday at The Point Sunset & Pool Bar and an annual golf tournament in May.
There’s no better place to stay on world-famous Waikiki Beach than Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa in Honolulu. Just steps away from the Pacific Ocean, this 5.2-acre resort offers 1,310 guest rooms in two high-rise towers with unparalleled ocean views.
Enjoy the best of both worlds with conference space surrounded by Hawaiian culture and natural wonders. Located on land once occupied by Queen Liliuokalani, there is more than 50,000 sq. ft. of function space overlooking Diamond Head Crater. Afterward, you can hike to the summit of this 200,000-year-old inactive volcano. Hawaii Convention Center, with 1.1 million sq. ft., is also nearby.
Waikiki Beach offers plenty to do, from surf competitions and outrigger canoe races to outdoor performances and hula dancing. Groups interested in seeing more of Oahu can visit local attractions such as USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hanauma Bay State Park and Waikiki Aquarium. There are many ways to experience the Aloha spirit.
Last year, Montage Hotels & Resorts brought its first Hawaii property to Maui. This upscale resort in Lahaina spans 24 acres atop stunning cliffs and white-sand shores on picturesque Kapalua Bay. Look no further for unique meeting spaces, spacious rooms and enriching cultural activities.
Montage Kapalua Bay features 50 residential-style suites with large lanais or balconies. There’s plenty of room for meetings with more than 50,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor space. Don’t forget to check out Cliff House, which seemingly rests precariously above Namalu Bay. Perfect for private dining, it accommodates up to 40 guests and has a built-in grill for Hawaiian barbecue.
The Hawaiian experience is front and center with unique programs developed by an onsite cultural ambassador. Groups can take hula lessons, make leis, practice the ukulele or listen to “talk story,” a local mode of conversation. The 30,000-square-foot health and wellness spa is even designed with native elements. Get in touch with your centered self, or “pono,” as the Hawaiians say.
Say “aloha” to this lush tropical paradise escape filled with enchanting waterfalls and breathtaking canyons. Nestled on 800 acres along Kalapaki Beach in Lihue, this 345-room resort is a great starting point for your next adventure.
Take a helicopter ride to Mount Waialeale in Waimea Canyon, one of the wettest places on Earth. At an elevation of 5,148 feet, the mountain averages more than 453 inches of rain a year. The Na Pali Coast, accessible via boat or catamaran, offers a spectacular cliff hike. Another geological wonder is Fern Grotto, a lava-rock amphitheater where musicians often play traditional Hawaiian music.
Back at the resort, take a dip in the 26,000-square-foot pool, the largest in Hawaii. Or try your hand at 27 holes of championship golf. And for meetings, there is 80,000 sq. ft. of space, including Kauai Ballroom, which hosts up to 1,200.
Three Fabulous Properties
Sophisticated luxury meets the best of Hawaii at Prince Resorts Hawaii’s three properties on Oahu and the Big Island. At Hawaii Island’s Kaunaoa Bay, Mauna Kea Beach Resort offers 252 guest rooms and 59,864 sq. ft. of meetings pace. Its sister property on the island, Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, has 350 guest rooms and 85,800 sq. ft. On Oahu, Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki is just steps from the beach and provides 541 guest rooms and 20,000 sq. ft.
Five miles from Hilton Head Airport (HXD), this resort features 416 guest rooms and suites, and six restaurants, including the Carolina Room, which serves “modern cuisine infused with a low-country twist.” A $30 million renovation in 2013 brought an extensive redesign of the outside grounds and interiors, the 37,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor meeting space, audiovisual technologies and Wi-Fi.
The renovation also included an emphasis on fitness, with new bike paths to explore (or take advantage of the hotel’s private beach for a waterfront ride) and a 24-hour Westin Workout Fitness Studio. You can also rent an Elliptigo, an elliptical cycle that will take you around the island while working out those leg muscles.
Hilton Head Island has more than 20 championship golf courses and 12 miles of white-sand beaches.
Just 15 miles from Charleston is a golfer’s utopia, Kiawah Island Golf Resort. Named after the native inhabitants, Kiawah Island is part of the barrier island chain along the southern Atlantic Ocean coast. The island is a gated community primarily serving the resort—a Forbes Five Star, AAA Five Diamond beachfront sanctuary.
Sitting along 10 miles of private coastline, the resort features 255 guest rooms. With more than 35,000 sq. ft. of event space, meeting planners can choose from several options. East Beach conference center has more than 7,000 sq. ft. of flexible space, while Mingo Point features outdoor space for groups of up to 800 on the banks of the Kiawah River.
“Although the island’s spectacular natural beauty suggests a secluded location, Kiawah Island Golf Resort offers convenient access for your group, as well as state-of-the-art technology and dedicated support,” says Marty Couch, director of sales.
The main attraction is championship golf at five award-winning courses. Tour the panoramic views of the famous Ocean Course, host of the 2012 PGA Championship. Outside of golf, a variety of team-building activities are offered: wine tasting, historic tours, kayaking and more.
Experience the historic charm of St. Simons Island, one of Georgia’s renowned Golden Isles, at The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort. The island was discovered by Spanish explorers in the 16th century.
The Mission Revival-style resort, named to the National Register of Historic Places, first opened as a seaside dance club in 1935. It has grown into a luxurious 195-room property nestled on the pristine shores of the Atlantic Ocean. The award-winning resort also offers 10,000 sq. ft. of oceanfront meeting space.
Between the resort’s amenities and outdoor activities, there are plenty of ways to explore St. Simon. Enjoy the hotel’s 18-hole golf course, Har-Tru tennis courts, five swimming pools and customized massages at the Royal Treatment Cottage.
The town features quaint shops and boutiques, art galleries and historical sites—including a few ghostly haunts. There’s also fishing, kayaking, nature trekking, horseback riding and skeet shooting, just to name a few.
Located halfway between Savannah, Georgia, and Jacksonville, Florida, The Cloister at Sea Island is a secluded coastal resort. The property has received four Forbes Five Star awards for seven consecutive years. Accommodations include 204 guest rooms and other types of lodgings, with access to five miles of private beach.
Top ratings extend to the resort’s upscale amenities. Sea Island Golf Club is one of the best in the country, with championship courses that draw the PGA Tour’s McGladrey Classic. There is also a 65,000-square-foot spa and fitness center. Groups can also enjoy state-of-the-art tennis and squash facilities.
Dining options include nine restaurants, such as Georgian Room—the only Forbes Five Star restaurant in the state.
Planners can hold their next conference at high-tech meeting facilities fit for international dignitaries. With more than 25,000 sq. ft. of flexible space, The Cloister hosted world leaders during the 2004 G8 Summit.
Jekyll Island used to serve as a winter retreat for elite American families such as the Rockefellers, Morgans and Pulitzers. Today, everyone can enjoy Jekyll Island, a state park with more than two-thirds of the land protected from development.
The Westin Jekyll Island offers breathtaking ocean views and direct access to a pristine, eight-mile stretch of beach. Amenities include an outdoor pool, a fitness studio and a full-service restaurant. The new property features 200 guest rooms and suites, and four function rooms with 5,600 sq. ft. of meeting space. It is next door to the new Jekyll Island Convention Center, which can accommodate up to 6,450.
Planners have many options for breakouts; there are more than 20 miles of bike paths, as well as horseback riding and golf. Dolphin tours can be arranged.
A private beach, rainforest access and waterfalls galore, Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa has them all. In the northeast corner of the island, the Wyndham ranks high for meetings facilities, sustainability and recreational activities, allowing planners and attendees to tick off every box.
Take in views of the Atlantic Ocean or El Yunque Rainforest from 400 guest rooms and the 500-acre Oceanfront Conference Center. With 100,000 sq. ft. of space, including a ballroom with capacity for 2,200 and 24 separate meeting rooms, this resort has some of the largest facilities in the Caribbean. It is also a five-time winner of the Green Hotel Award by Puerto Rico Hotel & Tourism Association.
Not to be missed is a hike, bike or zipline through the 28,000-acre rainforest, a short distance away. El Yunque is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System. For more adventure, kayak in Bio Bay on Vieques Island. The bay’s bioluminescent waters teem with neon-colored creatures that glow beneath the moonlight.
Condado Vanderbilt Hotel
Designers faced a major challenge in restoring the grandeur of Condado Vanderbilt Hotel in San Juan during a recent renovation, but they succeeded beyond expectations. The property, which has catered to sophisticated travelers since it opened in 1919, reopened in December and features magnificent Spanish Revival architecture, opulent interiors and dramatic views of the Atlantic Ocean.
The five-star property is situated in the Condado District near many popular sights and attractions in the vibrant city of San Juan. The 319 guest rooms feature elegant design elements, French windows and doors, and private balconies and terraces. Condado Vanderbilt also offers a cutting-edge spa, a fitness/wellness center and two outstanding restaurants.
Five beautifully appointed meeting and event venues provide a total of 30,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and blend the hotel’s signature architecture and decor with the latest in audiovisual technology. The hotel also offers 5,000 sq. ft. of terrace space with uninterrupted views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Sitting on a former coconut plantation, nestled between a lush forest and the sparkling sea, this luxurious property in Rio Grande is the only AAA Five Diamond resort on Puerto Rico. Located at the foot of El Yunque National Forest and bordered by Espiritu Santo River State Preserve, it is a private and serene meeting destination.
The resort features 26,557 sq. ft. of meeting space, including the magnificent Astor Ballroom, which can accommodate up to 220 guests for seated dinners. The 139 guest rooms all have private terraces.
When meetings are done, groups can network on the Robert Trent Jones Jr. golf course or grab some alone time at Remede Spa. Unique offsite adventures include kayaking at night in Fajardo Bioluminescent Bay and ziplining in the forest. For those who crave city action, vibrant and historic Old San Juan is just a 30-minute drive away.
U.S Virgin Islands
No passport is necessary when you visit St. Croix, a cultural melting pot in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Rich in history, this Caribbean destination has a diverse history since it came under European and then American control. One building dating back to these times is The Buccaneer, a bright-pink 340-acre hotel.
“St. Croix’s Buccaneer is the Caribbean’s longest-running resort,” says Rebecca Boulanger, sales and marketing manager. “Both historic and modern, the resort blends Old World charm with warm hospitality and the amenities expected by today’s traveler.”
Built in 1653, this historic property features 138 guest rooms and nearly 3,000 sq. ft. of event space. Meeting planners can choose from six rooms with oceanfront views. The Sugar Mill, a historical structure originally used to grind sugar cane, is a unique location for groups up to 100.
There are plenty of activities for the athletic-minded. The eight-court tennis facility is one of the best in the Caribbean and is lighted for night play. Golfers can try a challenging 18-hole, par-70 course with spectacular sea-cliff views. Three surrounding beaches are perfect for water sports such as paddleboarding, kayaking, snorkeling and scuba diving.
It’s difficult to imagine a resort with more stunning views than this stellar property in St. Thomas. The resort features many superb vistas, but the view of Charlotte Amalie Harbor from Rum Bar Terrace is particularly spectacular.
A lush tropical setting is complemented by Caribbean decor and state-of-the-art amenities, including the luxurious Lazule Sea Spa & Salon, a fitness center and infinity pools. There are five dining options—including the new Aqua Terra Oceanfront Grill—all with breathtaking views, an upscale atmosphere and excellent cuisines.
Frenchman’s Reef has 478 guest rooms and suites, and more than 60,000 sq. ft. of event space, including exhibition space and the Grand Harbour Ballroom. The outdoor terraces are dazzling.
“One of the great things that separates the USVI is the ability to design a trip that’s perfect for your specific group and needs, with no passport required,” says Anthony Armas, the resort’s director of sales and marketing. “Groups can choose from an array of activities, whether it be customized coffee breaks or activities such as scavenger hunts, night kayaking and more. Our new meeting services app helps planners connect with our concierges on the ground in real time.”
Make an entrance into this premier resort via the 60-foot water slide, part of a massive 141-acre water park. Located in Nassau, the largest city and main tourist destination in the Bahamas, Atlantis boasts six towers, with more than 3,400 guest rooms, 40 restaurants and water activities such as swimming with dolphins and scuba diving. There are 11 pools, three beaches and 19 water slides.
The excitement doesn’t end after dark. Guests can test their luck at Atlantis Casino, the largest casino in the Caribbean, or dance all night in the Jeffrey Beers-designed nightclub, Aura.
The state-of-the-art conference center has 200,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, including the 50,000-square-foot Imperial Ballroom, 25,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom, 24 meeting rooms and seven boardrooms.
“Redefining meetings, entertainment and luxury in the Bahamas, Atlantis helps groups create once-in-a-lifetime memories for attendees by providing a truly unique meeting experience,” says John Washko, vice president of group sales and marketing.
Just 55 miles off the coast of Florida, Grand Lucayan on Grand Bahama Island invites guests to immerse themselves in easy-to-reach tropical splendor. The resort is situated along a 7.5-acre white-sand beach with panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea from its 542 guest rooms and suites.
Enjoy Caribbean-themed meeting facilities, which span 90,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor space. The conference center has 16 rooms and a 14,929-square-foot ballroom. Afterward, there are plenty of activities to indulge in, from post-meeting rum tastings to barefoot dancing to the beat of goombay steel drums.
Take advantage of the options: Pamper yourself in the 25,000-square-foot spa; play golf on the 18-hole championship course; and gamble at the Las Vegas-style casino. There’s snorkeling at Deadman’s Reef, as well as biking, horseback riding and birdwatching.
Baha Mar: Total Luxury
It’s the showstopper everyone’s been waiting for. Luxury compound Baha Mar on Cable Beach in Nassau was set to open in September with an elite collection of hotels and residences—including the centerpiece (pictured), Grand Hyatt, SLS Lux and Rosewood—and fantastic opportunities for meetings and incentives. News reports as we went to press make the opening date unclear.
The $3.5 billion complex in the Caribbean—dubbed the New Riviera, “the world’s most glamorous, new playground”—will have 2,200 guest rooms and more than 200,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor meeting space. Baha Mar Convention Arts & Entertainment Center accounts for 82,000 sq. ft. of this indoor space, with three separate ballrooms that can be divided into multiple breakout rooms. The center is also planned to have sizable prefunction space, outdoor pavilions and gardens that can accommodate events.
Baha Mar Casino & Hotel will offer 1,000 guest rooms. In addition to 190 guest rooms, will have more than 20,000 sq. ft. across eight event spaces that can host 395 indoors and 660 outdoors. will feature 707 guest rooms; will have 300 guest rooms.
“The group customer is very important to our success,” says Royann Dean, public relations and communications strategist for marketing at Baha Mar. “Baha Mar was very much built with the group customer in mind, [with] 200,000 sq. ft. of flexible convention center facilities—the largest in The Bahamas; three very large garden lawns; and a group check-in area. [And it’s a] 10-minute drive from the newly renovated and expanded international airport in Nassau.”
Meetings at Baha Mar, set alongside 3,000 feet of white-sand beach, will no doubt inspire fresh ideas and foster team camaraderie. Recreational group activities will include spa experiences, golf on a Jack Nicklaus-designed course, and exploration of wildlife habitats on land and in the turquoise waters. Group dining options will boast a variety of formal and casual restaurants, lounges, bars and cafes.
Attendees will want to browse resort galleries with artwork reflecting the multifaceted Bahamian culture and shop at the high-end onsite retailers. They’ll also be able to hit the tables and slots at the 100,000-square-foot casino and revel in a club designed by musician Lenny Kravitz.
Named the world’s friendliest country by Forbes magazine, Grand Cayman Island is a little Caribbean gem with a lot to offer. From high-end shopping to world-class diving, it packs a punch. At the center of it all is The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa. Fresh off a multimillion-dollar renovation, the property boasts 343 guest rooms and beachfront meeting facilities.
Firmly placed on Conde Nast Traveler’s Gold List, the resort has several award-winning features. Being perched on crescent-shaped Seven Mile Beach, rated the No. 1 beach by U.S. News Travel, speaks for itself. Groups can wade in the light-blue water with friendly stingrays, encounter sea turtles and snorkel above colorful reef fish. Relaxation continues indoors at the Hibiscus Spa, with 13 treatment rooms and customized services.
There’s 8,877 sq. ft. of meeting space, including a 5,615-square-foot ballroom that can seat up to 650. Award-winning Beach House restaurant features a world-class wine selection. Be it work or play, The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa is the perfect island setting.
Resorts Enhance Meetings Infrastructure
The Punta Cana area and the city of La Romana are famous for their golden-sand beaches. For culture, there’s the city of Santa Domingo. Adventure lovers adore Puerto Plata and the eco-diversity of Samana Peninsula. It’s no wonder that the Dominican Republic has developed into a hot incentive destination with lots of options for small and midsize meetings.
“Dominican Republic offers a fantastic combination of environments and tourism offerings to greet visitors, but it’s the unique culture that truly captures the imagination and invigorates the senses of all who visit,” says Shasha Cruz, representative for the U.S. mid-Atlantic region. “Everybody is looking for different locations to celebrate events nowadays. We’re an island with some of the most stunning and varied natural landscapes in the Caribbean and we have world-class travel and accommodation infrastructure.”
is on the country’s eastern coast. It features 694 guest rooms, with ocean views, and expansive mangrove landscaping. The AAA Four Diamond property has 11 meeting rooms, including a 4,488-square-foot ballroom and a 700-seat theater. Once you get to Paradisus, there’s really no reason to leave. Groups can enjoy relaxing at Yhi spa, which offers bio-massages, restorative treatments and unique hydrotherapy baths, among other things. It also has 12 restaurants, six pools and live entertainment in the evenings.
(pictured) is located in the Playa Blanca area near Punta Cana. It has 200 guest rooms and 4,305 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor event space, perfect for up to 400. Amenities include a hand-rolled cigar bar and fitness center. There are 45 holes of championship golf, including six on the ocean and 14 others with ocean views.
is an adults-only, all-inclusive resort near Punta Cana. The range of cuisine includes three buffets and nine a la carte restaurants such as El Coral for fresh seafood, Kyoto for Japanese and Mexico Lindo. There are 589 guest rooms and 107,629 sq. ft. of meeting space in its convention center. When attendees aren’t meeting and networking, they can enjoy one of the best casinos in the Caribbean.
is located 50 minutes southwest of Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ), the busiest airport in the Caribbean. Casa de Campo/La Romana International Airport (LRM) is just five minutes away. The AAA Four Diamond property is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. It has its own marina, so executives can cruise to the event on their yachts and then play golf on the resort’s 90 holes. There’s more than 15,000 sq. ft. of indoor event space and diverse outdoor options can accommodate up to 5,000. There are 185 guest rooms.
“Play one or more of the 26 golf courses in The Dominican Republic,” Cruz says. “Set loose the adrenaline for adventure travel activities and later relax with spa treatments followed by drinks and succulent dinner at the resort hotels. You can understand why the country has it all for meetings, incentives, conventions and events.”
Bon bini—or “welcome”—to Aruba, a vibrant tropical paradise with enchanting lagoons, bountiful sunshine and warm people. Located just outside the Caribbean hurricane belt, there is rarely a rainy day during island getaways here.
Situated on 15 acres facing the widest stretch of Palm Beach’s serene turquoise waters, this AAA Four Diamond hotel features 355 guest rooms with private patios or balconies and teakwood furniture. Caribbean-themed facilities extend to nearly 40,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor meeting space. For added convenience, the hotel is near Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA).
Beach activities abound with a five-star PADI dive facility and full-service water sports rental center onsite. For more excitement, try your luck at the casino. At night, experience “Biba Aruba,” a weekly food and cultural festival with live music, carnival dancers, a fire show and local artisans. There is always a celebration at Radisson Aruba.
If a coveted visit to Cuba is on the meeting agenda, look no further than the beachfront property of Barcelo Solymar Arenas Blancas Resort, situated in the tourist town of Varadero. The all-inclusive resort sits on Playa Azul with more than 12 miles of powdery, white sand and crystal-clear waters.
As the largest of Spain’s five Balearic Islands, Mallorca has long been a vacation mainstay known for its stunning coastline, mountainous landscape and Mediterranean culture. Barcelo Pueblo Park hotel is in the heart of Playa de Palma Beach. It’s the ideal spot for the active traveler, with its sports facilities, spa services and conference center.
Just a short walk to El Arenal beach, this Spanish-style property offers 276 guest rooms and more than 5,200 sq. ft. of flexible space. The hotel is located only seven miles away from the center of the island and less than four miles from Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI).
Mallorca basks in 300 days of sun a year and visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor sports. Barcelo Pueblo Park Cycling Centre is fully equipped and offers rentals, professional cyclist packages and mapped routes around the island. The wellness center features a Turkish bath and heated swimming pool.
Verdura Hotel & Conference Center
This Rocco Forte Hotels property in Sciacca, Sicily, features expansive Mediterranean Sea views that sparkle from 203 luxurious guest rooms and suites. There are two 18-hole golf courses, six clay tennis courts, 42,800 sq. ft. of meeting space and an impressive outdoor amphitheater that seats 300. Set amid olive groves on Sicily’s southwest coast, five-star rated Verdura Resort makes an ideal incentive destination because of its amenities and proximity to ancient landmarks.
It’s less than an hour from Valley of The Temples in Agrigento, which features several Greek temples built between 510 B.C. and 430 B.C. The nearby town of Sciacca is renowned for its thermal baths, which started drawing those seeking health and well-being as early as the seventh century B.C.
Verdura’s own spa treatments embody ancient rituals, including invigorating sea salt and olive oil scrubs. The four outdoor seawater pools offer various salt densities, minerals and organisms, plus waterfall and whirlpools, which all help tone, moisturize and revitalize the skin.