Dare we call it a “Sales Meeting Bucket List?” – Top 10 incentive & leisure travel hotels in the U.S.

By in Conference + Meeting Planning, Incentive + Group Travel, Thought Pieces

There’s been a lot of conversation lately on the increased need for annual sales training mixed with the financial desire to reduce corporate incentive trips for employees.  And while receiving that coveted company pen was always so popular among the corporate lifers of generations past, we have found that it is those once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences that are most appealing to the rewarded workforce of today.

Each year, expert travel publications like Condé Nast, TripAdvisor and Travel + Leisure graciously serve up results of their polls to determine the top hotels and resorts in the United States for incentive and leisure travel.  Many of these hotels appear on the same ranking lists year after year for their locale, quality, amenities and superior service. They are also known to travelers worldwide as the “A-list” of properties.

So in my combined knowledge of these crème-de-la-crème hotels blended with my focus on the goals of our clients, it prompted me to ask, “Why not select a location and hotel for a meeting that employees are dying to get to?”  Their bucket list—pun intended.

I decided to dig a bit deeper to determine if these hotels which constantly set the industry standard for incentive and leisure travel, have the ability to successfully serve as a meeting venue based on the budget, size, and logistical needs of our clients.  This approach would prove to be the best way to kill two birds with one stone by combining training for professional development and satisfying personal interests. The outcome has been invaluable; employees feel more appreciated, are more motivated to excel, and employers are gaining a more committed and loyal salesforce.

Below is my own “Top Ten” list for incentivized meetings in the U.S.

#1 The Grand Del Mar

Bucket list: The Best of the Best- consistently ranked #1 hotel in the U.S.

Location: San Diego, CA

Closest Airport: 22 miles- San Diego International Airport

Total Guest Rooms: 249

Square Feet of Meeting Space: 20,000

Number of Meeting and Event Spaces: 20

Value Season: Mid November through Mid January. Group rates from $260.00 USD

 

#2 The Grand Wailea

Bucket list: The Tropical Paradise

Location: Kula, HI

Closest Airport: 17 miles – Kahulai Airport

Total Guest Rooms: 780

Square Feet of Meeting Space: 49,000

Number of Meeting and Event Spaces:  22

Value Season: July through December. Group rates from $195.00 USD

 

#3  Inn at Palmetto Bluff

Bucket List: The Southern Belle

City: Bluffton, SC

Closest Airport: 25 miles- Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport

Total Guest Rooms: 38

Square Feet of Meeting Space : 12,000 plus 20,000 acres of outdoor event space

Number of Meeting and Event Spaces:  11

Value Season: Early December through early February. Group rates from $329.00 USD.

 

#4 Meadowood Napa Valley

Bucket list: The Wine Country

City: Napa Valley- Calistoga, CA

Closest Airport: 28 miles- Sonoma County Airport with direct flights from LA, Seattle, San Diego, and Portland

Total Guest Rooms:  85

Square Feet of Meeting Space:  19,000

Number of Meeting and Event Spaces:  8

Value Season:  Late November and Early April. Group rates from $325.00 USD

 

#5 Hotel Aleyska

Bucket list: The Last Frontier

City: Girdwood/Anchorage, Alaska

Closest Airport: 41 miles – Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport

Total Guest Rooms: 304

Square Feet of Meeting Space: 13,000

Number of Meeting and Event Spaces:  144

Value Season: Late August through late November and late April- late June. Group rates from $127.00 USD

 

#6 The Broadmoor

Bucket List: The Adult Adventureland

City: Colorado Springs, CO

Closest Airport: 11 miles- Colorado Springs Municipal Airport

Total Guest Rooms: 829

Square Feet of Meeting Space: 185,000

Number of Meeting and Event Spaces:  62

Value Season:  November through April. Group rates starting at $179.00.00 USD

 

#7 White Elephant

Bucket list: The East Coast Prep

City: Nantucket, MA

Closest Airport: 6 miles- Nantucket Memorial Airport with direct flights from Boston, D.C., NYC, and Philadelphia

Total Guest Rooms: 67

Square Feet of Meeting Space: 17,000

Number of Meeting and Event Spaces:  5

Value Season: May, June, September and October. Group rates starting at $215.00 USD

 

#8 The Breakers Palm Beach

Bucket list: The Beach Resort

City: Palm Beach, FL

Closest Airport: 6 miles- Palm Beach International Airport

Total Guest Rooms: 540

Square Feet of Meeting Space:  70,000

Number of Meeting and Event Spaces: 22

Value Season: May – December. Group rates from $265.00 (avoid hurricane season from July – October!)

 

#9 The American Club Resort

Bucket list: The Country Club

City: Kohler, WI

Closest Airport: 60 miles- General Mitchel International Airport

Total Guest Rooms: 241

Square Feet of Meeting Space: 21,000

Number of Meeting and Event Spaces: 28

Value Season: Late March through mid May. Group rates starting at $175.00 USD

 

#10 Hotel Monteleone

Bucket list: The French Quarter

City: New Orleans, LA

Total Guest Rooms: 570

Closest Airport: Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

Square Feet of Meeting Space: 26,000

Number of Meeting and Event Spaces: 24

Value Season: Mid May through early November. Group rates starting at $179.00

 

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