From Honey Bees To Food Trucks, Chefs And Chandeliers On The Beach
Throughout its 32 year history, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. has always been known as a leader in luxury meetings for both corporate and incentive programs hosted in the iconic brand’s hotels and resorts worldwide.
“Tailoring custom experiences for attendees has always been a priority for us, and today the localization of those experiences has become extremely popular,” said John Harper, Vice President, Sales for The Ritz-Carlton. “Our meeting planners host events with specific goals in mind, whether it be retaining talent or inspiring customers. We partner with our customers to help them create stronger relationships with their attendees,” Harper continued. Once again, The Ritz-Carlton was voted #1 in guest satisfaction for 2015 by J.D. Power and Associates.
New, Innovative Food and Beverage and Authentic Local Experiences:
Around the world, The Ritz-Carlton inspires luxury meeting attendees with unique destination-inspired food and beverage experiences such as The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island‘s Honey Break served by the resort’s beekeeper with both honey comb and honey-infused treats. In Arizona, The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain‘s “Roadrunner” Food Truck serves everything from ice cream to street tacos and other western culinary experiences like the Chili, Salsa and Guacamole Challenges, the Margarita Mixing Class or the “Stargazing Dessert” station filled with sky-inspired treats such as Black Hole Brownies, Lemon Moon Pies and Milky Way Cupcakes. In St. Louis, the hotel’s themed coffee breaks include pretzels, local Fitz Root Beer and Kaldi’s Coffee to the sounds of jazz and other music. In coastal Half Moon Bay, California, guests blend their own wines sourced from the nearby Santa Rita Mountains or compete in an “Iron Chef”– style cooking challenge.
Local excursions and adventures also have been curated by the hotel teams for meeting guests. For attendees looking to network with their peers, Meetings on the Grid allows participants to experience the vibrant city of Charlotte including the young city’s thriving craft beer, recreation, art and entertainment scenes in nearby neighborhoods. Dove Mountain guests venture on sunset hiking receptions where attendees journey into the magnificent Tortolita Mountains, exploring areas which the Hohokam Indians originally inhabited. Jean-Michel Cousteau‘s Ambassadors of the Environment in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands offers group excursions including the memorable “Nightlife on the Reef,” a guided nighttime snorkel using dive lights. Guests can also snorkel around the nearby island of St. John on Lady Lynsey, the resort’s sea-going catamaran.
Other special group dining experiences include Chandeliers on the Beach in Naples, Fl., set along the water’s edge. The white sand beach hosts tables lit overhead with eight foot tall chandeliers swaying while guests dine and view the sunset to the sounds of the Gulf of Mexico‘s crashing waves. The ‘Sea to Sails’ experience in St. Thomas is authentically Caribbean with guests greeting the fishermen daily as they bring their seafood ashore, delivering them into the hands of the chefs. Guests hand-select their fish and lobsters, photograph, share while chefs prepare and serve their meal.
Engaging Meeting Planners and Attendees Through Technology:
Anticipating needs of guests are core to The Ritz-Carlton service values and philosophy and that now includes digitally assisting meeting planners with the launch of ((Chime)), the new mobile app designed specifically for meeting planners.
“The Ritz-Carlton is the leader in luxury meetings globally. “((Chime)) extends that leadership into digital and mobile, allowing meeting planners around the world to schedule services and request fulfillment prior to and during their events,” said David Murphy, Vice President, Food and Beverage Design and Development.
Both meeting planners and attendees are now utilizing technology to maximize the luxury meeting experience. Planners are looking for fresh inspiration constantly and for those active on social media, Pinterest has quickly become the go to source for aspirational imagery in the meeting planning phase prior to arrival. The Ritz-Carlton has created a dedicated Art of Meetings Pinterest page to inspire planners to craft, photograph and share images of memorable events by The Ritz-Carlton. Imagery of meeting setups, food and beverage presentations and indoor and outdoor venues are curated on the page by The Ritz-Carlton social media team to inspire future visits and experiences. Continue reading