The city of Naples hosts an acclaimed wine festival each winter. napleswinefestival.com
The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village
(formerly the Resort at Marina Village) debuted late last December in Cape Coral, just south of Fort Myers. The 263-room property is the first Westin-branded hotel to open in Southwest Florida and includes 25,000 square feet of meeting space, clay tennis courts, an amphitheater, a marina and a lagoon-style outdoor pool. The hotel, which underwent an extensive renovation before reopening under the Starwood flag, was awarded AAA Diamond status in April.
The 317-room Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club
has wrapped up a $5 million renovation that added a 5,000-square-foot ballroom with a glass wall and two Gulf-side meeting rooms, spanning 1,159 and 1,097 square feet, respectively. These additions followed the completion of a five-year, $40 million renovation of the property's guest rooms and public spaces. The resort has 34,000 square feet of meeting space, as well as a championship golf course, a spa and a tennis center.
The 181-room Sundial Beach & Golf Resort
on Sanibel Island was purchased by CoreState Capital Advisors LLC and currently is undergoing a major renovation while remaining open. The resort has approximately 12,000 square feet of meeting space in nine separate rooms, plus five pools and 2,000 feet of beach on the Gulf of Mexico.
Last March, the Marco Island Marriott Resort
expanded its spa pool deck. The 727-room resort has 25,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, including 33 meeting rooms. The resort completed an extensive $225 million renovation at the end of 2011.Meeting Hotels
In Fort Myers, properties include the 226-room Crowne Plaza Hotel Fort Myers at Bell Tower Shops and 216-room Pink Shell Beach Resort & Spa.
Cape Coral properties include the 263-room Resort at Marina Village, 137-room Courtyard Fort Myers Cape Coral and 75-room Hampton Inn & Suites Cape Coral.
In Naples, hotels include the 474-room Naples Grande Resort & Club; 450-room Ritz-Carlton, Naples; 317-room Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club; 295-room Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples; 199-room Hilton Naples; 189-room La Playa Beach & Golf Resort; 125-room Edgewater Beach Hotel; 100-room Bellasera Hotel; 85-room Bayfront Inn 5th Avenue, and 119-room Inn on Fifth.
On Captiva and Sanibel islands are the 465-room South Seas Island Resort, 347-room Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa, 181-room Sundial Resort & Spa and 137-room 'Tween Waters Inn.
To find and compare properties, and to send RFPs, go to mcvenues.com
Sarasota Bradenton International Convention Center; exhibit space, 90,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, six; (941) 355-9163; sbicc.net
Harborside Events Center (Fort Myers); exhibit space, approximately 38,400 square feet; number of meeting rooms, four; (239) 332-6888; harborsideevents.com
Lee Civic Center; exhibit space 90,000 square feet; number of meting rooms, four; (239) 543-8368; leeciviccenter.com
Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center; exhibit space, 43,500 square feet; number of meeting rooms, five; (800) 652-6090; charlotteharbormeetings.comAirport Transit
Southwest Florida International Airport, about 10 miles southwest of Fort Myers, 40 miles northwest of Naples. Transfer cost by taxi: to Fort Myers, $40; to Naples, $55Taxes
Fort Myers: room tax, 5%; sales tax, 6%; total tax on hotel rooms, 11%
Naples: room tax, 4%; sales tax, 6%; total tax on hotel rooms, 10%Contact
Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau, (941) 743-1900; charlotteharbortravel.com
Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau, (800) 237-6444; fortmyerssanibel.com
Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention & Visitors Bureau, (800) 688-3600; paradisecoast.com