Time for reflection:
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain
in Paradise Valley, Ariz.
With luxury meetings on the rise again, gone
are the days when simply putting attendees up in a glitzy room with
a famous five-star name was enough to keep them happy. Whether it’s
a subtle, graceful touch or the grand, sweeping stuff only the
deepest of pockets can buy, increasingly refined attendees expect
something unique from their meetings, and properties big and small
are eager to provide.
Drawing on luxury’s big-name chains as well as the unique
offerings of more intimate folios such as Small Luxury Hotels of
the World and Relais & Châteaux, M&C presents 42
of this year’s most inspiring luxury perks.
The ride in
1. High-level attendees likely will appreciate
something more for the airport-to-hotel shuttle than a mere limo.
Antique cars, BMWs and Hummers all make smart statements. The crown
jewel of the motor troop, however, is the Rolls-Royce Phantom. If
possible, get a proud Phantom owner to personally chauffeur your
party, as the Hotel Roger Williams did for its New York City
opening early this year.
2. What could be better than being whisked
from airport to hotel in a private helicopter? One answer, provided
by Avon, Colo.’s Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort & Spa: skipping
the hotel entrance in order to alight on the property’s main
mountaintop, ski equipment in tow, for a truly ski-in
3. When a bus coach is necessary, the
25,000-acre Lajitas Resort, in the desert hideaway of Lajitas,
Texas, turns the ride into a more festive affair by setting up
several pit stops along the dusty road from El Paso International
Airport, invoking the cowboy spirit with margaritas, rattlesnake
cakes, and professional bullwhip or shooting demonstrations.
4. Keep in mind that the attendee’s trip
begins long before the plane touches down at the airport. Hotels
like The Point in Saranac Lake, N.Y., and the Lake Placid (N.Y.)
Lodge, both of which offer private jet service direct to their
Adirondacks grounds, will help arrange the initial limo ride from a
VIP’s home to the jet pad.
The meeting room
5. St. George, Utah’s Red Mountain Spa keeps
things lively and refined with tart candies and tiny hand toys. For
the especially adventurous, ergonomic chairs can be replaced with
chair-size fit balls.
6. W hotels will waft their trademark cool
lounge sound through the meeting room upon request, as well as
provide a subtle whiff of lavender to awaken and calm
7. Don’t underestimate the power of a majestic
view. Saint Tropez, France’s new La Tartane provides a meeting room
with a retractable ceiling, wowing attendees with both nature and
8. In Switzerland, Le Mirador Kempinski Lake
Geneva arranges board meetings on its yacht, set luxuriously adrift
in the middle of its namesake lake.
9. The Four Seasons Hotel Houston brightens
afternoon meetings with a rejuvenating round of chilled, fruit
10. Vancouver, B.C.’s Opus Hotel furnishes the
meeting room with designer lounge-style couches and chairs and gel
mood lighting. And, if requested, the chic property will serve
personal oxygen bottles instead of a coffee break.
11. Toronto’s Windsor Arms Hotel will call in
its spa professionals to administer hand- and foot-pamperings
during the actual meeting. (Note: This might not appeal to
12. Another Windsor Arms touch: A personal
stenographer will write up the meeting’s minutes and create a
printout of same for attendee distribution.