South Florida Guide

Green and Guest-worthy
The Naples Botanical Garden reopened in November 2009, having expanded its five-acre plot to a 170-acre garden with several meeting and event spaces. Events with a tropical feel can take place in the Kapnick Caribbean Garden, which fits up to 200 people and overlooks a palm garden and lake, while a Latin vibe can be channeled in the Brazilian Garden, which accommodates up to 75 for receptions and includes an Ama­zon lily pool and garden plaza. For an indoor option, the recently renovated 3,000-square-foot Windstar Garden Room fits up to 250, a 650-square-foot lecture room holds 35 and the 400-square-foot boardroom seats 15. The site's green initiatives include an extensive recycling program and a water system that meets LEED Gold Certification standards. (239) 643-7275;

Local Update: The Sonesta Bayfront Hotel Coconut Grove completed a $500,000 renovation in 2009.  New features include the Sky Lounge, which can host 28 people around a rooftop pool and bar area. In addition, the property's 12,500 square feet of meeting space was renovated.

Marriott's SpringHill Suites
Miami Arts/Health District opened last fall with 198-suites and 1,288 square feet of meeting space. The hotel is minutes from downtown Miami and five miles from Miami International Airport.

The 56-room Tempo Miami Hotel is set open this month in the Marquis Building. The property overlooks Biscayne Bay and offers a sky pool, an 8,000-square-foot spa and more than 900 square feet of meeting space.

Following $200 million in renovations, the 631-room Eden Roc in Miami Beach reopened last September. The property's amenities include five pools, several dining options, 46,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, 25,000 square feet of outdoor event space and, soon, a new Elle Spa.

The 65-room boutique Hotel
Urbano opened in January in Miami's financial district, with 1,650 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space. The property, in partnership with the city's Art Fusion Galleries, offers seasonal art exhibits.  

Meeting Hotels: In downtown Miami and Key Biscayne, the largest properties include the 641-room InterContinental Miami; 612-room Hyatt Regency Miami; 603-room Biscayne Bay Marriott Hotel & Marina; 490-room Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne; 411-room EPIC Hotel; 326-room Mandarin Oriental, Miami; 296-room JW Marriott Miami, and 221-room Four Seasons Miami.

At or near Miami Inter­national Airport are the 693-room Doral Golf Resort & Spa, 500-room Hilton Miami International Airport and 405-room Wyndham Hotel & Executive Meeting Center at Miami International Airport.

In Miami Beach and North Miami Beach, properties include the 1,504-room Fontainebleau Resort; 790-room Loews Miami Beach; 631-room Eden Roc Resort; 484-room Radisson Deauville Resort Miami Beach; 424-room Wyndham Miami Beach Resort; 409-room Royal Palm Resort on Miami Beach; 392-room Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Club; 390-room Trump International Sonesta Beach Resort; 375-room Ritz-Carlton, South Beach; 262-room Courtyard by Marriott Miami Beach Oceanfront, and 135-room Setai.

Chill Here

The So Cool eVenue

The So Cool eVenue is a 10,000-square-foot event space with a 1,000-square-foot lounge and bar completely made of ice. Everything from the walls to the seats to the martini glasses are functional ice sculptures. In addition, the space includes a 4,100-square-foot outdoor area and is minutes from downtown Miami.

Convention Centers: Miami Beach Convention Center; exhibit space, 502,848 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 70; (305) 673-7315

Miami Convention Center; exhibit space, 28,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 37; (305) 579-6341;

Airport Transit: Miami In­ter­national Airport, about seven miles west of downtown Miami. Transfer cost by taxi to downtown Miami, $24; by shuttle, $12. By taxi to Miami Beach, $32; by shuttle, $16. By Airport Flyer bus to Miami Beach, $2.35. By taxi to Key Biscayne, $41; by shuttle, $22

Taxes: Miami/Miami Beach: room tax, 6%; sales tax, 7%; total tax on hotel rooms, 13%

Group Ven­ues: Groups go ape at the Jungle Island theme park, where the 13,824-square-foot Treetop Ballroom can host up to 2,000 and provides views of Miami's seaport and skyline. The attached 5,184-square-foot Royal Palm Verandah provides an outdoor option for up to 700 people. Other on-site meeting spaces include the 4,534-square-foot lakeside Sabal Palm Plaza and three additional 800-square-foot outdoor event pavilions. The theme park includes a flamingo lake and a serpentarium. (305) 400-7000;

The Culinary Academy at the Biltmore Hotel offers corporate team-building cooking classes in its 700-square-foot kitchen, where teams create tapas-style menu items such as bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with bleu cheese. Groups are limited to 20, although multiple classes may be held during the day. After preparation, teams feast on their creations and share cocktails. (305) 445-1926;

EPIC HotelThe 411-room EPIC Hotel's 16th-floor pool-deck terrace holds up to 520 people for group events alongside its duel infinity pools. The area also sports cabanas for lounging and is adjacent to two dining rooms for private use. Indoors on the 14th floor, a 4,200-square-foot ballroom offers panoramic views of the Miami skyline. (305) 424-5226;

CVB Services: Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, (305) 539-3000 or (800) 933-8448;