More Horses, Fish and Guns

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I am sure you read my original postings highlighting luxury properties that offer group programs for equestrian lovers, avid fisherman and gun enthusiasts. There’s always room for more in our ever-expanding Meeting Planner Resource Library, so… here are some more. If you, dear reader, have some others to recommend… please share with me, I’ll research, and share with everyone else in this “let’s all share our favorite things” kind of thing.

Here are a few more suggestions (for now)…

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Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire

How’s this for a hotel sales blurb: Surrounded by lush gardens, it has been the home of the Duke of Wellington since 1817. OK… try and top that.

Located only one hour from central London, 35 minutes from Heathrow and 50 minutes from Southampton, Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire is located in one of England's prettiest counties, providing a luxury English country estate hotel for those special retreats or high-end meetings.

And like any 500-acre English countryside estate worthy of the name, they have horses. Under the expert eye of their instructors, groups can arrange tailored classes for up to 14 guests to suit everyone from complete beginners to those looking to improve their dressage skills. And honestly, don’t we all need to improve our dressage skills?

For more info, have your butler check out www.fourseasons.com/hampshire/

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Sundance Resort, Utah

Everyone knows a little bit about Sundance. Oh yeah, that’s the Robert Redford place. True. There’s more. A lot more. For now, let’s just say it has everything, is a really cool place that stands for cool things, offers both guestrooms and private homes, a relaxed atmosphere, an art studio, really interesting clientele there for an endless array of creative workshops, skiing in the winter… and for the purposes of this particular blog… fly-fishing for groups.

An aside… I stayed there a while back and went to their small-ish but very comfortable bar for a drink. Luckily for me, there was a singer-songwriter workshop being held at the property, and to our amazement three amazingly talented, Grammy award-winning singer-songwriters took out their guitars and entertained us all… just because. It’s that kind of place.

And for those who don’t care about anything but fishing… Sundance has an amazing fly fishing program with clinics for fly tying, fly casting and of course... the catching of wild trout on some world class water in their back yard!

They can handle groups up to 20 people at a time and can customize trips to half day (4hours) and full day (6-8 hours) that would include a gourmet stream side lunch. The guides are some of the finest in the country and the gear that they supply is the best!

Check them out at www.sundance-utah.com

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The Inn on Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NC

The Vanderbilt’s were really rich. Cornelius V. started it all in one of America’s classic rags-to-riches stories, building a railroad and shipping empire from nothing. His grandson, George, being born into great wealth, had it a bit easier. What to do with all that money and time? Well, on the side he had built what is probably the largest private residence ever in America… a 250-room French Renaissance chateau on an 8000-acre estate outside Asheville NC. You can’t stay there… but… you can stay at the four-star, four-diamond Inn on the Biltmore estate. It only has 210 rooms so it’s really just the guest-cottage, but… nice enough.

And in addition to every other activity you can think of, they also offer… you guessed it…  an Orvis Endorsed Fly-Fishing School. They customize their lessons to the experience of each individual within the group, beginning with dry casting instruction and then transitioning to either fly-fishing on their lake from a drift boat, a guided half-day adventure float trip on the French Broad River for Smallmouth Bass, or exciting full-day guided wade trip fishing for trout in one of their local streams. Group size is usually limited to 15 guests at a time, but “arrangements can be made”.

Visit their site at www.biltmore.com

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Vermejo Park Ranch, New Mexico

This is a special treat for that small high-end retreat… you get Horses, Fish and Guns all at the same time.

I am not making this up… Vermejo Park Ranch is a 585.000 acre private reserve owned by Ted Turner (yes, that Ted Turner). Besides the seven-bedroom Casa Grande Lodge (originally built in 1909 but now… really cool), there is the 12-bedroom Casa Minor, plus five guest houses totaling another 29 rooms (I think that makes 48 total. For those who really want to get away… the eight-bedroom Costilla Lodge up in the mountains (it’s 25 miles from Casa Grande but still on-property :).

They have 16 lakes, 30 miles of fishing streams, and lots of guns. Whichever outdoor adventure you seek, from hiking rugged mountain terrain to a horse ranch vacation their professional guides can create an ideal itinerary tailored to your group’s skill level, ability and desires.

I really, really want to stay here. http://vermejoparkranch.com/

OK… that’s it (for now), but I will keep searching and reporting on this and every other topic I can think of. Sharing is fun.