The “Sharing Saga” continues… My job is to share stuff with you, stuff you can use. Here are some more snapshots of online resources that might help in the meeting planning part of your job. I use them.
Note… we keep building this library of resource stuff and add new categories all the time. Check them out… have fun, laugh, dream, share… click on everything… contact me if you have cool stuff of your own to share… and so on.
Looking for some really amazing, high-end, small, luxury, boutique properties in some amazing locations around the world but don’t know where to start? Start with these sites with full, searchable lists of their remarkable properties. True, not everyone can handle big groups (whatever big means to you)… and every group’s needs are unique, but all of these look amazing. Let’s just say that if I were CEO of something, I would stay at every one of them. (Hey, wait a second… I am CEO and President of something! I guess I mean if I was a rich CEO or President of something).
So bookmark these sites and check them out when you need a cool place, or when you have time to dream about where you will go when you win the lottery, or become a CEO and can decide whatever you want to decide.
National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World www.nationalgeographiclodges.com
They describe their collection as “a network of world-class accommodations where sustainability is the touchstone…. These are not simply hotels, they are the concepts of dreamers come to fruition: unique lodges that defy the imagination in their design and detail, founded on a deep desire to protect the cultures and precious ecosystems that surround them.” A marketing mouthful. I am tempted to de-construct the “concepts of dreamers come to fruition” or the “defy the imagination” lines, but the places are all so cool that I will give them a pass.
You can search or browse their 43 properties by destination or activity. Warning… once you start browsing you will not get any work done.
Relais & Chateaux www.relaischateaux.com/us/
I am sure everyone has heard of R&C. For 60 years they set the standard for the best of the best small, boutique luxury hotels and gourmet restaurants. If you have not heard of them, or at least never considered them out for one of your executive or Board retreats, check them out. The site is easily searchable too.
Their marketing is filled with an amazing array (or is it cavalcade) of big words that speak of a tradition of service and hospitality… and although I have a hard time with big words, whatever they say about any of their 530 member properties around the world is true (or at least very close to being true). From snow-covered high mountain chalets, country houses surrounded by vineyards, villas overlooking the sea, to sophisticated hotels and/or gourmet restaurants in the heart of major cities, they have it all.
Important Note… I repeat… not every one of these properties will take a group, or if they do, you follow their rules, not yours. But that’s OK. These are not just places, they are experiences. Go with it (but check your stock value first before committing).
Want more boutique options… try…
Design Hotels of the World www.designhotels.com
I am going to cut through their marketing stuff because… marketing stuff kind of drives me crazy. Cut to the heart of it… 282 independently owned boutique hotels in 50 countries. The common thread? Thought-provoking design and architecture, plus a bit of “cultural authenticity” (whatever that is)… plus gourmet cuisine and a high level of service.
When I think of DH, I think of clients that want something hip (whatever that means) and different (whatever that means). Want a local example? Hotel Healdsburg in the Sonoma Wine Country. If you are familiar with it (and you should be), you will get a feel for Design Hotels in general. Just understand that every property is completely and absolutely different. I know that makes no sense, but it makes sense to me.
Same warning about some that takes groups and some that don’t. They are all different and so some are more conducive to meetings than others. Regardless… use them as a resource.
And while we are on the subject of small luxury hotels around the world, check out…
Small Luxury Hotels of the World www.slh.com
Yes, their name kind of says it all which means I don’t have to describe it. This is an association of 520 (you guessed it) small, luxury hotels in 80 countries, and their web site is searchable by destination.
And one more (for now) for you luxury boutique hotels everywhere kind of people…
Dominique DeBay Hotels & Resorts www.ddhrm.com
DDHRM is what we call a “Rep Firm”, although everyone who does that shudders at the phrase. Think of it this way… all of these amazingly cool boutique hotels have to get their message out to a huge world-wide market. But most of them are smaller, maybe even family-owned operations. Their solution, ban together with someone like New York based Dominique to get the message out to the travel and meeting community. Right now she speaks for 23 really cool properties and although her web site is slightly confusing to me (probably my fault), it is an excellent resource to find stuff you may not have found. One good thing about them being a small operation… you can call their office and someone answers the phone.
OVERWHELMED BY ALL THE CHOICES? Of course you are.
That Is Why All You Have To Do Is Contact Me And Say...Give Me Some Options. All Things Meetings Is A Free Referral Service For All Things Meetings. Really. It is. Tell me what you need and I will point you in the right direction.