The conference I helped @eduncanevents with a few weeks ago, took place at the Grove Isle Hotel & Spa. It was such a treat to head to warm and muggy Miami during the middle of January. Although we had such a mild January that the humidity was the only big difference. Today, however, is another story. It was 17 degrees as I headed to a tennis match this morning. Welcome winter. Nice of you to show up.
The property is on it's own private island so we really had a retreat experience. It was a small conference so we took over most of the hotel feeling very spoiled by their wonderful staff.
The fire pit, just beyond the lobby, was a great spot to sit and take in the ocean views at night.
While sitting at the fire pit you can see the bridge to Key Biscayne. The hotel was closer to Coconut Grove and about a 25 minute cab ride into Miami Beach.
I woke up very early on my last morning to see the sunrise. Nothing like the fresh morning air to wake you up.
Our meeting rooms were off of the long corridor heading out to the pool and ships deck.
Their on-site restaurant was wonderful. We had breakfast and lunch there the day before the conference began and they also had a more casual pool bar for salads and sandwiches.
It was warm enough during the day to get some sun but we were busy getting the conference details together. Again, as a reminder to people who think meeting and event planning is glamorous, it does have it's perks, but you are often watching everyone else enjoy the pool, while your face is pressed inside registration packets and rooming list details.
I have loved working with Elizabeth Duncan Events as a consultant for these last few months. She always gives me the task of managing the catering details at her weddings and meetings. The Grove Isle did such a great job with the menu. The food was outstanding and the staff knew our every wish before we even thought about wishing it! That is my definition of hospitality.
The displays were creative and beautifully constructed, but the food itself was delicious and a nice surprize for "conference food".
Most, if not all, of the rooms had a balcony and view of the water. They were simple and had a beach feel with terra cotta tiled floors and bamboo chairs.
There was a walking path around the whole island as well. There are residences on the island and it was nice to see so many active and healthy retirees.
The best part is that you could really kick off your shoes and conduct meetings on the pool deck. That's my idea of a great meeting location.
Thank you to EDE for inviting me to assist you in Miami. To the staff at the Grove Isle Hotel & Spa, you know how much you meant to all of us. We will never forget you Rodolfo, Megan and Ben. Thank you for going above and beyond the call of duty. I hope to return for a tennis vacation and enjoy the property again.