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Venue News

Improvements, awards, and safety protocols


SAN FRANCISCO—The St. Regis San Francisco, is pleased to announce that Forbes Travel Guide (FTG), the only global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants and spas, has named the hotel one of the world’s Five-Star properties in its 2021 annual Star Awards. 

Yerba Buena Terrace regis.pngThe Yerba Buena Lounge at the St. Regis. Photo courtesy St. Regis Hotel

“We are honored and proud to be recognized by the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide as a Five-Star property,” said Jacqueline Volkart, general manager of the hotel. “The St. Regis San Francisco was built from the ground up with the intention of introducing an unprecedented level of luxury, service and elegance of design to San Francisco, and our dedication to those ideals continues to this day.”

Earlier this year, The St. Regis San Francisco unveiled a redesign of the hotel’s guestrooms and meeting and event spaces in collaboration with Toronto-based Chapi Chapo Design, a multidisciplinary design house whose principals played key roles in the original design of the property. The St. Regis San Francisco’s 260 rooms and suites were refitted with customized furniture, exclusive to the hotel. The redesign also focused on enhancing The St. Regis San Francisco’s 15,000 square feet of meeting and event spaces, creating refined, comfortable and innovative areas designed to facilitate conversation and collaboration.  

 Forbes Travel Guide will celebrate the full list of 2021 Star Award winners in spring 2021.

To view the new Star Award winners, visit



ISLAMORADA—The iconic Cheeca Lodge & Spa has acquired 10 private villas, now known as The Casitas as Cheeca Lodge. Offering the most in privacy and exclusivity of all room categories, The Casitas are a perfect getaway for socially distant vacations this summer. The Casitas at Cheeca Lodge offer one- or two-bedroom accommodations, featuring 750 to 2,100 square feet of space and the option of resort or ocean view. Special amenities and features include large, furnished porches, full equipped kitchens, bathrooms boasting rain showers and large soaking tubs, and washer and dryer. An ideal escape for families and group getaways, along with extended stays, The Casitas also include personalized butler service to fulfill guests' every need during their stay. Exclusive to Casita guests only, this remote area features a private beach, pool and tennis courts. 


Outdoor dining at Cheeca Lodge & Spa. Photo courtesy Cheeca Lodge & Spa

Included in the acquisition are neighboring restaurants Pierre’s and Morada Bay Beach Café, favorites among locals and visitors. Situated amidst a palm-lined beach overlooking the Florida Bay with breathtaking backdrops, these spaces offer a variety of new venues for Cheeca’s social, production and corporate events, hosting up to 400 people.  The Casitas at Cheeca Lodge start at $1,099 per night. Cheeca Lodge & Spa has also implemented its Safety and Well-Being Promise, focusing on three key pillars: Prevention, Cleanliness, and Reducing Contact.

MIAMI BEACH—The Confidante Miami Beach has transformed its meetings and events business to accommodate socially-distant and safe groups, focusing on ease for planners by extending enhanced values and flexible contract terms, offering “hybrid” meeting packages, utilizing its scenic, oceanfront outdoor spaces, and providing new food and beverage offerings for groups of all sizes. The Confidante offers nearly 15,000 square feet of indoor space with innovative smart technology, mid-century modern design elements, complimentary premium WiFi, and dedicated lounge areas. 

miami beach.jpg

Social distancing decals. Photo courtesy The Confidante

The property has:

• Moments Offer promotion: all meetings with 75 or fewer paid guest rooms on peak night booked by December 31, 2020 and actualized by June 30, 2021 receive no cancellation or attrition fees, a short-form contract, up to five percent off the master bill, and either 50,000 or 100,000 Hyatt Bonus Points based on group spend
• 30,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor flexible multi-functional space to accommodate upscale events and functions, with half of the total square footage exclusively outdoor venue space
• Enhanced streaming ‘Hybrid’ meeting packages for companies looking to travel in small groups 
• Reimagined F&B offerings in order to provide safe and responsible food service that is also creative and satisfying. All meal periods feature personalized a la carte packaged dishes and covered plated options, while traditional buffets have been modified to include attendants that minimize guest touch points. Guests are invited to fill personal water bottles from contactless, built-in water stations located in accessible areas throughout the hotel and meeting spaces. Vegetarian, vegan, dairy free and gluten free options are offered.
• Vibrant safety signage throughout the hotel and safety items produced locally in Miami-Dade County, closely following guidelines set forth by the CDC, Florida Department of Health and Hyatt’s Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment to keep guests safe.

NAPLES—The Associated Luxury Hotels International held its annual ALHI Executive Women In Leadership conference at Naples Grande Beach Resort, a 474-guestroom, independent resort. The invite-only conference hosted 50 attendees. 

ALHI Executive Women in Leadership_Welcome Dinner Setting.jpgDistanced dining during the AHLI meeting. See lower left watermark for photo credit.

Here are some of the COVID-19 precautions implemented:

• All attendees were presented a PPE amenity kit upon arrival, which included two masks, two thermometer strips, hand sanitizer, and the APEX Meetings Code of Conduct)
• All function setups were designed to follow social distancing of six feet apart, with 3 guests per 72-inch round and six feet of space between chairs 
• Masks were required at all sessions. All meeting attendees wore masks when not socially distanced and when moving from session to session
• No network reception events were held during the conference. All bar service was provided tableside.
• Food service featured individually packaged, grab-and-go style meals and attendees were required to form lines with six feet of distance in between each other
• Group photos were staged so all attendees could be photographed from a wide-angle from the stage

COVID-19 protocols for each vendor were provided prior to the event to all attendees

“In this reimagined meeting environment, we found that communication and setting expectations for attendees was more important than ever. Our meeting attendees were looking to us…to tell them how to meet and travel safely. Taking the time to explain why we designed things the way we have, when to wear your mask, what to do next at the meeting—this is what creates the space for the meeting to accomplish the bigger goals and objectives of the gathering. By guiding our attendees every step of the way, we create an experience where they can relax and enjoy the program, the people they meet, and the destination they are in,” said Katie Bohrer, VP Meeting Design & Experience, ALHI.

ORLANDO—Meliá Orlando Celebrations offers an old-world charm meets new world design and contemporary comfort. Wild orchids grace tabletops and large-scale impressionist paintings combine with mosaic walls, which sets an atmosphere that is both European—an homage to its Spanish brand roots— and American chic. Located right off of I-4, Meliá Orlando Celebration reopened in May following guidelines from the newly launched Stay Safe with Meliá by Meliá Hotels International.


Safe Space scan technology. Photo courtesy Meliá Orlando

With 2,200 square feet of meeting space include scenic outdoor venues ideal for small, socially-distant gatherings.

The Stay Safe with Meliá program has been certified by Bureau Veritas and involves the transformation of the customer experience in the context of Covid19, including a special focus on meetings and events in three fundamental areas:

Layouts: virtual site inspections have been enhanced, with 3D diagramming tools helping to design new layouts due to reductions in maximum capacity in event rooms. Signage has been introduced to help direct the movements of people and separation systems to ensure social distancing. Digital applications are also being promoted in the relationship between event organizers and the hotel.

Additional hygiene measures: including the use of disinfectant mats, hydroalcoholic gel dispensers, the sealing of rooms after disinfection, water in glass bottles for each attendee, sealing of cutlery and frequently used items, stationery on request and a reduction in the use of decorative items.

Catering services: carried out in a private room or in areas specially reserved for each group and, whenever possible, using outdoor set-ups and show cooking. In addition, dishes are served in pre-prepared individual portions and coffee breaks and buffets are served by staff to avoid customers handling utensils. Take-away services are also available.

Experience the hotel through a virtual tour link here.  Rates start as low as $90/night.



SAVANNAH—The Kimpton Brice Hotel, located in Savannah’s Historic Landmark District, is welcoming groups back to safely gather through reimagined outdoor spaces, special offers, and updated safety protocols.  


Socially spaced outdoor tables. Photo courtesy Kimpton Brice Hotel

The Kimpton Brice Hotel is offering groups flexibility through their “Meet. Safe. Together.” offer, which essentially allows groups to “build their own meeting” and pay for what they need with no added costs. Booking “Meet. Safe. Together” by Dec. 31, 2020 includes: 

• Price match guarantee 
• No cancellation and no attrition for rooms that are not booked 
• No food and beverage minimum requirement 
• Bonus planner points  
• Free Wi-Fi in meetings and event rooms  

The Kimpton Brice Hotel features nearly 6,000 square feet of eclectic meeting space and is the ideal venue for both business and social gatherings and functions. Outdoor spaces have been reconfigured for intimate meetings and events, i.e. groups can now hold al fresco meetings or breakout sessions poolside or within the hotel’s exclusive Secret Garden, a verdant, lush courtyard, and garden ideal for safe yet sophisticated gatherings. Increased safety measures include socially distanced seating arrangements, "sanitation stations" with anti-bacterial hand gel and redesigned food and beverage displays to control and minimize contact. Live streaming capabilities are managed by an advanced A/V staff who are officially “Microbial Warrior” certified through training programs with the Global Biorisk Advisory Council. All meeting attendees sign a waiver acknowledging safety protocols. Floor plans and information on capacity/seating arrangements can be found here.  



LAKE GENEVA—The award-winning Grand Geneva Resort & Spa located in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin offers groups the opportunity to reserve private accommodations and book entire buildings throughout its 1,300-acre resort campus.

grand geneva.jpg

The fall season and outdoor fire pit at Grand Geneva. Photo courtesy Grand Geneva

Consistently rated as one of Wisconsin's top business and leisure resort destinations and the premier choice for conventions and meetings in Lake Geneva, WI, the resort offers a variety of functional conference space and room options designed to accommodate any event and social distancing requirements, all while following the resort's CleanCare Pledge

Social distancing is easy at the 1,300-acre property. The resort offers plenty of seasonal outdoor experiences year-round such as hiking, mountain bike trails, skiing, horseback riding, motorized scooter rentals, classic car rentals, championship golf, tennis, and more. Grand Geneva's hotel buyout package includes:

• Private group accommodations with option to reserve a resort building
• Breakfast
• Both wired and wireless internet access
• Basic audio visual
• Use of Grand Geneva’s Resort Conference Center
• Total of (12) meeting rooms 20,000 sq. ft. of meeting space (4 boardrooms, 3 divisible ballrooms)
• Designated remote registration area
• Two private entrances
• Complimentary parking
• Complimentary fitness center and spa access
• Access outdoor running trails 

Rates begin at $129 per person. For more information visit 

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