Is the location of your meeting really the key to its success? Absolutely! Choosing a destination that matches your goals and your group's expectations is the first step to a great event. Here on Kiawah, we're fortunate to offer an award-winning island setting just south of Charleston, America's Number One City*—an island/city combination that elevates every event to a peak experience. Using what we've learned about location, our Meeting Pros compiled a few questions to consider when choosing a venue. If you can answer "yes" to all, you've found your destination with a difference.
Today's attendees are seasoned travelers—they've been there, done that. So pass up bland hotels or centers that could be anywhere and look for historic and cultural interest, regional food flavors and experiences that create an energizing setting. A Kiawah meeting, for example, immediately immerses groups in the beauty of South Carolina's Lowcountry. Guests travel to this private island along a roadway graced with centuries-old oak trees hung with silvery Spanish moss, and then they're enveloped by the island's lush forests, serene marsh vistas and quiet Atlantic shore. Guests tell us everything "just clicks" and they feel ready to focus in this private and refreshing setting.
Enriching, one-of-a-kind experiences also rank high with groups. Board meetings, corporate retreats and incentive programs take on more significance, and attendees feel more valued, when the surroundings feel special. In addition to private villas in natural settings, a popular Kiawah venue is our Five-star Sanctuary hotel, a casually elegant hotel reminiscent of a grand Southern seaside mansion. Fine art by Lowcountry painters and traditional materials like gleaming wide-plank floors blend beautifully with handsomely appointed meeting space featuring the latest fiber-optic and wireless technologies. Even The Sanctuary Spa decor and treatments are inspired by the South's gentle charm and fragrant botanicals.
Of course you expect top-of-the-line golf and leisure. But what special activities can the destination offer to entertain and energize your group? Beyond five championship golf courses, including the world-famous Ocean Course, Kiawah has activities that get groups excited and involve all ages and interests. Choices include tennis, pool complexes, paddle sports, biking, fishing charters, nature activities and custom team building events like scavenger hunts and cooking classes that bring the fun, connect people and boost your bottom line. (Check out our recent blog for tips to add that "fun"-damental meeting factor here.)
Experiences that give a sense of place inspire and reward your attendees while giving them new perspectives. For many of our guests, a vist to Charleston is a highlight of their stay. We work with Adventures in Charleston, our brilliant and trusty DMC partners to customize excursions and make sure guests have the best time ever. Charleston's historic plantations and gardens are popular heritage sites, and downtown attractions include walking tours, ghost tours or carriage rides through the historic district with its gracious antebellum homes, cobblestone streets and lush gardens. More can't-miss highlights include Charleston Museum, South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston Harbor cruises, King Street shopping and the City Market, where seagrass basket-makers share their time-honored craft with visitors.
We don't have to tell you food is a top ingredient for great meetings. Locally sourced products are the key to freshness, flavor and giving diners a taste of the region. Kiawah's chefs are all about souring products that reflect local terrain and traditions: natural beef for the award-winning steaks at The Ocean Room, fresh-caught seafood at The Atlantic Room, the "Tour of the Lowcountry" tasting menu at Jasmine Porch, and genuine smokehouse flavor at Cherrywood BBQ and Ale House. With a dozen different dining venues on the island to satisfy every palate, the result is an exuberant expression of Lowcountry flavors.
Experience Kiawah's exceptional island setting and explore the #1 U.S. City in the Conde Nast Traveler Reader's Choice Awards for the fifth year in a row. Is Charleston close to Kiawah Island? Yes! It's just 23 miles away, so you can combine activities in this charming city with an incomparable meeting on a private island.
Now, enjoy the best of both worlds! Villa meetings from $99 per night on select dates through March 17, 2016.
Sanctuary meetings from $199 on select dates through February 17, 2016.
Please contact our Director of Group Sales, Marty Couch, and his team at 800.576.1585.