Prevue May-June 2018 - 27
the Jack Nicklaus-designed Ocean Course at Hammock Beach
Resort, a newly renovated luxury property in Palm Coast that also
has the brag-worthy title of "most oceanfront holes in Florida." The
course, which has played host to PGA Tour events, was recently
restored to its former glory. Groups also come for PGA-led golf
instruction that is customized to their needs, whether gaining more
distance with their drivers or mastering the sand. Or groups can
change it up with a friendly glow in the dark putting competition with
glow sticks and glow in the dark golf balls.
When they're not meeting among 50,000 sf of event space
or basking in their luxe villas and suites, gallivanting on the greens,
biking along the coastline, sand castle team building and guided
kayak tours are sure to rejuvenate the mind, body and spirit.
Attendees can paddle the backwaters of the 77,000 acres that
make up the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine
Research Reserve or go for a sightseeing tour on Ripple Effect
One, the only vegetable-powered tour boat in Northeast Florida.
Southwest of Hammock Beach near Orlando is the Gaylord
Palms Resort & Convention Center, an upscale property just
minutes from Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort.
Here, a soaring glass atrium greets groups, offering the landscape
of the Everglades, the cobblestone streets of St. Augustine, and the
vibrancy of Key West. A bonus is how this massive resort manages
to offer a customized group experience across 1,301 rooms and 115
suites and 400,000 sf of meeting space. When attendees are not
getting down to business, they can hop on the only Flowrider (surfing
simulator) in Orlando, tempt their palates in nine restaurants, and
sooth their weary bones with customized spa treatments.
thepostoakhotel.com; seaisland.com; crconventioncenter.com;
visitcostarica.com; bellagio.com; venetian.com;
quebecregion.com; hammockbeach.com; marriott.com
A Foodie's Paradise
[ON LOCATION] LAUREL HERMAN
Set on 4.5 oceanfront acres in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida,
Acqualina Resort & Spa is a luxury resort with 98 guest
rooms, a 20,000-sf spa and spectacular indoor-outdoor
spaces for meetings from 10 to 55 or events up to 130.
Whether booking the great lawn, an intimate boardroom
or larger Mediterranean room (both with great natural
light), ocean views are everywhere. Of special note is
a new lobby restaurant space for receptions and group
dining for up to 126 seated. Named AQ Chop House
by Il Mulino, this new venue has plenty of natural
light and sports high ceilings with an Art Deco-style
chandelier, handmade walnut dining tables and modern
comfy seating. The restaurant is a collaboration with
chef Michele Mazza of the Il Mulino New York and
team and offers a menu of Italian influences, but with a
Mediterranean twist like the resort itself. It also blends
with the modern steakhouse concept with offerings of
prime cuts and a selection of seafood you would expect
in a Mediterranean-infused menu.
We experienced a special guest chef dinner with
Michelin-rated chef Andrea Migliaccio of Capri Palace's
restaurant in Anacapri, Italy, (one of the Mytha Hotel
Anthology group of hotels) as part of an ongoing guest
chef series that the Acqualina Resort & Spa is offering
throughout the year. We tasted dishes such as red shrimp
arrabbiata saffron risotto, handmade potato gnocchi
with seafood and crispy sea bass. All were beautifully
presented and enjoyed. Of special note are the wines that
were paired with the five-course dinner, all by Antinori
Wineries of Italy, a 26-generation winemaking family.
Many of the wines are served on the menu at AQ Chop
House. We enjoyed a selection such as the Castello della
Sala, Sauvignon Semillon and Conte della Vipera, to a
chardonnay, pinot nero, and finally, dessert wine.
Planners can work with the resort to set up special
wine tastings with the Antinori wine representative to
pair with menus for their group.
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