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June 4, 2015

On Location: Hosting a High-End Conference at the Four Seasons Orlando

Last month, IMR’s sister publication Luxury Travel Advisor held its annual ULTRA Summit at the new Four Seasons Orlando, which proved useful for a high-end corporate meeting. Jill Birkett, event director for Questex Media’s Travel Group, said that the environment was conductive to both business and relaxing. 

“The meeting space is spacious, airy, well-serviced and extremely convenient–not a golf-cart drive away from the hotel rooms,” Birkett said upon return from the conference. “You can walk everywhere, including the adjacent 18-hole Tom Fazio-designed golf course.” 

Birkett also said that both event attendees and staff had high praise for the resort’s team, calling the service “proactive and caring.” Those words, she added, are not common in meeting services. She also cited “unexpected touches” that made the event special. “For example, there are four billiards tables and two ping-pong tables in a covered outdoor games area.” This, she said, was a good way for the sales team to relax over a few games. (For those who prefer running, there are also basketball courts where marketing teams can play against sales.) Private poolside cabanas and lakeside gazebos are good for small receptions, and several “public yet private” areas for networking and relaxing, including an outside firepit and “lavish” pools. 

Rooms have balconies with views of the nightly illuminations and fireworks at DisneyWorld. Birkett encouraged attendees to bring their families and combine some leisure time with business: “You won't find a better lazy river, pool and game room set-up  (called The Hideout) anywhere.” Good to know: The hotel offers free transportation for those who want to add on a day-trip to one of the Disney parks; no need to worry about parking. Kids aged four to 12 can spend a day at the “Kids For All Seasons” camp where they can watch “real gators” around the lake and play in the fountains, water slides and many pools. And again, Birkett noted the hotel team’s dedication to little touches: One day, the staff came by with complimentary flavored homemade licorice options.

The hotel has five restaurants, so event attendees can go off on their own or participate in catered events like a BBQ on the lawn. Pools stay open into the mid-evening, so attendees can retreat to a poolside firepit after a busy day. 

And while she “heartily recommends” the Four Seasons Orlando for corporate or incentive meetings, Birkett acknowledges that some planners may be turned off by the price tag. Still, she emphasized, “it’s worth it.”  

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About the Author: Jena Tesse Fox

Jena Tesse Fox





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