Archives for August 2012

Memories of Boca

It’s wonderful when you can revisit a destination and experience something new and exciting.  We recently operated a program in Florida and stayed at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. Boca Raton is an original Florida resort developed in the mid 1920’s. Today it’s a lovely mix of old luxury and today’s conveniences. The resort recently underwent a $120Million renovation and the changes are visible and deep.  Visiting Florida in the summer is also a terrific value.

View of Beach Club and Ocean

The resort boasts two golf courses, tennis courts, a fitness center and a phenomenal spa.  It has great restaurants, beautiful vistas of a half mile white sand beach and the Atlantic Ocean.   From the front desk staff to the restaurants, service here is top notch.  It felt very personalized as the Bellman, among others, engaged us in pleasant and very welcoming conversation as we were shown to our rooms.  It was the perfect centerpiece for an incentive reward program.

On this trip, our client wanted their participants to interact with each other and to network with upper management.  They also wanted to provide them with some true vacation time – time to spend on their own away from their business colleagues.  We accomplished this with a varied and interesting agenda.

Aboard the Kathleen Windridge

On the first evening, the entire group boarded the Kathleen Windridge, a luxury yacht, where they enjoyed cocktails, dinner catered by the resort and a four-hour sail on the Intracoastal Waterway.  They enjoyed views of beautiful homes, the setting sun, the company of their co-workers and company executives while listening to a Jimmy Buffet-style trio.

Over the next few days, guests enjoyed the amenities of the resort as they pleased. We provided additional agenda flexibility by applying a room credit to the guests account.  This credit could be used at any of the many restaurants onsite, at the golf course, spa or for any other resort service. The room credit concept works for the company since it is cost effective, provides a good value and delivers agenda flexibility to the guest.

Tower of Boca

I would like to share one last memory of our trip to Boca Raton.  At the end of a delicious meal at Trulucks Seafood, Steak and Crab House, we ordered a “Tower of Boca,” for our table, a foot high chocolate square pound cake filled with raspberries and whipped cream.  Each individual serving was topped with dark chocolate sauce and sugared pecans.  It was astonishingly delightful and managed to satisfy every sweet tooth in our party. If you are in the Boca area you really ought to try this restaurant for an exceptional dining experience. I recommend it highly!


Beat the Heat

Lake of the Incas

The extreme summer heat inspired my son and me to do something extreme last month.  We went skiing!  That’s right, skiing in the summer.  And there may be no more beautiful location than the magnificent Andes Mountains of Chile.

Lake of the Incas

We flew into Santiago, a wonderful city reminiscent of the most cosmopolitan cities of Europe thirty years ago.  The hotels, restaurants and scenery are all world class.  I have enjoyed wines from all around the world and I wasn’t disappointed at the outstanding quality of the reds and whites that come from the vineyards surrounding the city.

We traveled northeast out of Santiago for about 2 ½ hours to a mile or so from the Argentinean border.  The Portillo Resort sits at 9,200 feet on the Lake of the Incas.  For eight days, we skied the Roca Jack Run (a favorite because it’s steep,) as well as cruiser runs like Plateau or Juncalillo that ends down in the valley below the resort.  The Andes are a “young” range with jagged peaks that haven’t been blunted by erosion as much as the Alps or Rockies and they rise another 5-6,000 feet above where we were.  The majesty and power of those mountains just takes your breath away, even if you aren’t tuckin’ it to the bottom of the run.

It goes without saying that my son is one of my favorite travel companions.  Sharing these eight days with him in one of the most beautiful places in the world doing something we both love was a thrill. Next: the Dolomites in January!

Jared and Colin in the Andes