Small, exclusive executive retreats can present planners with challenges equal to the large, complex events that take up all the event planning headlines.
Find a golf resort that can accommodate twelve board members for five days in the luxury to which they are accustomed with adjacent private meeting facilities, a gorgeous natural setting, a world-class spa, and one of the top-ten golf courses in the world. Price is no object.
CEO: Everyone in this group of directors plays golf, and they all belong to exclusive country clubs around the country. Two of them actually belong to Augusta National, so we will probably need one of the world’s top ten golf courses to impress them. Realize that I’m trying to pick the brains of the country’s most successful business executives, and I want to find as many ways to make them feel comfortable and appreciated as I can.
PMS: Will you be meeting or just playing golf?
CEO: We will be meeting, of course. This is the most important strategic planning session our corporation has ever undertaken. The atmosphere must be conducive to collective creative thinking but not be negative or punitive in any way. I want the directors to relax and have fun, so they are open and free-flowing with their creative insights. And I want to impress them, and believe me, they’re not easy to impress.
PMS: How much meeting space will you need?
CEO: A small private room that can accommodate about 25 people, I guess. We’ll have the twelve board members and a smattering of our senior executive staff plus support staff and some IT guys. I don’t want it to be a typical meeting room chopped off from larger convention space at some big resort. The meeting space has to be private and preferably part of a dedicated lodging complex. The meeting sessions should not feel like typical corporate employee meetings but more like a private club of successful men getting together to hash out their club’s annual spending budget. The room should have a clubby feel, not a meeting room feel.
PMS: How about the golf? How much golf?
CEO: Every morning from eight to noon. All twelve directors playing together every day on one of the world’s greatest golf courses. Can you arrange that?
PMS: We’ll certainly try.
CEO: And they will demand great food. We’ll need a chef dedicated to our group and some world-class nearby restaurants for a little variety through the week. Oh…and you’ll have to arrange something with a nearby spa. They all go to the spa for their aches and pains. See what you can find nearby the living facilities.
PMS: Anything else?
CEO: Yes. We’ll need a card room or a billiard room next to the meeting room. Some of them like to play a little high-stakes poker late at night. The room must always be available for a spontaneous card game whenever the spirit moves them. You know. Like they have at their clubs.
PMS: (writing) Card room…pool table…nearby…always available.
CEO: We’re trying to motivate, reward, and make the directors feel at home while we painlessly pick their brains. They know what’s going on, so they expect us to treat them well.
The Final Arrangement
After intense and extensive research, we found Casa Palmero at The Lodge at Pebble Beach. It is simply the world’s finest venue for the perfect executive golf retreat.
Casa Palmero is a Mediterranean villa with 24 luxurious rooms and suites and a state-of-the-art meeting facility set in lushly landscaped grounds, trellised walkways and sun-drenched patios overlooking the 1st and 2nd fairways of the world-famous Pebble Beach Golf Links. The iconic course is, of course, home to the PGA tour’s annual AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, five U.S. Open golf championships, 2018’s U.S. Amateur Championship, and 2019’s sixth U.S. Open. We knew it would do.
The Boardroom of Casa Palmero could accommodate a maximum of 85 people but was designed with a cozy, clubby, kind-of old-world feel that made it perfect for the intimate brainstorming sessions our CEO was envisioning.
Casa Palmero also contained an intimate private dining room, a smaller conference room for private break-out sessions and a beautifully landscaped patio where outdoor meals could be enjoyed, weather permitting. And, believe it or not, it had a billiard room and club room where the directors could adjourn for cards and cocktails. Wonder of wonders, The SPA at Pebble Beach was only steps away. This elegant private world was all nestled against Pebble Beach’s breathtaking fairways and perhaps the most beautiful stretch of Pacific shoreline in all of California.