2016 Facilities & Destinations SuperBook

Page 61


Renaissance offers groups ‘la dolce vita’ in central Italy By Debi Lander

The Renaissance Tuscany presents an upscale yet rustic experience in the heart of Tuscany. (Left): The resort’s GM, Georges Midleje


here’s a famous quote that says, “Traveling is the ruin surprising number of open piazzas. Attendees can embrace la of all happiness! There’s no looking at a building after dolce vita, the sweet life, and stop for an espresso, gelato or glass seeing Italy.” I tend to agree. of wine and savor the ambiance of the moment as well as the view. Tuscany’s medieval buildings are particularly The Renaissance Tuscany’s meeting space is located in a enthralling, as are its towering mountains and sunny separate building behind the main hotel (with adjacent parking), landscapes. Along with these vistas, meeting and yet connected through the fifth-floor walkway. Glass walls provide incentive groups can enjoy the fabulous food, wine and hospitality glimpses of Barga and the bucolic countryside. Planners will find a characteristic of this region of central Italy. combined 18,708 sq. ft. of flexible spaces within 11 venues, all with Flights into Florence or Pisa bring windows except one. Salone Pascoli provides participants within taxi or van distance the setting for a larger conference, with of the Sergio Valley in northern Tuscany. seating for 500 to nearly 1,000. All conference The hour-plus drive to The hour-plus drive to the Renaissance rooms feature state-of-the-art technology, and Tuscany Il Ciocco winds guests past the Renaissance Tuscany knowledgeable AV operators are on hand. centuries-old villages topped by ancient Outdoor patios and vine-covered terraces Il Ciocco winds guests bell towers, small farms and vineyards. The make glorious spots for cocktail parties, hotel rests within 1,500 acres bordering the small group meals or breakout snacks. The past centuries-old Garanfanga region near the Apuan Alps. Penthouse and Presidential Suites are ideal And in case you are working with VIPs, villages topped by for a reception or intimate dinner party. In all, fly them to the property by helicopter and hotel contains 180 guestrooms including ancient bell towers, small the land at the resort’s private helipad. valley-view rooms and three new Junior Suites. Upon arrival, guests enter the lobby The fifth floor of the resort houses a spa with farms and vineyards. for check-in, but will likely return to this 12 treatment rooms, a sauna, whirlpool, indoor welcoming venue to converse over a pool and relaxation lounge. An outdoor pool, glass of wine or morning coffee. Equally located below the main restaurant, is seasonally open to all guests. comforting are the guestrooms. Gregarious General Manager The surrounding National Park-like acres are ideal for teambuilding Georges Midleje jokingly says he gets so many inquiries about experiences such as horseback riding, ATVing and mountain biking. where to buy the bedding, he thinks he should open a franchise. Planner Suzy Fielders, Marketing Associate with the Hayes Most Americans will find the marble-appointed bathrooms a bit Group, a Winston-Salem, NC-based organizational consulting small, but the balconies compensate with spectacular views. firm, coordinated a Leadership Conference for 30 participants The tiny medieval town of Barga lies across from the resort, at the Renaissance Tuscany last October. Spouses/partners of presenting itself like a Renaissance painting. The town looks participants were encouraged to attend both the meeting sessions almost close enough to hit with a stone, but in reality it takes as well as the group lunches and dinners. Fielders first initiated a 10 minutes to drive down hairpin turns to reach the hamlet. conversation with national Marriott representative Kathy Rooney, Visitors enter the old city through ancient arched stone gates who connected her with Cinzia Panella, Director of Sales & and meander along tiny cobblestone alleyways that lead to a Marketing at the hotel. Fielders found the hotel staff friendly and

Facilities & Destinations 2016 Superbook