Travel has never been more a part of our lives than it is today. And business travel is no exception. Even in the age of WebEx, Bluetooth and iPhones—which connect us to our clients and coworkers 24/7—the business world still has a hankering for travel.
Even interoffice business trips—company retreats and corporate outings alike—are more popular than ever. And while big cities like New York and Chicago remain hubs for business travel—and Las Vegas is still the king of conventions—smaller, trendier cities like Austin, Nashville and Scottsdale, Arizona are seeing more corporate travel events.
It should be no surprise then that Charleston, South Carolina—named best city in America for three years running by Travel+Leisure—has a new resort that is attracting corporate travel events. Across the harbor from Charleston in Mt. Pleasant, The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina opened its doors in 2016 and has received rave reviews from the travel press. Pairing good ole hospitality and luxury amenities, The Beach Club is part of the Leading Hotels of the World collection and is located just over the bridge and minutes away from Charleston’s historic district. And thanks in part to its sheer size, The Beach Club is able to offer custom experiences that few hotels in the Charleston area can match. With this amount of wonderfully manicured space—especially in a city like Charleston where most of the hotels are smaller boutiques—it is no wonder that corporate America has taken notice.
When companies plan their business gatherings in Charleston, they expect to get a taste of the city’s rich history, charm and coastal ambiance. At “The Beach Club” however, they will also experience a level of service that caters to the culture of their organization with customized events and tailored itineraries. The hotel’s commitment to hosting only one corporate group at a time ensures attention to detail and to helping each business achieve their end goals. Innovative meeting venues and nautical infused interiors are a refreshing departure from the typical hotel conference room. In addition, outstanding views of downtown Charleston, combined with views of the harbor and marina, the Arthur Ravenel bridge and USS Yorktown provide a backdrop for creativity, inspiration and extraordinary experiences for groups of all sizes.
The new luxury 92-room hotel opened its doors in late 2016 and has already been recognized as one of the Best New Hotels in the World by Fodor’s – only one of four hotels in the United States to be honored with this impressive distinction.
The resort’s waterfront location and proximity to the largest marina in the Carolinas, lends itself to an array of teambuilding activities and unique meeting venues such as private yacht excursions, sailing lessons, fishing expeditions and even meetings set among vintage airplanes on the USS Yorktown, a WWII aircraft carrier. Kayaking and Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) are available at nearby Sullivan Island’s Beach as well as on-property waterfront yoga classes on the sandy beach or pier. Indoors, the views are just as thought provoking with a 30-seat private movie theater featuring surround sound and leather recliners—presentations and theater style meetings can be scheduled for a unique experience—and a stunning, specially-commissioned 20-seat table in the Palmetto Executive Boardroom. Larger groups can be accommodated in a variety of spaces including The Yacht Club, overlooking the Charleston Harbor Marina, the Atlantic Ballroom and the Commodore Room, all contributing to more than 40,100 square feet of total indoor and outdoor meeting space. The 30,000 square foot pool area at The Beach Club overlooks the harbor and is just as awe-inspiring as the luxe interiors. A welcome reception at the poolside Tiki-Bar or under the grand porch creates a bold beginning to several days of brainstorming and eleven private cabanas become a great reward for incentive trips and outstanding performance within an organization.
Outside of the boardroom, teambuilding activities embrace the local, southern charm of Charleston as team members take to the streets of downtown in the Charleston Chase Scavenger Hunt or participate in a game of Charleston Feud, where contestants answer questions about their host city.
Teambuilding activities, which vary by season, have included opportunities to embrace nature via the water on a sailing competition in the Charleston Harbor; the Veggie 500 where teams create a four-wheel racing vehicle—out of vegetables; and a bicycle building experience where the team builds a bike from scratch that is then donated to a local child or charity in need. For groups wanting to apply a little zen to their meetings, wellness opportunities include Beach Yoga and Meditation classes which help attendees maintain focus and shift their thinking for optimal output. Southern charmer, Suzanne Pollak, Dean of the Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits offers keynote and breakout sessions on topics ranging from Etiquette and Entertaining to Culture and Wellness. Her unique style of storytelling keeps attendees engaged and on the edge of their seats, and equipped with valuable tools that apply to life both in and out of the boardroom.
“The charm of Charleston, South Carolina has drawn national acclaim as one of the country’s best cities by Southern Living, Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler, to name a few,” says Oliver Rooskens, Managing Director of The Beach Club. The Beach Club takes this allure a step further with corporate meetings and retreats—offering unique services for the business traveler—including events in our private in-house movie theater, parties on the grand porch, poolside, overlooking the Charleston Harbor or even taking your boardroom meeting to the water via a private charter at the Charleston Harbor Marina—the largest marina in the Carolinas. We can arrange keynote or breakout sessions with engaging wellness and business etiquette experts who can even teach you how to host a Southern Cocktail Party.”
Of course, any good corporate outing should include some non-structured time—some good ole fashioned downtime. And The Beach Club has plenty of options. From the 30,000-square-foot Tropical Pool and Deck, to the Tranquility Pool with Whirlpool, to Private Poolside Cabanas, the pool scene is on par with even the grandest big city hotspots. Those not in the mood for lounging can indulge in a bit of seaside competition on the private bocce court or some lighthearted fun on a life-sized chessboard. Or, they can take a mental and physical break inside the resort’s Estuary Spa, where massages, body treatments and facials provide a healthy dose of relaxation. Once you’re ready to explore, be sure to take advantage of the hotel’s complimentary trolley service and bikes to see the city. Alternatively, the Water Taxi, while a small fee, is the best ride into downtown Charleston. At night, head back to the hotel to enjoy a sumptuous seafood dinner at the Fish House, one of Charleston Living Magazine’s “Top 25 Restaurants in Charleston.”