rom Monaco to the Maldives, exotic locations are in high demand by incentive winners. But even in the U.S., special places in states like California and New York will make attendees feel like they’re in a whole new world, without the long flight times. Here are six luxury resorts worth a look for your next incentive program.
Per Aquum Niyama | Maldives
With the opening of its second island, appropriately titled Play, Per Aquum Niyama has added 48 new villas to its serene refuge in the Maldives. If seclusion is what you seek for your incentive winners, this is one property to consider, in the tropical locale of the Indian Ocean. (The best flight options are traveling from New York to Dubai or Los Angeles to Malaysia, and then to Male International.) Welcome to the jungle with Nest, the resort’s multilevel treetop dining experience, which opens among the banyan trees later this year. The menu will feature gourmet Asian specialties from Thai to teppanyaki, but the chef will be hard-pressed to impress when the environs are domed pavilions nestled among the trees and linked by wooden walkways. For guests with families in tow, a new children’s club has activities like sandcastle-building, beach cricket and snorkeling, while adults can head to Lime Spa or kick back at underwater playground Subsix.
Terranea Resort | Los Angeles
Sitting on 102 acres of picturesque oceanfront property, this resort is described by recent visitors as feeling more like Hawaii or Italy than California. Unbeatable views of the Pacific Ocean and a relaxed, luxurious ambience combine to create a sophisticated retreat for incentive groups, particularly those in the financial, banking, pharma and legal sectors. “Terranea has been meticulously designed to heighten and preserve the natural beauty of its backdrop,” says Agnelo Fernandes, senior vice president of sales and marketing at the resort. With a variety of accommodations, Terranea provides planners many options to house different group sizes. Activities include day voyages to Catalina Island, coastal hiking trips to nearby Point Vicente Lighthouse and kayorkling, a hybrid of kayaking and snorkeling.
Montauk Yacht Club Resort & Marina | The Hamptons
Sailing lessons, wine tours, horseback riding and stand-up paddleboarding are only a few of the activities groups can participate in at this 80-year-old property in The Hamptons, New York. The club’s Great Lawn overlooks the marina, and sunset dinner cruises on Lake Montauk can end with a beach bonfire and s’mores. Day trips to Block Island are available in season, with ferries leaving in the morning and returning late afternoon. Small groups can also venture out on fishing expeditions, and the executive chef will prepare whatever is caught that day for dinner. —Natalie Dupuis
Marquis Los Cabos Resort & Spa | Mexico
A 40-ft. waterfall, flutes of Champagne and chilled towels at the entrance set the stage for a grand incentive program at this extensively renovated all-inclusive property by The Leading Hotels of the World, located near the tip of the Baja California Peninsula. After pouring $10 million into a complete redesign, the all-suite, adults-only Marquis Los Cabos Resort reopened its doors this spring with a fresh focus on bleisure groups. A new seaside gazebo event space lets planners take advantage of the surroundings, and the resort can customize the experience by building company logos into the sand. Though relaxing in private plunge pools or indulging in upscale prix-fixe dinners is an option, activities like golf, deep-sea fishing, tequila tastings, art walk tours, scuba diving, karaoke and archery tournaments provide plenty of entertainment for adventure-seekers.
JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa | Italy
It’s hard to go wrong with a resort on a private island if your guests are seeking a one-of-a-kind experience. Debuted in March on Italy’s Isola delle Rose (Rose Island), the impeccably designed JW Marriott Venice, the brand’s first resort in Europe, was devised in collaboration with Italian architectural firm Matteo Thun & Partners. Its contemporary, elegant esthetic is manifested in five different accommodation experiences: the Hotel, with glass walls and private balconies; La Residenza, leading out to private gardens by the spa; L’Uliveto, in a rural garden setting overlooking olive groves; La Maisonette, including split-level suites with private gardens; and Villa Rose, an exclusive two-bedroom respite with a private pool. The property spans 40 acres and has many scattered gardens and outdoor areas for guests to explore, as well as an on-site cooking school, wine academy and a historic church-turned-event space.
Hotel Hermitage Monte-Carlo | Monaco
Constructed at the dawn of the 20th century by architect Jean Marquet, the opulent palace known as Hotel Hermitage was completely renovated in the 2000s but has maintained its rich heritage. For your most prestigious VIPs, nine Diamond Suites overlook the Mediterranean Sea, with the most grandiose being the nearly 4,000-sq.-ft. Diamond Suite Penthouse. Dressed in burgundy and gold, the suite also has an expansive view of Hercules Port from its private terrace. Guests can focus on their well-being at the connected Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo, a space dedicated to serenity that includes a spa, seawater pool and aqua gym, and also creates custom treatment packages for groups. Wrap up the day with a fine meal prepared by Michelin Star-awarded chef Joel Garault, whose passion for local seafood is reflected in his carefully curated menus at Le Vistamar.