Southern grandeur: 13 of the most magnificent venues in the South

With spectacular settings, ultra-modern amenities, luxurious lodgings, and over-the-top meeting facilities, the South offers a wealth of some of the grandest venues in the U.S. Some are historic and others are brand spanking new, but they all prove one fact to be true: You can never have too much of a good thing. When it comes to hosting a fabulous event, these Southern venues are good as gold.

Grandest Façade: The Don CeSar, St. Pete Beach, Florida

The Don CeSar has been known as the Sunshine State’s iconic Pink Palace for more than 90 years, and the property fully embraces its reputation for world-class—and beachfront—beauty and style. The coastal views at the Florida Gulf Coast crown jewel are dramatic: Here you’ll find water views in practically every direction, stunning white sandy beaches, and some of the best sunsets on
the coast.

Grandest Aspects: A legendary landmark, thanks to its glamorous history of hosting buzzworthy celebrities during the Gatsby Era, the resort effortlessly salutes its distinguished past while also looking to its more modern future. The property recently unveiled a multimillion-dollar renovation throughout its six restaurants and 227 guest rooms and suites.

Outstanding Amenities: The pink façade of the Don CeSar is just the beginning of its beauty and charm. The Mediterranean-style property boasts more than 38,000 square feet of updated and elegant event space, including the Grand Ballroom and Foyer, which provides incredible views of the Gulf.

Curated Experiences: No detail is left undone, from the resort’s private beach to its poolside concierge service. The award-winning 11,000-square-foot wellness retreat, Spa Oceana, features 16 treatment rooms for relaxation and rejuvenation, as well as a full-service salon and rooftop terrace overlooking the Gulf.

Grandest Culture: The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans, Louisiana

The Big Easy is known for its distinctive culture, mouthwatering culinary offerings, and jazz, and The Ritz-Carton New Orleans is situated in the center of it all. Located on Canal Street in the historic French Quarter, the hotel is housed in the historic Beaux Arts Maison Blanche building from 1908.

Grandest Aspects: Traditions run deep in New Orleans, and the hotel is no different. Live jazz fills Davenport Lounge multiple evenings each week, and every afternoon, chefs share their secrets on how to make the perfect gumbo.

Outstanding Amenities: New Orleans’ culture inspires the more than 100 treatments available at the hotel spa, which is the largest in the city with 22 treatment rooms, a café, and a boutique.

Curated Experiences: The luxury property is located just a block from Bourbon Street and near top attractions such as the Garden District and the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and Insectarium.

Grandest History: The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, St. Simons Island, Georgia

Situated on the beautiful St. Simons Island overlooking the Atlantic Ocean is the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, a destination with as much history as natural beauty. The property opened in 1935 as a seaside dance club, and the main hotel building opened to the public six years later.

Grandest Aspects: The Mediterranean-style property has been updated and modernized over the years, but the resort never lost its distinctive allure or hid its history.

Outstanding Amenities: There are eight separate spaces ideal for a variety of group sizes. The resort also offers plenty of fun and teambuilding opportunities.

Curated Experiences: Between meetings and events, visitors can take trolley tours of St. Simons Island, check out the World War II Home Front Museum, and visit historic spots such as Fort Frederica.

Grandest Beachside Luxury: Fontainebleau Miami Beach, Florida

Fontainebleau Miami Beach is synonymous with grandeur and luxury. Located in the heart of Millionaire’s Row on Collins Avenue, the iconic oceanside hotel has become a Miami institution since it opened in 1954. It has even made an appearance in major Hollywood films including Goldfinger, Scarface, and The Bodyguard.

Grandest Aspects: Architecturally, the Fontainebleau is one of the most significant properties in Miami. Its signature elements include the 17,000-square-foot lobby and formal gardens that replicate Versailles’.

Outstanding Amenities: In addition to 100,000-plus square feet of meeting space, the hotel features restaurants, a spa, pools, and unique bars.

Curated Experiences: There’s never a reason to leave the hotel property, even for a shopping spree. The Shops at Fontainebleau will provide any shopper with a true South Beach experience.

Grandest National Landmark: The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia

Located approximately five hours from the nation’s capital, the hotel boasts a bunker, built in the late 1950s, for members of Congress to stay safe in the event of a nuclear war. Today, the property features 710 grand guest rooms and more than 40 meeting spaces.

Grandest Aspects: The hotel was built in 1778, originally drawing visitors because of its natural mineral springs. With a beautiful location in the mountains of West Virginia, the 11,000-acre property continues to draw visitors year after year.

Curated Experiences: No stay at The Greenbrier is complete without a tour of the bunker. This must-see experience takes guests deep into the mountainside beneath the hotel’s West Virginia Wing to explore a piece of history.

Outstanding Amenities: Meeting and conference options are endless here with the hotel’s 200,000 square feet of flexible space. The property even features onsite partners that can help with everything.

Grandest Downtown Luxury Stay: JW Marriott Austin, Texas

The luxurious and ultra-upscale JW Marriott Austin sits in the heart of downtown, just steps away from all the state capital has to offer, including the Austin Convention Center.

Grandest Aspects: The largest JW Marriott in the Americas, the hotel boasts more than 120,000 square feet of versatile event space and more than 40 individual meeting rooms. Some of the top meeting rooms here include the 30,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom and 23,000-square-foot Lone Star Ballroom.

Curated Experiences: Cocktails and culinary experiences are on a whole other level at the JW Marriott Austin. The hotel features Burger Bar, which is like a food truck without wheels serving up addictive burgers, fries, and shakes. Edge Rooftop enhances any evening social gathering with its rooftop setting overlooking Congress Avenue.

Outstanding Amenities: This urban oasis offers it all: an onsite spa, a fitness center available 24/7, seven bars, three restaurants, Starbucks, a pool with luxury cabanas, and the city’s largest guest rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows.

Grandest Natural Setting: Omni Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach, Florida

Just off the coast of northeast Florida, Amelia Island boasts 13 miles of beautiful beaches, abundant wildlife, and preserved marshlands. The Omni Amelia Island is situated on 1,350 acres at the tip of this barrier island, offering visitors incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean and an overall next-level natural setting for enjoying oceanfront luxury.

Grandest Aspects: With 402 oceanfront hotel rooms, every guest has a spectacular view of the Atlantic. After the conference is over, attendees can get out to experience all that nature has to offer with activities like kayaking through the marshlands, horseback riding on the beach, or biking around the island.

Outstanding Amenities: When not enjoying the resort’s 3.5 miles of secluded beaches, visitors can soak up the sun at one of the pools, partake in golf or tennis, or spend time in the fully equipped fitness center, which includes a lap pool and Pelotons. For those who prefer a private workout, the hotel offers in-room fitness kits too.

Curated Experiences: Wellness awaits at the hotel’s spa. Inspired by its natural setting overlooking a meditation garden, the spa offers a variety of facial and body treatments.

Grandest City View: The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, Georgia

he Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta elevates any meeting or event with its stunning views of the city. The iconic hotel is home to one of the city’s most unique restaurants, the renowned Sun Dial Restaurant, Bar & View. This must-see restaurant sits atop the hotel, 73 stories up, and revolves, providing ever-changing views of the cityscape.

Grandest Aspects: The hotel offers plenty of hosting space—there’s approximately 80,000 square feet of flexible meeting space—but it’s also connected to two other meeting hotspots: AmericasMart and Southern Exchange.

Outstanding Amenities: Floor-to-ceiling windows in all guest rooms allow attendees to continue enjoying the downtown views well after their meeting or conference is over.

Curated Experiences: Situated in the heart of downtown, the hotel makes it easy for guests to explore Atlanta. The property is just minutes from popular attractions such as the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, and Centennial Olympic Park.

Grandest Luxury Seaside Escape: Sea Island Resort, Georgia

It’s no wonder that Sea Island Resort is the only resort in the world to have received four Forbes Five-Star awards for 13 consecutive years. Nestled on the southeastern coast of Georgia, this Mediterranean-style oasis offers a beautiful backdrop and a variety of luxurious guest rooms and meeting spaces.

Grandest Aspects: The resort has a history of hosting world leaders. In 2004, the resort hosted the G8 Summit, the only resort in the U.S. to have done so.

Outstanding Amenities: The resort features five separate spaces to select from. With 42,000 square feet of flexible indoor space and a variety of outdoor venues, there’s space here for any type of meeting.

Curated Experiences: There’s literally something for everyone. Guests can relax at the 65,000-square-foot spa, play a round of golf, or compete in a tennis match.

Grandest Modern Midtown: Omni Nashville Hotel, Tennessee

A grand multi-level lobby welcomes guests to the Omni Nashville Hotel, where modern and distinctive architectural details like exposed steel, regionally sourced limestone, and natural materials abound throughout
the property.

Grandest Aspects: The downtown property is located adjacent to Music City Center, which provides an additional 1.2 million square feet of space.

Outstanding Amenities: There’s a coffee shop, three restaurants, a full-service spa, 24-hour fitness center with Pelotons, and a rooftop pool and lounge deck.

Curated Experiences: The Omni Nashville plays up the Music City experience, as the Country Music Hall of Fame is accessible from inside the hotel. The hotel is also down the street from Ryman Auditorium.

Grandest Green Hotel: Proximity Hotel, Greensboro, North Carolina

Proximity Hotel keeps the level of luxury high while also putting an emphasis on sustainability. In fact, it’s known as the greenest hotel in the country and is the first Platinum LEED-certified green hotel in the U.S.

Grandest Aspects: The hotel’s eco-friendly efforts have it using 40 percent less energy and 30 percent less water than a typical hotel while still providing guests with the highest level of quality and service.

Outstanding Amenities: Next door to the hotel is Print Works Bistro, an eatery that dishes up exquisite French-style culinary treats while using fresh, local ingredients. Guests can enjoy their meals inside while looking out over the gardens.

Curated Experiences: Bicycles are available for guests to cycle through the five-mile greenway located near the hotel. The greenway includes more than 75 miles of trails and routes through the city.

Grandest Historic Coastal Hotel: The Cavalier Hotel, Virginia Beach, Virginia

Historic meets coastal cool at the Cavalier Hotel. The iconic Virginia hotel has welcomed guests for almost 100 years, including 10 presidents, Frank Sinatra, and Elizabeth Taylor. The property recently underwent a $75 million renovation that highlights the elegance and glamour of its past while also keeping it completely comfortable.

Grandest Aspects: A plethora of meeting spaces are available here, from boardroom settings to beautiful garden spaces overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Outstanding Amenities: The 85-room hotel boasts a long list of amenities, including an indoor splash pool, private beach club, full-service spa, fitness centers, and six dining experiences.

Curated Experiences: The hotel houses Tarnished Truth Distillery, which offers crafted bourbon, rye whiskey, gin, and vodka. Guests can stop by for samples in the tasting room or for a distillery tour.

Grandest All-Inclusive: Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, Nashville, Tennessee

The Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center is conveniently situated in the heart of Nashville—and near the Nashville International Airport—but the massive resort has literally everything onsite that a guest or meeting would want or need, so there’s never a need to venture off property.

Grandest Aspects: There are entertainment options here that you won’t find at just any resort. They’ve got nine acres of beautiful indoor garden atriums and SoundWaves, an upscale indoor/outdoor resort water attraction that blows away the average water park.

Outstanding Amenities: The resort is a dining destination. There are a number of unique restaurants, including Cascades American Café, which offers modern American classics in an incredible natural setting.

Curated Experiences: The resort is located near many attractions, including the Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium, Wildhorse Saloon, and the General Jackson Showboat.

 

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