From pristine beaches and low country rivers and marshes to gorgeous mountains and forests, the Carolinas offer wonderful meeting and conference facilities, as well as opportunities to get away from it all and out into nature. Here are five Carolina resorts that make perfect gathering places and getaways for meeting groups.
The Omni Grove Park Inn
Asheville, North Carolina
In Asheville, North Carolina, Omni Grove Park Inn is a historic hotel that was first built in 1913 by E.W. Grove, a Tennessee pharmacist who invented a better-tasting liquid quinine treatment for malaria. With amazing views of the Pisgah Mountains, the resort has hosted every U.S. president, as well as inventors Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. The inn has expanded over the years and now boasts 513 guest rooms and 86,000 square feet of meeting space. The Sunset Terrace is perfect for enjoying lunch or watching a sunset dinner. And even though the resort has such a large amount of meeting spaces available, its average group books 60 rooms or less.
There are seven restaurants on property, as well as an 18-hole Donald Ross golf course and a 43,000-square-foot subterranean spa with 20 water features. Only guests of the resort can take advantage of the spa, which includes an indoor grotto with a waterfall. It was built facing the mountains from the back of the hotel. A 50,000-square-foot sports complex with an indoor pool, racquetball courts, health club and tennis courts is adjacent to the inn.
There are three outdoor venues, including the Seely Pavilion, which is right off the golf course overlooking the mountains and can host welcome or closing receptions of up to 500 people, as well as the Mountain View Terrace and the Vanderbilt Terrace. The resort has its own hiking trails, and groups can organize dine-arounds in downtown Asheville.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Landmark Resort is an oceanfront property in popular Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with more than 400 rooms ranging from rooms to suites. The resort not only has quick access to the beach but also will open an on-site waterpark this summer featuring three 40-foot-tall waterslides and a splash zone. It also has a large indoor pool complex, open year-round, with a huge pool, lazy river and five whirlpools. The oceanfront pool deck features a large outdoor pool, whirlpool and lazy river ride with direct access to the beach. On-site dining options include a café that serves Starbucks coffee, a full-service restaurant and seasonal poolside dining.
The resort is one of the largest meeting hotels on the beach, with more than 20,000 square feet of meeting space that can host up to 500 attendees. The facility can accommodate meetings, conferences, trade shows, weddings, banquets and more and has on-site catering. Landmark’s sister resort, Captain’s Quarters Resort, has a 20-lane AMF bowling alley and is located near many of Myrtle Beach’s top attractions, such as the Market Common, Topgolf, Funplex, Broadway at the Beach, Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and SkyWheel.
The resort has a climate-controlled crosswalk over Ocean Boulevard, connecting the hotel to its parking garage, eliminating the need for guests to cross the busy street. If groups hosting events there want to include team-building activities, conference staff are available to assist.
Duck, North Carolina
The AAA Four-Diamond Sanderling Resort in Duck, North Carolina, takes up 13 acres on a narrow spit of land between the Atlantic Ocean and Currituck Sound, giving guests a front-row seat to beautiful sunrises over the ocean and sunsets over the sound. The only major resort in the Outer Banks, Sanderling has world-class amenities, including plenty of pristine beach, three pools, an award-winning spa, a fitness center and an adventure concierge with partner Kitty Hawk Kites to help plan air, land and sea activities on the island.
The resort has three dining options, including the Lifesaving Station, Kimball’s Kitchen and the Sandbar. It has 123 rooms and suites, plus five vacation homes. Its 15,000 square feet of meeting space can host groups of up to 125 people for a conference or 225 for a reception. Kimball’s Kitchen can host groups of up to 60 people, while the Soundside Pavilion can accommodate groups of up to 225. The event lawn and observation deck also can host groups of up to 225, while the Keeper’s Loft, Executive Boardroom and Event House are available for smaller meeting groups.
The resort staff can help plan excursions and team-building activities, such as sunrise yoga, bike rentals, kayaking, standup paddleboarding and a chefs-in-the-kitchen cooking challenge. Wild horses adventure tours load guests onto off-road vehicles for a 20-mile ride through the Wild Horse Conservation Easement, and Sanderling groups have playing privileges at the Currituck Club, a Rees Jones-designed golf course.
Montage Palmetto Bluff
Bluffton, South Carolina
Located on 20,000 acres along the May River in Bluffton, part of South Carolina’s low country, Montage Palmetto Bluff is home to century-old oak trees and 32 miles of waterfront that is perfect for water sports. The property encompasses an extensive nature preserve, two villages with eight dining options, a riverfront marina and a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course.
Groups can rent rooms, suites, cottages, residences and homes in Moreland Village or Wilson Village. There is more than 16,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, including the 6,700-square-foot Wilson Ballroom, which can be divided into four distinct rooms, and the 1,800-square-foot Oak Ballroom with an outdoor veranda overlooking the river. The resort has two executive boardrooms, three additional meeting rooms, an authentic low country riverfront event pavilion, plenty of outdoor areas to host receptions or events, and two waterfront chapels.
Montage also has a spa and offers many outdoor activities such as biking, sporting clays, fishing, paddleboarding, boating, tennis, bocce and pickleball at the Wilson Lawn and Racquet Club.
Grandover Resort and Spa
Greensboro, North Carolina
Grandover Resort and Spa in Greensboro, North Carolina, underwent a major renovation and rebranding beginning in 2017. Pre-COVID, the bulk of its business was meetings and conferences. During COVID, leisure travelers kept the facility going. Now, the resort caters to both.
Sitting on 1,500 acres just outside Greensboro, the property includes two 18-hole championship golf courses, a conference center, a spa and an art gallery. The conference center features a 13,000-square-foot ballroom that can host groups of 1,000 people for a banquet, as well as the Carlisle Ballroom, which can seat 300 people. Along with many smaller meeting rooms and pre-function spaces, groups can host events on the resort’s outdoor lawn.
In their free time, attendees can take advantage of the resort’s many amenities, including the indoor pool and hot tub, outdoor pool with cabanas, dining and water aerobics classes, a fitness center and yoga studio, tennis courts, sand volleyball pits, bike riding and walking trails. Grandover also has outdoor games like cornhole, bocce and croquet for a nice way to decompress after a long day of meetings.
The resort’s resident tennis pro is available for tennis lessons, tournament coordination or round-robin play for groups and families. The Gallery at Grandover showcases work by North Carolina artists, from paintings and photography to woodworking, sculpture and handcrafted jewelry.