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The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

Past Meets Present at Historic Hotels

Aproperty that has the full package — great rooms, unusual yet modern meeting space and built-in activities — is the dream of any meeting planner, and historic properties are some of the most likely spots to check off all the boxes on your wish list.

Here are five historic properties that make interesting destinations for small meetings.

Partridge Inn

Augusta, Georgia

Now part of the Hilton Curio Collection, the Partridge Inn began in 1836 as a two-story house. But when Morris Partridge, who worked across the street at a seasonal hotel, saw it, he knew it would be a great spot for the area’s first year-round hotel.

Between 1910 and 1929, Partridge built his property into the 140-room hotel that still exists today. In Partridge’s day, the street level along the front of the hotel was home to commercial storefronts, among them a soda shop, a beautician, a pharmacy and a dress shop owned by Mrs. Partridge, and those spaces have now been converted into meeting rooms, many with elements of their original interiors.

Though wedding season picks up in March and continues through November, and December is big for holiday parties, Tijuana Jenkins, director of sales, said the Partridge can run day meetings and turn the rooms over for evening functions, so meeting groups are welcome during those busy periods.

“We’ve got about 8,000 square feet of indoor space, so it’s the perfect size for small to medium-size things because people aren’t lost like they would be in a big convention hotel,” she said. “It’s very personal. The staff knows you by name.”

During meetings, Jenkins recommends groups take a 30-minute historical tour of the hotel.

Otesaga Resort Hotel

Cooperstown, New York

When the Otesaga Resort Hotel opened in 1909 with 700 feet fronting on Otsego Lake, made legend by James Fenimore Cooper’s depiction of it as Glimmerglass, The Otesaga Farmer called it “the finest summer hotel of the North.”

More than 100 years later, the same 132 rooms and 30,000 square feet of function space is still owned by the same family, the Clarks. They have supported the many other local institutions, among them the Fenimore Art Museum, the Farmers’ Museum, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Clark Sports Center, that groups meeting at the hotel can incorporate into their programs.

“The nice thing about the Otesaga is that it not only celebrates American’s pastime, but also America’s past,” said director of sales and marketing Robert Faller. “We’re blessed to have baseball and Americana here in town. You can do what the settlers did at the farm museum or, at the higher end, have big players come in and play with corporate teams at the stadium, followed by dinner at the Baseball Hall of Fame.”

A seasonal resort, Otesaga opens in April and closes for the season in November, although “in winter, we do open exclusively for groups,” said Faller. The resort closes to the public during the National Baseball Hall of Fame induction week, the third weekend of July.