back to 1607, Santa
Fe, N.M.’s 180-room
La Fonda on the Plaza
antafe.com), from 1922,
is a major repeat choice
for corporate groups.
“We base meeting room
rental on a sleeping room block and
F&B minimum,” said Ed Pulsifer, director of
sales at the property. “Meeting space is com-
Completing a sweeping three-phase
upgrade in 2016, La Fonda features a storied
art collection and is the only hotel on Santa
Fe’s famed central plaza.
“Venues such as The Santa Fe Room, from
1929, are perfect for corporate retreats,”
Offering 21,000 square feet of space, full
and partial buyouts are available.
CEOs and other VIPs can book the 15
guest rooms on the privately accessed Terrace at La Fonda.
Privacy reigns supreme for high-level
“Guests must have
total confidence in
the venue,” Teneo’s
Master guardians include Alan Stenberg,
co-maitre de maison of Glenmere Mansion
( www.glenmeremansion.com), an 18-room
Relais & Chateaux retreat in New York’s
lower Hudson Valley, complete with a heli-
copter pad. Routinely hosting Fortune 500
buyouts, it’s a well-shielded domain.
“Property exclusives, free of other guests
or outsiders, offer complete peace of mind,”
Stenberg said, adding, “we have the most
paper shredders of any hotel in the North-
Another mission-critical sanctuary is the
Inn at Bowman’s Hill ( www.theinnatbow
manshill.com) in bucolic Bucks Coun-
ty, Pa. Owner Michael Amery, a former
medical device industry executive, offers a
AAA Four Diamond haven for leisure and
Set on five acres, his English country escape has eight guest rooms, including four
apartment-size suites in the main house.
Amery’s high-tech, wood-paneled boardroom is straight out of James Bond.
For St. Louis groups, private railcar excursions from fabled Union Station (www.
are a VIP ticket for rolling retreats. These
curated, catered experiences take up to 75
attendees out in executive railcars around
metropolitan St. Louis, plus regional charters to and from Chicago and Kansas City.
Opened in 1894, the National Historic
Landmark Union Station is a grand platform for events large and small, with the
magnificent Grand Hall headlining 100,000
square feet of programmable space.
CHRISCORRIE LA FONDA ON THE
PLAZA, SANTA FE, N.M.
In 1776, as the revolution swept Boston, Spain claimed San Francisco’s peninsular tip as the northernmost outpost of its colonial empire.
Their fortified base, El Presidio Real de San
Francisco, or the Presidio ( www.presidio.gov)
was destined to become an American treasure.
Taking over the garrison in 1821, Mexico
established nearby Yerba Buena—the future San
Francisco. After serving as a U.S. Army base
from 1847 to 1994, the site was transferred to
the National Park Service and the Presidio Trust.
Following 219 years of military service, a new
public era began—meetings and
In 2012, Pershing Hall,
originally housing bachelor
officers, was revived as the
boutique Inn at the Presidio. Ideally equipped for
executive meetings and
board retreats, the 22-
room Georgian Revival
main house includes
17 suites with fireplaces.
Captains of industry also have access to the
nearby four-room Funston House, formerly an
Opened in June 2018, the 42-room Lodge
at the Presidio updates the historic Montgomery
Street Barracks, one of the red-brick buildings
lining the former parade grounds. It’s San Francisco’s closest hotel to the Golden Gate Bridge,
with most rooms, my spacious corner suite
included, offering views of the iconic span.
The expansive lobby, common areas, dining
room and outdoor firepit are effortlessly inviting.
Military memorabilia and soldier por-
traits give the building soul, along
with the welcoming staff. Made
to measure for executive
tastes and sensibilities, it’s
understated hospitality at
There’s no meeting
space, but the Lodge
at the Presidio fortifies
small group bookings at its
“Since opening, the Inn at the Presidio has
maintained 94 percent year-round occupancy,”
said Bradley Hansen, hotel manager at the inn.
“The lodge’s room inventory gives us enhanced
sales and hosting flexibility.”
Other historic rentals include the Presidio Offi-
cers’ Club, now the park’s museum and cultural
center, and Golden Gate Club, once the enlisted
men’s service club.
Groups also can utilize the Walt Disney Family
Museum and San Francisco Film Centre.
The Presidio’s multiple F&B outlets include
three restaurants from two-time James Beard
Award-winning Bay Area chef Traci Des Jardins,
who also provides event catering. Wide-ranging
culinary offerings include outdoor festivals and
For outdoor connections, the richly forested
Presidio has an extensive hiking and biking trail
network. The Ecology Trail starts behind the Inn
at the Presidio and leads to Inspiration Point,
where the panoramic views speak for the Presidio’s historical preeminence—and commanding
spot for meetings. m
BY JEFF HEILMAN
ON the SCENE
SAN FRANCISCO’S BIRTHPLACE RANKS HIGH FOR IMPORTANT GATHERINGS
THE LODGE AT THE PRESIDIO,
DINING ROOM, THE LODGE AT THE
PRESIDIO, SAN FRANCISCO