the chance to experience St. Augustine’s
history while staying at the beautiful Casa
Monica Resort & Spa. Built in 1887, the
Casa Monica is now part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection.
“This was not a typical Marriott,” said
Andrea Oyola Reid, Esq., chair of the event
for the Family Law Section of the Florida
“I think the charm of the hotel and its
historic location changed the whole ambi-
ence of the meeting,” she said. “It’s a small-
er, more intimate hotel and our theme was
‘Bringing People Together,’ so it was perfect
for our group. The opening night reception
around the small pool was lovely and the
lobby bar was cozy.”
One afternoon after meetings, the group
did an Amazing Race-type activity hitting
many of the historic venues in the area.
“The city lent itself to this activity,” she
said. “The Lightner Museum is across the
street, Flagler College is nearby and the
group had all of Old Town St. Augustine to
explore. And we never had to worry about
transportation; you can walk everywhere.”
Paul Daum from local DMC Corporate1
Events coordinates a similar activity for
groups: The Amazing Taste St. Augustine,
where the group is tasked with
finding certain historical
venues while sampling
Provided with clues,
participants are lead
to such places as the
showcasing the wonderful art collection of
Otto Lightner; Flagler
Ponce De Leon hotel,
now a college building; and
the St. Augustine Distillery,
formerly The St. Augustine Ice Plant,
dating back to 1905.
“The Amazing Taste St. Augustine is one
of the most unique ways to experience
the best of St. Augustine from a historical
perspective with wonderful local food
and beverages. We simply marry the
two,” Daum said.
Originally built in 1888 as an entertainment center for the luxurious Ponce
de Leon Hotel, the Lightner Museum
stands across the street from Casa Monica.
Around the beginning of the 20th century
the Lightner housed the world’s largest
swimming pool. Now drained,
the former pool area and
mezzanine is well suited
for sit-down dinners,
receptions and dancing
for up to 400 guests.
The outdoor terrace,
the Grand Ballroom
Gallery and the re-
stored library are also
used for special events.
“This is one of my
favorite go-tos,” said
Barbara Golden, communi-
cations manager, St. Augustine,
Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors
and Convention Bureau. “And in fall 2017,
they’re having an exhibit of Downton Ab-
bey costumes in the museum.”
Golden added that downtown’s the Trea-
sury on The Plaza, which opened as the
area’s central bank in 1927, is now a space
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