Andy McNeill has traveled all over the world skiing, and in today’s episode, he’ll be sharing his top recommended European ski destinations that are great for corporate group travel. These locations are ideal for incentives, congratulatory events, sales meetings, and any event where you want to host many guests and provide an amazing experience. Find out which ski spots in Europe captured his heart by tuning in!
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Top 4 Favorite European Ski Destinations For Corporate Group Travel
Andy McNeill has skied worldwide, and today he shares his favorite European skiing destinations that will fit your group travel needs. From incentive travel, celebrations, and sales meetings, these destinations have been tried and tested by Andy and the many groups he’s taken. Here are the top four European ski locations to host your next group destination travel:
Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy – Located in the Italian-speaking Province of Belluno with majestic mountain views. It is one of Andy’s favorite places he’s ever been. This little Northern Italian, Alpine town is known for its gourmet dining, and the center of the town has been made pedestrian just for strolling, which offers those romantic vibes. With its stunning views, the location can be seen in movies such as The Cliffhanger, Pink Panther, and For Your Eyes Only. The nearest airport is Marco Polo in Venice.
Chamonix Mont-Blanc in France – This is one of the oldest ski resorts in Europe and hosted the 1924 Winter Olympics. Here, you can go on the world’s highest cable ride, 12,000 feet up in the air, providing some of the best views in Europe. As one of the tallest mountains, there’s also an incredible ice cave part of the glacier you can visit. When you’re not in the town or enjoying the slopes, you can visit Casino Le Royal and get your gambling and other great experiences. The nearest airport is in Geneva.
Soldeu in Andorra – This little ski town is located in the microstate of Andorra, landlocked between the French and Spanish border. You may not hear about it much, but this is one of the best affordable skiing in Europe, and they have over 600 instructors, so there’s always plenty to do. You can get your lessons in with courses for all levels. You can also check out the Caldea Spa, one of the biggest attractions in Andorra. It’s a giant futuristic spa famous for its water attractions and countless amenities. In the evenings, they have futuristic music and light show that you can enjoy while in the spa. Plus, you can try booking a night a the Iglu Hotel, which houses all the amenities and offers an excellent experience for your attendees.
Zermatt in Switzerland – This is probably one of the most famous ski resorts in the world and sits at the foot of the Matterhorn. It’s also considered one of the most beautiful ski resorts on the planet. This destination is unique as it is a car-free town which can make for an enjoyable experience as you park 5 kilometers out and take a train into town. It is also dubbed as the gourmet capital of the Alps, with many great places to take your attendees. The small town also houses thirty 5-star hotels, including one of the top hotels in the country, The Omnia.
When doing concierge travel, you must find the right places everyone can enjoy. You will be handling huge groups and organizations, so finding a place that offers a unique experience is key. From the Haciendas of Cuernavaca to the City of New Orleans, many different places around North America can provide something unique.
Join Todd Bludworth as he talks to Kim Gustavsson about travel concierge. Kim has traveled to 86 countries, studied seven languages and worked as a consultant for Leadership Development and Organizational Transformation. He also owns one of the world’s largest LGBTQ cruise and vacation agencies. Learn more about concierge travel and where you can bring people on their next retreat.
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Kim Gustavsson On Concierge Travel And The Best Places To Take 20+ People.
In today’s episode, Kim Gustavsson of Concierge Travel, Inc. shares some great locations for your company retreat. Kim worked as an international concierge with organizations as big as American Heart Association. From Cuernavaca to Puerto Vallarta, there’s always a destination that offers a unique experience. Learn how to research and investigate your location before you leave. You don’t want to go to a place with nothing interesting to offer. In today’s episode, you’ll also get more info about which cruise you should book for your whole team. You need a lot of space at just the right price for your work-related retreats. So maybe Odyssey of the Seas can work out for you? Discover more about travel concierges in this episode of Destination Everywhere.
American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a large organization, so finding great retreat locations will always be difficult. While Kim Gustavsson was working with them as an outside contractor, not only would he find these great locations. He would also assist these doctors abroad. The location also determines how many would go. Doctors would instead bring their families to cities like New Orleans rather than Dallas or Chicago. So a great American location is always key.
What To Look For In A Location?
It just takes simple research and investigation to find the place you’re looking for. Back when there was no internet, Kim Gustavsson had to put in the time. One key thing is to find the top restaurants in that location. Look for things that make the place stand out. You want to give unique experiences to everyone, not just families.
Travel Ships And Cruises
When looking for a travel ship or cruise for your large group, you want large meeting spaces onboard. For most cruises, you can get a better rate than a full ship charge as a group.
Top Destinations For Groups Under 20 People
North America, especially around Mexico City, has some of the best and biggest places you can bring a group of 20+ people to.
Haciendas outside Mexico City (like Cuernavaca)
About Kim Gustavsson
Born and raised in Sweden, Kim lived in California, Mexico, and Texas. Traveled to 86 countries, studied seven languages and worked as a Leadership Development and Organizational Transformation consultant.
Owned the agency since 1997. We are one of the world’s largest LGBTQ Cruise and vacation agencies. Traveling and exploring different cultures is a passion of mine. I live in Houston with my Husband and our Chocolate Lab. We have homes in Fort Lauderdale, Houston and Puerto Vallarta.
What are the new and exciting hotels around the world you can check out for your next meeting destination? The show’s guest today is Michael Dominguez, President and CEO of Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI). In this episode, Mike gives quick updates about protocols and new technologies you should know when staying at hotels. You’ll also receive restaurant recommendations you definitely want to try out when you visit a destination! Plus, listen in on why you should try out Omni Oklahoma and Sonesta Hotels. If you’re looking for a place for your next business travel, this episode is for you. Don’t miss out! Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth are travel and hospitality entrepreneurs and owners of the global meetings organization, American Meetings, Inc. From sourcing hotels to corporate event management around the world, their team selects corporate event venues and meeting planners for a wide array of enterprise business clients, providing ideas for convention themes and strategies for running global meetings and events. Learn more at www.americanmeetings.com.
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What’s New With Hotels
There’s no one else in the world who knows more about what’s new and exciting at hotels around the world than Michael Dominguez. Mike’s got his pulse on all the hotels all around the world because he’s the president and CEO of Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI). Here are the important updates you need to know:
Follow CDC Guidelines
Get vaccinated as soon as you can. Once you’re vaccinated, you’re no longer required to wear a mask.
Leisure Is Quickly Opening Up
Leisure is back – it’s quickly rising to the activity that it had in 2019. You can’t keep up with the demand. There’s been a huge hotel recently that’s been completely sold out.
New Collection Of Hotels
ALHI added another collection of hotels called the centric collection. They have a little more flexibility than high-end luxury and a specific rate perspective, but they’re independent big boxes with mid-century modern looks. These hotels offer 200,000 square feet of meeting space and they’re at a premium for the meeting planning community.
The use of QR codes for menus and payment in restaurants
The use of QR codes is outstanding from a sustainability standpoint. Imagine the amount of paper that we used to have to print to reproduce menus and receipts throughout the year.
The availability around valet and getting your car is automated today with a simple text message. There are automatic chat boxes that ask you what requests you may have. This method is much quicker than trying to clog a piece of PBX operator.
Restaurants You Should Check Out
Yellowtail Japanese Restaurant & Lounge
Kumi Japanese Restaurant At Mandalay Bay
Michael Mina Seafood Restaurant At Bellagio Las Vegas
Pro Tip: When looking for someplace to eat, look for the chef instead of the restaurant. Search up their location and availability near you.
Brand New Hotels In Upcoming Regions
The second-tier cities are exploding with stunning hotels. For instance, Kansas City, St. Louis, and Oklahoma City. Hotels you should check out:
Omni Oklahoma City Hotel
These new hotels will be necessary as meeting places for professionals because of two basic reasons:
There’s a lot of compression happening in the meeting space across the U.S.
Your traditional destinations may be jam-packed.
Sonesta Hotels are the fastest growing hotel company in the world. They went from a few hotels to a staggering 1200 hotels on the cliffs in San Francisco. They spent a hundred million dollars reinventing. They opened up right when we’re shutting down the country. You’ll have a wonderful experience with Sonesta Hotels because they’re brand new with an older historic feel. What Are Mike’s Favorite Destinations?
Maui And Mexico
There’s something magical about these places because of the scenery and the people. They have a sense of passion, authenticity, and hospitality you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. For example, when you go to Cancun or Hawaii, it’s all tourism jobs. Passion about the delivery service is underappreciated. It’s a big factor when they tell you that you are part of their family, and they make sure you feel that way. How To Connect With Michael DominguezWebsite Link: https://www.alhi.com/ ALHI focused its energies on making its website accessible to all.
It’s easy to navigate.
You can find all the information you need from the industry.
It’s always up to date.
It gives you news on regulations and protocols across different states.
Ending Note If you’re listening, make sure you subscribe, rate, and review us. We appreciate it! Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram @destinationeverywherepodcast
About Michael Dominguez
Michael is actively involved in leadership roles in the Meetings and Events Industry including the executive committees for US Travel Association and Meetings Mean Business Coalition. He speaks in the industry often on topics of disruption, the state of the industry, the economy, behavioral lessons. Michael was recognized in M&C Magazines survey of top industry speakers and was an invited speaker at South by Southwest in 2018. Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://americanmeetings.com/podcast
For those who want to immerse their business travel into colorful dances, historic culture, and exquisite wine, there’s no better place than the Paris of South America: Buenos Aires. Emmy-winning host and dancer Mickela Mallozzi shares her experiences with milongas, which is more about connecting with people than just dancing tango. Meanwhile, Juan Melo Pacheco explores the Argentinian hospitality they take pride in at The Faena Hotel, making it an excellent event destination for any purpose. For their destination favorites, Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth look at everything Buenos Aires has to offer by going beyond the wine tastings and tango dancing.
Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth are travel and hospitality entrepreneurs and owners of the global meetings organization, American Meetings, Inc. From sourcing hotels in Buenos Aires to corporate event management around the world, their team selects corporate event venues and meeting planners for a wide array of enterprise business clients, providing ideas for convention themes and strategies for running global meetings and events. Learn more at www.americanmeetings.com.
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Emmy-Winning Host and Dancer Mickela Mallozzi Shares Tips To Tango and Experience Argentinian Hospitality with the Faena Hotel
Buenos Aires is considered as the Paris of South America, drawing influences from France, Italy, and Spain to create its colorful history and culture. It is known for its unique love for tango and exquisite Malbec wine. Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth explore these amazing things and more, highlighting the incomparable beauty of Buenos Aires.
Mickela Mallozzi, Emmy-Winning Host And Dancer
It cannot be denied that Mickela Mallozzi produced a great show in the form of Bare Feet, a travel series about dance all over the world.It ranks fifth behind shows with way bigger productions and budgets, such as Stanley Tucci’s Searching for Italy and Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi.
Mickela credits the strong edge of their show over others to her nature of seeing dance as a universal language instead of just an art form. She doesn’t care so much about her looks or if she’s making a lot of misstep, but uses dance as a way to connect with others and share a personal moment.
With this mindset, Mickela found the milongas of Buenos Aires a really fitting social event for her. It is a tango dance party, where conversations between locals and tourists happen not through words but by the body movements of dancing.
Lots of places where you can attend milongas have appeared throughout Argentina, with some embracing more modern approaches. Mickela still recommends tourists and first-timers to try tango in its traditional form first to fully appreciate the incredible experience it has to offer.
Mickela’s Top Picks On Where To Find Traditional Milonga
La Catedral Club
Milonga Zona Tango
Andy and Todd’s Destination Favorites
Watching a tango show at El Cabaret
Joining a Malbec wine tasting session
Booking private guided tours of polo stables
Seeing world-class ballet, choir, and orchestra at Teatro Colón
Grabbing a coffee at Café Tortoni, Buenos Aries’ oldest café
Strolling through the colorful streets of Palermo Soho
Attending International Circus and Tango Festivals
Riding a hydrofoil from Buenos Aries to Uruguay
Visiting Casa Rosada
Reflecting in the Recoleta Cemetery
Juan Melo Pacheco, Group Sales Manager at The Faena Hotel
Those looking for a high level of Argentinian hospitality embedded in local history and deep cultural values should definitely visit The Faena Hotel. This five-star building is something tourists must not miss, especially those who want to enjoy an authentic Buenos Aires lifestyle.
According to its Group Sales Manager, Juan Melo Pacheco, it was originally a British-style warehouse converted into a sophisticated building many people know and love today. They also chose red as the color of their brand, symbolizing the passion they uphold in delivering top-notch accommodation that cannot be found anywhere else.
The Faena Hotel’s Dining Options
El Mercado, a typical Argentinian restaurant
Bistro Sur, an Argentinian food place with modern twists
Juan also presents their wine and cheese tasting experience for VIP guests. It is only available to a select few, offering the best drinks to complete everyone’s stay. They also hold tango shows in the hotel as their most recognized piece of entertainment complete with five-star luxury dining services.
Must-See Locations Near The Faena Hotel
Puerto Madero. It is great for long walks and early morning bike rides. It also has two miles of well-known restaurants, giving tourists a chance to have a mesmerizing food trip.
San Telmo, one of the oldest neighborhoods in town. It served as the hometown of immigrants at the beginning of the 19th century before spreading into the Argentine territory. Tons of flea markets can be found here on the weekends, with couples making the streets lovelier with tango dancing.
Boca Juniors Field, home to one of the biggest soccer teams in Argentina. Here, you can play or watch games with family and friends.
About Mickela Mallozi
Mickela Mallozzi is the four-time Emmy® Award-winning Host and Executive Producer of Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi, a travel series highlighting the diversity of dance that airs on PBS stations nationwide and on Amazon Prime Video globally.
A professional dancer and trained musician, Mickela decided to start a journey around the world, taking her camera with her to follow dance in the lives of everyday people wherever she went. From re-discovering her family’s heritage in Southern Italy to dancing tango on the main stage in Buenos Aires, the series covers Mickela’s adventures as she experiences the world, one dance at a time.
She has been featured in The New York Times, O Magazine, AFAR Media, Travel Channel, Dance Magazine, Forbes, National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, and more, and she has performed on various television shows including Sesame Street and The Doctor Oz Show. Mickela has learned over 65 dances in over 33 countries in the past decade since she started Bare Feet in 2010.
About Juan Melo Pacheco
Juan was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina; he is a results-oriented sales manager with Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Associate’s degree in Hotel Management.
Juan has been working in the industry for 17 years and specifically in group sales for 11 years, only in luxury tier properties. He has expertise in almost any sort of groups, ranging from leisure tours to high scale incentives; from worldwide renowned artists to official state visits of a king and from a local corporate meeting to a multinational company CEO visit.
Juan has a profound interest in technology and its application in the business world. He normally tells his co-workers to call him before contacting the IT guy (and he won’t ask if they rebooted the pc!). In his spare time, he enjoys video gaming, motorcycle riding, movies or ‘binge-watching’ a new TV series. And a gathering for a nice Argentine barbecue with friends is a must from time to time.
Michelle McGann, professional golfer and Palm Beach local, shares her favorite golf courses and places to shop. Plus, we sit down with The Breakers’ Senior Vice President of Sales, Jim Mostad, who breaks down the hotel’s greatest offers and amenities, which led to Palm Beach becoming America’s first resort destination. As in all of our destination discoveries, we talk about local flare, popular sites to visit, and the unique activities to make your next meeting or event the best ever. As America’s first resort destination, Palm Beach is truly a sight to behold and a place full of exciting things to do with your meeting or travel partners.
Todd Bludworth and Andy McNeill are travel and hospitality entrepreneurs and owners of the global meetings organization, American Meetings Inc. From sourcing hotels in Palm Beach to corporate event management in Palm Beach, their team sources corporate event venues and have a team of corporate meeting planners in Palm Beach for their clients. They provide ideas for convention themes and how to run global meetings and events in Palm Beach and around the world. For more information go to www.americanmeetings.com.
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Turning pro at the young age of 18, Michelle has played in almost 40 tournaments in her first year alone. Her career brought her around the world and allowed her to play with the most prominent people, from George W. Bush to Michael Jordan.
Palm Beach is home to some of the most beautiful golf courses out there. For Michelle, the course at Seminole is somewhat challenging, but The Bear’s Club offers the true challenge. She also frequents the Old Palm, a club that she represents, and the Jupiter Hills Club, which is one of her favorites situated on the side of a mountain.
Michelle was diagnosed with diabetes when she was young. Her challenging life fighting this disease inspired her to start the Michelle McGann Fund, which brings diabetic children to camp to educate them and help build their self-confidence.
Michelle’s Favorite Food Places
Captain Charlie’s Reef Grill
The Barcelo Aruba
Russo’s Submarine Sandwich Shop
Rapid Fire Questions With Michelle
Have you ever completed anything on your bucket list? My entire life is a bucket list, and I’ve ticked so many boxes off.
If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be? Ireland, because of its greenery that you see in pictures, magazines, and books.
When packing for a trip what is something you bring that might surprise people? A soft pillow and several pillowcases so I can switch them out.
What is your most memorable experience in Palm Beach? As a local, I’m just grateful to live in such a great community and blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family.
Andy and Todd’s Top 10 Bucket List
Walking down Worth Avenue Drive
Chartering JFK’s Presidential Yacht
Visiting Peanut Island
Enjoying the five-day SunFest event
Immersing into the polo community in West Palm between January and April
Attending the Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival every December
Seeing the annual Honda Classic PGA Tour
Taking part in the Spa Wellness Month during the whole month of October
Joining a baseball spring training
Going to the Whitehall at the Flagler Museum
Jim Mostad, Senior Vice President – Sales at The Breakers
Dubbed as the crown jewel of Palm Beach, The Breakers Hotel is an iconic place and an admirable resort destination in Florida. Founded in 1896 by Henry Flagler, it withstood the test of time and is still owned by his direct descendants. Its current Senior Vice President – Sales, Jim Mostad, has experienced working in conferences services before getting his current position.
The Breakers’ Most Desirable Amenities
A dozen of exciting restaurants
140-acre golf course
Tremendous tennis complex
Jim also highlights the hotel’s signature experience: bungalows. Unlike some destinations were renting one means only getting a pop-up tent, The Breakers ups the game by offering an entire facility. It includes restrooms, an air conditioning unit, and a television. Concierge services, dining options, and recreational activities are all available in the bungalow.
The Breakers is also not short of flavorful cuisine. Jim highly recommends dining at the Seafood Bar and Adam D. Tihany. To make the trip to Palm Beach a bit more memorable, he also recommends visiting when annual events are taking place, particularly the Concours d’Elegance and Cavallino Classic.
Jim’s Top 3 Favorite Things To Do In The Breakers
Riding a bicycle along the Palm Beach bike trail
Renting a bungalow for a day
Visiting the Flagler Museum
About Jim Mostad
Jim has spent 36 years at The Breakers in various Sales and Conference Services positions. Current responsibilities include overseeing group, social, event sales and conference services.
Nearly a long long resident of Florida, and hobbies include golf and fishing!
About Michelle McGann
Michelle first stepped on the golf course when she was only 7 years old, having special “alone” time with her dad and learning how powerful she could feel from the perfect swing. At age 13 she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, but through diet, monitoring and proper medications, her diabetes has proved to be just another challenge in the game.
The sport has kept her traveling as a 3-time Florida State Junior Champion, the 1987 USGA Junior Girls Champion, AJGA Rolex Junior Player of the Year, 1987 Rolex Junior First-Team All-American, and the 1988 Doherty Cup Championship. She was also recognized by GOLF Magazine and GOLF Digest as Amateur of the Year in 1987. At age 18, Michelle decided to skip college and give the LPGA tour a go, making it on her first attempt!
Since joining the LPGA Tour, she has won 8 professional tournaments and participated in two (2) Solheim Cups. She has been fortunate to play golf with Presidents, captains of industry, and some of the greatest sportsmen and women in history.
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