OCT 2014

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ O C T O B E R 2 0 1 4 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 14 This September, I had the opportunity to expe- rience the new Streamsong Resort, located 30 minutes south of Lakeland, Fla. It's a resort without any signs or arrows show- ing you where to go. Here, time is a state of mind. Rush is a four-letter word. Any whim your meeting attendees could ever wish for is embraced, even celebrated. Their goal is simple: to get you lost—in tranquility. And to let you hear the silence that can only be experienced when all distractions and barriers are removed. This is Streamsong Resort…a sprawling mecca perfectly placed atop 16,000 acres of sheer bliss. It's a bit out of the way, but rest assured; your primal scream for sanity will soon become a sweet song that's one with nature. A two-lane thoroughfare unfolds to reveal a magnificent, majestic vision with strong lines and deep roots. It's just one reason this sanctuary of sorts could be right for your executive team or mid-sized group of VIPs. Astounding Architecture. The creative freedom of master designer Alberto Alfonzo is on full display throughout this resort. Strong edges give way to raw concrete up against marble. Natural light streams through the floor-to-ceiling windows with diversion louver leers providing a sense of encapsulation and enclosure. Different hues of wood on different floors reflect various seasons. And in the lobby, a rare surprise…the roof is an actual barn that's been dismantled giving guests a dramatic welcome as they step through the front entrance. "We basically let the architect go crazy, giving him free rein," explains Thomas Parke, director of marketing at Streamsong Resort. Guest rooms feature original artwork created by Alfonzo, as well as a mini-library. The main lodge boasts 216 rooms, with an additional 12 rooms in the clubhouse just two miles away. My Favorite Features: The real beauty in this space is the sense of well being it conveys. Here you can meet without feeling boxed in. With 13 meeting rooms and more than 24,000 square feet of meeting space, the opportunities are endless. Stellar Staff. You could liken it to your own personal concierge, even butler. Instead of feel- ing like just another guest, the staff at Stream- song takes great care to make you feel special. From the Mercedes-Benz shuttle service they deploy to whisk your group from one point to the next, to the warm, kind welcome you receive at every turn, you could easily become spoiled. Stupendous formality and Southern charm is this resort's heartbeat. Local talent is happy to help and it shows. Culinary Greatness. A trifecta of remark- able restaurants, with menus worth bragging about, await your taste buds. Fifty-Nine, named after the lowest recorded golf score ever achieved, is the elegant steakhouse located at the resort's clubhouse. Overlooking the leg- endary golf courses, the menu features mouth- watering steaks, succulent seafood, and a lengthy wine list. Sotto Terra, located on the lower level of the main lodge, features Italian-inspired creations in a warm, intimate setting. Grilled prawns, stone oven pizzas, and indulgent pastas popu- late this creative menu. Save room for dessert. The handmade gelatos, like salted caramel and pistachio, are to die for. From light bites, to hearty fare, to refreshing drinks, P2O5 is the place to be. Named after the chemical compound phos- phorus pentoxide, this newly expanded restau- rant will feature even more square footage and seating when it reopens this fall. Hole in One. Two legendary links-style golf courses are sculpted around existing landscape. It's the ultimate in repurposing land recovered from a former phosphate mine. Golf course architects Bill Coore, Ben Crenshaw and Tom Doak combined their talents to create two 18- hole masterpieces. The result? Dramatic eleva- tions, with fairways that resemble Ireland and Scotland complete with dirt/sand cart paths. My Favorite Features: The resort keeps 130 caddies on their roster, for those wanting to walk the course and get some professional pointers. The course designers sunk the club- house down eight feet, so you won't see it when you're coming up on 18. The Great Outdoors. There's guided bass fishing, sporting clays, an outdoor, lakeside pool with cabanas and bar service, beautiful hiking trails with wildlife along the way. A unique selection of activities, tailored to your group's size and level of expertise, can be created upon request. The expansive landscape makes it feel like your own private retreat. My Favorite Features: The birds-eye view of the whole resort atop the outdoor deck at Fragmentary Blue. Located on the sixth level, it offers panoramic views for miles, as well as the best place to star gaze on a clear night. Pamper Them. Prepare to be impressed as you enter this grotto-style spa where blue embers dance upon slivers of light shining through thin, oblong windows. Heavy detail surrounds this enclave-inspired spa with eight treatment rooms, six unique pool experiences as well as a hair and nail salon. My Favorite Features: The arctic cascade, featuring a heaping helping of chilly water rushing down leaving you invigorated and refreshed. After 5 p.m., guests can use the spa facilities free of charge. ■ Sing A Song Of Tranquility Remarkable Meetings At The All-New Streamsong Resort ON-SITE REPORT BY FLORIDA-BASED CONTRIBUTOR MARY HABAN Learning to skeet shoot was exhilarating! #POW Ahhhmazing Spaces & Places! Audrey Wayne/Streamsong

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