The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, California
Although it’s cold outside, summer is right around the corner. When considering ways to treating employees with incentive trips or improving team building, look to the ocean for your answer.
Most people have never surfed and probably never will, but the following resorts on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts have everything you need to ride the waves. From board rentals to lessons and ocean view rooms, make your next meeting a radical one— just cross your fingers that there will be waves. Pack your swimsuit and flipflops, because we are hitting the beach. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel looks over famous Salt Creek Beach. At first, The Ritz thought the waves just belong only to hippie surfers. It built a wall and faced its lawn chairs the other way.
But then the hotel realized the importance of embracing the waves and all the beauty they bring. So, it tore down the wall and turned the lawn chairs toward the setting sun. Since the beach is in the backyard, guests can hit the surf or relax on the sand, just steps away from their room.
The Ritz offers lessons, board rentals and surf camps. It has 396 rooms and more than 80,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor event space, including ballrooms, meeting rooms and beachfront venues.
Vintage Surfari Wagons, Costa Mesa, California
You can drive down Highway 101 in style with Vintage Surfari Wagons’ camp mobiles. The Beach Boys would be proud. Just make sure you are comfortable with the person in shotgun, because the sleeping quarters are a bit tight—with one bed in the backseat. This Southern California company offers 1970s VW vans for rent to take up and down the coast, chasing that perfect wave.
There are private rentals, as well as tours down some of California’s less-traveled roads. Depending on the group, this could be an unconventional, once-in-a-lifetime, experience. It’s also a fantastic tourist attraction for attendees to take part in before or after an event. Each bus can fit up to four people, depending on sleeping preferences, and is fully loaded with camping equipment.
La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club, California
San Diego has world-class beaches that are always pumping out waves, and nearby La Jolla Shores is a surf learner’s headquarters. La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club is directly on the sand, on a private beach with cabanas that offer food and drink service.
It’s down the street from all the ocean-toy rentals, including kayaks, paddleboards, surfboards and scuba diving equipment. Plus, it’s right in front of the area where harmless leopard sharks come during mating season in the summer, and can accompany guests during snorkeling excursions.
The club has 90 regular rooms, suites and beach apartments, and two indoor event centers that can hold up to 150 people, as well as a poolside patio and an entire beach.
Four Seasons Resort, The Biltmore, Santa Barbara, California
The harbor city of Santa Barbara sits just an hour north of Los Angeles. The Biltmore is tucked away off Highway 101, next to Butterfly Beach. The surf doesn’t get very big out front, but just down the road is Rincon, nicknamed Queen of California for being one of the best right-hand point breaks in the state.
Guests can pay to have three-time world champion surfer Tom Curren pick them up and drive around Santa Barbara, looking for waves. The Biltmore has 167 guest rooms and 15,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, plus 10 private dining rooms and 10 breakout rooms.
The Surfrider Malibu, California
Located across the street of one of the most famous beaches in the world, The Surfrider Malibu is the perfect laid-back spot to hang for the weekend as you try to dodge the Los Angeles traffic. The waves across the street are appealing to all surfers, from beginners to professionals.
Although Malibu is usually crowded, there are always plenty of waves to be ridden. The Surfrider is best for more intimate events, with its 20 rooms, and a private rooftop bar and patio area that overlooks the water.
The Surf Lodge, Montauk, New York
New York has some waves, and they can be good. Montauk, in particular, is home to some nice, friendly longboard waves. One standout spot is The Surf Lodge, a beach hotel with a Manhattan bottle-service feel. Reopened in 2012 by New York City nightlife impresario Jayma Cardoso, The Surf Lodge is a popular spot on summer nights. Bands play on the back deck on weekends and there is an Australian-themed restaurant. This place is ideal for the surfer who wants to surf all day and party all night. Bike and board rentals are available to guests. It’s perfect for a smaller getaway type of meeting, with its 20 rooms and small private dining room, and the entire 1.5-acre property can be used for an event.
Surf Studio Beach Resort, Cocoa Beach, Florida
Home to arguably the greatest surfer of all time, Kelly Slater, Cocoa Beach is deeply rooted in surf culture, and the water is plenty warm. Surf Studio Beach Resort is a very popular getaway for surfers. Located right on the water, this family owned resort has a relaxed vibe that is perfect for unwinding. It offers board rentals for its guests, as well.
Steps away from the rooms, guests can surf right out front, or down the beach by the pier. The property has 11 rooms that each have their own kitchenette or full kitchen, and a beach view. Smaller events can be held on the sundeck, picnic area and beach.