WHEN I WALKED into my room at the Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park, in early November, I thought I might never leave. It wasn't the ultra-comfy bed with its down-filled duvet, or the oversized soaking tub, although those were certainly enticements. Rather, it was the heart-stopping view of the Statue of Liberty — standing guard over the harbor, close enough to see clearly even without the aid of the telescope handily positioned at the room's big picture window. To have a private view of the Lady for a few days, to see how she gleamed and faded in the changing light of sunrise, midday, and sunset, was quite a treat.
But of course I did leave the room to enjoy a terrific weekend of activities at the pre-(formerly ICPA) fam, hosted by the insurance team at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. Our group of nearly 40 planners and Ritz-Carlton sales reps were whisked around the city to dine, shop, see a show, and take in a trendy night spot in a program that was aptly named “In a New York Minute.” Kudos to Briggs Inc., New York Destination Management, for setting up a seamless experience and providing a highly entertaining insider's guide to the city.
Luxury on the Waterfront
For upscaleor small incentive programs — particularly for attendees who have already experienced midtown or uptown Manhattan — a stay at the Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park, offers an interesting alternative. Here, at the tip of lower Manhattan, the landscape is dominated by water, historic buildings, and a fast-growing urban landscape of residences, parks, and esplanades. The hotel, part of a mixed-use development a short walk from the financial district and a five-minute cab ride from the trendy downtown neighborhoods of Soho and TriBeCa, reflects typical Ritz-Carlton luxury and services, but departs from the traditional esthetic with a contemporary, uncluttered design that lets the panoramic city and harbor views shine through. A word of caution: Planners should check on the status of nearby construction that, when completed, will create a European-style boulevard in front of the hotel.
Opened in 2002, the 298-room property has 12,000 square feet of function space — including a 4,500-square-foot ballroom, 1,800-square-foot junior ballroom, two multipurpose function rooms, and an elegant boardroom — all with high-speed data connections. There's also capability for video teleconferencing, satellite and broadcast hook-ups, and distance learning.