Site Visit: Sheraton Carlsbad Resort

By Stephanie Davis Smith, June 14, 2015

Perched high on a hill like a sovereign figure on its throne, Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa looks down over its sweeping lawns to the Pacific Ocean. While it has a regal sensibility with its Ocean Pearl Spa, championship golf courses and private entrance to Legoland California, the staff exudes a welcoming, Cali-coastal vibe that will have your attendees feeling at ease.

“There’s a strong sense of arrival to the hotel because of its elevation,” says Director of Sales and Marketing Julie Zahner. “We’re a resort destination, which is different than the more urban environment you’ll find in downtown San Diego.” The Sheraton property has a Mediterranean design aesthetic, an adjacent lagoon for water activities (teambuilding on kayaks, wakeboards or jet skis, anyone?) and an outdoor event space suitable for events with up to 600 attendees.

The 250-room property, which has 30,000 square feet of indoor meeting space on one level, has played host to meetings for the Korean-American Scientists and Engineers Association, Global Business Travel Association and the California Association of Latino Superintendents. Perhaps it’s so popular because it’s located midway between airports in San Diego (45 minutes south) and Orange County (an hour north), and also has its own regional airport with daily BizAir Shuttle flights out of LAX.

Sheraton Carlsbad’s abundant transportation isn’t limited to air. Planners have incorporated the resort’s 30-passenger Ride the Tide trolley into conferences as well. “We’ve used it to deliver attendees down to the coastline for opening- or closing-night beach events,” says Zahner.

You can always keep those parties on-property if you wish, as the hotel’s large outdoor pool makes for a terrific backdrop. “Our F&B seamlessly mirrors our Mediterranean feel, and the banquet food we’ve done for those events is more restaurant-style, not your traditional rubber chicken,” Zahner adds.

The hotel’s on-site restaurant, Twenty/20, has a patio and fire pit echoing similar sensibilities for guests who are finishing a long day of sessions and want to dine on their own, or for a private dinner for your executive board or conference VIPs—you know, the ones who need that royal treatment.

Insider Tip
“You have to try the Spanish margarita” at Twenty/20 Terrace, urges Zahner. “It encompasses a coastal flavor with a traditional feel.”

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