It’s 74 degrees today at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne. Why do I care about the weather there? Well, in part because I’m jealous (and am still thawing out from last week) but mostly because it’s the site of the 2018 Retention & Sales Excellence extravaganza Nov. 15-18.
The iconic Florida resort features two pools, a 20,000-square-foot luxury spa and salon, four restaurants, the largest tennis center of any Ritz-Carlton, a plethora of water recreation activities and easy access to Miami and South Beach.
Danielle Kaufman got to check out the location last month, so I stopped by her office recently to learn more about this idyllic getaway – and to see if I could join her next time she visits a beautiful beach resort for “work.”
So you got to go down to Key Biscayne to scout for R&SE. Tough job, huh?
“I did. Between Grand Cayman and Key Biscayne, it’s been a really tough first few months here at Compass for me. But I’m getting by.”
Give us all the details: When did you go down there? What was the weather like? How hard was it to leave?
“I went the first week of December. It was actually right after that slushy weekend we had in Charlotte. It was gorgeous. Perfectly blue, clear skies. There was no humidity. They assured us they will have the exact same weather when we’re down there in November.
“I did ask Chris (Kowalewski) if I could stay to do some added due diligence but, sadly, he said no.”
Where is Key Biscayne? What should we know about it?
“So, Key Biscayne is a barrier island over the Rickenbacker Causeway across from Miami. It’s got these really beautiful, secluded beaches that run up against a state park, so it’s just pristine and really stunning.”
And R&SE is at the Ritz. That sounds fancy.
“I think there’s a reason we keep going back to the Ritz family. The level of service that you get there is really kind of unmatched. It’s a pleasure to work with the team there and know that our guests are going to have a great time and be well taken care of.”
[Pauses to take a sip of water out of her Ritz-Carlton-branded cup.]
“And the beds are so comfortable.”
What amenity blew you away the most?
“I’m a total spa girl. I worked at a hotel spa for three years and this one is just stunning. And given the number of spa services that we did at the Ritz in Grand Cayman, I think everyone will agree. But, honestly, the beach. You walk out of the back of the hotel onto the beach, and it seems to just go on forever. It’s just such a walkable beach.”
I’m sold. Anything else people should know to motivate them to make it to R&SE in 2018?
“What I noticed is this location has a very different feel than the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman. The island just feels different. I think people are going to get a unique experience compared to last year, and maybe years past. There’s the opportunity for new and different activities than what folks are used to, so I think it’s going to be a good time.”
Oh, one last question: Can I come with you on the next scouting trip?
“Go knock on Chris’ door.”