Site Visit: The Sebastian-Vail

By Stephanie Davis Smith, April 5, 2015

Whether you want your top performers to hike up or ski down Vail Mountain will determine what time of year you plan an incentive trip in this charming Colorado resort town. No matter the season, The Sebastian-Vail, a boutique property by Timbers Resorts, has mastered the recipe for mixing business and leisure (or “bleisure”). It has the most meeting space of any property in Vail with 8,500 square feet of conference and event facilities that can also be booked by other hotels nearby.

Room renovations in December 2014 reconfigured 84 guest rooms, including 16 new one-bedroom executive suites, seven of which can be annexed as two-bedroom suites. A recent incentive trip at the hotel for a Fortune 500 finance company’s top regional directors combined a welcome reception with the task of getting outfitted for skis, snowboards and boots by hotel staff in the 3,800-sq.-ft. Ariel Ballroom. Attendees rotated stations picking out gear and loading up on complimentary accoutrements such as socks, gloves, hand warmers, sunscreen, lip balm and neck gaiters.

But don’t mistake the word ballroom for stuffy. The Sebastian-Vail staff worked with the planner to mix things up. “Four walls and ballroom chairs are over,” says Annie Lynch, director of sales and marketing for the property. “We had soft seating and couches, making the space more inviting while cocktails and bites were set up around the room. They didn’t have to queue up to get fitted for gear—it was much more interactive and social.”   

The incentive attendees had a custom dinner at the on-site Leonora restaurant one evening. “The company president sent me his three favorite wines and said, ‘Pair a meal with these bottles,’” says Kevin O’Rourke, director of catering and convention services. O’Rourke also arranged for the group to experience fine dining on a separate evening off-site at The 10th, a ski-in restaurant that requires a gondola ride up the mountain to enjoy Vail’s alpine cuisine.

Insider Tip: On Wednesdays, join a free walking tour of Vail’s public art collection, which ends at The Sebastian-Vail. Finish with two-for-one drink specials at the on-site Frost bar.

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