Last year, South Florida’s PGA National Resort unveiled its stunning $100 million transformation. With updated guest rooms, new dining concepts helmed by celebrity chefs, and made over, high-end meeting spaces, the iconic resort was eager to show the world that there’s a lot more to the resort than its iconic golf courses.
“Our goal was to disrupt the misconception of a one-dimensional golf resort with a 360-degree luxury travel experience,” said Joseph Fisher, Managing Director of PGA National Resort. “With this transformation, nothing was out of bounds.”
Truly, nothing. Through a partnership with Blade Air Mobility Inc., guests can arrive at the Palm Beach Gardens resort via a helicopter, landing on a newly constructed helipad that’s adjacent to the tennis courts and overlooking greens.
Experience-wise, guests can zip up in a bee suit to harvest honey, experience some solitude in the spa, learn the ins and outs of pickleball, set out on a deep-sea fishing excursion and, of course, play a round of golf on one of the half dozen championship courses that anchor the resort. When it's time to get down to business, there’s 40,000 square feet of indoor meeting space and another 20,000 square feet outdoors, including a pool complex with water features.
Ahead, five wonderfully unique experiences that meetings and incentive groups can partake in while staying at PGA National Resort.
Soak in Healing Salt Waters
At The Spa at PGA National Resort, guests can soak in outdoor mineral pools that use imported salts from healing waters around the world, said Spa Director Brian Douglas. The Dead Sea’s salts are known for soothing irritated skin and calming anxious minds, and France’s Salies-de-Béarn is renowned for helping moderate fluid retention, body temperature, and mood, Douglas explained.
The 40,000 square-foot spa was designed by V Starr, the South Florida design firm that’s owned by tennis star Venus Williams, a Wimbledon champion and Olympic gold medalist. The tropical oasis draws inspiration from South Florida with a neutral palette of soft golds, creams, pinks, and light elements.
One of the most unique treatments is the Honey Almond Body Polish, which incorporates PGA National Resort’s local honey, Douglas says.
Make an Appointment with the ‘Groom Guy’
Didn’t have time to make it to your barber before your meeting? PGA National Resort is home to “Groom Guy,” a wellness brand with classically trained barbers who offer salon services in the resort’s spa.
Guests can book a haircut, shave, beard trim and other grooming needs. The bespoke space is outfitted with a couple of leather chairs, a bar cart stocked with Macallan whiskey, books on style and vintage golf art.
Hit the World-Class Links
For many golfers, PGA National Resort is a bucket list course. Home to PGA tour stops, the resort’s iconic courses have hosted the world’s most legendary players, including Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson.
In all, the resort features 99 holes of championship golf. Joining The Champion, The Palmer, The Fazio, and The Estate are two new Andy Staples-designed courses called The Match and The Staple.
Groups especially love playing The Match, a new 5,841-yard course that shakes up the rules of golf because it encourages match versus stroke play, providing a canvas for players of all abilities. The hole’s winner can choose the tee location for the next hole. Of course, the PGA National golf pros say, if it’s too out of the tee box for you, no sweat—there’s four other 18-hole championship courses for you to bring out your pencils and play.
The resort is also a leader in golf instruction, so there’s lessons for those who are new to the sport as well as golfers who want to have their swing precisely analyzed with top-notch technology.
Harvest Honey like a Beekeeper
PGA National Resort has more than 250,000 honeybees buzzing about its four on-site hives, with the sweet stuff used in culinary, cocktail and spa skin care programs. (Think: Parker rolls served with the hyper-local whipped honey butter at The Butcher’s Club). The on-site bee and honey harvest program supports sustainability efforts.
During an exclusive beekeeping experience that’s perfect for teaming building, guests suit up in a protective beekeeping suit and take a tour of the proprietary hives with professional beekeeper Sierra Malnove. She gives intel into what keeps bees healthy, happy and productive, and those who partake in the experience are treated to a raw honeycomb tasting.
Limited-edition honey jars are available for sale at the resort, too.
Get Out on the Water
Just as important as playing a round of golf when you’re in this part of Florida is getting out on the water.
Hotel guests have a couple of ways to do just that. The first is a Palm Beach offshore fishing excursion, with hopes of reeling in Mahi Mahi, Sailfish, Blue and White Marlin and Swordfish. Half-day, three-quarter day and full-day fishing charters are available with a private captain and aboard a custom-built boat.
Or, for a more leisurely activity, board a luxury catamaran for an open ocean cruise. The catamaran trips can be as active as your group wants, from relaxing sunset cruises to snorkeling excursions or a trip to Peanut Island Sandbar, which has a laid-back Caribbean feel.