April 5, 2012

Rosewood Sand Hill FAM Trip

As I mentioned in a previous post, an important part of my job as a Wedding Planner is to be an effective match maker. Not only do I match my clients with the right service provider, but I also have to match them up with the right venue for their event. Choosing a venue is one of the most important decisions that a couple will make for their wedding, as it will set the tone for a multitude of elements to follow, including the overall costs for the wedding, the style, the logistics, and more. Therefore, it is crucial for me to do my due diligence in truly understanding the ins and outs of each venue, before I can effectively recommend them to clients. That's where the wonderful FAM events come in.

FAM is short for familiarization, and these "events" are really more of multi day experience to show us, first hand, what the venue is capable of providing for their clients. From culinary creations to space transformations to spa treatments, we get to enjoy the facilities exactly as a bride would, and I must admit I enjoy every bit of the pampering. While it is a remarkably relaxing, fun, and engaging experience, I do keep a pretty critical eye to evaluate every detail. It is the only way that I can effectively be able to match a venue up with the right clientele, so that I am not wasting anyone's time.

Several years ago, I had a semi-hard hat tour of Rosewood Sand Hill right before their opening. Since then, I've been back quite a few times, and even stayed overnight once for a good friend's bridal shower. Despite it being only 15 miles away from my home, it always feels like a vacation when I'm there. Their spa, Sense, is on my list of all time favorite spas in the world, and their Michelin star restaurant Madera has delighted me quite a few times as well! Needless to say, when I was recently invited to Rosewood for an official FAM experience, I was quick to accept.

We checked into the resort on Sunday morning, and immediately got to relax with champagne and cocktails on their balcony overlooking the pool. We had the most gorgeous weather that day, and it was so enjoyable to reconnect with many of my peers.

My room was incredibly spacious and comfortable, with a small balcony that overlooked the pool. I especially loved their walk in closet and rain shower, both of which would be welcomed in my own home! 

Our hosts, Shari Clenard and Todd Outhouse, were very thoughtful in leaving us a welcome amenity in each of our rooms. Such thoughtfulness is expressed with couples getting married there as well. Little surprises here and there are great ways to delight people, and Rosewood was certainly successful in delighting us!

After sipping on our cocktails and reuniting with our friends, we were then whisked away in a stretch limo by Lone Star Limousine to AutoVino, a really unique venue for wine tasting and events. We got a tour of the venue, and enjoyed delicious pizza made fresh from their wood burning oven. 

After lunch, we went back to Rosewood where we had some free time to relax and enjoy the resort. Prior to our arrival, we had selected our individual spa appointment times and treatments, and mine was scheduled for right after lunch. I slipped into my Rosewood robe from my room, and walked over to Sense for my much anticipated massage. The entire experience was just as wonderful as I remembered it to be, from the zen-like waiting room to the sensibility of the massage. I really didn't want to leave...

After the massage, I got to take a short nap in my room before it was time to get into my party dress for the evening events. Beginning with a cocktail hour inside the Rosewood ballroom, we indulged in delicacies by the catering team and satisfied our design cravings with beautiful tabletops by Classic Party Rentals and Ornamento. My iphone photos above certainly does not do enough justice to Rosewood, but luckily, I have gorgeous photos to share of our evening events, taken by the ever so stylish Vero Suh of Vero Suh Photography.

After the cocktail hour, the pre-function area of the ballroom was revealed to us, all decked out with an astounding and luxurious table for our dinner!

Our generous hosts at Rosewood spared no expense in serving us an exquisite menu, which I have to share here, despite the lack of quality from the photos taken by my iphone.

After the very fulfilling 4 course meal paired with amazing wine, we were then escorted into the Presidential Suite where the most spectacular spring-themed dessert buffet greeted us, created by Rosewood's own Executive Pastry Chef Melisa Root. Nobody dared to touch it at first, because it just looked too perfect to eat, and us planners became a group of paparazzis in front of the beautiful dessert spread.

The Presidential Suite provided the perfect setting for us to wind down over desserts, coffee, and liquor, with comfortable seating, a fireplace, and candles. 

When we returned to our rooms that evening, another thoughtful amenity greeted us...

It probably wouldn't surprise you to know how well I slept that night. I woke up feeling refreshed and energized, ready to conquer the world! Shari Clenard, Catering Sales Manager at Rosewood, gave us a comprehensive tour of all the different event spaces on the property, before we joined together in a private dining room at Madera for a farewell brunch. 

Though I had been to Rosewood various times before this FAM experience, I actually didn't know they had so many different event spaces throughout the resort. I had only seen the large ballroom, but tucked in different areas within the resort are a lot of smaller event spaces, some with lovely outdoor balconies as well. It really is a very versatile property, and what I love most is the fact that they allow tenting on their lawn! 

Conveniently located in the Peninsula, with luxurious accommodations, five star services, an extraordinary catering and culinary team, and versatile event spaces, Rosewood will no longer remain a "hidden gem" for long for people looking for the perfect location for their special event. 

Ofcourse, our sweet hosts refused to send us home empty-handed, and spoiled us with a SWAG bag from their very cool sister property in New York, The Carlyle. Inside the bag included lots of little goodies, and....our very own luxurious Rosewood bathrobe with our name stitched on it for personalization. We were completely blown away by their hospitality. Thank you so much, Shari and Todd, for allowing me to experience your venue to its fullest, and I look forward to many fabulous events together in the near future! 

Sponsors for this event included:

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