When one thinks of a boutique hotel, images of small, unique, tranquil properties usually come to mind. The Northeast is flush with both luxurious and quaint boutique hotels that offer not only exquisite places to stay, but also meeting and event space that can be utilized for parties, business conferences or small meetings outside of the workplace.
ARCHER HOTEL FLORHAM PARK
Florham Park, New Jersey
The only boutique hotel at The Green at Florham Park, Archer Hotel Florham Park boasts 161 guest rooms and suites featuring artwork by local artists and a rotation of locally sourced turndown items.
“Core to the Archer design philosophy is a distinct nod to the destination that each property calls home,” says John Tierney, general manager. “We greet guests with a spirit of casual elegance—with lofted ceilings, exposed brick and artisanal ironwork.”
Archer Hotel Florham Park has over 8,600 square feet of flexible indoor event and meeting space that integrates technology and style and over 5,200 square feet of outdoor entertaining venues.
“Thanks to the hotel’s Complete Meeting Package at Archer Florham Park, an allinclusive package, it’s easy to plan and customize any meeting experience,” Tierney says. “The Archer meeting experience also offers professional on-site A/V support from KVL and meeting notepads with quotes form notable locals.”
Long Branch, New Jersey
Nestled in the emerging coastal town of Long Branch, Bungalow Hotel offers 24 rooms and is rich with art, featuring photography shot and curated by New Jersey photographer and artist Nicole Cohen.
Julian Payne, general manager for the hotel, notes the recently opened Bungalounge—a converted ice cream shop—serves as a bar and lounge as well as private event space where meetings can also be held in any of its spacious rooms
“We are tiny as far as room count and I think guests are surprised by that but our rooms are luxurious and large and our staff makes it really homey and people love that,” Payne says. “They built these originally as condominiums so the rooms are not what people expect.”
The hotel can create a cocktail party for up to 85 people and 40 for a boardroom-style meeting, though it usually finds businesses with under 25 coming in and utilizing all the rooms as well.
Groups and meeting guests will also appreciate the hotel’s location to Pier Village, which offers abundant shopping, restaurants, beach access and events year-round.
Hotel Fauchère was founded as a summer hotel in 1852 by Louis Fauchère, who was a Francophone Swiss master chef at Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York City. The boutique hotel has maintained a reputation for superior cuisine for 166 years.
“Our culinary legacy is exceptional,” says owner Sean Stub. “In 2007, the hotel was invited to become part of Relais & Chateaux, a prestigious global collection of 550 culinarydriven lodging and restaurant properties.”
The hotel offers 16 guest rooms, boasting marble baths with heated towel racks, radiant heated floors, Molton Brown hair and skin amenities and high-quality Italian Frette bed and bath linens.
The Hotel Fauchère Meeting Center includes a large boardroom, two breakout rooms and a retreat area that is ideal for meetings up to around 20 people. In addition, its three restaurant venues are also available on an exclusive basis for meetings or events and can accommodate up to 100 people, depending on the format of the meeting or event. The meeting center is about 1,600 square feet; the restaurant venues vary from 800 to 1,400 square feet.
“Our Meeting Center’s technology is stateof-the art, with video monitors in every room, 100 wireless access points, projection, spider conference phone, whiteboards, supplies, etc.,” Stub says. “The ability to walk out of the meeting and take a hike in the adjacent national park, or visit heritage attractions, galleries or shop in boutiques adds to the attractiveness of the venue. We also have a 600-acre private reserve, with a classic lodge, hiking, waterfalls and a mile of Class A trout stream available for our meeting clients.”
A group may have a day or two of meetings at the hotel and then want to have an outdoor dinner at the waterfall or team-building activities; and the hotel can work closely with clients to create the meeting schedule and activities that will help them achieve their objectives for the gathering.
Carolina Pino, director of sales and marketing for the Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia, notes there are so many things that make the boutique hotel unique and special.
“The journey starts right upon arrival when entering our stylish, design-centric art deco tower, which was the original Architects Building designed by Paul Philippe Cret,” she says. “We genuinely care to present overnight guests and meeting attendees with an atmosphere brimming with timeless sophistication, an inviting spirit and a drop of wit, all while creating a sense of belonging in the vibrant city of Philadelphia.”
With 20 guest room floors and 230 artful guest rooms and suites, some with breathtaking views of Center City, the hotel is family friendly, pet friendly and health conscious.
“We also try to give our guests unique programming that cater to current trends and our brand pillars,” Pino says. “Our Room 6o2—a biophilic suite—is a great example. As humans possess an innate tendency to see connections with nature, in this urban oasis, guests immerse themselves into a lush green space outfitted with an abundance of plants as living art installations, like a breathtaking display of hanging orchids over a soaking jetted tub.”
The Palomar features more than 6,000 square feet of newly renovated contemporary event space, in eight distinctive meeting rooms, most of them located on its top floors with unrivaled skyline views and abundant natural light.
“Our venues are suited for all types of gatherings, meetings and special events both intimate and grand,” Pino says. “On the second floor, Pei and Calder, accommodate smaller board meetings for 10-12 people, while the 1,750-square-foot ‘penthouse’ Burnham Ballroom and its AIA Library, on the 25th floor, offer a stylish backdrop for up to 160 cocktail guests, an 80-attendee meeting, or 100-person wedding.”
Additionally, the Cret and Wright rooms, of about 700 square feet each, propose a dynamic setting for more intimate gatherings, whatever the occasion may be, for up to 50 attendees.
“Our various setups allow each group with us to feel like they are the only one on property. This plays really well with groups of a confidential or high-end nature or for those that need a lot of focus,” Pino says. “We also know how to throw a great celebration, too.”