Head east on I-676 straight from Philly for a quick 30 minutes, and you’ll find yourself in Mount Laurel—a small town known mostly for its large corporations, but a place that should be equally well known for its accessibility and versatility.
“One of the great things about Mount Laurel is that we’re actually a location where major arteries intersect,” says Meghan Lafferty, vice president of sales and revenue, hotel division, Delco Development. “Most people are surprised by how much there is to do here.”
That convenience factor cannot be understated. It’s the perfect blend of city and town— the location has it all. “You get the best of both worlds,” says Lafferty. “You can be very close to the city and have fine dining, and another 10 minutes down the road, you can have horseback riding lessons.”
The real estate company Lafferty works for, owns, manages and operates a number of hotels, including the much buzzed-about Aloft Hotel, only 15 miles from downtown Philly.
The hotel has six event spaces, the biggest of which is 5,279 square feet and can hold close to 800 guests. Other spaces can hold anywhere up to 650, including a boardroom that can hold two to 30 and a 5,340-square-foot ballroom that can subdivide into several smaller spaces. Lafferty notes the customer service is what truly makes them stand out.
“We have a unique product that is unique to this area; it’s not something you typically find,” says Lafferty. “It goes back to our staff and the people—they are what make the meetings special here.”
The hotel has the trendy feel found throughout the Aloft brand with a pinch of inspiration taken from the town. “We have fantastic banquet and ballroom space that is very unique to this area—very metro, very chic,” she says. “Watching people’s faces when they walk in for the first time, you can really see the churning in their mind as they begin to plan their event here. That is such an incredible experience.”
Opened in April, Ramblewood Country Club has a contemporary chic, sophisticated feel. Ron Jaworski Golf purchased the club in January and put $2 million into a complete renovation—everything is brand new.
The golf venue has a grand ballroom with a capacity of 200. The space has a dance floor with full-length, floor-to-ceiling windows and a stunning view overlooking the golf course. The color scheme is gray and white, ensuring that any and all décor will match. An outdoor patio with heaters wraps around the building.
Heather Jaworski, regional weddings and events director for multiple Ron Jaworski courses, notes the club is unique not simply because of its golf offerings (27 holes!) but also because of the name behind the venue. “We have the golf course we can offer, and we’re new,” says Jaworski. “And the Jaworksi brand has a good reputation behind it. They’ve been doing this for over 35 years. They know what they are doing.”
If golfing is your thing but you’re looking for something off the links (and more weather friendly), Golf Performance Institute makes for a perfect hole-in-one. GPI is a 10,000-sqaure-foot golf performance center with opportunities for golf simulation and on-site experts. The company works with golfers of all levels— from those just starting out to retirees.
“We cater to the golfer who wants to improve his/her game and teach them the movement patterns required to have a consistent golf swing,” says Brett Michener, CEO. “Our training center has produced tournament-winning golfers in all age brackets in the short time we have been open.”
Inside the facility, one also can find a corporate event space that can host anything from a 200-guest event to a four-person golf clinic. In short, the options are endless.
And don’t think that GPI simply focuses on putting and driving. Those interested in the space also can consider golf yoga and fitness classes. “From the beginner to the expert player, we can customize the experience for your guests,” he says. “We are able to provide a level of insight and data collection and analysis that has not been available to the amateur golfer until now.”
While Mount Laurel itself has a wealth of event spaces, we couldn’t just limit ourselves to one area.
Places to Meet and Eat
Camden County Boathouse in Pennsauken may be the site of a number of high school, university and adult rowing programs, but its second floor is reserved strictly for events— and staff ensures your group is the sole focus of the evening; only one group is allowed to host an event at a time.
“The fact that you’re the only event here makes it intimate,” says Jeannette Torres, sales and events manager. “It truly is a one-of-a-kind feature.” Nestled in South Jersey along the Cooper River (a hot destination for rowing), the venue is accessible to cities around the state and the surrounding Philadelphia area.
With a wraparound deck perfect for checking out views of the Cooper River, the Boathouse can accommodate up to 200 people in a 3,500-square-foot space. A list of seven approved caterers is available, with companies that match all price points—budgets are not a problem.
The venue is open all year long and only closed for a few holidays.
Torres notes that while the intimacy is a great feature, the location makes the Boathouse a standout. “The views honestly are breathtaking,” she says. “They’re just spectacular.”
In 1972, Paul and Bonnie Ingerman, then married for close to 20 years, opened up A Touch of Class by Candlelite in Delran. Now in their 80s, the pair is still at it, with the help of their daughter Myka Ingerman, now owner and president, though all of her three siblings also helped out when they were children. “My parents built this business up for over 40 years,” says Myka Ingerman. “Word of mouth is what has made our company successful.”
The venue has a number of banquet rooms, including the Candlelite Room with room for up to 300 guests, and the Garden Room, which has the capacity for up to 125 people. Event services are offered to clients, including catering, décor, entertainment and more. Furthermore, the family business can also host picnics for up to 5,000 people in nearby Lumberton.
“[My parents] still work and take care of the businesses,” she says. “We work hard but also play hard.” Keeping it in the family is what Ingerman insists keeps the company unique and successful—the intimate feel attracts customers, and the elegance and style of the venue cements repeat business. “We’re not some corporate company,” she says. “You know what you’re going to get, and when you come here, you’ll want to come back.
The staffers at Caffe Aldo Lamberti in Cherry Hill pride themselves on the quality and taste of the food they offer. “We truly stand out from other venues in South Jersey because of the quality of both our cuisine and service,” says Rosita Lamberti, operations manager, Aldo Lamberti’s Family of Restaurants, which manages the restaurant. “We only use the best and freshest ingredients, and our guests happily drive far distances simply to join us for lunch or dinner.”
But the 28-year-old restaurant doesn’t just have great food—its event space is stellar, too. And, with seven separate spaces (three of which are wine cellars), there is truly something for everyone. The largest of the wine cellars can accommodate 40 guests and one of the main level rooms can hold 125. The restaurant, needless to say, has a wine list that will impress any sommelier. Other perks include complimentary valet parking and onsite audio-visual equipment.
“My favorite part about Caffe Aldo Lamberti is that it offers and provides multiple experiences depending on what you want,” Lamberti says. “It can be the perfect setting for an important business meeting or a casual happy hour with friends. The possibilities are truly endless.”
Whether it be hotels, boathouses, golf clubs or something completely different, it’s more than likely Mount Laurel has exactly what you’re looking for. “Mount Laurel stands out in New Jersey because it has a great mix of anything people want to do,” says Lafferty. “The community itself is always doing things to bring people that don’t live here in."