The Buzz: Business Briefs

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Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World is the newest meetings hotel in Florida. Shown here is a Golden Oak View Suite.

FOUR SEASONS RESORT ORLANDO at Walt Disney World is the newest meetings hotel in Florida. Shown here is a Golden Oak View Suite. 


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Pivoting Back to Travel, The Destination Weddings & Honeymoons Edition

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Here’s what’s new on the scene for luxury meetings and corporate travel.

In Florida, the new Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort is open for business, close to all of Disney’s theme parks.

Walt Disney World already has plenty of top-tier event space, but this hotel is a must-try for CEOs and VIPs: For on-location functions, it has 37,750 square feet of meeting and event space including eight meeting rooms, two event lawns, two ballrooms and several outdoor terraces. To keep business and pleasure separate, the meeting and event space is located on the south end of the resort, away from the family-friendly activities. Sans distractions, the event area has its own arrival space with two outdoor terraces of 5,000 to 7,000 square feet.

CEOs will want to book the Royal Suite on the 16th floor, which can be configured for small groups by adding up to eight connecting rooms. In fact, the suite can have as many as three living rooms and nine bedrooms, making it ideal for a board-of-directors retreat. In its classic configuration, it covers 3,300 square feet. Bonus: Its 1,000-square-foot terrace has views of the Magic Kingdom’s fireworks and can accommodate eight people for al fresco dining. When the Florida weather is less cooperative, the indoor dining room also seats eight. The suite also has a living room, family room and media room as well as a private office.

The Presidential Suite has some nice tech touches, including a media screen and projector concealed in the ceiling that can drop down electronically for presentations (or movies). The terrace covers 800 square feet and has a dining area for eight.

Bonus: The hotel is offering a “Suites Experiences” top-floor buy-out that combines the Royal Suite and all of its adjacent rooms with the three-bedroom Presidential Suite. When the floor is booked for one party, the elevators to the floor will be programmed to recognize suite room keys, offering extra security and exclusive access. A full-floor buy-out also comes with a private concierge. 

Contact Director of Sales Brian Plott at 407-313-6731 with questions.

Business Airlift

Earlier this year, Air France unveiled upgrades to its long-haul flights, including major improvements to its business- and first-class seats (and suites).

The business-class seats are set up in a 1-2-1 configuration so that they all have aisle access, as well as privacy screens. The seats fold out to become fully flat beds that are 77 inches long and 27 inches wide with real duvets. For entertainment, passengers get 16-inch screens and noise-canceling headphones, as well as a traditional electric outlet and a USB port for charging electronic devices.

Then there’s the new La Première suite, which is set to roll out on 19 Air France Boeing 777-300 planes this month. The new La Première cabin will have four exclusive individual suites that let passengers be totally or partially alone. Bonus: Each guest gets a personal 24-inch HD touch screen, one of the largest on any airline. Passengers also get a private wardrobe for their luggage. The seats stretch out into a flat bed that is more than six feet long. When the passenger is ready to go to sleep, crew members will install a mattress on the seat along with a pillow and a Sofitel My Bed duvet.

Airberlin, meanwhile, recently added new “FullFlat” seats in its business-class service on its new Airbus A330s. All chairs have direct access to the aisle and can be completely reclined; there’s even a massage feature. The seats have 15-inch monitors for entertainment; there are also USB ports.  

Lufthansa is also upgrading its business-class seats and expects to install total of 7,000 full-flat bed seats on 106 long-haul aircraft. The current in-flight service on long-haul routes will get more perks that, if successful, will be implemented on the entire long-haul network beginning in 2015. The process of refitting the long-haul fleet with the new business class will also be complete by summer 2015. 

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