In July 1874, The New York Times reported on the opening of millionaire A.T. Stewart’s Garden City Hotel in the village of the same name. The paper concluded that Garden City, founded in 1869 as Long Island’s first planned community, was “destined to rank foremost among the many beautiful summer resorts with which Long Island is studded.”
The forecast was spot on. In its heyday, the hotel attracted world leaders and celebrities such as Charles Lindbergh, who overnighted here before his historic trans-Atlantic flight in 1927. Now in its fourth incarnation, Long Island’s most famous historic hotel (and only full-service luxury property) reopened this spring following a $30 million renovation.
The lustrous refresh includes all 272 guest rooms and suites, 25,000 square feet of meeting space, public spaces, Polo Steakhouse and Polo Lounge, and coming this fall, a spa with an adjoining salt-water indoor pool.
“Offering the entire package of brand new rooms, versatile space and first-class cuisine, The Garden City Hotel is ideally equipped for conferences, retreats and events,” says Carole Diaz, the property’s director of sales and marketing. “With a ballroom mix equating to 16 versatile breakout options, an executive boardroom and a night club, we also offer outdoor space for teambuilding and social events.”
Just 15 minutes from Manhattan by train, the hotel is a meetings magnet reborn.
With 29,000 square feet of indoor conference space, also popular for groups is the Glen Cove Mansion & Conference Center.
The destination brims with other alluring choices, explains Joan LaRosa, director of sales for the Long Island CVB.
“From the Cradle of Aviation Museum to Oheka Castle to a wine region ranked in the top 10 globally by Wine Enthusiast, Long Island has numerous non-traditional venues and off-agenda opportunities,” LaRosa says, also noting I.FLY Trapeze School and Skydive Long Island as options. “Behind efforts including attending trade shows here and abroad and international pay-per-click campaigns, Long Island is gaining increasing recognition from domestic and international groups.”