Located at the northern reaches of Miami Beach, about 30 minutes from Miami Int’l Airport, the 408-room Turnberry Isle Miami is surprising in scope when you see it from the penthouse hospitality suites. We visited recently for a breakfast event there, and you really need to see the view to appreciate it.
If ever the term “resort oasis” were applicable, this is it.
You would never know it from the road, but the hidden resort encompasses two championship golf courses just minutes from the beach within a largely residential setting. It is thickly landscaped with deep palm tree landscaping, paspalum grass, rolling greens and clever doglegs originally designed by Robert Trent Jones St. and updated by Raymond Floyd.
The spa is set to undergo a multimillion dollar refurbishment, and the beach club hosts events up to 500 people. We like chef Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak restaurant because of dishes like whole-fried organic chicken with truffle mac ’n cheese. Two private dining areas seat 14 and 30.
“We’re a destination within a destination,” says James Gelfand, director of sales/marketing. We spoke with Gelfand to learn more about what makes this resort ideal for groups visiting sunny South Florida.
Prevue: What are the benefits of having two golf courses?
James Gelfand: Diversity. You can play one course on Tuesday and the other one on Wednesday and not get bored. One course is 7,200 yards and is a little bit more challenging than the other. The other one is 6,400 yards. They’re both impeccable in terms of course layout, design and condition.
What kind of events can take place on the golf course?
Beyond the normal golf event, we also have teambuilding and evening events out there. We can do glow-in-the-dark golf, longest drive competitions, or putting contests with glow-in-the-dark golf balls and sticks. We can do 144 people per shotgun so you can literally do 288 at one time on both golf courses. For evening events we can easily do 500-600 people.
In addition we have the Magnolia Court area that seats more than 350 people and that is magnificent because you’re surrounded by this beautiful 64-ft waterfall and you can see the signature 18-hole island green. You can do some specialty golf events off of 17, or on the island green, and that’s a little bit more intimate.
We have a phenomenal catering team for our events that’s led by one of 66 certified master chefs in the world. Derin Moore joined us about eight weeks ago. The food and beverage that he’s creating and that Turnberry is producing is just phenomenal.
And what kinds of events can be organized at Turnberry’s beach club?
You can enjoy sun, sand, sea, beach Olympics, team activities and evening events that are very private and right on the beach, right down to the water’s edge. We have a fabulous relationship with Sunny Isles and we get an awful lot of flexibility.
There are some noise ordinances after 11 pm. But what you can do is you play at the beach club and then come back and enjoy the ambiance around Cascada Pool and have a wonderful time until 1 or 2 am. The beach club holds up to 600 people.