Anyone planning a special event to celebrate one of life’s great moments or milestones should feel assured they are in great hands with the Catering Team at Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, whose reputation is staked on creating magic for our clients.
“It takes a special person to handle social events, and I guess we are those people” says Shepard, with a smile. “You are involved in some of the greatest moments in people’s lives–weddings, bar mitzvahs, baby showers–and you will always live in that memory.”
In fact, Shepard and the catering team at Miramar have a particularly wonderful job description–to make their clients’ dreams come true. It helps that the Miramar, set on five expansive acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean, offers such a poetic setting, with nearly 50,000 square feet of some of the most stunning indoor and outdoor event spaces in southern California. “The greatest thing about the Miramar is the amazing variety of outdoor event spaces,” says Shepard, “which was a saving grace over the past few years, when we were able to seamlessly move events outdoors.”
Outdoor spaces at The Miramar are uniquely beautiful in their own way. The Ocean Terrace is framed by silhouetted palms against a rosy pink and lavender sky, as the sun sets over the ocean. Festooned with white lights and flickering candles, it is a warm and welcoming spot, where guests will want to linger amid the clinking of cocktail glasses and good conversation. The Sunset Terrace, a glorious place to host a private dinner or cocktail event, also faces the Pacific, bathed in a warm glow at sundown.
A native of Riverside, CA, Shepard says she “stumbled into hospitality” 10 years ago and has found her true calling. She got her start at the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, and has worked at the JW Marriott Santa Monica, the Marina Del Rey Hotel, and the now-defunct Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel until she came to Miramar a year and a half ago. “Mission Inn was a huge wedding market–and I fell in love with that.”
The events team at Miramar is small–only six team members, divided between catering, conferences, and meetings–which means that every client receives custom service and personalized attention that is unusually tailored. Shepard, along with Catering Sales Manager Jenifer Hilarto, works with each client individually, every step of the way. “It’s very detailed and bespoke,” Shepard says. “We’re full service and we do everything from start to finish.”
Working that closely with clients to plan their momentous events, it’s not surprising that many of Shepard’s clients have become personal friends. “You make a connection, and they seek you out again when it’s time to celebrate something else. It’s like building a little family.”
The Miramar offers two ballrooms and seven meeting rooms ranging from 286 to 3,830 square feet. The 7,400 square-foot Starlight Ballroom is the largest in Santa Monica and seats up to 500 and can accommodate up to 900 for a reception. The smaller Wedgewood Ballroom, at 4000 square feet, accommodates up to 250 guests.
The events team just launched a “Spring Fling” promotion available now through the end of April, a sunset Happy Hour cocktail reception package for up to 60 people, featuring drinks and small bites. If you’re entertaining the idea of hosting a springtime cocktail fete, the package–on The Ocean or Sunset terraces–includes a selection of beer and wine with the option to upgrade to a full bar with mocktails, three types of passed hors d’oeuvres and a specialty flatbread created by FIG executive chef, Damon Gordon. The Spring Fling is also available in The Library, an inviting indoor space with picture windows overlooking the hotel’s landmark Moreton Bay Fig Tree–a stunning view. For daytime meetings, luncheons on the deck, or after-hours events, the storied Bungalow Santa Monica is available for full buyouts at select times. The Miramar Gardens are a perfectly romantic setting for a small wedding or other milestone celebration.