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Real-Time Retreats

A Scottish Castle in the Heart of the South

Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa

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For this Real-Time Retreat we (virtually) visited the grand-and-gracious Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa, near Birmingham, Alabama with its world-famous golf course, grand views, and elegant event spaces. You might be surprised to learn that Ross Bridge Resort is truly a ‘Scottish Castle in the Heart of the New South.’

Real-Time Retreats - “A Scottish Castle in the Heart of the South” - Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort

You better have plenty of bourbon on hand for this one! (see their bartenders recipe below!)

Our hosts, Shannon Johnson - Sales Manager, and Laura Chappell - Assistant Director of Sales, have suggested that we highlight the resort’s Scottish ties by wearing your best tartan plaid, adding a touch of Southern flair! This is by far the most challenging dress code we’ve had for our calls, so we look forward to seeing what you come up with!

If “plaid with a Southern flair” is causing you to rummage through your closet, cursing under your breath, how about this? If you are an Auburn or an Alabama grad, feel free to show your colors!

And guess what, y’all? In addition to the chance to win a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses from the always generous Kelly McAlister, this week’s “All In!” winner will also receive a 2-night stay in the Ross Bridge Presidential Suite with breakfast for two (2) each morning, dinner in their signature restaurant, and your choice of either golf for two (2) or spa for two (2)! So how is that for an incentive to all of you restless “shut-ins”???

This week is worth a little extra effort to create a festive outfit, crank up some good ole’ country music and pour yourself a shot (or two!) Bonus points if you want to submit your favorite barbecue sauce, or southern comfort food recipe in the “chat” space. Who knows, perhaps we will host a “home cookin’ ” feast once we can gather again!

“That’s What I Like About The South”???

Come prepared with suggestions for all of us to share: What makes you embrace our Southern roots or culture, even if you are a transplant? What Southern bands lift your spirits? Do you still weep at “Steel Magnolias” or cheer on Reese Witherspoon in “Sweet Home Alabama”? What are your favorite books, TV shows, movies, based in the Deep South? Submit those in the group chat during the call and we will curate your lists and put them on our website.

And in case we forget to say it - Bless Your Hearts!

Video Replay

Shannon Johnson - Group Sales Manager Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge

Shannon Johnson

Group Sales Manager, Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge

As a member of the Renaissance Ross Bridge sales team, I am responsible for leading and implementing a proactive sales strategy within the Southeastern area to bring meetings to our beautiful resort. I love my job!

Throughout my career in the hospitality industry, I have worked hard to develop strong customer relationships. I am persistent and I don’t back down from a challenge. I have a strength for developing new markets and finding new business for our resort. I have a passion for meeting people and delivering memorable customer experiences.

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Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa
4000 Grand Avenue
Birmingham AL 35226
Office: 205-949-3014
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Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge

Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa

Visitors to Birmingham, Alabama, invariably fall in love with this stylish, historic town. And the elegant resort provides the ideal base camp for your stay. Whether you want to soak in the history at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, wander the stunning 30-acre oasis of Aldridge Gardens, or play a round at the Robert Trent Jones Golf trail. While back at the resort, the luxurious rooms, including balconies overlooking the palatial grounds and signature waterfall-laden pool, are the perfect place to relax and unwind.


Home to the fifth-longest golf course in the world, golfers young and old will revel in the Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge surroundings and astonishing views of the Alabama hills.

Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge - Southern Charm With Scottish Roots


The resort is proud of its Scottish heritage and even has its own bagpiper!

Enjoy these Scottish/Gaelic playlists to get you in the mood:

Have Bagpipe, Will Travel


Straight from Jonathan McKinney, here’s the hotel’s famous cocktail recipe:

McKinney’s Sweet Tea-Infused Old Fashioned


  • 2 ounces of your favorite Bourbon of choice (the hotel uses Clyde Mays, the official whiskey of Alabama)
  • 2-4 ounces of chilled Milo’s Sweet Tea, an Alabama original since 1946
  • 1-2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • A nice, fresh orange peel
  • Preferably a 1.5-2 inch square block of ice
  • Your favorite cocktail glass

We’ll start with the fresh orange peel, add the bitters, and stir. Pour on the bourbon, add the sweet tea. We’ll give it one more stir and then add the block of ice. Sip and savor!

And while you’re making your cocktail, you may want to enjoy the Lynyrd Skynyrd radio playlist.

Put a Little South in Your Mouth
Kelly McAlister, Maui Jim Corporate Gifts

Kelly McAlister, Maui Jim

Kelly McAlister of Maui Jim will be with us on the calls each week as judge and jury to see which planner really goes all-in with the theme. So engage, be creative, and have fun... and you may be the winner!

She’ll be doing some gifting that will surely lift your shelter-in-place spirits!

Maui Jim

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