Summer 2017 brings the latest crop of hotel and venue builds, restorations and renovations you'll want to put on your meetings radar.
> Opening this fall, Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach will add a new option for incentive groups meeting in Hawaii. The 839-room property (transformed from the former Pacific Beach Hotel, to the tune of $115 million) will wow with a 280,000-gallon saltwater oceanarium in the lobby filled with marine life, plus a pool deck with an infinity pool, floating cabanas and ocean views.
> Incentive planners seeking an exotic destination can consider the upgraded Anantara Angkor Resort (shown top) in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The ancient city of Angkor is home to UNESCO World Heritage Site Khmer ruins, including Angkor Wat, the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” Fresh off a total renovation, the all-suite resort has luxe accommodations, personal butlers for each guest, on-site Khmer dining options and Anantara Spa.[caption id="attachment_35125" align="alignright" width="300"]Block 41[/caption]
> A former ice warehouse from 1927 in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood reopened as a private event venue in March. Block 41 has three open indoor spaces—think exposed brick and wood beams—across two levels (totaling 15,000 square feet), plus an outdoor courtyard. It can accommodate events for up to 800 people.
> Hunt Valley Inn outside Baltimore reopened as Delta Hotels Baltimore Hunt Valley after a $15 million renovation. The 392-room, full-service hotel is part of Marriott and includes 27,000 square feet of event space in Maryland’s horse country.
> Planners have a new off-site venue to consider in Las Vegas with the 75,000-sq.-ft. Enclave, only a few minutes’ drive from McCarran International Airport and the Strip. Powered by 3G Productions, the venue is equipped with the latest AV technology. In addition to multiple ballrooms, a production studio, a green room and conference rooms, an outdoor garden and rooftop deck will be added by summer.[caption id="attachment_35127" align="alignright" width="300"]Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club[/caption]
> With 77 guest rooms—including five overnight cabanas on North Miami’s historic Surf Club Cabana Row—the new Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club is a luxurious destination for retreats. Fine dining can be found at on-site restaurant and Champagne bar Le Sirenuse Miami, with a menu influenced by Positano, Italy. A high-end spa is also on-site.
> In June, Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, the only AAA Four Diamond resort in southeastern Wisconsin, opened 29 villas, bringing the total guest accommodations to 384. Studio, one-, two- or three-bedroom units offer a variety of setups for group stays at the property, which has 62,000 square feet of indoor meeting space and a 12,000-sq.-ft. conference center. VIPs can fly to the resort thanks to a private on-site airport.
> Perfectly timed with the end of ski season, Grand Summit Hotel in Park City, Utah, closed in April to undergo a $15 million renovation. Come midsummer, it will be flagged as a RockResorts property (a division of Vail Resorts) and unveil a complete overhaul of its suites (212 total), communal spaces, spa, cafe and meeting spaces.
> Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino completed a multimillion-dollar renovation to its 357 guest rooms, pool deck, cabanas, beach tennis court and Sunset Grille restaurant in March. The property has 24,000 square feet of outdoor flexible space and 15,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, including an 8,100-sq.-ft. ballroom.
> A $25 million renovation completed in April updated Hilton Daytona Beach Resort/Ocean Walk Village’s 60,000 square feet of meeting space, two restaurants and 30 beachfront cabana suites. The pool deck also got a face-lift, including transformation of the Pelican Bar into a tiki bar concept.
> Smaller groups have a new boutique option in Chicago with the opening of Hotel EMC2 (shown top) off Michigan Avenue that opened in late spring. Part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, the 195-room hotel will be themed around art and science. On-site, find a contemporary American restaurant and 2,000 square feet of meeting space.
> Hotel Nikko San Francisco celebrated its 30th birthday in a big way in March by unveiling a $60 million renovation of its guest rooms, meeting spaces, bar, music venue and fitness center.
> Kimpton Hotel Palomar Los Angeles Beverly Hills completed a $12 million renovation in spring that modernized the 264-room boutique hotel. An open floor plan of the lobby and entrance area flows into a back lounge, a design intended to help guests easily transition between meetings, meals, work and entertainment.[caption id="attachment_35123" align="alignright" width="300"]Mohegan Sun Expo Center[/caption]
> Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, will have a convention center next year. Slated to be the largest meetings space between Boston and New York City when it opens in summer 2018, Mohegan Sun Expo Center will have 132,000 square feet of meeting space, a 22,000-sq.-ft. ballroom, 18 meeting rooms, a wraparound terrace, free parking and more. It’s expected to help draw more large events to the destination, which has 1,563 hotel rooms, two spas, a golf course and multiple entertainment venues including a 10,000-seat arena.
> Rochester, Minnesota, home to the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, unveiled its newly expanded Mayo Civic Center in April. The center now has more than 200,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space, plus specialized event suites, meeting rooms, a new ballroom and the outdoor Riverfront Plaza. More than $7 million in technology enhancements including high-definition projectors and Smart Board displays enrich the center’s capability for hosting medical meetings.[caption id="attachment_35122" align="alignright" width="300"]Palace Hotel[/caption]
> Heading for the Alps? Switzerland’s Palace Hotel opens in August after eight years of restoration and architectural preservation. The renovations brought the 113-year-old property, part of Burgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne, into the 21st century, including adding a terrace over Lake Lucerne and 8,800 square feet of meeting space.
> Upping the glam ante of Music City is The Westin Nashville (shown top), which unveiled several penthouse entertainment suites in spring. The largest of the three, the Nashville Suite includes a Champagne tower and a personal dance floor, perfect for housing VIPs or hosting a lively opening reception for small groups.