Having brought gaming to Atlantic City in 1978, the Resorts Casino Hotel is at the top of its game today, thanks to recent renovations to the tune of $130 million. Upgrades touched all 942 guest rooms and resulted in a refreshed Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville-themed entertainment complex as well as the all-new, state-of-the-art Resorts Conference Center. The property now has a full 64,000 square feet of high-tech meeting space across 24 dedicated rooms, including a 13,000-square-foot ballroom.
Other features at the hotel, which spans 21 acres at the northern end of the famed Boardwalk, include an 80,000-square-foot casino, two theaters, 10 restaurants plus a food court, an indoor/outdoor swimming pool, a health club and spa, and the DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts, where guests can enjoy live, in-game and general sports betting for contests held around the world.
Originally built as the Statler Hotel by hospitality visionary E.M. Statler in 1927, the 1,060-room Boston Park Plaza creates an amenities-filled retreat for guests in the city’s storied Back Bay neighborhood, steps from world-class dining, shopping and entertainment options. On-site are Lynx Fitness, a 20,000-square-foot health club; Strega Italiano; Starbucks; the Off the Common lobby lounge and restaurant; and 70,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space, including a 13,215-square-foot grand ballroom.
Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2022, the iconic Hamilton Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C., has been the site of notable events including hosting an inaugural ball for President Franklin D. Roosevelt and serving as his War Room during World War II. Within its classic European beaux-arts architecture, the luxury property features 328 elegant guest rooms and suites, fine dining at Via Sophia from famed chef Colin Clark, 18,000 square feet of meeting space, an attentive staff offering insider tips to the best of D.C. and a palpable sense of history.
In Roanoke, W. Va., the Stonewall Resort sits along a lake within 1,900 private acres of rolling parkland that includes an Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course, more than 16 miles of hiking and biking trails, guided Segway tours and the sheer coziness of flaming fire pits at night. Inside the resort are 191 recently renovated guest rooms, three restaurants, a heated pool, the full-service Mtn. Laurel Spa and an IACC-approved lakeside conference center that can can accommodate up to 300 people in the Stonewall Ballroom and smaller groups in meeting rooms found on the lobby and terrace levels.
An Orlando landmark of luxury and service, the 1,501-room Rosen Shingle Creek rises along its namesake creek in the headwaters of the Florida Everglades. Tucked among 255 acres of lush flora, the property features more than 524,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space across 99 rooms that include three ballrooms spanning 95,000, 60,000 and 40,000 square feet, respectively; some 281,000 square feet of prefunction space; 62,000 square feet of breakout space, and a 45,900-square-foot outdoor terrace with plenty of room to mingle against a backdrop of natural beauty.
Among the on-site recreational options are an 18-hole, par-72 championship golf course created by the Arnold Palmer Design Co., four swimming pools, a full-service spa, two hot tubs, a nature trail, fishing, tennis and much more. Numerous dining outlets at the property include an award-winning steakhouse called A Land Remembered, serving superb beef and fresh seafood, and Cala Bella, with Tuscan-inspired cuisine and farm-to-table freshness.
Grande Lakes Orlando
Comprising two hotels — the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott — the Grande Lakes Orlando is at once both a secluded Everglades getaway and a convenient home base from which to access the exciting theme parks and other attractions nearby. The 500-acre property has more than 1,500 guest rooms and some 250,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space for meetings, including six elegant ballrooms suitable for large conventions. More than a dozen on-site restaurants cater to every taste, while eco tours, spa treatments, mountain biking, falconry lessons and championship golf are just some of the activities available to guests.
It’s all about relaxation and wellness at Orlando’s serene Lake Nona Wave Hotel. All 234 guest rooms include Restorative Beds by Bryte with accessories like Smart Nora, which gently lifts your head when it detects snoring. Guests have access to the 130,000-square-foot Lane Nona Performance Club and its Dr. Deepak Chopra Mind-Body Zone and Spa, with features such as rock climbing, virtual golf instruction and aerial yoga. For meetings, spaces include the 3,000-square-foot Wave Ballroom for receptions of up to 300, and the beautiful palm-tree-studded outdoor Sculpture Garden with three distinct areas for groups, the larges of which spans 2,815 square feet for up to 280 people.
The brainchild of legendary railroad tycoon Henry Flagler, the iconic Casa Marina Key West opened in 1920 and has since seen a parade of notable guests including President Warren G. Harding, John Philip Sousa, Robert Frost, Rita Hayworth and, yes, Ozzie Osbourne. The 311-room property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and presents guests with an array of activities including sunrise yoga, bike and scooter rentals, island jet-ski tours, paddle board and kayak rentals, and more. The resort has more than 11,000 square feet of event space to accommodate groups of up to 500 people.
Known far and wide as Music City, Nashville offers a dizzying array of unique nightlife, diverse cuisine and enough local landmarks to write a book about. The 166-room Margaritaville Hotel Nashville lies at the center of all the action while offering its own attractions, including the Fins Up! fitness center, the JWB Grill for brunch and dinner, and classic margaritas with shrimp ceviche as served up at the rooftop pool. The hotel’s meeting facilities can handle anything from from a conference for 12 in the private dining room to a cocktail reception for up to 400 people in the Compass Ballroom.
A lakeside retreat just south of Branson in the heart of Missouri’s Ozark Mountains, Big Cedar Lodge connects guests to the outdoors with a variety of nature-based experiences including fishing, boating, hiking, spa, dining and wellness offerings. Signature attractions include Dogwood Canyon Nature Park, a 10,000-acre nonprofit wildlife preserve, and a world-class golf portfolio of five courses, all of which have been awarded Signature Sanctuary Status by Audubon International.
The resort has 317 distinctive private accommodations ranging from grand lodges to cozy cottages. Dining takes place in more than a dozen restaurants, while more than 20,000 square feet of flexible meeting space spans more than 20 venues, including the Grandview Conference Center, which can host up to 1,000 people. Customizable group experiences include rustic campsite Chuckwagon dinners, team-building activities like an "Ozark Olympics,” and a host of lake and mountain activities.
There’s always something new to report at the 80-room Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa in Illinois’ beautiful and secluded Galena Territory. About to open is the new 8.300-square-foot Stonedrift Spa with 12 treatment rooms, 11 salon stations and a host of healing therapies. In addition, recent improvements have bolstered the infrastructure of the property’s 63 holes of championship golf, and a relentless drive toward sustainability includes the addition of new solar panels, electric-car charging stations and more. The resort has 15,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor event space.
If being directly connected to America’s biggest shopping mecca isn’t enough, the 500-room Radisson Blu Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., also features an array of amenities including a pool, a state-of-the-art fitness center with Peloton bikes, the on-site FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar and a serious commitment to conservation (the hotel even makes its own honey via rooftop bee colonies). Planners will especially appreciate the 26,300 square feet of versatile event space, including two elegant ballrooms and 14 meeting rooms.
On the campus of historic Texas A&M University in College Station, the 250-room Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center offers what it calls “Howdy Hospitality,” a welcoming quality backed up by numerous amenities throughout its striking glass tower. Multiple on-site dining choices include the signature Brazos – Proper Texas Kitchen and the Junction Market & Cafe with grab-and-go options. Also onboard are a full-service fitness center and rooftop swimming pool with cabanas and panoramic views of the campus below.
Cutting-edge technology from A/V to ergonomic seating marks the hotel’s 35,000 square feet of meeting and event space spanning 22 rooms, including an 8,300-square-foot divisible ballroom that, in sum, can accommodate up to 1,000 people while meeting the high standards of IACC conference-facility certification. The property’s outdoor event space puts attendees right in the middle of a vibrant and inspiring educational milieu.
Nestled in the West Valley and surrounded by the Sonoran Desert, the 331-room Wigwam in Litchfield Park, Ariz., is an oasis of casual elegance amid the stunning desert landscape. Founded in 1929, the resort features three signature dining venues, three golf courses offering 54 holes of championship-level play, three swimming pools and a 26,000-square-foot spa, all spread out among 440 lush acres. More than 100,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting space can handle any kind of gathering, presided over by an award-winning events team.
Austin, Texas, is known for its Southwest cuisine and lively music scene, qualities that add to the luster to the AT&T Hotel and Conference Center on the downtown campus of the University of Texas. The hotel has four in-house restaurants of its own, an outdoor pool and a fitness center, while its 297 guest rooms feature complimentary WiFi and pillow-top mattresses. Conference facilities include 53 meeting rooms and spaces like a 15,000-square-foot ballroom, 300-seat amphitheater and 90-seat tiered classroom.
The Adolphus was Dallas’ first luxury hotel and remains one of the finest such establishments in the city. Along with 407 guest rooms, the property offers a spa, a rooftop pool, a fully loaded fitness center, retail shopping and even a barber shop! Dining choices range from European-inspired restaurants to a renovated Texas tavern. Nearly 30,000 square feet of event space spans 15 rooms, while other on-site venues can host up to 400 guests. Planners have access to the hotel’s award-winning culinary team.
The Mountain Shadows Resort is steeped in the history of its previous namesake, which opened in 1959 just outside of Scottsdale, Ariz., and catered to the likes of Bob Hope and Elizabeth Taylor. Today, the revamped property has 37,500 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting space, along with the signature restaurant Hearth ’61 with its four-course Vegan Harvest Tasting Menu, hiking on storied Camelback Mountain, Monday night yoga classes, the 18-hole Short Course redesigned by golf legend Forrest Richardson and museum-quality exhibits in The Gallery.
Amid the Las Vegas Strip stands the Venetian Resort, which comprises three resort towers: The Venetian Resort has 3,016 suites, European design aesthetics and all-marble bathrooms. The Palazzo offers 3,064 suites with private work areas, 20-inch LCD HDTVs and Roman tubs The Venezia features 1,013 suites, private pool grounds and lush gardens. More than 40 dining outlets with sustainability-minded practices (including entries from the likes of chefs Wolfgang Puck and Emeril Lagasse), lively casino action, high-end shopping and world-class entertainment complete the picture.
On the event front, some 2.25 million square feet of meeting and trade-show space lies just a short walk from guest suites. Meeting and exhibit areas are organized vertically and connected by escalators, making it easy for attendees to quickly move from room to room. The new Stella Studio, for one example, is ideal for small, midsize or hybrid meetings and has a private entrance, natural light, and its own kitchen and bar.
The scenic beauty of California’s Sonoma wine country forms a backdrop to the charming Montage Healdsburg, nestled among 258 acres of rolling vineyards and oak tree groves. Outdoor living is the theme here, and each of the property’s 130 bungalow-style guest rooms are designed to compliment the natural topography of the surrounding landscape and sport either a balcony or a deck. Also on-site are an 11,500-square-foot spa, a zero-edge resort pool, three signature restaurants, access to some great wine and more than 6,300 square feet of meeting space, including a 3,520-square-foot ballroom.
Hospitality in Jackson, Wyo., gets luxurious at the 100-room Cloudveil, yet the hotel is mindful of its setting at the gateway to the Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks. A European bistro-style restaurant and bar, a tranquil outdoor pool and garden, and cozy firepits are just some of the ways the property fosters serenity. Business is fostered in 7,500 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting space, including an expansive rooftop terrace with views of Town Square and Snow King Mountain.
With private-balcony views of the Pacific Ocean from each of its 167 guest rooms, the Surf & Sand Resort in Laguna Beach, Calif., is the epitome of relaxed coastal culture. The resort has 10,000 square feet of indoor meeting space and, given its enticing location, another 10,000 square feet for outdoor events. The fresh catches of the day along with other premier choices are found at Splashes restaurant, while the outdoor 15FiftyFive lounge is perfect for tasty bites and handcrafted cocktails.
INTERNATIONAL AND U.S. TERRITORIES
Sparkling in the sun alongside the aquamarine waters of Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit, the Conrad Punta de Mita aims to create beach vacations with a sense of “barefoot resort elegance.” This is a mission accomplished via three beautifully designed swimming pools, four restaurants and three bars, an 18-hole golf course, agave tastings, surf lessons, and access to nearby activities such as zip-lining, sailing and seasonal whale watching. All 324 sumptuous guest rooms are adorned with indigenous artwork and feature ocean views.
For meetings, more than 54,000 square feet of flexible space includes the 9,900-square-foot Tukipa Ballroom, the largest in the region, which can accommodate up to 1,120 guests theater-style. A further 30,000 square feet of beachfront space can be utilized for receptions, team-building exercises and more.
At the southernmost tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, the 115-room Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal is a luxurious world unto itself, with an array of suites, casitas, residential-style villas and more, all perched on a mountainside and decked out with private terraces and at lease one private plunge pool with ocean views. Guests enjoy activities such as swimming with sharks, sybaritic spa treatments and cultural excursions. The resort has 3,556 square feet of meeting space, but planners have access to virtually any part of the property for unique gatherings.
Just steps from sun-dappled Condado Beach in the colorful capital city of San Juan, Puerto Rico, La Concha Resort offers 483 chic rooms and suites, three outdoor pools, wellness programs, gaming excitement at an on-site casino, a variety of memorable dining experiences (including tapas at Solera and Asian cuisine at Komakai) and an array of 13 flexible indoor and outdoor venues for meetings and events.