Opened in 2016, the Pasea Hotel & Spa offers 250 ocean-view rooms, a Balinese-inspired spa, two pools, an event lawn overlooking the ocean and over 37,000 square feet of meeting space. Meanwhile, the two other HB Collection hotels, the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa, and Kimpton Shorebreak Resort, recently completed major renovations.

Newport Beach, which offers the largest recreational boat harbor in the U.S., also holds new options for groups. The Lido House, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection hotel group, opened earlier this year with 4,000 square feet of meeting space, a salt-water pool, event lawn and a rooftop bar. Its architectural details pay homage to the Balboa Pavilion, a local landmark dating from 1906.

“It’s part of an incredible new neighborhood that includes the Lido Marina Village,” said Michelle Donahue, senior vice president of sales for Visit Newport Beach.

Under new ownership and management, the former Fairmont Newport Beach debuted in August as the Renaissance Newport Beach Hotel. An extensive renovation of the property, which offers 27,000 square feet of meeting space, is set for completion next spring.

Laguna Beach, with its eight miles of coastline studded with secluded coves, tide pools and sea cliffs, is home to over 70 art galleries as well as the Laguna Art Museum and such annual events as Festival of the Arts, Art-A-Fair and Sawdust Art Festival.

Its newest resort choice is the 97-room Ranch at Laguna Beach, located in a secluded canyon just off the Pacific Coast Highway near Aliso Beach. Available for buyouts, the resort features 8,000 square feet of meeting space, a golf course, spa, beach activities and historic ranch house.

South of Laguna Beach, Dana Point is known for its recreational harbor and such properties as The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel and Monarch Beach Resort, which completed a $40 million expansion and renovation last year that included a new spa and pool area.

San Diego

San Diego is many meetings destinations in one, a place where groups can choose from a thriving downtown with top-tier convention facilities, well-heeled coastal enclaves like La Jolla and Coronado, wine country casino resorts and much more.

“We’re the eighth largest city in the country, but we rank fourth in terms of the number of events we host,” said Margie Sitton, senior vice president of sales for the San Diego Tourism Authority. “Planners love the diversity of our neighborhoods, their safety and walkability. You don’t have to worry about entertaining people on free nights—you can just let them explore.”

Among the city’s most intriguing places to explore is the historic downtown Gaslamp Quarter, which offers a burgeoning number of restaurants and high-energy rooftop venues with panoramic views. These include FLOAT at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego and ALTITUDE Sky Lounge at the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter. Under construction in the Gaslamp is Theatre Box, an entertainment venue co-owned by Nick Cannon that will include movie theaters, interactive games and dining.

Just across the bridge from downtown, Coronado is a step back in time with its small-town quaintness, sandy beaches, Old-World mansions, unique shops and dining with ocean views. With four meetings-friendly hotels—the Hotel del Coronado, Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa, and Glorietta Bay Inn—the destination is marketed by Discover Coronado.

San Diego’s newest hotel choice for meetings is the 400-room InterContinental San Diego, located on downtown’s Embarcadero and featuring a rooftop bar and 23,000 square feet of meeting space with city and bay views. Set to open by the end of the year, Carte Hotel & Suites San Diego will be a 240-room high-rise in the Little Italy neighborhood with meeting space and a full-service athletic club.

A $70 million renovation is underway at the 675-room Town and Country in Mission Valley, a 50-year-old property with 150,000 square feet of meeting space that is adding new restaurants, pools and a river park. Completion is set for 2020.

In North San Diego County, the Pala Casino Spa & Resort is undergoing a $170 million renovation that includes a new 349-room tower, multi-pool complex, expanded spa and remodel of its current hotel and casino. When complete in September 2019, the resort will offer 853 hotel rooms.

This article is part of our 2018 Meetings Today California Destination Supplement.

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