by Michael C. Lowe | October 01, 2012
Los Angeles
The DoubleTree by Hilton Los Angeles Downtown debuted earlier this year in the former Kyoto Grand Hotel and Gardens. The newly flagged property upgraded all of its 434 guest rooms and suites, public spaces, corridors, business and fitness centers, as well as its half-acre rooftop Japanese-style gardens. The hotel's 15,000 square feet of meeting space (including its largest meeting room, spanning 4,212 square feet) also received a revamp.

In 2014, downtown Los Angeles will receive a new $172 million, 23-story hotel complex comprised of a 174-room Courtyard by Marriott and a 218-room Residence Inn by Marriott. Development plans call for 11,754 square feet of meeting space and approximately 5,100 square feet of dining facilities.

The L.A. Hotel, at the site of the former Marriott Los Angeles Downtown, is in the midst of a $20 million renovation that is expected to wrap up in spring 2013. The project includes upgrades to the property's 400 guest rooms and 69 suites, as well as its more than 25,000 square feet of meeting space.

In downtown, the Luxe City Center Hotel recently finished a reconfiguration and renovations of its guest rooms, restaurant and bar. The former Holiday Inn Los Angeles City Center now has 162 rooms and 16 suites. The hotel offers 5,000 square feet of function space, a fitness center and a business center.

The 160-room Hilton Garden Inn Los Angeles/Hollywood opened in March 2012. The former Hollywood Heights Hotel now features Wi-Fi in guest rooms and public spaces, a 24-hour business center, a fitness center, the Great American Grill restaurant, a swimming pool and a whirlpool. The property's one meeting room measures 546 square feet.

The Renaissance Hollywood Hotel was rebranded the Loews Hollywood Hotel in June. The 632-room property, which is steps from the Walk of Fame and sits on the iconic intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, will begin a $26 million renovation later this year. Meeting space spans more than 48,000 square feet.

After an extensive 24-month refurbishment and redesign, Dorchester Collection's 103-room Hotel Bel-Air reopened last October. The property now has 12 new guest rooms that offer canyon views, sliding glass walls, and spacious decks with outdoor fireplaces and private spa pools. Also new is a 12,000-square-foot Spanish mission-style structure housing a bell tower, a fitness studio and a 4,134-square-foot spa. The hotel has a total of 12,000 square feet of event space.

In nearby Santa Monica, the Shore Hotel opened last October. The LEED-certified property features 164  guest rooms, free Wi-Fi, a 24-hour gym, a solar-heated outdoor pool, two restaurants and 1,900 square feet of meeting space.

Meeting Hotels
Properties include the 1,352-room Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites, 1,234-room Hilton Los Angeles Airport, 1,004-room Los Angeles Airport Marriott, 878-room JW Marriott Hotel Los Angeles, 802-room Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles, 740-room Westin Los Angeles Airport, 726-room Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, 683-room Millennium Biltmore Los Angeles, 569-room Beverly Hilton, 485-room Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel, 482-room Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City, 469-room Los Angeles Marriott Downtown and 295-room Sofitel Los Angeles. For more area properties, visit

Convention Center
Los Angeles Convention Center; exhibit space, 770,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 64; (213) 741-1151

Airport Transit
Los Angeles International Airport, approximately 17 miles from the downtown district. Transfer cost to downtown by taxi, about $47; by bus, $1.85; by FlyAway shuttle to Union Station, Westwood and Van Nuys, $7-$10

Sales tax, 9.25%; room tax, 14%; total tax on hotel rooms, 14%

Group VenueDinosaur Hall at L.A. Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum in downtown Los Angeles opened its new 14,000-square-foot Dinosaur Hall in July 2011. More than 300 fossils are on display among interactive exhibits and large-format video screens. Groups of up to 250 for receptions or 150 seated are accommodated in the Rotunda, with its 57-foot-high stained-glass skylight. (213) 763-3218

Dining Out
With a daily changing menu, diners may never know for sure what they'll find at Animal, but it will be delicious. The 45-seat eatery is available for private events and offers dishes such as buffalo-style pig tails, crispy rabbit legs and a rich, succulent pork belly sandwich topped with coleslaw. (323) 782 9225

LA Inc., The Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau, (213) 624-7300 or (800) 228-2452