by Kaylee Hultgren | January 01, 2010

Local Update: Last July, the former Coast Long Beach Hotel became the Hotel Maya, following a $20 million renovation. The Joie de Vivre property now sports a Latin American theme, a redesigned lobby, a restaurant, upgraded guest rooms, 10,726 square feet of indoor meeting space, and 20,000 square feet of outdoor lawns and patio space along the waterfront.

The 314-room Queen Mary Hotel has completed a $6 million renovation that included flat-screen TVs and new bedding added to guest rooms. In addition, last month the 71-year-old former cruise ship's three restaurants began upgrades: The signature 1972 Sir Winston's restaurant underwent a menu overhaul to include sustainable cuisine and local produce. This month the casual Promenade Café will get a similar treatment, followed by changes to Chelsea, a seafood eatery.

The GuestHouse Hotel
Long Beach has been reinvented as the Hotel Current, following a $1.5 million renovation of its lobby and 2,000-square-foot conference center, and an expansion of the pool and deck. Guest room upgrades, which will add 42-inch TVs and plush  interiors, should finish this spring.

The Avia Long Beach
opened last August at The Pike at Rainbow Harbor entertainment district. The hotel offers 138 guest rooms, a bar and bistro, 1,350 square feet of meeting space, two VIP lounges for events, and a rooftop pool deck and bar with cabanas.

The Hotel Maya on Queensway DriveMeeting Hotels: Prop­erties include the 528-room Hyatt Regency Long Beach, 469-room Westin Long Beach, 397-room Hilton Long Beach & Executive Meeting Center, 374-room Renaissance Long Beach Hotel, 314-room Queen Mary Hotel, 310-room Long Beach Marriott, 222-room Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center Long Beach Airport, 216-room Courtyard Long Beach Downtown, 216-room Residence Inn by Marriott Long Beach, 199-room Hotel Maya, 178-room Residence Inn by Marriott Downtown, 138-room Hotel Avia and 134-room Holiday Inn Downtown Long Beach.

Convention Center:
Long Beach Conven­tion & Entertainment Center; total meeting and exhibit space, more than 400,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 34; (562) 436-3636;

Airport Transit: Long Beach Airport, about six miles from downtown Long Beach. Transfer cost by taxi, approximately $20

Los Angeles International Airport, about 23 miles from downtown Long Beach. Transfer cost by taxi, $65

Taxes: Long Beach city hotel bed tax: 12 percent, plus a 3 percent business improvement tax. Sales tax: 8.75 percent. Total tax on hotel rooms, 15%

Group Venues:
A multi­million-dollar project is transforming The Vault 350 entertainment venue. Set to reopen early this year, the revamped, 29,000-square-foot facility will accommodate 1,200 people for a concert, meeting or event. Key changes include new state-of-the-art audiovisual and production equipment, a restored 1920s Greek Revival-style interior, a VIP concierge and a completely redesigned kitchen with brand new, upscale menu choices. The main floor area will host 350 for a banquet or 800 for a reception, while a VIP lounge will accommodate up to 75. (562) 639-3210;

Take a group on a Rubber Duck Tour, a land and water excursion that visits the city's main attractions, such as the Queen Mary Hotel, Shoreline Village and Pine Avenue. Attendees cruise the town in an open-air amphibious vehicle resembling a duck on wheels; for the water portion of the tour, the vessel drives straight into the sea. Coast Guard-approved and fit for 49 passengers, the vessel sets sail several times per day, seven days a week. (800) 979-3370;

CVB Services: Long Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, (800) 452-7829;