Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa completed a new addition, featuring 203 guest rooms and 50 Disney Vacation Club villas. The total number of rooms has increased to 948....The Disneyland Hotel is renovating all guest rooms and upgrading the Magic, Wonder and Dreams towers; the Dreams revamp will be completed this June, while the rest will finish in 2012.
Contact: Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau, (714) 765-8888; anaheimoc.org
Last month, the W Hollywood Hotel & Residences debuted with 305 rooms, a private rooftop pool and gym, a restaurant, a spa and 15,000 square feet of meeting space. Also on-site are 50,000 square feet of retail space and a civic plaza.
Contact: LA Inc., The Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau, (213) 624-7300 or (800) 228-2452; discoverlosangeles.com
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.
Meeting 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; longbeachcc.com
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; newvault350.com
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; rubberducktours.com
CVB Services: Long Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, (800) 452-7829; visitlongbeach.com