by Kaylee Hultgren | October 01, 2009
Other Cities, Other Sites

The 199-room Hotel Maya opened this past July with 20,000 square feet of meeting space, including a waterfront ballroom...Steps from the convention center, the Avia Hotel debuted in August with 138 guest rooms.
Contact: Long Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, (562) 436-3645 or (800) 452-7829;

The Pala Casino Resort & Spa finished a $100 million revamp in May, adding a Japanese and a Mexican restaurant and expanding buffet space to 20,000 square feet....The 7,500-square-foot executive meeting room at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego completed a makeover in February.
Contact: San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau, (619) 232-3101;

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Los Angeles
Local Update

This fall, the 726-room
Hyatt Regency Century Plaza will wrap up a renovation of its Plaza Level meeting space, including the junior ballrooms and 12,000 square feet of meeting space. Also refreshed: the hotel's infinity pool and surrounding outdoor space, now featuring cabanas equipped with Wi-Fi Internet and a pool deck menu, all available for private events.

Construction of AEG's sports,
entertainment and hotel project, L.A. Live, continues. The hotel component of the $2.5 billion downtown development consists of the 879-room JW Marriott Hotel Los Angeles, to open in March 2010 with 77,000 square feet of meeting space; the 123-room Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles, also set for a March opening; and the 224-room Ritz-Carlton Residences. Other features include Club Nokia, which opened last year and can hold 2,300 people; the 7,100-seat Nokia Theatre L.A. Live (also open); a 14-screen cinema; and myriad dining, retail and additional entertainment options. Meeting space offered by all venues totals 260,480 square feet.

This December, the W Hollywood Hotel & Residences will open as part of the mixed-use Hollywood & Vine Project. The hotel will offer 305 rooms, a private rooftop pool and gym, a signature restaurant, a 9,200-square-foot spa, a rooftop bar and 15,000 square feet of meeting space. The complex also includes approximately 50,000 square feet of retail space and a civic plaza.

The 453-room Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza is working on upgrading its guest rooms (to finish by next September) and renovating the lobby and public spaces. The pool area already has been revamped.

Last month,
the 928-room Wilshire Grand Los Angeles hotel completed a $25 million renovation of all guest rooms, in which flat-panel TVs, new bedding and upgraded decór were added. The property also has added four new ballrooms, and 50,000 square feet of meeting space got a makeover.

Last October, the New Otani Hotel was renamed the Kyoto Grand Hotel and Gardens. Guest rooms have been  renovated, and a lobby upgrade is nearing completion.

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, 928-room Wilshire Grand 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, 613-room Crowne Plaza Los Angeles International Airport, 569-room Beverly Hilton, 485-room Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel, 482-room Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City, 469-room Los Angeles Marriott Downtown, 453-room Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza, 295-room Sofitel Los Angeles, 268-room Hotel Palomar Los Angeles–Westwood and 200-room London West Hollywood.

Convention Center:
Los Angeles Convention Center; exhibit space, 770,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 64; (888) 733-6952;

Airport Transit:
Los Angeles International Airport, 17 miles from downtown L.A. Transfer cost to downtown by taxi, about $47; by bus, $1.85; by FlyAway shuttle to Union Station, Westwood and Van Nuys, $5-$7

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

Group Venue:
The downtown L.A. eatery Ciudad is the brainchild of celebrity chef duo Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, both Food Network veterans (Too Hot Tamales) and prolific cookbook authors. The inspiration for the restaurant's Latin-style cuisine came from culinary research Milliken and Feniger accumulated on trips to Spain, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Chile, El Salvador and Miami. Groups can munch on tasty tapas-style appetizers, like wild mushroom empanadas and saffron paella, and sample impressive collections of rum and tequila. Most food products used at Ciudad are organic, and all seafood is sustainable. A private, A/V-equipped meeting room is available for dinners for up to 45 attendees, and a free shuttle to and from the Staples Center, the Nokia Theatre and several downtown theater venues runs Tuesday through Saturday evenings. (213) 486-5171;

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