California Destination Guide

Busy Bees
The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa installed beehives on the property's perimeter that will produce around 250 pounds of honey a year, to be used in the hotel's menu items.

San Jose
The San Jose McEnery Convention Center received approval for a $120 million expansion and renovation in April 2011. The facility now is in the process of adding 125,000 square feet of function space, bringing total event space at the venue to approximately 550,000 square feet. The convention center will remain open throughout the construction, which is expected to be completed in fall 2013, at which time the center will apply for LEED Silver certification.

The 234-room Crowne Plaza San Jose Downtown will complete a $7 million renovation and rebranding later this month, turning it into the Hyatt Place San Jose Downtown. The property, which offers 7,000 square feet of meeting space, is directly across the street from the city's convention center.

Meeting Hotels
 Properties include the 805-room Fairmont San Jose, 512-room Holiday Inn San Jose, 512-room San Jose Airport Garden Hotel, 506-room San Jose Marriott, 505-room Doubletree Hotel San Jose, 355-room Wyndham San Jose, 353-room Hilton San Jose, 239-room Hyatt Place San Jose Downtown, 213-room Hotel Valencia Santana Row and 196-room Radisson San Jose Airport.

Convention Center
San Jose Convention Center; exhibit space, 143,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 31; (408) 792-4194

Airport Transit
 Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport, approximately three miles from the center of the city. Transfer cost by taxi, $15-$20

 Room tax, 10%; sales tax, 9.25%; total tax on hotel rooms, 10%, plus a Convention Center Funding District Tax of 2% to 4% and a $0.75 to $2 per night hotel business and improvement fee (based on location)

Group VenuesWinchester Mystery House
The Winchester Mystery House was built by Sarah Winchester, heiress of William Win­chester, who was treasurer of the Winchester Repeating Arms Co. According to legend, Sarah believed she was haunted by the spirits of those killed by the firearms made by her husband and built this bizarre house to ward them off. The result is a bewildering network of stairways to nowhere and windows that open into brick walls. The Winchester Room can be used for meetings of up to 65 or receptions of up to 150, while groups of up to 100 can rent out the outdoor space, which includes gardens and a restored greenhouse (408) 247-2101

A five-minute walk from the convention center, Parkside Hall offers 30,000 square feet of exhibit space with 24-foot-high ceilings. The venue can accommodate up to 1,800 people. (408) 792-4194   

Team San Jose, (800) 726-5673

Orange County
Approval has been granted to develop the Anaheim Conv­en­tion Center Grand Plaza, a $20 million, 100,000-square-foot outdoor event space in front of the Anaheim Convention Center that will include landscaping, water features and street furniture.

The 625,000-square-foot Honda Center in Anaheim is adding a 12,000-square-foot terrace, which will be an exclusive indoor/outdoor entertainment space on the arena's premium level. In addition, a new 250-seat full-service restaurant on the main level will be open to the public for all events.

Orange County's John Wayne Airport opened its new Terminal C this past November as part of a $543 million airport improvement program. The 282,000-square-foot terminal includes six new gates, additional security checkpoints and new dining and retail options.

The Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa finished a $6 million renovation in February 2011. The 517-room property added warmer color schemes and new beds to its guest rooms. Meeting space at the hotel totals 100,000 square feet.

The Hyatt Regency Orange County in Garden Grove recently completed a $25 million renovation of its 654 guest rooms, meeting space, restaurant, lounge and recreation deck. The property's newly revamped lobby also includes a new restaurant, TusCA.

The 250-room Legoland Hotel will open in summer 2013 and will be the first of its kind in North America. The three-story property will be adjacent to the Legoland California theme park. The hotel will not include meeting space.

The Wyndham Orange County in Costa Mesa is nearing the completion of a $14 million renovation that includes a redesign of its 238 guest rooms, 35 suites, and all 7,200 square feet of meeting and event space. The hotel also will add a 24-hour business center and a fitness center with a steam room and sauna. New outdoor pool amenities will include cabanas.

Meeting Hotels
 Properties in Anaheim include the 1,576-room Hilton Anaheim, 1,100-room Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, 1,030-room Marriott Anaheim, 990-room Disneyland Hotel, 499-room Sheraton Park Hotel, 489-room Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel, 489-room Sheraton Anaheim Hotel, 300-room Anaheim Plaza Hotel & Suites and 286-room Clarion Hotel Anaheim Resort.

Hotels with meeting space in Huntington Beach include the 517-room Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort, 290-room Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort and 220-room Hotel Huntington Beach.

Costa Mesa hotels include the 486-room Hilton Costa Mesa, 390-room Westin South Coast Plaza, 238-room Wyndham Orange County Costa Mesa and 228-room Hotel Hanford.

Among properties in Newport Beach are the 403-room Hyatt Regency Newport Beach, 335-room Radisson Hotel Newport Beach and 250-room Marriott Suites.

Convention Center
Anaheim/Orange County Convention Center; exhibit space, 1.6 million square feet; number of meeting rooms, 51; (408) 792-4194

Airport Transit
John Wayne Airport, about 15 miles south of downtown Anaheim. Transfer cost by taxi, approximately $32

Transit occupancy tax, 15%; total tax on hotel rooms, 15%

Group Venue
Guests can mingle among classic high-performance muscle cars, vintage formula cars and motorcycles at the Marconi Automotive Museum in Santa Ana. The 20,000-square-foot space can accommodate up to 800 guests. (714) 258-3001

Anaheim/Orange County Visitor and Convention Bureau, (714) 765-8888