The natural beauty and luxurious amenities of Northern California's Napa Valley wine country promise memorable group experiences. Luxury operator Auberge Resorts now manages three properties in the area, including its newest addition, the 89-room Solage (pictured).
EAST BAY NEWS
• Brighton Management has bought the 329-room Hilton Concord, which has more than 21,000 square feet of meeting space. Investment experts say it's a sign that San Francisco's East Bay lodging market is poised for growth.
• The Oakland Marriott City Center has finished a $22 million revamp of all 500 guest rooms. This winter, the hotel will unveil its M Club and Great Room restaurant.
The recently opened Rush Creek Lodge is the first new resort to debut near Yosemite in more than a quarter-century. The property has 143 rooms on 20 acres of land, and welcomes events for up to 250 people.
• The 789-room Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport, minutes away from its namesake facility, has completed extensive renovations that included all 69,285 square feet of meeting space. Two new ballrooms have debuted, one of which can be combined with the hotel's distinctive central atrium to offer an expansive event space. A new restaurant and bar, 3Sixty, has opened in the central atrium as well, and the hotel now offers a number of smaller meeting spaces with stadium-style seating and flexible furniture arrangements.
• The cutting-edge $4.5 billion Transbay Transit Center under construction South of Market includes one of the first modern high-speed rail stations to be built in the country. The "Grand Central Station of the West," as it's been billed, will serve 10 existing transit systems -- AC Transit, Amtrak, BART, Caltrain, Golden Gate Transit, Greyhound, MUNI, SamTrans, WestCAT Lynx and Paratransit -- as well as the high-speed rail that promises to connect San Francisco and Los Angeles. The station, which is expected to be LEED Gold certified, will have a fully accessible 5.4-acre rooftop park. The first phase of construction is on schedule to be completed in 2017.
• In the central Union Square district, the 93-room Hotel Grace has changed its name to The Alise in advance of its official opening this month. The property had been operating as Hotel Grace after its soft opening, but management company Pineapple Hospitality decided on the change to avoid potential conflicts with a global hotel group that has been planning projects with a similar name. The Alise's lobby offers sufficient space and seating for networking, and the on-site Pineapple Bistro and Bar is now open. Going forward, the design-focused hotel plans to feature an extensive collection of fine art and commissioned works.
• The advocacy group ShareBetterSF launched a high-profile ad campaign around San Francisco last month, targeting Airbnb's refusal to comply with new local regulations that require short-term rental companies to list only units registered with the city. Airbnb is now suing the city on the grounds that the regulation violates the Communications Decency Act. The campaign, which parodies Airbnb's "Dear San Francisco" ads of a year ago, features one ad that reads, in part, "You told us not to spend your tax payments 'all in one place,' but now you're making us spend taxpayer money on defending your frivolous lawsuit?" Airbnb currently is suing Santa Monica and Anaheim over their own local ordinances.
The intimate 23-suite Clement Palo Alto
opened in March of this year, offering exclusive luxury in the heart of Silicon Valley. Its all-inclusive concept includes all meals and personalized concierge services.
WATCH THIS SPACE
In San Francisco, luxury lodging is coming to the South-of-Market neighborhood, across from the $4.5 billion Transbay Transit Center complex now under construction. A 205-room Langham Place is set to open in 2020, and a 171-room Waldorf Astoria is being planned and will occupy the first 21 floors of a new tower.
Meeting Hotels: Properties in the South of Market area near Moscone Center and Yerba Buena Gardens include the 1,500-room San Francisco Marriott Marquis, 681-room Park Central Hotel, 550-room InterContinental San Francisco, 413-room W San Francisco, 405-room Courtyard by Marriott San Francisco Downtown, 277-room Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco, 260-room St. Regis San Francisco, 202-room Hotel Zelos, 143-room Best Western Plus Americania Hotel and 138-room Hotel Via.
To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit mcvenues.com.
Convention Center: Moscone Center; exhibit space, 700,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 106; (415) 974-4000
Airport Transit: San Francisco International Airport, about 13 miles south of downtown San Francisco. Transfer cost to downtown by public transit, $2-$8.65; by shared-ride vans, $16-$18; by taxi, $42.52-$62.52
Taxes: Room tax, 14%; sales tax, 8.75%; total tax on hotel rooms, 14%
Group Venue: The Roundhouse Conference Center, which opened in summer 2015, is set next to a tranquil lake amidst the rolling hills of San Ramon, about 40 miles east of San Francisco. The LEED Gold-certified venue offers modern facilities for groups, including conference rooms for board meetings, an auditorium that holds up to 300 and an outdoor plaza that seats 200. Among many unique options, groups can hold a barbecue on a floating dock, or a wine-blending team-building event facilitated by experts from Napa Valley. Catering services are provided by the in-house culinary team. (925) 968-4414
Contact: San Francisco Travel, (415) 974-6900