Beautiful Coastal Virginia has seen a number of hotel renovations and additions of meeting space. Groups will love eating, meeting and playing along the many miles of gorgeous Chesapeake Bay waterfront in spots like Norfolk's Ocean View Fishing Pier (above).
History was Made Here
In Virginia Beach, the 85-room Cavalier Hotel, host of seven U.S. presidents since 1927, is being renovated and will reopen in 2016 as part of Marriott's Autograph collection.
The 210-room Courtyard and Residence Inn Downtown Richmond is slated to open in December on the site where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, the original of which will be on display here.
Main event: Norfolk recently broke ground on The Main, a $126 million mixed-use conference center slated to open in 2017. Plans call for a 301-room
Hilton hotel and 50,000 square feet of meeting space.
For luxe presentations, rent any of 12 movie theaters at the Newport News Paragon City Center, each featuring plush leather reclining seats. The largest theater seats 242.
• The Hilton Garden Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront, Virginia Beach's newest hotel, opened this past May. The property features panoramic ocean views from the balconies of its 167 rooms and suites and features two oceanfront restaurants, an indoor and outdoor pool, and 5,000 square feet of flexible meeting space.
• The Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel refreshed its facilities with a multimillion-dollar renovation completed in 2013. The property's 214 guest rooms were revamped and 25 oceanfront suites were added. The hotel also opened a new oceanfront restaurant, the Cabanas Seaside Bar & Grill, as well as a new fitness center and a guest laundry facility. The property offers about 12,000 square feet of meeting space.
• In August, the Newport News Marriott at City Center completed a renovation of all 256 guest rooms, including extensive upgrades to the presidential and junior suites. The property also saw a total renovation of the lobby and upgrades to the outdoor patio. The hotel's conference center has 25,000 square feet of meeting space, 23 meeting rooms and a grand ballroom, among the largest in Newport News, with seating for up to 880 people.
Meeting Hotels: Properties in Virginia Beach include the 295-room Virginia Beach Resort Hotel & Conference Center, 307-room Holiday Inn Virginia Beach Norfolk Hotel and Conference Center, and 240-room The Founders Inn and Spa.
Norfolk has the 468-room Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel, 405-room Norfolk Waterside Marriott and 250-room DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Norfolk Airport.
Among hotels in Newport News are the 256-room Newport News Marriott City Center, 182-room Magnuson Hotel and Convention Center at Oyster Point, and 150-room Point Plaza Suites at City Center.
Chesapeake has the 224-room Norfolk Marriott Chesapeake Hotel, 132-room SpringHill Suites Chesapeake Greenbrier, 136-room Aloft Chesapeake, 124-room Comfort Suites Chesapeake, 119-room Hyatt Place Chesapeake/Greenbrier and 118-room Hampton Inn Norfolk/Chesapeake.
To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit mcvenues.com.
no bravery required
Virginia Beach's first indoor skydiving complex, iFly VA Beach, is expected to open this fall. In the heart of the city's oceanfront resort area, the $49 million project features a wind tunnel that simulates the experience of a free-falling skydive -- with the safety and convenience of not having to actually jump out of a plane.
Convention Centers: Virginia Beach Convention Center; exhibit space, approximately 150,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 26; 757-385-2000
Norfolk Scope; exhibit space, 85,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 4; (757) 664-6464
Hampton Roads Convention Center; exhibit space, 344,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 35; (757) 722-1222
Hampton Coliseum; exhibit space, 84,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, three; (757) 838-5650
Airport Transit: Norfolk International Airport, about a 20-minute drive from the Virginia Beach oceanfront; transfer costs by taxi, $53-$56
Norfolk International Airport, about 10 miles from downtown Norfolk. Transfer cost by taxi, $17-$20
Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport, about 13 miles from downtown Newport News and downtown Hampton. Transfer cost by taxi to Hampton Roads Convention Center, $25; transfer cost by taxi to downtown Newport News, about $30
Taxes: Virginia Beach, Hampton and Chesapeake: total tax on hotel rooms, 14% plus $1 per room, per night. Norfolk: total tax on hotel rooms, 14% plus $2 per room, per night.
Group Venue: Set in a renovated barn in Loudon County, the picturesque 8 Chains North Winery offers its new Compass Rose Room, with direct access to a covered patio and sunset vineyard views through French doors. The room can accommodate up to 100 people or 132 including the patio. A complete winery buyout includes use of the Tasting Room. (571) 439-2255
Contact: Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, (800) 700-7702
VisitNorfolk, (757) 664-6620
Newport News Tourism Development Office, (757) 926-1400
Hampton Convention & Visitor Bureau, (757) 722-1222
Visit Chesapeake, (757) 382-6411