New and Improved LAX Meeting Hotels

The Sheraton Gateway LAX is one of several new or updated meeting venues near Los Angeles International Airport.

LAX airport sign

Since their inception in the 1950s, airport hotels have been a popular destination for business travelers and meeting groups, who often leverage their strategic location to attract out-of-town attendees with the promise of convenience.

Perhaps one of the most popular airports in the country for fly-in meetings is Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which recently has seen a flurry of hotel activity around it.

Case in point: the Sheraton Gateway LAX, which this week announced the opening of The Hub Conference Center, its newly renovated conference center. Totaling 7,523, the meeting venue takes up the hotel's entire second floor and includes a new stadium-seated auditorium, an executive boardroom and 17 meeting rooms that accommodate groups of 10 to 50 attendees.

Elsewhere, the hotel -- which offers a free shuttle to and from LAX -- also has a ballroom for groups of up to 450 and an outdoor pool deck for al fresco events.

What makes the venue truly unique, however, is that it was designed for meeting professionals on a budget. It therefore offers meeting planners the option of sharing catering packages and breakout spaces with other groups that are meeting there during the same dates. Shared catering packages capitalize on buffet-style meals that are served to all groups at once for maximum cost-efficiency, as well as pre-set rotating menus that by design are more affordable than custom creations.

"We're starting to see a prioritization in meeting planners for collaboration rather than a-la-carte options as it relates to cost efficiency," said Matthew Baker, the hotel's regional vice president of sales and marketing. "The Hub's all-inclusive packages give groups the chance to save around 30 percent of what they would pay for an exclusive space. We wanted to find ways to cut costs without sacrificing an innovative setting. Quality, craft menus, customizable space and convenience, made easy."

More Options Take Off at LAX

Fear not: Planners who don't want to share their space or their sustenance have plenty of new and renovated options around LAX thanks to the area's ongoing revitalization. Here are a few of them:

• Hyatt Regency LAX: Hyatt Regency LAX opened in November 2017 and is located less than a block from the airport. It offers 580 guest rooms, including the largest presidential suite in the area, and 23 suites that can multi-task as meeting space. There also are three dining concepts and over 52,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including two event lawns that flank a swimming pool surrounded by cabanas and fire pits.

• westdrift Manhattan Beach: westdrift Manhattan Beach opened in March and is the first Los Angeles flagship hotel for Marriott International's Autograph Collected. Located just four miles from LAX in Manhattan Beach, Calif., the hotel occupies 26 acres and has 393 coastal-infused guest rooms and suites, 112 of which boast private balconies. Also on offer are a golf course, an outdoor pool flanked by cabanas, a CrossFit-inspired fitness center and over 35,000 square feet of indoor-outdoor event space, including 23 meeting rooms, a traditional ballroom and two "industrial-chic" venues.

• Los Angeles Airport Marriott: Originally opened in 1973, the LAX Marriott completed a $44 million renovation in December. Highlights of the renovation include a new 18th-floor lounge for Elite Marriott Rewards members, 984 re-imagined guest rooms, a new 1,554-square-foot presidential suite, a new "Great Room" lobby, three new or updated food-and-beverage concepts, a refreshed resort-style pool and over 55,000 square feet of renovated meeting space.