Stella Awards 2021: Best Boutique Property


Stellas 2021 Best Boutique Property

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The Queensbury Hotel

The stately Queensbury Hotel has been the jewel in the center of picturesque Glens Falls, N.Y., since 1926. Centrally located between Saratoga Springs and Lake George, the property has 123 newly renovated guest rooms and suites, two eateries, an indoor heated pool and an 11-passenger shuttle for private rental, all within walking distance to downtown restaurants, shops, the Arts District and more.

Here, planners will find a flexible 12,000 square feet for meetings in spaces such as the 2,500-square-foot Ballroom, compete with elegant French doors, glistening chandeliers, a dance floor and space to host up to 250 for a banquet, 325 theater-style or 150 in a classroom setting.

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Wyndham Garden Brooklyn Sunset Park

In what’s rapidly becoming the Big Apple’s next hip neighborhood, the Wyndham Garden Brooklyn Sunset Park makes a lovely home for attendees seeking an authentic outer-borough experience. Nearby are verdant Sunset Park, Brooklyn College, the Brooklyn Public Library and other local institutions.

This AAA 4-star, 70-room hotel is eco-friendly and accessibility-minded, with one small meeting room. Thanks to convenient access to New York City’s N, R and D subway lines. all the myriad offerings lying directly across the East River are within easy reach.

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Hotel Viking

The luxury-class, 208-room Hotel Viking has been welcoming guests to Newport, R.I., since 1926. Sitting atop the city’s downtown Historic Hill neighborhood, the property is a member of the prestigious Historic Hotels of America and retains much of its original design touches. On-site meetings take place among more than 14,000 square feet of space including a grand ballroom. When work is done, the sumptuous One Bellevue restaurant and the sybaritic Spa Fjör await.


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The Reach Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton

Catering to small groups and executive retreats, the 150-room Reach is located along Key West’s only private natural sand beach and offers a mix of intimate spaces, including a terrace occupying one of the highest vantage points in the area and a gazebo jutting into the ocean.

The Atlantic Ocean serves as the backdrop to the resort’s over 4,000 square feet of meeting space. Within the newly enhanced center courtyard, a life-sized chessboard can also serve as a dance floor and event space unlike anything else on the island. Duval Street, with its live music, great restaurants, local art and shops, is a short stroll away.

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Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando

The 247-room Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando, Autograph Collection, is surrounded by a host of iconic Orlando attractions, including Dr. Philips Performing Art Center, Amway Center and Winter Park. The property has 10,107 square feet of meeting space across 12 event rooms, the largest accommodating up to 200 people. When the meeting is over, attendees can soak up the sunshine from a chic rooftop pool and terrace featuring panoramic city views, or head for the hotel’s posh Poseidon Spa.

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Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel

Fresh from a posh makeover, the 186-room Kimpton Surfcomber on Collins Avenue in Miami’s vibrant South Beach district is a masterpiece of art deco design comprising Calcutta marble, geometric patterns, teak moldings and textured grasscloth. The hotel has more than 50,000 square feet of meeting space for any kind of gathering, including an outdoor reception area for up to 500 guests.

Finalist: Crane’s Beach House Boutique Hotel & Luxury Villas

In Delray Beach, Fla., Crane’s Beach House Boutique Hotel is conveniently situated between Palm Beach International Airport and Fort Lauderdale Airport. Tucked away behind large gates and lush vegetation, the property welcomes guests to a tropical courtyard and much charm beyond, including 28 kitchen-equipped suites and villas fresh from a 2019 revamp. Small meetings thrive here with the help of attentive staff and lots of airy space for social distancing.

Finalist: Emeline

On quaint Church Street in Charleston, S.C., tucked among landmark row houses and cobblestone streets, the 212-room Emeline has 13,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting space and can accommodate everything from a 15-person board retreat to a 240-person classroom-style session. Dining takes place at Frannie & the Fox (indoor/outdoor seating, wood-fired regional dishes), a coffee shop and the next-door Hank’s Seafood Restaurant.

Finalist: The Vendue

The Vendue is a combination of two historic Charleston, S.C., hotels across the street from one another with a combined 84 guest rooms. 19 Vendue is a combination of five warehouses dating back to 1780, while 26 Vendue joins two 1880s warehouses. No two rooms are alike, each decorated with antiques and period reproduction furnishings. Among multiple event venues are the Gallery, with exposed brick and hardwood floors, able to host up to 75 people, while the Rooftop offers stunning views and is best suited for more intimate gatherings. 


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Viceroy Chicago

On the Windy City’s Gold Coast, the Viceroy Chicago is a great base from which to explore nearby Michigan Avenue and all the shopping of Magnificent Mile. Dining takes place at Somerset, serving seasonal American cuisine, while on the 18th floor, the rooftop lounge is the place to be at sunset while enjoying craft cocktails and delicious bites.

The property has 180 guest rooms (including 18 suites) with floor-to-ceiling windows, as well as a fitness center. Planners will appreciate the 12,581 square feet of flexible indoor/outdoor event space, including seven meeting rooms, the largest of which spans 3,855 square feet, and a charming outdoor area spanning 2,881 square feet. 

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Emery, an Autograph Collection Hotel

With an in-house event production team to help smooth the way, meeting professionals will find lots of possibilities at the Emery. The 229-room hotel in downtown Minneapolis features 6,000 square feet of flexible event space able to host up to 150 people, along with on-site catering. The property is within blocks of the new Nicollet Mall, the Minneapolis Convention Center and lots more.

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MotorCity Casino Hotel

Detroit’s 400-room MotorCity Casino Hotel has a whopping 67,500 square feet for meetings and events, complete with on-site technical help and an array of glittering gathering spots such as the sleekly futuristic Amnesia and Iridescence spaces, each in a two-story atrium overlooking the city skyline. For downtime, the casino has a variety of table games, more than 2,700 slot machines and a smoke-free poker room.


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Hotel Drover, an Autograph Collection Hotel

A swanky urban ranch oasis, the Hotel Drover in Fort Worth, Texas, is adorned with new and vintage western art, historic European fountains and water features, along with 200 guest rooms and spa suites, each with its own décor, style, and spirit. The cornerstone of the hotel is its one-acre outdoor oasis along Marine Creek, surrounded by towering oaks, magnolia, cypress, crepe myrtle and magnolia trees. Dining takes place at the Texas-inspired 97 West Kitchen & Bar.

Planners will find much to make of almost 40,000 square feet of versatile indoor/outdoor meeting and event space spanning five unique venues, including The Barn, 4,000 airy square feet (plus an outdoor lawn) under 30-foot vaulted ceilings and four Italian crystal chandeliers, and elegant Legacy Hall with its adjacent covered outdoor veranda, able to host up to 240 people.

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Halcyon, a Hotel in Cherry Creek

In one of Denver’s chicest neighborhoods, Halcyon has 154 modern guest rooms and suites with in-room record players and a selection of vinyls; a new signature restaurant, Local Jones, by award-winning executive chef Josh Sutcliff; the Elevated Rooftop Pool & Bar, serving handcrafted cocktails and bites; B&GC, a secret underground speakeasy (you need a password to get in); and more than 6,500 square feet of dedicated meeting and event space. 

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The Art Hotel Denver, Curio Collection by Hilton

Set in the Golden Triangle District near the city’s colorful downtown, the Art Hotel Denver offers 165 guest rooms and a host of public spaces all celebrating the creativity of the human spirit. When not conducting business in more than 7,000 square feet of event space, including a grand ballroom that can accommodate up to 357 people, groups can enjoy “Golden Hour” on the scenic Fire Terrace, which, like the Fire Restaurant and Fire Lounge, is presided over by renowned chef Michael Wright.


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The Ranch Malibu

Spanning 200 acres in Southern California’s Santa Monica Mountains, The Ranch Malibu is a leader in the growing trend of corporate wellness programming. With 19 private cottages set on a historic working ranch three miles above the Pacific Ocean, the property provides an ideal setting for small groups to calm the mind and return to nature.

Prior to arrival, corporate groups work with The Ranch team to develop a daily schedule that incorporates programming that includes a breathtaking and varied hike each morning, fitness and yoga classes, breakout sessions and team-building activities.

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Willows Lodge

With 84 guest rooms and suites, the Willows Lodge in Woodinville, Wash., is a calm and uncomplicated retreat destination surrounded by acres of trails, courtyards and gardens, where meeting and event guests enjoy award-winning cuisine and experience the deep comfort of Northwest-style guest rooms. The lodge’s event spaces feature a rustic but luxurious vibe and garden patios. 

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Bardessono Hotel & Spa

Dedicated to building a smarter and more sustainable future, the LEED Platinum-certified Bardessono is set in Yountville, Calif., in Napa Valley, and was constructed in part with 100,000 square feet of salvaged wood. The property has 62 rooms and suites and three private luxury villas. Here, planners and attendees will find a refreshingly different atmosphere for private events and meetings that combine luxury, leading technology and environmental value.

Finalist: Inn at the Mission San Juan Capistrano

The newly opened Inn at the Mission San Juan Capistrano, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, celebrates the architecture of old Spain with 125 hacienda-inspired guest rooms, including seven luxury suites and three residential-style villas. On a historic site in Orange County, Calif., the inn has more than 41,000 square feet of total event space, includes 18 event rooms, the largest holding up to 450 people. 

Finalist: L’Auberge Del Mar

In San Diego’s bourgeoning Del Mar district, the luxurious, newly renovated 121-room L’Auberge Del Mar offers 16,545 square feet for gatherings in six dedicated rooms, the largest of which spans 2,496 square feet, as well as outside overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Estate-style guest rooms, a full-service spa, delicious local fare at Adelaide restaurant, tennis courts and an inviting ocean pool complete the picture.


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Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa

Set on sparkling Seven Mile Beach in the Cayman Islands, the Kimpton Seafire Resort & Spa has 264 guest rooms and suites, all with private balconies, and 20,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor event space ideal for corporate events, cocktail receptions, alumni events and more. Amenities include the Spa at Seafire and a 1,770-square-foot fitness center.

F&B is presided over by famed Chef Massimo De Francesca in three dining venues, where fresh local seafood meets island produce in an array of sumptuous coastal Mediterranean dishes. This upscale property makes for a memorable incentive destination and is available for corporate buy-outs.

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Hotel Casa San Agustin

From the original frescoes in the library to centuries-old wood-beamed ceilings in the 20 guest rooms and 11 suites, the Hotel Casa San Agustin In Cartagena, Colombia, evokes its city’s rich colonial history. Business can be conduced in a 624-square-foot meeting room, whenever attendees can resist the lure of the hotel’s Alma Restaurant, pool, private beach and Aurum Spa.