Stella Awards 2021: Best Hotel Resort Event Space


Stella Awards 2021 Best Hotel Resort Event Space

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Mohegan Sun

Operated by the Mohegan Tribe of Native Americans in Uncasville, Conn., the 1,600-room Mohegan Sun has more than 255,000 square feet of gaming at two casinos, and even more space — 275,000 square feet — for meetings and events. The resort has two convention facilities: the Earth Expo & Convention Center, with more than 175,000 square feet of column-free exhibit space and 15 flexible meeting rooms, and the 100,000-square foot Sky Convention Center, which includes the 38,000-square-foot pillar-free Uncas Ballroom.
In addition, the property's Novelle lounge provides chic late-night cocktails and private table games for groups of 50 to 600, and comfortable private suites at the Mohegan Sun Arena can accommodate groups of from 15 to 100. Five outdoor venues can include food trucks, fire pits and team-building games.

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Resorts Casino Hotel (A Mohegan Sun Property)

It might be the first casino to open in Atlantic City in 1978, but the 942-room Resorts Casino Hotel has a thoroughly modern 64,000 square feet of meeting space. The 12,000-square-foot Atlantic Ballroom, for example, includes 12 conference rooms equipped with superior bandwidth to handle more than 1,000 attendees using their devices simultaneously, screen-sharing technology to help implement hybrid meetings, built-in 90-inch LED monitors and cinema-quality DLP projection with oversized drop-down screens.

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The Hotel at the University of Maryland

An AAA Four Diamond and LEED Gold-certified luxury hotel and conference center, the 297-room Hotel at the University of Maryland in College Park has 45,000 square feet of event space and can host everything from meetings to trade shows. Many of these spaces, including three ballrooms, two boardrooms, a penthouse loft, several outdoor terraces and large prefunction areas, feature the latest design finishes and high-tech features. Planners can use an interactive room-configuration tool to begin the planning process even before booking.


Stella Awards 2021 Best Hotel Resort Event Space 1

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Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort

On South Florida's colorful Hollywood Beach Boardwalk, the 369-room Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort has 30,000 square feet of meeting space, including more than 15,000 square feet indoors, much of it with floor-to-ceiling views of the sand and surf right outside the resort's doors. Approximately 7,000 square feet of outdoor space on the 11th floor affords an even more stunning vista of the broad Atlantic Ocean. The property allows complete buyouts and custom activities on all three pool decks, four dining venues, the expansive 2,700-square-foot Presidential Suite and the beach itself.

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Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center

In Kissammee, Fla., a newly completed $158 million expansion gives the 1,718-room Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center more than 500,000 square feet for gatherings. Spaces include the 48,505-square-foot Osceola Ballroom with its huge stage, dressing rooms and green rooms; the 30,000-square-foot Coastal Ballroom with a custom-molded ceiling fitted with programmable color-changing LED lighting, and the 3,115-square-foot Orange Blossom Ballroom, with extensive prefunction space perfect for exclusive galas. Also on-site are unique settings such as the outdoor Coquina or Mangrove Lawn and the chic South Beach Pool.

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Rosen Shingle Creek

Planners never run out of event space at the 1,501-room Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando. A jaw-dropping 524,000 square feet includes 99 meeting rooms such as the octagonal Sandlake, with abstract lighting fixtures and majestic windows overlooking the on-site golf course; three column-free ballrooms, the largest spanning 95,9000 square feet, plus 55,000 square feet of breakout rooms. Outdoors are a 45,900-square-foot brick-paved terrace, four luminous pools for evening receptions and much more.

Finalist: The Read House

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the stately 241-room Read House in Chattanooga, Tenn., was built in 1872 and has more than 15,000 square feet of recently renovated event space. The meeting rooms are rich with period details, including original Waterford Crystal chandeliers and intricate silver-leaf moldings that complement the hotel's Roaring '20s-inspired décor. For gracious outdoor events, the Courtyard and Centennial Terrace make lovely gathering spots.


Stella Awards 2021 Best Hotel Resort Event Space 2

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Grand Geneva Resort & Spa

Tucked into the woodlands of Lake Geneva, Wis., the 356-room Grand Geneva Resort has the largest conference space in the area — a total 62,000 square feet, including the property's own convention center, the Forum, measuring over 13,000 pillarless square feet. This newly renovated space seats up to 1,800 people, has a private entrance, a large prefunction space, an outdoor patio and easy load-in with 16-foot garage-door access.
Each of the resort's other main meeting spaces has its own unique spin. The 7,680-square foot Grand Ballroom has large chandeliers and oversize mirrors for an elegant ambiance. The Evergreen Ballroom hosts 350 with stunning views of the 18th hole of the on-site Brut golf course. The 5,500-square-foot Maple Lawn Ballroom is decked out in deep burgundy and green carpets partnered with dark wood accents. In addition, the resort's large pool deck or outdoor pavilion can be used for a tropical luau, and lakeside receptions can be arranged.

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MotorCity Casino Hotel

For a place so devoted to gaming, the 400-room MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit is passionate about providing great meeting space —67,500 square feet in all. Spaces range from a board room for 10 people to a newly renovated grand ballroom able to host 1,500. The Sound Board Theater has customizable high-tech sound, lighting and video equipment, plus a 50-foot stage, perfect for a VIP's entrance. The Amnesia event space, all sleek lines, neon hues and funky furnishings, can hold fun parties for groups of up to 200.

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Lake Lawn Resort 

About an hour southwest of Milwaukee, the 271-room Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan, Wis., opened over 140 years ago and is still going strong. The lakeside resort's 22 function rooms total 32,000 square feet of space, including the 5,170-square-foot divisible Geneva Ballroom, hosting up to 500, and the Geneva Club, overlooking Delavan Lake with a built-in bar and large fireplace, seating up to 140. In addition, a new 76-foot cruise boat is available for events, and close proximity to the lake means myriad beach- and water-themed team-bonding options.


Stella Awards 2021 Best Hotel Resort Event Space 4

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Grand Hyatt Denver

In the heart of Denver's downtown entertainment, business and theater districts, the 516-room Grand Hyatt Denver is a favorite for mile-high meetings and events with more than 52,600 square feet devoted to same. On the 38th floor, the newly redesigned Pinnacle Club offers stunning views of downtown Denver and the entire front range of the Rocky Mountains from floor–to-ceiling windows on all four sides, with spaces ranging from 805 to 4,224 square feet. Groups can enjoy a reception for 350, a theatre-style lecture for 175, or a private meeting for 10.
Among other on-site meeting space, the Aspen Ballroom can host 800 for a reception, 400 for a banquet. The Colorado Ballroom seats up to 700 for dinner or 1,400 for a cocktail or buffet reception. The 7,971-square-foot Grand Hyatt Conference Center, adjacent to the hotel, features large windows and four meeting rooms – including the Mount Evans, which can host board meetings with up to 64 guests, U-shape presentations for 73, and theater-style gatherings for 160. 

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Hotel Drover, an Autograph Collection Hotel

Beaming with rustic beauty, The Barn at the 200-room Hotel Drover in Fort Worth, Texas, is an airy, elegant 4,500-square-foot event space able to host up to 300 for a banquet, with 24-foot ceilings, four stunning custom Italian crystal chandeliers, each with its own unique design, and exposed 150-year-old reclaimed timbers and barn-wood walls. The Barn also has a lushly landscaped 3,105-square-foot outdoor lawn that overlooks Marine Creek, all of it comprising just one of the hotel's five unique venues forming part of a total 40,000 square feet of event space.

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Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center

At the 250-room Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center in College Station, the 35,000 square feet of flexible meeting space can facilitate a range of gatherings for up to 500 people, from a casual brainstorm to a global symposium. The property is IACC approved, signifying top-of-the-line technology and ergonomic furniture in all of its event spaces, from the glistening 8,205-square-foot Century Ballroom to the 109-square-foot  Honor Boardroom.

Finalist: Margaritaville Lake Resort, Lake Conroe/Houston

Just one hour north of Houston and overlooking Lake Conroe, the 335-room Margaritaville Lake Resort, Lake Conroe/Houston, has a separate private conference center featuring more than 72,000 square feet of flexible space for groups of all sizes; individual function spaces range up to 11,520 square feet. Planners get to choose between the center, with 20 IACC-certified meeting rooms, and associated lakeside venues, open-air terraces and spacious lawns, including an amphitheater with tiered seating for 85 people.


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The Venetian Resort Las Vegas

The 7,000-suite Venetian Resort offers an uncommonly broad canvas for event planners, with meeting and trade-show space totaling a mind-boggling 2.25 million square feet in dozens of dedicated spaces, from any of 40 finely appointed hospitality parlors and suites to the glittering gold-fringed 85,000-square-foot Venetian Ballroom, able to hold up to 12,143 guests for a reception.
New on-site is the Stella Studio (no relation), an 8,000-square-foot multifunctional venue easily accessible from the lobby of The Palazzo tower and offering a private entrance, natural light, a dedicated kitchen and bar, and private restrooms. It's the perfect location for hybrid meetings, as well as small to midsize groups. The resort also offers many nontraditional space options such as private dining rooms, poolside patios, lounges and theaters able to host special events with food, beverage, wellness and myriad other themes.

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'Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach

In Honolulu, the recently refurbished 839-room 'Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach has a total of 22,000 square feet of flexible function space in a variety of guises. The 12,000-square-foot divisible 'Alohilani Ballroom, for example, offers ocean-themed décor, wellness-centered menus, cutting-edge tech and can host up to 1,100 guests. Up on the fifth-floor rooftop of the resort's Seascape Tower, the Swell Pool Deck has 17,000 square feet of outdoor event space with a beautiful saltwater infinity pool, glowing fire pits, custom teak furniture and panoramic views of iconic Waikiki Beach.

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Hyatt Regency Lake Washington

With more than 60,000 square feet of event space, the 347-room Hyatt Regency Lake Washington, in Seattle's Southport mixed-use complex, sets a stage for stylish meetings with high-tech rooms and stunning views. The 4,943-square-foot Lake Washington Ballroom has 14-foot-high floor-to-ceiling windows and can host 440 people theater-style or 340 for a banquet, while the 2,566-square-foot divisible Bellevue room can host up to 200 for a reception and opens up to the Mercer Terrace overlooking the lake.


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Conrad Punta de Mita

In Nayarit, Mexico, just north of the fabled resort city of Puerto Vallarta, the modern design of the 324 guest rooms at the Conrad Punta de Mita extend to the property's 12,700 square feet of indoor event space, including a chic 9,900-square-foot ballroom that accommodates up to 950 guests. Gatherings can take place in any of seven breakout rooms, each with its own prefunction terrace, or around the gorgeous main infinity pool with a view of the beach.
The hotel's 41,200 square feet of outdoor event space includes seven lush outdoor lawns and premium beachfront areas fronting the Pacific Ocean. Throughout, the property adheres to Hilton's stringent EventReady with CleanStay standards for cleanliness and social distancing. 

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Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal

With Mexico's slice of the Pacific Ocean just a few steps away, the 115-room Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal is smack in the heart of Los Cobos' many resorts and sports. The hotel's 3,556 square feet of event space includes a reception plaza overlooking majestic Pedregal Mountain, just outside two meeting rooms that combine to host up to 80 people. The Casa Bella Vista overlooks the Marina of Cabo San Lucas and can host 30 for dinner or 60 for cocktails. 

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Casa de Campo Resort & Villas

Due east of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, the sun-splashed 250-room Casa de Campo Resort & Villas has more than 24,500 square feet of beautifully designed meeting space that can accommodate groups of from 10 to 5,000 people. Facilities include two conference centers, a ballroom, numerous boardrooms, breathtaking outdoor spaces, the new Marina Riverside Center's restaurants and bars, assorted villas, a 16th-century Mediterranean-style plaza, a 5,000-seat amphitheater and, yes, more.