MeetingNews Hotel/Resorts Roundup

Color-Coded Meetings Featured at Loews
New York—Loews Hotels has introduced a program intended to boost meeting attendees' focus. The offering injects colors meant to stimulate brain actvity into meeting room setups, and gives in-session meeting-goers better access to food and drink.

Loews' Color Breaks give planners the option to theme their meeting rooms by color at any of the brand's 18 hotels, including the snack setting placed at each attendee's seat. Available in blue, yellow, and green, the program also includes these options: "sweet and sinful," "healthy and fresh," or "salty and crunchy."

According to program creator Ellen Burke Van Slyke, corporate creative director of food and beverage, blue represents peace, spirituality, and youth; it encourages creativity, thought, and communication. Yellow represents wisdom and happiness; it sharpens concentration and memory skills. Green represents nature and well-being and encourages ideas.

"The value of color as a stimulant is undeniable," said Burke Van Slyke. "All elements of a meeting room must be in place to create the right mindset."

Room setups can be customized, but standard elements include color-inspired floral centerpieces, wall coloring, and onscreen color flushes. Planners also can have a room's color changed after a break.

Theme Park Hotel Gets The Royal Treatment
Orlando—In conjunction with a reflagging, the Royal Pacific Resort—on site at Universal Orlando—has undergone an upgrade.

Now named Loews Royal Pacific Resort, the hotel's 1,000 guest rooms have been refurbished with new technology and design features meant to evoke a South Pacific island atmosphere.

The $8.5-million upgrade made wireless Internet access available in all guest rooms and suites, and it added iPod docking stations and iHome clocks to all of the accommodations. One more technological improvement is now under way: All standard rooms are being outfitted with 32-inch flat-panel televisions, and all suites are getting 42-inch or larger TVs.

Decorative renovations to each guest room include fresh flowers and bamboo elements. Loews Royal Pacific has 85,000 sf of meeting space.

Hilton Resort Near Dallas Is in Business for Meetings
Rockwall, TX—This Dallas suburb may soon get on the meeting and convention map once the Hilton Bella Harbor on Lake Ray Hubbard opens next month. The 231-suite hotel, with 25,000 sf of meeting space, has already landed four conventions for 2008 and 2009.

"Hilton Bella Harbor offers state-of-the-art technology and business capabilities in a wonderful setting," said Director of Sales and Marketing Jennifer Wasserman. "We are winning these conferences because we have what businesses need for successful events."

Among the upcoming hotel's offerings: a 31-acre waterfront retail complex, golf privileges at a nearby resort, cruises on the lake aboard the hotel's 40-foot catamaran, a 5,000-sf spa, and in-room technology such as MP3-player docking stations.

In addition, wireless, high-speed Internet access will be available throughout the hotel.

Spa Access Made Easier For SoCal-Bound Groups
Costa Mesa, CA—Meeting groups in "the OC" usually get a tan. But meeting attendees who stay at the Wyndham Orange County now have a much healthier option: complimentary access to the Spa at South Coast Plaza.

Said Thomas Smalley, general manager of the Wyndham Orange County, "Wellness and fitness is an ever-growing priority for our guests, and we are thrilled to offer them complimentary access to one of the most prestigious private spa and fitness clubs in southern California."

The 238-key Wyndham is across the street from the spa and has 6,800 sf of meeting space.

Originally published January 28, 2008