San Mateo County Takes the Spotlight

Silicon Valley is attracting groups and expanding its offerings

Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay

Silicon Valley continues to grow its meetings offerings to meet the demand of groups holding events here. San Mateo County, encompassing Bay Area destinations including South San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Half Moon Bay, sits at the center of the tech capital of the country, boasting spaces for both large-scale conferences and small startup gatherings, alike -- with plenty more on the way.

This September will see the opening of the high-end AC Hotel by Marriott San Francisco Airport / Oyster Point Waterfront in South San Francisco -- the heart of the country's booming biotech industry. With 8,000 square feet of flexible, high-tech meeting space, infused with European design, it will invite both visitors and locals to its weekly "lounge activations" of performances from artists and musicians, food demonstrations, and more.

After completing an $18 million renovation of its guest rooms, the San Francisco Airport Waterfront Hotel is now turning its attention to renovating its meeting spaces and lobby, which will be wrapping up through the end of the year. Nearby, the DoubleTree by Hilton San Francisco Airport is renovating its East Tower rooms, with completion expected by this summer.

On the coast of California, in Half Moon Bay, the Oceano Hotel and Spa is adding a 3,000-square-foot venue. Called The Gate House, the space offers what the property calls "the rustic elegance of a coastal barn" with touches such as wooden beams, wrought-iron chandeliers, and a stone fireplace. Groups can also consider The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay (pictured above), which offers more than 17,000 square feet of meeting space, and incredible coastal views.

Further south, the Sheraton Palo Alto has renovated all of its guest rooms, the Crowne Plaza Palo Alto is in the process of renovating its guest rooms, with completion expected by this summer, and the Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley is currently redoing its lobby, with completion also expected by this summer. 

Beyond the burst of new hotel offerings, San Mateo County has no shortage of memorable venues appealing to the Millennial-skewing industries based here. Long Branch Saloon and Farms in Half Moon Bay provides an Old West experience, complete with rope tricks, a saloon, casino games, and BBQ. Groups can also consider renting the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company (with beer garden and outdoor area) or La Nebbia Winery (with bocce ball court, foosball, and outdoor spaces), depending on their drinking preference. 

The city of San Carlos is bursting with spaces of its own, from the Hiller Aviation Museum to Devil's Canyon Brewing Company to Domenico's Winery (yes, there is no shortage of breweries and wineries, for any taste). All destinations are easily accessible and within a few miles of one another, making this an ideal destination for groups of all sizes.