Cvent, Inc., the cloud-based enterprise event management company, has released its annual list of the top hotels for meetings and events in the United States, as well as Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), and, for the first time, the Asia-Pacific region (APAC).
The list was compiled by analyzing meeting and event booking activity through its Cvent Supplier Network, which features approximately 240,000 hotels, resorts, and special event venues, making it one the world's largest databases of venue information.
In the U.S., the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, TN, was named the top meeting hotel, climbing from second place last year. Four new properties have broken into the top 10 this year: JW Marriott Austin, the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, AZ, Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, and the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.
Newcomers to the top 100 list include Loews Chicago O'Hare Hotel, the Renaissance Washington, D.C. Downtown Hotel, and Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina.
"Groups tend to be one of the most profitable segments in the hotel industry," said Kevin Fliess, vice president of marketing at Cvent's Hospitality Cloud. "They are a real revenue driver. Beyond meeting space and location, hotels that remain competitive tend to invest in infrastructure and expansion to ensure facilities are up-to-date and in some cases state-of-the-art."
He used ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas as an example. The resort is undergoing a $154 million expansion that started in 2015 and is scheduled to be complete next year. ARIA is adding 200,000 square feet of meeting space across four stories, bringing its total to more than 500,000 square feet of meeting space.
"Hotels like ARIA are thinking about the guest experience as well as the attendee experience," added Fliess, who reported on an innovative investment the company is making in its 4,004 guestrooms. Tablets have been added to each room, personalizing the guest experience with digital in-room dining orders, one-touch spa service requests, and news available in multiple languages.
"Hotels that continue to remain competitive invest in growing space to ensure the attendee experience is as great as it can be," said Fliess. "They focus on service, investing in technology and the on-site experience."
Other highlights of the list include the fact that this is the second year in a row a hotel from Nashville has achieved the top spot. Last year's honors went to Omni Nashville.
"We are proud to be a major player in continuing to make Nashville a top meeting destination," said John Adams, general manager of Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. "This recognition is a testament to our incredibly dedicated, passionate team and their focus on providing the most memorable experience possible."
Another observation Fliess made was that the top 50 list of U.S. hotels was dominated by mega meeting hotels. "When you dive deeper into the list, into the 51 to 100 spots, you find smaller meeting hotels, not on the same scale of those in the top 50."
Four new properties have broken into the Top 10 EMEA list: Melia Castilla Hotel & Convention Center in Madrid, ranked number four; Moevenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre, ranked number seven; Hilton Vienna, ranked ninth; Rome Marriott Park Hotel, ranked 10th.
Of note in the APAC List is that seven out of the top 10 meeting hotels are located in Singapore, and the remaining three are from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
What makes Singapore such a popular meetings destination? "It's a global destination where English is the primary language. It's modern. Plus it is a regional hub for many global corporations," explained Fliess.
Hilton, Hyatt, and Intercontinental, in that order, are the top three hotel chains which have the most properties on the Top 50 APAC list.
The top 10 hotels in each category are below.
Top 10 U.S. Hotel Properties
1. Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
2. The Venetian and Palazzo Resort, Hotel & Casinos
3. ARIA Resort & Casino
4. JW Marriott Austin
5. Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center
6. Omni Nashville Hotel
7. The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
8. Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego
9. Hyatt Regency Orlando
10. Mandalay Bay Resort
Top 10 EMEA Hotel Properties
1. Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona
2. Hilton Prague
3. Hotel Arts Barcelona
4. Melia Castilla Hotel & Convention Center Madrid
5. W Barcelona
6. Hilton London Metropole
7. Moevenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre ijVENUES
8. Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Hotel & Conference Center
9. Hilton Vienna
10. Rome Marriott Park Hotel
Top 10 APAC Hotel Properties
1. Marina Bay Sands Singapore
2. Grand Hyatt Singapore
3. Shangri-la Hotel, Sydney
4. Hilton Singapore
5. Conrad Centennial Singapore
6. Fairmont Singapore
7. Hilton Sydney
8. InterContinental Sydney
9. Pan Pacific Singapore
10. InterContinental Singapore