All 30 of you! Congratulations on receiving honors in the seventh annual Inner Circle Awards program. This tribute is paid by our readers, who voted these top hotels and resorts as the best properties to have serviced their meetings and conventions in the past 12 months.
Look for the ballot for our eighth annual Inner Circle Awards on the facing page. Readers may notice that this year we've made a change on the ballot page. Because convention centers and convention and visitors bureaus are integral to successful, we now include them on our Inner Circle Award ballot.
And, again, hats off to 1998's winning properties, all of which exemplify levels of quality and service unsurpassed in the meetings and hospitality industry.
A salute to the winners . . . Alabama * Point Clear Marriott's Grand Hotel
Arizona * Scottsdale Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch
* Marriott's Camelback Inn Resort, Golf Club and Spa
* Litchfield Park The Wigwam Resort
* Tucson Sheraton El Conquistador Resort and Country Club Westin La Paloma
California * Carlsbad La Costa Resort and Spa
Colorado * Colorado Springs The Broadmoor
District Of Columbia * Lansdowne Resort
* Hilton Washington and Towers
1919 Connecticut Avenue NW Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (202) 483-3000
Fax: (202) 797-5825
General Manager William H. Edwards, Jr.
Director of Sales Kenneth Slattery
Director of Meetings and Conventions Emily Johnson
Set on seven acres in the heart of D.C., the Hilton Washington combines the amenities of a grand hotel with those of a sprawling resort.
The Reagan National Airport is approximately 15 minutes away. Taxis, shuttles, and the Metro are available. The convention center is 10 minutes from the hotel.
All 1,118 guest rooms, including 82 suites, feature two two-line telephones, data ports, cable televisions, on-command movies, hair dryers, coffeemakers, and irons and ironing boards as some of the in-room amenities.
A full-service health club, outdoor heated pool, and three tennis courts are on site. Golf, cultural attractions, and museums are nearby.
Regional American cuisine, deli fare, and casual buffets are but a few of the many dining options available at the hotel.
The largest of the hotel's 32 meeting rooms seats 4,200 people theater-style or 2,900 banquet-style. Exhibit square-footage totals 45,000 square feet, and the 36,000-square-foot ballroom is Washington's largest.
Florida * Boca Raton Boca Raton Resort and Club
* Lake Buena Vista Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts P.O. Box 10000 Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 Phone (407) 828-3074 Fax (407) 934-6692 www.disneymeetings.com
General Manager Deanne Gabel
Director of Sales Patrick Ault
Convention Services Director Allyson Ludewig
Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts are reminiscent of sprawling 19th-century, oceanfront, summer resorts that once dotted the Eastern seaboard. While the resorts evoke the leisurely spirit and flavor of the past, their service and amenities reflect the Walt Disney World Resort's high standards and contemporary amenities. The resorts are located on a 25-acre lake adjacent to Epcot(r), with easy access to the other Disney theme parks.
Location/Access: The resorts are 30 minutes from Orlando International Airport. Shuttles cost $14 one way, and cabs are also available. It's 20 minutes to downtown and 10 minutes to the convention center.
Accommodations: Echoing the gray clapboard and blue-and-white "stick" houses of the last century, the resorts have 1,217 guest accommodations, including 30 suites. In-room amenities include coffeemakers, safes, minibars, valet laundry service, voice mail, and modems.
Recreation: Activities featured throughout the Walt Disney World Resort include 99 holes of championship golf, four theme parks, including the new Disney's Animal King-dom(r) Theme Park, three water parks, full-service marinas, a professional-caliber sports coliseum, and state-of-the-art fitness centers.
Dining/Entertainment: Options include the Yacht Club Galley, the Yachtsman Steak- house, Cape May Cafe, and a variety of restaurants and lounges, which range from elegant dining to casual fare.
Meeting Facilities/Services: The resorts feature a business center, two permanent convention registration counters, and convenient dock access. The 73,000 square feet of flexible function space includes the 38,016-square-foot Grand Harbor Ballroom, a second ballroom, and 21 breakout rooms. The Grand Harbor seats 3,090 banquet-style. The in-house audiovisual department can fulfill any meeting's or convention's needs. Exclusive themed events produced by Disney Event Productions are available.
Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin
* Naples The Ritz-Carlton, Naples
* Orlando Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
* Palm Beach The Breakers
Hawaii * Oahu Hilton Hawaiian Village 2005 Kalia Road Honolulu, HI 96815 Phone: (808) 949-4321 Fax: (808) 947-7914 www.hawaiianvillage.hilton.com
General Manager Noel G. Trainor
Director of Sales Jon Conching
Director of Catering, Meetings, and Conventions Ivis Rose
Hilton Hawaiian Village has more than 100,000 square feet of meeting, convention, and outdoor function space. Set on Waikiki's widest beach, on the island of Oahu, it's an ideal resort for mixing business with pleasure.
The resort is 20 minutes from Honolulu International Airport. Limousines, taxis, and shuttles are available.
All 2,545 guest rooms, including 363 suites, feature balconies, refreshment centers, premium movie channels, voice mail, and fax/modem hookups.
Three pools, aquatic activities, and the Atlantis Submarines are on site. Golf and tennis are nearby, as is downtown Honolulu.
Each Friday evening the resort's Super Pool becomes the venue for a complimentary Polynesian extravaganza.
There is a total of 65,000 square feet of exhibit space and 36 meeting rooms, the largest of which seats 1,750 people banquet-style. An audiovisual department, business center, and amphitheater are also on site.
Idaho * Coeur d'Alene Coeur d'Alene Resort
Illinois * Galena Eagle Ridge Inn and Resort
* Oak Brook Oak Brook Hills--A Dolce Conference Resort 3500 Midwest Road Oak Brook, IL 60523 Phone: (630) 850-5555 Toll-Free Phone: (800) 445-3315 Fax: (630) 850-5569 www.oakbrookhills.com
Director of Marketing Bill Gilchrist
Director of Convention Services Stephanie Neyhart
Oak Brook Hills is a 150-acre luxury resort and one of the finest conference facilities in the United States. The secluded setting fosters productive meetings, yet Oak Brook is also convenient to O'Hare International and Midway airports, as well as to downtown Chicago. The resort offers more than 35,000 square feet of technologically advanced conference space.
There are 384 guest accommodations, including 38 suites. All have scenic views or overlook the golf course. Room amenities include minibars, oversized desks, two telephones, and data ports. Value season runs from December through February.
The on-site Willow Crest golf course offers a challenging 18 holes. Additional activities include a fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, five lighted tennis courts, and a scenic jogging/walking trail. Malls and Chicago's many attractions are nearby.
The five restaurants and lounges run the gamut from grilled to gourmet fare.
Oak Brook's flexible meeting space can accommodate groups from 10 to 1,500 people. The 31 meeting rooms include a tiered amphitheater with seating for 150 people. The 13,432-square-foot Grand Ballroom seats 1,500 people theater-style or 1,200 banquet-style. A full-service business center and audiovisual department are on site.
New York * New York Hilton New York and Towers 1335 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10019 Phone: (212) 586-7000 Fax: (212) 315-1374 www.newyorktowers.hilton.com
Senior Vice President/Managing Director Arthur A. Surin
Director of Sales and Marketing Brian A. Winston
Located midtown at Rockefeller Center, the Hilton New York and Towers is engaged in a major redesign, which includes the lobby, new concourse-level meeting rooms, and a new fourth-floor conference center.
The hotel is less than 25 miles from LaGuardia, Kennedy, and Newark airports. Both Grand Central Station and Penn Station are 15 minutes away.
The 2,041 guest rooms include 95 suites. In-room amenities include coffeemakers, irons and ironing boards, two-line telephones, voice mail, and computer data ports.
A fitness center with exercise equipment, sauna, and massage facilities is on site.
Two new restaurants, Etrusca and New York Marketplace, will open in June 1999.
The hotel's 47 meeting and banquet rooms include four ballrooms, the largest of which seats 2,800 people banquet-style. The Americas Hall and second-floor complex have more than 81,000 square feet of exhibit space. The business center has its own computer workstation and also rents computers for in-room use.
Pennsylvania * Hershey Hotel Hershey
Tennessee * Nashville Opryland Hotel 2800 Opryland Drive Nashville, TN 37214 Phone (615) 871-5824 Fax (615) 871-5843 www.opryhotel.com
Senior Vice President & General Manager Joe Henry
Senior Vice President of Marketing Jerry Wayne
Vice President of Sales Kent Wasmuth
Convention Services Director Brian Findley
The Opryland Hotel is steeped in Southern hospitality, and has breathtaking scenery, soothing surroundings, and impeccable service. The hotel offers more than nine acres of indoor gardens and 600,000 square feet of meeting space. The property is enhanced by Opryland USA's entertainment venues, which include the Grand Ole Opry. A $200 million entertainment/retail complex, Opry Mills, is slated for completion in 2000. During the next decade, the Opryland Hotel concept will be taken into additional markets. The Opryland Hotel-Florida in Kissimmee-St. Cloud and the Opryland Hotel-Texas in Grapevine will be the first two properties to open.
Location/Access: The Opryland Hotel is a seven-mile, 15-minute drive from Nashville International Airport. Motor-coach service is $11 one way or $15 round-trip. Downtown Nashville is 10 minutes from the hotel.
Accommodations: There are 2,883 guest rooms, including more than 200 suites, located in several wings. Garden Terrace rooms with balconies overlook indoor tropical gardens and waterways in the Conservatory, the Cascades, and the Delta.
Recreation: The hotel has a fitness center, three swimming pools, and two wading pools. Also part of the property is the 18-hole championship Springhouse Golf Club, a links-style course that is the home of the BellSouth Senior Classic at Opryland on the Senior PGA Tour.
Dining: The resort has 30 specialty shops, 15 food and beverage outlets, and a multiple-facility food court. The hotel features live entertainment in many locations, and the Dancing Waters laser-light show can be seen nightly in the Cascades Garden.
Meeting Facilities and Services: The hotel's expansive meeting facilities include more than 85 meeting rooms, five ballrooms, and the Ryman Exhibit Hall, which has 289,000 square feet of divisible space. The hotel has more meeting, exhibit, and public space under one roof than any combined hotel and convention center.
Texas * San Antonio Adam's Mark Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk
Vermont * Manchester The Equinox
Virginia * Hot Springs The Homestead P.O. Box 2000 Hot Springs, VA 24445 Phone (540) 839-1766 Toll-Free Reservations (800) 838-1766 Fax (540) 839-7767 www.thehomestead.com
Director of Sales Jeffrey B. Ford
Vice President of Sales and Marketing Bill Gilmore
Conference Services Manager Tricia Fry
The Homestead, a Georgian-style mountain resort sited on 15,000 acres in the Allegheny Mountains of Virginia, is an American classic. Renowned for its natural hot springs, the resort combines rich historical ambience with present-day elegance and exceptional attention to detail.
Location/Access: Roanoke Regional Airport is 70 miles, or a 90-minute drive, from the resort. Transportation by private car or shuttle is available for a fee.
Accommodations: There are 512 guest rooms and 81 suites, some of which feature sun porches, working fireplaces, and terry bathrobes. All rooms have hair dryers, irons and ironing boards, televisions, VCRs, bathroom amenities, and minibars. Room rates range from $179 to $248 for double occupancy to $293 to $424 for single occupancy. The resort's value season runs from November to March. Guest room taxes include a 15 percent gratuity and a 4.5 percent sales tax.
Recreation: The resort offers three championship golf courses, two swimming pools, ten ski slopes, an Olympic-size ice rink, trout fishing, sporting clays, skeet shooting, bowling, horseback and carriage riding, and a European-style spa. Supervised children's activities are also available. Area attractions include Monticello and the George Washington National Forest.
Dining: Dining runs the gamut from casual to gourmet at the resort's 10 restaurants, which include Sam Snead's Tavern, Cafe Albert, and The Sports Bar. There is nightly dancing to live music in the Homestead Dining Room.
Meeting Facilities and Services: The resort's flexible facilities include more than 70,000 square feet of meeting space and 27 meeting rooms, the largest of which can accommodate 1,500 people. There are also a 270-seat theater, the two-level Commonwealth Room for receptions and banquets, and the Conference Center, which can hold groups up to 1,000 people. Many rooms have high ceilings, assuring full audiovisual capabilities
Wisconsin * Kohler American Club
* Lake Geneva Grand Geneva Resort and Spa
Puerto Rico * Las Croabas Wyndham El Conquistador Resort and Country Club
Canada * Banff, Alberta Rimrock Resort Hotel