10 New and Updated Washington Hotels for Meetings and Events

By D. Channing Muller with additional reporting by T.J. Walter June 6, 2011, 11:15 AM EDT

Photo: Sammy Todd Dyess

These new (and newly renovated) properties in Washington have meeting rooms, conference facilities, ballrooms, and outdoor spaces that can accommodate groups small and large. So consider these hotels for events, meetings, seminars, and business entertaining.

1. Opened early in March, the Renaissance Arlington Capital View is the latest hotel in real estate developers the JBG Companies’ portfolio. The 300-room hotel has 17,354 square feet of meeting and event space. The grand ballroom is the largest event area, with room to host as many as 900 people within its 10,164 square feet of unobstructed space, which can be separated into seven smaller rooms accommodating 60 to 85 each. The meeting rooms range from about 700 to about 1,500 square feet and feature glass walls overlooking the Potomac River and Washington.

2. The Hilton McLean Tysons Corner is in the second phase of a three-part, $40 million renovation to its public spaces, dining options, guest rooms and meeting space. Completed in April, on-site restaurant Härth can seat 110 in its main dining room and has a semiprivate space for 20. There is now 31,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 67-seat amphitheater, 15 breakout rooms, a grand ballroom that can accommodate as many as 1,300 people, and a new 3,000-square-foot junior ballroom that can be divided into three spaces. Upgrades to the 458 guest rooms include new motion-detector lighting, all-white linens, and a lighter palette. The renovations are expected to be completed in the fall.

3. The Fairmont Washington has recently renovated five of its seven guest room floors and is finishing the final levels of the 10-story property. The 415 revamped rooms will have all new decor and a green and brown color scheme. The courtyard garden has also been replanted with new flowers and an herb garden. There is nearly 29,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 5,460-square-foot grand ballroom, an 87-seat amphitheater, and 18 meeting rooms.

4. The Tysons Corner Marriott completed the final phases of its multimillion-dollar renovation in March with the revamp of its 396 guest rooms. The renovation also included face-lifts to its common areas and nearly 10,000 square feet of meeting space, with the 4,680-square-foot grand ballroom receiving new carpeting, lighting, and wall coverings. The hotel also installed an $800,000 lighting system complete with a new ceiling, multiple drum-style chandeliers, and high-tech lighting variations. The space can host 300 for seated affairs or as many as 750 for receptions. It can also be separated into five spaces to seat groups of 60 or host 150 for receptions. There are also 15 additional meeting rooms that can accommodate groups of 30 to 150.

5. In September, Hyatt Dulles opened its new executive meeting center. With 18,000 square feet of meeting space and 11,000 square feet of prefunction space, the center is on the main floor of the 316-room hotel and is made up of four boardrooms that can accommodate groups of 24 to 150 people and two ballrooms that can be manipulated into 18 different configurations. The 8,740-square-foot Luray Ballroom is the largest space, with the ability to accommodate as many as 1,000 people, while the Cirrus Ballroom measures 4,140 square feet and can seat 450. Attendees also have access to a 50-seat private dining area and complimentary business center.

6. The Renaissance Washington marked its 21st anniversary in August 2010 with a multimillion-dollar lobby renovation that includes a new entrance, check-in area, and five distinct seating areas. At the center of the lobby, an open area called Mingle offers a wide variety of seating options suitable for small groups or private conversations, as does its new bar Mixx. There are three other spaces that can be reserved for private groups with minimum food and beverage guarantees. Relax can accommodate groups of 80 using a mix of lobby space and a seating area that can be enclosed with drapes. The 16-floor hotel has 794 guest rooms and 64,000 square feet of event space, including 36 meeting rooms.

7. Earlier this year, the 88-room Comfort Inn hotel rebranded itself as the Holiday Inn Express Washington D.C.—BW Parkway, following renovations that wrapped up in October. In Hyattsville, Maryland, the hotel is just outside the district, with easy access to local Washington attractions and monuments. The property has a new 24-hour business center and offers free Wi-Fi throughout. The redesigned breakfast room can also be used for meetings of 44 people or less. As part of the renovations, guest rooms received new linens, lighting, decor, and kitchenettes in each.    

8. The Fairfield Inn & Suites Washington D.C./Downtown reopened in March after undergoing renovations to its guest rooms and lobby. The 198 room metro-accessible property is in Chinatown, just down the street from the Verizon Center and five minutes from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The property has a 24-hour business center on site with a conference table seating eight and presentation capabilities. The on-site Irish Channel restaurant is equipped with nine flat-screen TVs and can seat 120, though there are also a variety of local attractions and restaurants within walking distance. 

9. The Hilton Garden Inn Washington D.C. Downtown has mixed up its on-site dining options with the recently reopened new restaurant concept Grist Mill. The rebranded eatery serves American comfort food and seats 64 in its main dining room with an adjoining lounge for 40. The 300-room hotel is in the heart of downtown just blocks from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. The on-site 1,622-square-foot Georgetown Ballroom can host as many as 155 or be divided into three spaces for smaller events. There’s also a conference room seating 30.

10. The Crowne Plaza Tysons Corner has enhanced its technology capabilities with a recent renovation to the property's 312 hotel rooms and the addition of four new suites, completed in March. Redesigned for business travelers, the rooms now have larger desks with 75 percent more work space, a laptop-size pullout tray in the nightstand, and Apple docking stations for iPods. Additionally, the property went smoke-free and is now pet-friendly to accommodate a wider range of travelers. The hotel also has 24-hour business center and 5,400 square feet of meeting space, including a 4,500-square-foot ballroom.

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