10 New Meeting Venues in New York

By Anna Sekula October 10, 2011, 9:00 AM EDT

Photo: Courtesy of Hyatt Hotels Corporation

These new and recently renovated meeting spaces, conference centers, and function rooms in New York can accommodate groups small and large for meetings, conferences, product launches, presentations, and other types of corporate gatherings.

1. The Hyatt 48 Lex opened its doors in early September, making 116 guest rooms and four executive boardrooms for private powwows available in Midtown East. The meeting spaces, which sit on the second floor, measure approximately 300 square feet each and have the capacity for about 10 people. All come equipped with audio and video conferencing gear, high-definition flat-panel TVs, and iPod connections, and offer access to the adjacent Lexicon Lounge for breakout sessions. Catering is provided by in-house restaurant Lexington Brass.

2. Last month also saw the debut of the new conference facility from Sentry Centers. Situated at the northern end of the theater district, Sentry Centers 810 Seventh Avenue houses 11 rooms across two floors. The largest of the venue's spaces is the 2,162-square-foot Empire room on the 23rd floor, which seats 232 theater-style or 160 classroom-style, or holds 200 for receptions. There are also several lounges and foyers that can be utilized before and after conference sessions, including the 744-square-foot Beekman lounge on the 22nd floor, which has the capacity for as many as 70 for receptions. As with the property near Grand Central, Sentry Centers provides on-site audiovisual equipment and technicians, catering, Internet access, and setup for video and teleconferencing.

3. Expected to open this month is the first Tryp by Wyndham hotel, which will provide 2,100 square feet of meeting space two blocks from the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Dubbed the Tryp Times Square South, the 173-room property will have three rooms that can be used separately or combined—the largest, an 806-square-foot section, can accommodate 60 seated theater-style, 40 classroom-style or 70 for receptions. On-site amenities will include full audio and video equipment, catering, and planning staff.

4. For a more unusual setting, the four-month-old Yotel New York offers airport-inspired spaces for meetings and events on its 18,000-square-foot fourth floor. The glass-enclosed Club Cabins are private suites that line the perimeter of the open-plan lounge, each equipped with a flat-screen LCD TV, sofa seating, and a minibar. Around the corner is the Studiyo, which includes a 12-seat boardroom—with a table that flips and converts into a billiards table—a ceiling-mounted projector, and a drop-down screen.

5. As part of a larger, $130 million renovation program, the Grand Hyatt New York launched its new meeting and event venue in May, a space known as the Gallery on Lex. Located in the lobby-level spot once occupied by the hotel's restaurant Commodore Grill, the 4,400-square-foot site is designed to be a creative, sleek alternative to traditional boardrooms, with a central communal kitchen, adjoining lounges, and versatile sections at the east and west ends that are equipped with drop-down screens and can be fully enclosed by air walls. Gallery on Lex holds about 110 seated or as many as 250 for receptions, and can also be used in conjunction with the hotel's other meeting and events spaces, including the 5,000-square-foot Manhattan Ballroom.

6. The summer opening of Vikram Chatwal's Dream Downtown provided a new option for planners looking to host a function in west Chelsea. In addition to the more clublike penthouse space known as the PH-D, the design-driven hotel offers a ground-floor space known as the Gallery. Tucked away at the rear of the hotel, the white-walled section that was recently used during the New York City Wine & Food Festival measures 6,000 square feet and is suitable for conferences and presentations.

7. Further downtown is the Mondrian SoHo, which has already hosted a number of events since its debut in March. Beyond the fairy tale-inspired lobby and chef Sam Talbot's sustainable seafood restaurant, there's a penthouse and dedicated meeting space, which can be used for private functions. The top-floor suite measures 1,170 square feet and comes with two terraces—one 200-square-foot north-facing deck and a 2,000-square-foot south-facing one. The gallery consists of an 1,100-square-foot room and a 1,400-square-foot terrace; the entire space holds about 250 people for receptions.

8. A quick stop across the East River in downtown Brooklyn is the new Aloft Brooklyn from Starwood Hotels & Resorts, where the contemporary design from the Rockwell Group sets a colorful modern setting for the boutique property. For meetings, the 176-room hotel offers the 1,200-square-foot Fulton Room, which holds 100 for receptions or 64 seated banquet-style, and a 600-square-foot room that holds 50 for receptions.

9. Modern is also the overriding aesthetic at the Museum of the Moving Image, which reopened in January following nearly three years of renovation. The revamp added a number of spaces at the film-focused institution, including a digital learning suite and the 54-seat William Fox Amphitheater in the Ann R. and Andrew H. Tisch Education Center. The suite can seat 180 theater-style or be configured into two separate classroom-style setups, each seating 25.

10. December will bring the city's first Conrad property from Hilton. The luxury hotel will not only have a grand ballroom with room for 600 people, but also 13 rooms for meetings and an open-plan prefunction space. Danny Meyer's Union Square Events will be official food and beverage partner for the conference and event facilities at the Conrad New York.

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