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What's New in Event Venues: In-Room Holograms, Nonalcoholic Cocktails, Loyalty Programs, and More

BizBash rounds up the latest news from hotels, convention centers, meeting spaces, restaurants, and other event venues around the world.

Fontainebleau Miami Beach will celebrate one of the most significant expansions in its seven-decade history with the opening of the all-new Coastal Convention Center toward the end of 2024. Spanning five stories and 45,000 square feet, the facility will feature a 16,500-square-foot divisible ballroom with an outdoor terrace, a 9,500-square-foot junior ballroom, 15 total meeting rooms, and 15,000 square feet of pre-function space. The convention center is located 12 miles from Miami International Airport and is connected to the hotel by a pedestrian bridge.
Fontainebleau Miami Beach will celebrate one of the most significant expansions in its seven-decade history with the opening of the all-new Coastal Convention Center toward the end of 2024. Spanning five stories and 45,000 square feet, the facility will feature a 16,500-square-foot divisible ballroom with an outdoor terrace, a 9,500-square-foot junior ballroom, 15 total meeting rooms, and 15,000 square feet of pre-function space. The convention center is located 12 miles from Miami International Airport and is connected to the hotel by a pedestrian bridge.
Photo: Courtesy of Coastal Convention Center

In Case You Missed It

In honor of Earth Day, BizBash sat down with the general manager of Hotel Marcel, the first hotel in the nation to produce 100% of its own electricity. We also recently rounded up five tips for hosting a private event at a stadium or arena. Here are some more things to know this month... 

1. Cvent has revealed its list of top meeting hotels for North America and beyond.

Global meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider Cvent has released its 2024 lists of top meeting and event destinations based on last year's sourcing activity through the Cvent Supplier Network. Destination-wise, Orlando and Las Vegas—perhaps unsurprisingly—held the top spots, followed by Nashville, Dallas, and San Diego rounding out the top five. 

In terms of hotels—which were ranked according to total RFPs, awarded RFPs, total room nights, major metropolitan area market share, and more—Nashville venues reigned supreme: Grand Hyatt Nashville, Omni Nashville Hotel, JW Marriott Nashville, and Renaissance Nashville Hotel took four of the five top spots. (JW Marriott Austin took fourth place.) Check out the full lists here, which also include destination and hotel rankings in Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East and Africa.

2. The first-ever Michelin Key list for hotels is live.

Cvent isn't the only recent list of note: The renowned Michelin Guide, long known for its coveted Michelin Star restaurant ratings, has launched an equivalent for the hotel sector called the Michelin Key. The first-ever Michelin Key list—which debuted in late April and ranks properties based on architecture and interior design, quality and consistency of service, overall personality and character, value for the price, and a significant contribution to the guest experience in a particular setting—included 11 Three Key hotels, 33 Two Key hotels, and 80 One Key hotels in the U.S. Winners of the Three Key designation—the highest honor on the list—were all located in California and New York, and included luxury properties like The Beverly Hills Hotel, Auberge du Soleil, Aman New York, and Casa Cipriani New York. Check out the full list here

3. A Four Seasons hotel has added live-beam holograms to its suites.

Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., has incorporated hologram technology into its penthouse and presidential suite. The Proto M is a portable, tabletop holographic communications device from Los Angeles-based company Proto, the world’s first and only holographic communications platform. The device allows for the hotel’s guest experience team to live-beam directly into the room at designated times; staff and guests are able to see each other and communicate in real time to review the day’s itinerary, capabilities within the suite, and more. 

“We are elated to provide our guests with yet another way to communicate with us," says Serge Sturbois, the hotel's director of guest experience. "Based on the guest preference, we can communicate in person, through Four Seasons Chat, text, a call, and now by beaming via hologram into their room." While Four Seasons is initially leveraging the Proto partnership to improve the guest experience, in the future, the technology could be used to beam people in for meetings, in-suite shopping, and more.While Four Seasons is initially leveraging the Proto partnership to improve the guest experience, in the future, the technology could be used to beam people in for meetings, in-suite shopping, and more.Photo: Courtesy of Four Seasons

4. Hard Rock International has debuted a new global loyalty program.

Last week, Hard Rock International debuted Unity by Hard Rock, its new loyalty program, at 200 locations around the world. (The program—which replaces the brand’s former loyalty programs, Hard Rock Rewards and Wild Card—soft-launched at select Hard Rock properties in 2022.) The complimentary Unity by Hard Rock global loyalty program offers an array of benefits and services at participating Hard Rock locations where members can earn and redeem Unity Points toward free nights, dining experiences, merch, and more. Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming also recently embarked on a partnership with Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises.

To celebrate, the brand has debuted a splashy omnichannel marketing campaign featuring soccer star Lionel Messi and musicians Shakira, John Legend, and Noah Kahan; the campaign features The Beatles’ classic song “Come Together,” recorded exclusively by Kahan.

5. Loews is investing in nonalcoholic cocktail options. 

Last month, Loews Hotels debuted its Free Spirited by Loews Hotels program, which provides elevated and bespoke hotel bar programming for those who choose to imbibe less or not at all. Loews Hotels has seamlessly integrated the specialty libations into its standard cocktail menus, with each drink clearly marked by an icon denoting its low or no ABV content. Beyond the bar, Free Spirited by Loews Hotels will also be integrated into catering and event planning, offering a curated selection of nonalcoholic beverages that are intended to be as thoughtful and intricate as their alcoholic counterparts.

"At Loews Hotels, we recognize that our guests have varying preferences when it comes to beverage choices, and we are dedicated to providing an inclusive and elevated experience for all," said Mark Weiss, senior vice president of food and beverage at Loews Hotels & Co. "Free Spirited by Loews Hotels underscores our commitment to innovation and guest-centricity, and we are looking forward to showcasing our properties’ mixology teams and their expertise." From left: Nonalcoholic beverages from Live! by Loews-St. Louis, Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Loews Coronado Bay Resort, and Loews Miami Beach HotelFrom left: Nonalcoholic beverages from Live! by Loews-St. Louis, Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Loews Coronado Bay Resort, and Loews Miami Beach HotelPhoto: Loews Hotels & Co

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