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What's New in Event Venues: James Beard Award Winners, Hotel Recs Based on Personality Type, and More

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

Event Venue News for June 2024
Now through Sept. 2, IHG Hotels & Resorts is launching a new experiential summer campaign across its luxury and lifestyle brands in the Americas. The Summer Soiree series includes larger-than-life paper floral installations in partnership with Barcelona-based atelier Wanda Barcelona; the structures frame an interactive lobby bar featuring lush greenery and decor, botanical cocktails, and zero-proof elixirs. See more on the brand's website.
Photo: Cris Molina for IHG Hotels & Resorts

In Case You Missed It

Hilton recently hosted BizBash at several of its Nashville properties. From unique design elements to robust digital capabilities, check out some of the most exciting hotel trends we spotted along the way.

This month, we also spotlighted six convention centers with fascinating histories (including an official site of the Underground Railroad!) and checked out how snack brand Cheez-It took over a retro eatery in upstate New York. We also took a deep dive into the recent C2 Montreal conference and how its new venue helped inspire networking and connection. 

Here are some more things to know this month... 

1. The James Beard Awards have been announced.

On Monday night, the James Beard Foundation announced the winners of its highly anticipated restaurant and chef awards in a ceremony hosted by chefs Nyesha Arrington, Richard Blais, Amanda Freitag, and Marcus Samuelsson. Michael Rafidi of Washington, D.C.’s Albi was named Outstanding Chef, while Langbaan in Portland, Ore., was named Outstanding Restaurant. Check out the full list of winners here

2. Marriott is taking guests on a scent, sound, and taste journey.

JW Marriott has teamed up with lifestyle company Flamingo Estate to create a sensorial guest journey rooted in scent, sound, and taste. For scent, the brands have crafted an exclusive new scent called “Expansion”; guests at select JW Marriott properties globally will be met with a verdant aroma inspired by the JW Garden, with notes of lush greenery, damp earth, rich flowers, woods, white lotus flower, and rosemary.

Soundwise, meanwhile, JW Marriott and Flamingo Estate have developed four exclusive playlists, each crafted to correspond with a different time of day. As for taste, the brands have created a signature honey that’s available to JW Marriott guests. â€śJW Marriott is dedicated to curating an atmosphere that allows our guests to be present in the mind, body, and spirit,” says Bruce Rohr, vice president and global brand leader for JW Marriott. Event Venue News for June 2024The collection is available for purchase at; it’s also being sold at a bespoke pop-up (pictured) at JW Marriott Essex House New York.Photo: Courtesy of JW Marriott

3. IHG is offering travel recommendations based on personality type.

In a fun promotion, IHG Hotels & Resorts is offering travel recommendations based on personality type, in partnership with Ashton Whitmoyer-Ober, a community psychologist and certified Enneagram coach. The vacation guide uses the Enneagram test, which defines nine personality types. Here are IHG's recommendations:

  • Type 1: The Perfectionist. "Ones would thrive in a city like Kyoto, Japan," says the IHG team. "Enveloped in luxury, Six Senses Kyoto is a great escape for type ones who are looking for something calm yet enriching."
  • Type 2: The Helper. IHG notes that for this crew, it's all about relationships and the people they're traveling with. "A group trip with twos to Staybridge Suites Cannes Centre in Cannes, France, provides the balance that two need," says the brand.
  • Type 3: The Achiever. This group is confident, enthusiastic, focused, and inspiring, says IHG, noting: "The ideal vacation for a three is action-packed, full of sightseeing and adventure. Check in to the Kimpton Hotel Eventi, located in Manhattan’s ultra-chic Chelsea neighborhood."
  • Type 4: The Individualist. For this creative crew, "Hotel Indigo Galapagos in the Galápagos Islands would be a dream for any four looking for a visually stimulating escape," says IHG. 
  • Type 5: The Investigator: This curious group tends "to be more introverted, preferring solo travel so they can see and do everything they want, but in their own time," says IHG. "Fives would settle in nicely at voco Oxford Thames. Located in the renowned academic city of Oxford, the hotel has history dating back to the Middle Ages and the Knights Templar."
  • Type 6: The Loyalist: Type sixes are known for being loyal, dependable, and great problem-solvers. "Sixes need reassurance that everything will go smoothly, and one thing they can count on is a luxurious experience at InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa in the Fiji Islands," says IHG.
  • Type 7: The Enthusiast. "Sevens make great travelers because of their desire to explore everything and experience new adventures. Miami is perfect for outgoing sevens," says IHG. "Visit Atwell Suites Miami Brickell located in the heart of Miami’s arts district."
  • Type 8: The Challenger. Type eights are all about experiencing life to the fullest, says IHG, noting "Holiday Inn Cody-At Buffalo Bill Village is a great way to explore the great outdoors and connect with nature."
  • Type 9: The Peacemaker. "A nine won’t exhaust themselves trying to jam-pack their itinerary; they prefer enjoying the moment and going with the flow," says IHG. "Booking a trip to Iberostar Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic eliminates those decisions."

4. Westin is investing in a good night's sleep.

Westin Hotels & Resorts, a Marriott Bonvoy brand, has launched the next generation of its Heavenly Bed, a move that underscores its commitment to holistic wellness and superior sleep experiences for travelers. Developed through collaborations with sleep experts, Westin associates, and feedback from guests, this new iteration features a plush-top mattress with a silver fiber weave; temperature-regulating, gel-infused memory foam; and hypoallergenic materials. The updated bedding includes a charcoal blanket and modern design elements that align with Westin's biophilic design principles, enhancing both the aesthetic and functional aspects of the sleep experience. 

“In a culture that has long glorified busyness and productivity, Westin knows that a good night's sleep is paramount to guests’ overall well-being, which is why our iconic Heavenly Bed has resonated with travelers for decades,” says Brian Povinelli, senior vice president and global head of marketing and brand for Marriott International. “Understanding the devoted fan base the legacy bed has garnered over the years, our goal was to listen and carefully review every aspect of the guest and associate experience, ensuring each update was both intentional and impactful."

5. Dolly Parton is opening a hotel in downtown Nashville.

During the recent CMA Fest, country music legend Dolly Parton confirmed plans for a new downtown Nashville hotel. The property, which Parton noted will open "in a couple years," will be called the Songteller Hotel and will also feature a museum of the singer's fashion pieces along with memorabilia from her career. The name of the hotel was inspired by Parton’s 2020 book, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics, written with author-journalist Robert K. Oermann.

“When we were looking at the property, you know how sometimes you feel you get a little divine sign,” Parton said during the event, according to Billboard. “We were walking through and it was an empty room. There was a table and of all things, there was the book Songteller and we thought that must be a sign and we thought that would be a good name.”

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