Hotels & Resorts: Ready for Groups in 2024

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Guests can borrow a record player and select from an extensive vinyl library at the Hotel Saint Cecilia in Austin.

In an era when skilled talent can be difficult to find and retain, travel rewards can pack a lot of motivating power according to a recent IRF survey, while forecasts show accelerated meetings industry growth in the coming year. So no matter which group you’re planning for, plan on the following hotels and resorts to add “new and exciting” to the itinerary.

The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua

A team of Hawaii-based architects, designers and builders created the Aloha Garden Pavilion at the Ritz-Carlton Maui.

Following a $100-million resort-wide transformation, The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua recently revealed the redesigned Aloha Garden Pavilion, investing $16 million to ensure the expansive 19,200-square-foot indoor/outdoor event facility reflects the natural and cultural beauty of Hawaii while being versatile enough for a wide range of meetings and events, from corporate functions to awards dinners and gala celebrations.

This incredible new space was designed to reflect a Hawaiian voyaging canoe, with key seafaring elements including a boat’s ribs and gunnels, lashed together with ropes and 64 built-in rigging points that represent unity. Surrounding the space, groups also encounter a primal landscape of lava rock bays, lush mountain ridges and tropical waves.

Boasting a pirvate entrance providing easy access, the revamped pavilion offers state-of-the-art A/V and furniture as well as an outdoor garden with a terrazzo-paved walkway, two fire pits, and a new trellis with glass canopies.

The Aloha Garden Pavilion is also home to the resort’s new luau, Tales of the Kapa Moe, an incredible immersive experience that takes guests on a magical journey through Hawaii’s captivating stories, culture and traditions. Tales of the Kapa Moe showcases authentic Hawaiian chanting and hula, beautifully handmade costumes, an aerial performance, and a dramatic fire knife dance.

For more information, visit

The Joule, Dallas

The Joule has unveiled a reimagined ballroom level in the heart of downtown Dallas, enhancing its reputation as a premier location for meetings and special events.

Accessible via a private glass elevator on Main Street, the 10,200 sf ballroom level on the hotel’s second floor boasts three distinct meeting rooms, a pre-function area, and three ballrooms, including the 3,400-sf Mosaic hosting up to 300, along with specialty spaces for workshops, board meetings and training sessions.

Beyond the custom-designed chandeliers and furnishings that have been artfully situated throughout, the spaces offer innovative culinary additions. Inspired by celebrity green rooms, the “Build Your Own Rider Requirement” allows guests to satisfy their sweet tooth with a candy bar, custom trail mix table and more. Other culinary packages include reception-style food areas that include everything from traditional carving stations to a build-your-own poke bar. The ballroom level now also has a custom coffee cart engineered and designed to serve actual coffee/espresso beverages from in-house and local-favorite shop, Weekend Coffee, and a satellite bar of The Joule’s award-winning cocktail bar, Midnight Rambler.

The Joule, an independent, 160-room boutique hotel named for the international unit of energy, is the result of proprietor Tim Headington’s effort to revitalize a 1920’s neo-gothic landmark Dallas building, three restored buildings of 1930’s vintage, and several new structures, creating a cultural epicenter in downtown Dallas. A visual masterpiece from award-winning designer Adam D. Tihany, the hotel creates a tasteful union of old-world quality and contemporary design, while densely populated throughout by museum-quality artwork.

For more information, visit

The Hotel Saint Cecilia, Austin

Here comes the Sun Room, an intimate new event space at the Hotel Saint Cecilia.

The 20-room Hotel Saint Cecilia, a secluded Bunkhouse estate in Austin, TX, has introduced an intimate new event space, the Sun Room, following a recent renovation.

Situated in the heart of Austin steps away from the famed South Congress strip, the new Sun Room serves as a multipurpose venue ideal for accommodating everything from a daytime meeting to an intimate cocktail hour for 14 guests seated (with existing furniture) or 25 standing.

Located above the hotel’s lounge and kitchen, the 310-sf space features built-in, burgundy lacquer shelves that feature a 65-inch TV and a hidden bar and sink, a mid-century modern boardroom table with plush overdyed chairs, while floor to ceiling windows with lush velvet curtains let the sunlight pour in through the branches of the 200-year-old oak tress peppering the property. A small outdoor patio also provides views of the property’s lush grounds.

Drawing from the writers, musicians and artists of the 1960s and 1970s, Saint Cecilia’s lively and eclectic accommodations are scattered throughout the estate and feature a cohesive combination of antiques, modern furniture, and original artwork with outdoor lounge spaces—all with secluded entranceways and a record player so guests can borrow their favorite albums from the hotel’s extensive library of vinyl.

For more information, visit

The Aloft Lake Nona and Althea Lake Nona Events Center, Orlando

A rendering of Aloft Lake Nona’s pool & pool deck.

Joining Orlando’s roster of new hotels in December 2023, the Aloft Lake Nona is ready to impress 2024 as a destination with forward-thinking amenities and world-class health and fitness facilities—not a surprise, considering its event center is named for tennis great Althea Gibson, an iconic athlete who challenged sports diversity during an era when it was almost nonexistent.

With a total of 17,032 sf of event space including a 6,000-sf Gibson ballroom, Althea Lake Nona Events Center and Aloft Lake Nona offer versatile indoor and outdoor options featuring high-tech amenities and stylish settings. Three meeting rooms—Game, Set and Match—are complemented by a palm-lined pool deck and a lakefront lawn for outdoor gatherings, while loft-style guestrooms feature 9-ft-high ceilings and open floor plans.

Meanwhile, the 24-hour hybrid Re:Charge gym features Technogym equipment and a business center, along with complimentary electric bikes and Move Nona’s daily community shuttles in partnership with Beep.

For more information, visit

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