Make a visit to San Luis Obispo on California’s Central Coast, and you’ll likely find yourself scanning Zillow listings for a possible home, or second home. (Trust us, we’ve done it.) But even if you can’t move to this vibrant college town, home to Cal Poly, you can host a meeting here. Our pick: the recently opened Kinney SLO, a 100- room property that describes itself as a “social experience hotel.” That means an open lobby featuring complimentary vintage games like Skee-ball; communal dining tables; self-serve wine and beer on tap at Leroy’s, the hotel’s in-house restaurant that offers elevated pub fare; an outdoor quad with fire pits, string lights, bean bag chairs and more games; a heated outdoor pool, and free parking and Wi-Fi. The intimate meeting space can host groups of up to 100, and there are plenty of other options downtown, which is just a short walk away (or guests can take one of the house bikes), including Luna Red, a lively restaurant with globally inspired fare (including a paella menu) and a sprawling patio that sits adjust to the Mission de Tolosa and San Luis Creek; Old SLO BBQ, and local favorite Big Sky Café. Wineries, including Chamisal Vineyards, the first vineyard planted in the Edna Valley, and Biddle Ranch, featuring small batch wines, are within 10 miles. If your attendees are millennials, be sure to make a stop at Bubblegum Alley, which is decades old but was made for the Instagram era.

Napa Valley’s Meritage Resort & Spa recently debuted a new program designed to help groups gathering at the resort achieve more “Mindful Meetings.” The program, offered in partnership with Bare Health, can be custom tailored for groups and includes the following wellness-focused activities: meditation, yoga in the vineyard, sound healing, and the creation of juices, smoothies and morning elixirs at the resort’s brand-new Food & Wine Center.

 

After continually hearing that meeting planners were looking to infuse more health, wellness and sustainability into their agendas, Hilton Hotels & Resorts created Meet with Purpose in 2015. As it has evolved, the turnkey program—and its focus on Mindful Eating, Mindful Meeting and Mindful Being—has been increasingly customized to reflect each hotel and each meeting.

 

These boutique properties all have names that start with ‘z’ and a vibe that’s chill and creative.