My dog Carlos and I celebrated the recent holiday weekend by taking a road trip to a trio of Kimpton properties in Southern California. I’m always happy when an invitation to check out a new property includes a “dog welcome” plus one. And I’m sure many dog owners attending corporate meetings are, too.

Kimpton, a collection of more than 65 boutique hotels in 34 cities across the United States—and their first-ever European property, in Amsterdam--truly puts the “friendly” in “dog friendly.” Dogs of all sizes and breeds are welcome; there is no extra fee if a canine guest accompanies you, and pet bowls along with a doggy bed are delivered to your room. Oh, and Carlos wants me to make sure to mention that doggy treats abound, and are cheerfully handed out by everyone from valet parking attendants to check-in staff and hotel managers.

We started our journey at the Shorebreak in Huntington Beach, where we only needed to cross the street for a stroll along the dog-friendly (leash required) beach. From that property with its mellow surf vibe we drove up the coast to the Canary Santa Barbara. Here the style was Spanish-inspired and sophisticated, and our walks took us through the heart of Santa Barbara’s downtown, past chic boutiques and wine tasting rooms.

Then, it was off to Goleta, just a few miles north, where we checked into The Goodland Hotel. This hotel was hip, happening and Carlos’ favorite. The retro-cool lobby was filled with dogs ranging from small (mini poodles) to medium (Boston terriers) and large (a pony-sized great Dane), and Carlos, acting as an unofficial canine concierge, made it his business to offer a friendly hello, and a sniff, to each and every one.

Next on Carlos’ bucket list: the Kimpton Solamar and Palomar in San Diego and the newly renovated Kimpton Hotel Palomar Beverly Hills, just down the road.

The time is right; the stage is set. Groups are ready to meet face to face again, and the four-star luxury hotel MGM Grand Detroit is ready to welcome you back.

According to MPI’s report “Spring 2021 Meetings Outlook,” three-quarters of meeting professionals predict a face-to-face event this calendar year. And that definitely rings true for Lisa Williams, executive director of sales for the hotel.

 

Destination Niagara USA designed its series of 360-degree videos with the purpose of allowing meeting planners to virtually explore meeting and event venues in Niagara Falls, NY. The introductory video, with its footage of scenic spots that include Niagara Falls State Park, Luna Island, Stedman’s Bluff and Cave of the Winds, could do double duty as a meditative app on a stressful day.

 

Darren K. Green, senior vice president of sales and services for L.A. Tourism, is feeling bullish on the future of meetings and conventions in Los Angeles. Here’s what he had to say in a recent chat with California Meetings + Events.

CAM+E: It’s great to hear that groups of all sizes can now meet in Los Angeles. Are large groups being cautious about gathering again, or are you seeing signs of a robust and quick recovery?