A Planner's Paradise

The City of Angeles is highly adaptable and ready for groups

By Malik Anderson

Los Angeles contains a wide spectrum of experiences. It’s a place you can spend the entire day outside exploring, from dusk till dawn without even having touched the surface, or lounge around in your hotel room all day. With the number of hotels to pick from that can suit your groups needs and wants, you’ll likely be just as pleased.

In recent years, Los Angeles has made significant additions to its hotel offerings, giving new life to an already vivacious Los Angeles. Check them out below.

Local Insider Tip

“Los Angeles is an unparalleled destination. Renowned as the ‘capital of creativity’ due to long-time leadership in entertainment and tech, L.A. consistently pushes the limits of what’s achievable in events, meetings and conventions. Imagine a cinema-inspired setting within iconic studios like Paramount, Universal, Warner Bros. or Sony.

“While meeting, your group becomes immersed in the diverse backdrops, enhanced by cutting-edge technology, top-notch catering, and seamless hosting capabilities—elevating experiential storytelling. In L.A., meeting planners become producers, and our Meet LA team is poised to turn even the most ambitious visions into reality.

–  Darren Green, Chief Sales Officer, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board


art installation of light posts
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Artful location. Known as the birthplace of the arts and cinema in the United States, Los Angeles is home to the most museums and galleries in the country. Los Angeles has a lot of history of the past and present to showcase, in places like Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Underground Museum and Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

Outdoorsy opportunities. Los Angeles is a health-conscious place. Bike paths, bike/running/walking trails, spas and meditation centers, the city has most people’s self-care method covered. Griffith Park is one of the more popular places for getting outdoors, featuring 70-plus miles of trails, mountain peaks, three golf courses and The Greek Theatre.

Diversity of sub-cities. Los Angeles is a mix of vastly different smaller sub cities that are all worth visiting and attractive in their own right. Whether it’s L.A.’s beach cities—Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo Beach—Beverly Hills, downtown L.A. or West Hollywood, you’re sure to find unique experiences wherever you go.

Food. It can’t be overstated just how eclectic the food choices are in Los Angeles. Although the city has a heavy Latin influence—being so close to the southern border—you don’t need to go very far from your hotel room to find something Indian, Thai, Salvadorean, Korean, Filipino… You get the idea. And every summer and fall, on July 12-26 and Oct. 6-20, L.A. puts this all on display during Dine LA Restaurant Week.

Free museums. The city with the most museums in the U.S. is home to more than 20 free options that showcase a wide range of different events, art and artists, hands-on experiences, music and more. Take your pick from places like Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising Museum, home to more than 15,000 pieces of history spanning over 200 years; and The Nethercutt Museum, home to over 130 antique, classic cars and more.


5 Places to Meet

Grounded Luxury Checks into Palm Springs

chaise lounges
The Spa at Sec-he, photo by thespaatseche.com

New luxury may look more like natural healing than Tiffany boxes. Rather than bougie extravagance, for many, connecting with the earth and themselves is the ultimate indulgence. Palm Springs is making that easy with four new players on the scene designed to ground guests in very different ways.

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum and The Spa at Sec-he

Learning about the history of the land and the people who lived there for thousands of years before the convention center was built is an emerging best-practice in infusing a sense of place in an event. The new Agua Caliente Cultural Center and adjoining The Spa at Sec-he in Palm Springs is a compelling way to immerse visitors in the history and traditions of the Band of Cahuilla Indians who have called the natural hot springs home since time immemorial.

The museum tells the story of the tribe in projected images and resin while outside the Oasis Trail replicates the canyons the Agua Caliente called home. Indoor and outdoor meeting space incorporated into the education center add meaning to the meeting.

building facade
Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, photo by accmuseum.org

Afterward, attendees can take the waters in float pods sourced from mineral-infused natural healing sources that started as snow on the nearby mountain peaks 12,000 years ago. Massage treatments, salt caves, Eucalyptus steam rooms, sound baths and zero-gravity chairs add to the holistic healing package.

Read More: Palm Springs: The Land of Endless Summer

Tommy Bahama Miramonte Resort & Spa


hotel room
Tommy Bahama Miramonte Resort & Spa, photo by tommybahamamiramonte.com

This reinvention of an Indian Wells classic resort opened in late 2023 and is the first hotel venture for the lifestyle brand. The 215 generously sized guest rooms and villa suites in the campus setting hug two pools (one adults only) and reflect the island vibe of the namesake. Olive trees anchor a fire pit-studded outdoor area. The 15,000 sq. ft. of meeting space inside and equal proportions outside offer views of the San Ysidro Mountains beyond. Even the carpet mirrors the background.

Thompson Palm Springs

One of the most anticipated openings of 2024, Thompson Palm Springs, will fly a Hyatt flag and embrace the low-profile, mid-century aesthetic the area is famous for preserving. Craig and Kathryn Hall, owners of Hall and Walt Wines in California’s renowned wine region of Napa, stepped in to revive what was originally going to be an Andaz hotel and the property is currently taking reservations for groups after May 1 when the first phase is scheduled to open.

Picture $3 million in art, including murals from local artists, indoor-outdoor dining and meeting, modern, period-appropriate custom furnishings in oversized, unique guest rooms. Of course, there will be a ground-level Hall Winery tasting room. Activations on Palm Canyon Drive and nearby Agua Caliente Cultural Museum will connect the 8,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and penthouse, which overlooks with the happenings in the city.

Sensei Porcupine Creek

hotel pool
Sensei Porcupine Creek photo by sensei.com

In 2022, billionaire Larry Ellison opened the boutique high-tech wellness resort Sensei Porcupine Creek in Rancho Mirage. It includes a golf club, 22 luxurious guest rooms, “estate rooms,” casitas and private villas.

A wellness diagnostic center includes trained wellbeing consultants, dieticians and mindset practitioners to guide guest journeys based on personal data. Your VIPs will be encouraged to create a plan based on lifestyle practices that resonate with them.



Quiet Luxury Lives in Dana Point

aerial shot of beach shore
Dana Point

Luxury hospitality is no longer limited to gold-plated toilets and diamond-crusted watches. A recent 24-hour visit to Dana Point, California, a half hour from number one-rated John Wayne Airport (SNA) and a model arbiter of quiet sophistication was a demonstration of the new, soft-spoken approach to pampering meeting attendees in body and soul and a fresh understanding of why the area is so popular with incentive travel, financial and medial meeting groups.

The Evolution of Dana Point

How did a sleepy surf town halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego reach the heights of Southern California Luxe culture? When Hobie Alter established his first surf shop there in 1950, the cove was known as Killer Dana. Engineering in the 1970s transformed the area into a bustling marina where dinner cruises in glass-bottom boats, kayaking and paddleboarding from yachts are the order of the day. In fact, Dana Point is now known more as the dolphin and whale capital of the world than as a threat to sailing vessels chronicled in the interactive exhibits at Ocean Institute and surf lessons from evangelists like Girl in the Curl are a popular visitor activity.

At 14 square miles and 32,000 residents, the four hotel properties totaling 2,200 guest rooms located in Dana Point on the Pacific Ocean encompass more chocolate-on-pillow turn-down service per capita than cities ten times as large and pets are welcomed with open arms.

A planned renovation of the harbor starting this year could bring two new hotels and the ones already gracing the sunny landscape have invested in advancing the quiet luxury aesthetic. Let’s take a closer look.

Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa

hotel room
Laguna Cliffs Marriot Resort & Spa, photo by marriott.com

The focus in this red-roofed resort designed as an homage to the iconic Hotel del Coronado is on the namesake lagoon. All 378 guest rooms, including 15 suites, were renovated in 2019 to bring the sand and sea vibe hues indoors. More than 53,000 sq. ft. is available indoors, including a 10,000-square-foot ballroom, but outdoor spaces are often brought into service tented or under the oak trees in the neighboring park.

The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

The 396-room Mission-style resort built in 1984 on the cliff overlooking Salt Creek Beach was completely renovated in 2021. Few pleasures beat opening French doors to your terrace to watch surfers bobbing in the sunset and hearing the sound of the waves. Ground-floor rooms include fire pits and S’mores kits. Inside, sparkling decor bring the brilliance of the water views to the bedside. The modern elegance extends to the 67,000 sq. ft. of meeting space that includes chandeliers even in many breakout rooms, more ocean views.

Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club

hotel pool and golf course in background
Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club, photo by

This property reflagged in 2021 as part of a $30 million renovation that polished all 400 guest rooms with decor that represents the warmth of the sun and sand and coolness of the ocean as seen from the grand lawn observation deck. At the same time, the gym moved into the spa to create a holistic fitness center.

Read More: Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas Pilots Holistic Harmony Wellness Retreat

The property glows with more than 100 fire pits and fireplaces paired with cozy blankets and snacks for enjoying. The 30,000 sq. ft. of sophisticated indoor meeting space includes three ballrooms with the largest a 12,000 square-foot European-inspired Pacific Ballroom with access to an outside garden rotunda via a sweeping staircase. Outdoors, another 80,000 sq. ft., including a concert-primed Botanical Lawn awaits.

This article appears in the March 2024 issue. You can subscribe to the magazine here.