Booking.com has released its Top 10 Trending Destinations for 2018, and from the sun-washed splendors of Cartagena, Colombia, to the food scene in Philadelphia, there’s a place and a reason perfectly suited for your event. Be they halfway around the world or close to home, these prime meeting spots should be on your radar.
Cartagena’s historic downtown is its crowning glory, with beautiful Spanish-Colonial architecture surrounded by a city wall built to fend off marauding pirates. Bocagrande is a strip of condos and hotel towers right along the beach, with sparkling views of the Pacific. It’s no surprise that this lively and lovely city—where you can swim at Playa Blanca, take a mud bath in nearby Volcan del Totumo or learn to Latin dance at Crazy Salsa—is on travelers’ bucket lists.
For meetings, Hyatt Regency Cartagena has 12,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, including a 536-square-foot ballroom that can hold up to 700 attendees.
The largest city in Slovenia, and its capital, has fewer than 300,000 inhabitants and plenty of green spaces. A mix of German, Mediterranean and Slovenian culture, its unique heritage is what makes it stand out. Meander through a town surrounded by Baroque and Art Nouveau buildings in the shadow of a castle or stroll in the gardens of Tivoli Park. Sustainability is serious business there—Ljubljana was the European Green Capital in 2016.
Hosting a large event? Consider Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre, which boasts more than 100,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space and 23 meeting rooms. Thinking smaller? InterContinental Ljubljana offers a total of 6,000 sq. ft., including two ballrooms.
A mix of medieval, neoclassical and modern structures, the architecture in Tbilisi is a stunning stew. Catch a performance at the Georgian National Opera and Ballet Theater of Tbilisi or stroll along Rustaveli Avenue for an assortment of cafes, shops and notable monuments, including Rustaveli Cinema, the largest cinema in Georgia. For a dose of the 7th century, visit Narikala, a fortress that overlooks the capital and Kura River.
Host your meeting within 6,241 sq. ft. of meeting space at Tbilisi Marriott Hotel. In all, there are nine event rooms and a ballroom that can host 2,110 attendees.
Located on the River Leine, Hanover is both the capital and largest city in the German state of Lower Saxony. Home to annual commercial trade fairs such as the Hanover Fair and CeBIT, the city also hosts events such as the annual Oktoberfest Hanover. Swing by Hanover Adventure Zoo, home to 237 animal species, or wander through Herrenhausen Gardens. For a satiric take on museum art, stop by the Wilhelm Busch German Museum of Caricature and Critical Graphic Art.
Sheraton Hannover Pelikan Hotel’s 2,755-square-foot ballroom can host 150 attendees banquet-style. Six conference rooms and a library are also available for more intimate meetings.
Have you considered hosting a meeting in Zadar? You will now. Sitting along the Adriatic Sea, Zadar has a fascinating history. Originally a settlement of an Illyrian tribe in 9th-century BC, a largely destroyed Zadar was ceded to Croatia following the defeat of the Axis Powers in World War II. Previous to that, it was conquered and burned by the Republic of Venice in 1202 and came under Austrian rule in 1797. Visit St. Anastasia’s Cathedral, built in Romanesque style, or attend Musical Evenings in St. Donatus, an international music festival.
Donat Hotel is the perfect place to host smaller meetings. Three meeting rooms total 487 sq. ft.
Philadelphia, United States
Home to the locally revered Philly cheesesteak sandwich, Philadelphia’s culture is reflected in its food and attractions. Visit the Italian Market for cafes, shops and restaurants influenced by generations of Italian-American immigrants and Reading Terminal Market for fresh produce, groceries, artisan cheese and other local treats. Once you’ve had your fill, channel your inner Rocky Balboa and race up the stairs to the Philadelphia Museum of Art or admire the Liberty Bell.
Hampton Inn Philadelphia Center City-Convention Center was renovated in 2012 and has 4,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, including a 3,726-square-foot ballroom.
It may surprise you to know that glitz and the glam have a large presence in Manila, especially at night in its clubs, and rooftop bars. Nightlife isn’t your thing? Rizal Park features sculptures, gardens, and event venues to explore during the day. Stop by Manila Ocean Park to take in the aquarium and enjoy a fiery sunset over the bay at dinner.
Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila is a luxury property with 17 meeting rooms totaling some 75,000 sq. ft. The Grand Plaza Ballroom Foyer is 6,028 sq. ft., and the ballroom itself is 14,359 sq. ft.
When you think of Japan, do you think of snow? Probably not—and that’s how Sapporo will surprise you. Site of the 1972 Winter Olympics, Sapporo is a winter wonderland that hosts the annual Sapporo Snow Festival, which attracts more than 2 million visitors. Not a snow bunny? The Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art features local Hokkaido artists, for an authentic taste of the city’s culture. You can also ride a Ferris wheel at Norubesa, or amble through Nishioka Park, which features a pond and marshland.
Hotel Emisia Sapporo’s 13 meeting rooms contain 25,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, including Palace Ball Room, which is 8,224 sq. ft. and can hold 900.
Bengaluru (also called Bangalore) is bursting with vibrant culture, and it’s easy to get swept away in it. Home to the Kannada film industry, the city has many popular theaters, including Ranga Shankara and Ravindra Kalakshetra. The capital of Karnataka state is also the heart of Indian classical music and dance, while the Indian Cartoon Gallery features a revolving lineup of both professional and amateur cartoonists.
The Leela Palace Bengaluru offers 20,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and 17 meeting rooms. The Grand Ball Room can hold 1,000 attendees within 4,400 sq. ft. There is 2,500 sq. ft. of outdoor space, as well.
Campos do Jordao, Brazil
Considered Brazil’s winter capital, Campos do Jordao has plenty of gardens and monuments to visit in warmer weather, too. One of its best-known attractions, however, is the first ice bar in the state of Sao Paulo. Iceland is made of 100 percent frozen water, from the chairs to the balconies to the walls. Want to stay out of the cold? Take a walk down Vila Capivari and duck into restaurants and local shops selling artisan products.
For a small meeting, consider Orotour Garden Hotel. With six meeting spaces and a total capacity of 675 people, it’s ideal for an intimate gathering.