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Destinations

The Best Hotels In Nashville For Meetings And Conferences

Would you like to hold your next team off-site meeting, or annual conference in Nashville?  LOL, take a number!  In 2018, Nashville was the most frequently requested city for meetings by VenueQuest customers.  Unfortunately, we often see our customers begin a hotel search with Nashville as their first choice, only to give up and choose a different destination due to high prices, or very limited availability.  The other destination where we see this phenomena is Austin, Texas.

Meeting planners, and corporate department managers are drawn to Nashville for company meetings and annual conferences for several reasons:

  • Unlimited Outstanding Live Entertainment
  • A Walkable And Easy To Navigate Downtown
  • Relatively Mild Year-Round Weather
  • Great Food
  • Popular Culture Highlights (Nashville TV show, American Pickers, Sirius/XM The Highway live shows, etc)

There are two primary neighborhoods you need to know about, if you are planning a meeting in Nashville.

Downtown, Lower Broadway and The Gulch:   This area is the most requested section of Nashville.  Every hotel in downtown Nashville fits into an area less than 1 square mile,  and the bulk of the action and entertainment is along Broadway, and the three blocks paralleling this haven of live music.  But, don’t stress about the address of the hotel you choose, because aside from one historic hotel located practically on the railroad tracks, you will not find any conference or meeting oriented hotels actually on Broadway.

Midtown and West End:  As Broadway extends past the interstate, and splits into Broadway and West End Avenue, you will find yourself in a thriving and exciting neighborhood of hotels, fantastic restaurants, music industry offices and studios, and the grounds of Vanderbilt University.  One of VenueQuest’s top recommended hotels in Nashville is in this part of town.  We like this area because you can be far enough from the distractions of the honky tonk’s to get serious work done, but you are only a $6.00 Uber ride from the steel guitars, boots and neon of Lower Broadway.

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How Did Hawaii Get Discovered, and Why Are All the Hotels Booked?

Lately, we have been discussing Hawaii a lot around the office, because there are several upcoming Client meetings happening there (it is yet to be seen if falling oil prices will make air travel to Hawaii any cheaper). All this talk reminds me of one of the most amazing stories I have ever heard.

The story is about how humans first discovered Hawaii. Scientists know for a fact that the youngest islands sprang from sub sea volcanic activity around 400,000 years ago, around the same time the Rolling Stones started touring.

At some point, inhabitants in far south Pacific islands noticed flocks of migrating birds bypassing their island. The islanders had no knowledge of other land in the direction the birds were flying. So one year, a brave team climbed into dugout canoes and started following the birds. As you can imagine, the birds were fast and the Islanders soon lost sight of them, and returned to their island. They waited until the next year and anticipated the migration of the birds by rowing out to the last place they had seen the birds, and waited for the chase to resume. This became a tradition which necessarily started earlier and earlier every year. The Islanders relayed their knowledge of the birds flight path from generation to generation and according to legends, it took 400 years of persistent anticipation of the birds migration, and dangerous ocean tracking, but eventually they sighted the incredible green cliffs of the Hawaiian islands.hawaii-wallpaper-09

Every time I have thought of this story I marvel at the persistence and drive of those Islanders. Nowadays we often see travel as a necessity, and not always a welcome one. But every reason to leave the nest is a fascinating opportunity to grow and learn about the bigger world. You never know when or where you might discover your own Hawaii.

Business travel and the demand for hotel space for company meetings is near an all time high.

Contacting hotels one by one, trying to find available meeting space, may leave you feeling like you are chasing a flock of birds toward the horizon with no hope of catching up to them.

If that is the case, you should call VenueQuest. We instantly cut through the flock of hotel options out there and find the perfect venue for you. The benefits of booking your hotel through VenueQuest include:

  • One point of contact with a VQ Hotel Specialist
  • Easy to read side-by-side hotel comparisons
  • We redo all the reports after your boss changes the dates or the location of the meeting!

Best of all, booking your hotel through VenueQuest
COSTS NOTHING

We work with groups visiting any destination, and requiring 10 or more rooms per night.

My Favorite Hotels…for now

What is the best way to choose a hotel for vacation?  As my entire career (including my college days) has orbited around the idea of travel and using hotels, people often ask me what my favorite hotel is, or where I most like to travel.  I always smile and sigh.  I love the question because no matter what I am doing, that question sends me hurtling down an imaginary hallway where I get glimpses of all the amazing places I have had the good fortune of visiting.  Asking me to choose a favorite is quite honestly like asking a parent which of their children they like most.  I can’t do it.

With the large number of requests we have received recently for planning leisure trips, another variation of the question has arisen…”Which one would I pick?”  Customers ask me that question when they have narrowed their choices to 2 or 3 really attractive options, and it is a flawed question.  Just because I like it, does not mean it would be right for you.  And that is what I encourage people to keep in mind when they discuss vacation plans with friends and family.  As professional travel consultants, we remove our own preferences from the equation and look at your trip from your perspective.

So as you plan your own vacations and ponder where to go and where to stay, consider some fundamental questions about yourself and your habits.

1. Money vs. Hassle –  Vacations are about indulging and splurging, but everyone has their limits on how much they will spend.  Cost and Hassle are yin and yang in travel.  The less you want to spend, generally the more you have to tolerate hassle and down time.  While planning, ask yourself very honestly how content you will be waiting for shuttle busses,  crowded elevators and long hallways.  Now imagine those wait times while also burdened with beach towels, ski gear, camera bags, toys, strollers, etc.

2.  Big vs. Small – Hotels and resorts are often the first venues we think of when imagining vacation lodging because they have a large physical presence, and often have large marketing budgets to keep themselves top of mind with their customers.  I bet even if you have never been to Jamaica, you’ve heard of Sandals.  I tend to like smaller hotels because they are easier to navigate and I feel that a smaller pool of guests makes it easier for the staff to give great service.  But guess what?  I also like cruise ships, and I’ve had incredible service at resorts with upwards of 500 rooms.  And let’s face it, a small intimate resort cannot provide the vast array of services a big resort can.

My personal list of favorite hotels in the world is below.  This is a dynamic list and is always subject to new inspiration and discovery.

1. Tabacon

This resort is small in its number of rooms, but large in it’s unique offerings.  It is hours from the beach, and nestled in the central mountains of Costa Rica, directly at the base of the famous, and active Arenal Volcano.  The volcano fuels an ever tumbling and pooling series of hot springs amidst a tropical landscape straight from your dreams.  There are only 102 rooms, and you will need to sit through a solid 2-3 hour ride over narrow bumpy roads, but trust me…it is worth it.  Don’t cut your time short, stay here for at least 2-3 nights…and longer if you can.

 

2. Catamaran

It’s not the flashiest, or the fanciest, or the best known hotel, but the Catamaran in San Diego to me, feels like what San Diego should feel like.  It is easy to get to, provides simple access to either the bay or the beach and provides perfectly nice accommodations and friendly local service.  The Catamaran is privately owned by a family that has been in the hotel business for generations and they know their stuff.

 

3. Beaver Creek Lodge

You didn’t think I would focus only on warm weather locations did you?  The Beaver Creek Lodge is at the top of the resort town in Beaver Creek, Colorado.  Everyone knows getting a condo at a good price during ski season is tough…but what you might not realize is that although prices are lower in the summer, the number of available condo’s falls dramatically because the owners know that summer is a fantastic time to be in the high Rockies.