Despite an overall crushing year for the hospitality industry in Pennsylvania, some seeds of hope have been planted and are finally sprouting in the form of new hotel openings. These new properties on the horizon have ample meeting and event space up for grabs, all within close proximity of each other. As capacities allowances increase, check out the new real estate for meetings and events at the following hotels.

The W Philadelphia & The Element Philadelphia 
Opening June 2021 on Chestnut Street are the W Philadelphia and the Element Philadelphia, both by Marriott. While each has its own design style and price points, they share several amenities between the two. One is Dolce, an Italian restaurant with cuisine inspired by 1960s Rome, but the expansive, three-story meeting and event complex with 46,000 square feet of space is the main highlight.

“The shared complex of W and Element is a unique offer for Philadelphia,” says Ed Baten, complex general manager. “Planners will have the opportunity to book room blocks across both properties, which will allow for flexibility with budgets. The combination of scale and luxury will be a strong point of differentiation for both the local market and the entire northeast corridor.”

The complex will have 37 event rooms across the three stories, including 27 breakout rooms. The largest space, Great Room 1 & 2, holds 550 people reception-style, while the rest of the spaces can accommodate a multitude of capacities in any seating style, from conference to classroom to theater. Each space has floor-to-ceiling windows and state-of-the-art technology, making events in the complex both easy for planners and full of daylight for attendees. 

Hyatt Centric Center City Philadelphia 
The Hyatt Centric Center City Philadelphia also has new meeting space options for planners in Philadelphia since its opening in October 2020.

“What differentiates us from our competitors is Hyatt’s technology enabling the ease of booking, planning, and hosting safe meetings and events,” says Brian Lang, the area director of sales, marketing and events for Hyatt. “We are excited to offer a fully contactless conference package which enables a planner to book and plan a meeting online, offers direct to room capabilities via smartphone, and a meeting planner app where all requests can be made via the Wi-Fi that is included in our meeting packages.”

Within city regulations, planners also have the option for traditional meetings if they desire within the 5,000+ square feet of space at the Hyatt Centric. The Alexander Ballroom is the largest space, holding 210 attendees reception-style, with its own private bathrooms. Each of the seven spaces is named after a prominent Philadelphian, as the design for the hotel is inspired by the region’s heritage and Quaker roots. The Hyatt Centric is located in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, located just a few blocks from the W and the Element.

“Rittenhouse Square offers verdant treefilled parks, revered architecture, lauded dining, boutique shopping, and a lively nightlife,” says Lang. “The neighborhood has been described as fashionable, posh, and tony but beyond the elegant apartment buildings and chic restaurants is this feeling of true Philadelphia. The area has an approachable sophistication that is the perfect blend of high society and the determined spirit of Philadelphia.”

After several months of renovations, the DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia-Valley Forge is now open as the Alloy – King of Prussia, a DoubleTree by Hilton.

 

Philadelphia was one of just two U.S. locations on National Geographic’s list of best trips for 2020. The magazine describes the city as “a scrappy underdog with a heart of gold” and uses words like “vibrant” and “creative” to describe this formerly industrial city. That’s good news for meeting planners and should certainly boost attendance at meetings. And adding to the excitement are shopping, entertainment and restaurants cropping up around the Pennsylvania Convention Center (PCC), glitzy new hotels and renovated attractions with event space.

 

For its September 2019 meeting, the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE) Philadelphia Chapter—which serves industry professionals in the Greater Philadelphia, South Jersey and Delaware region—thought it would try something different. Instead of focusing on the visual presentation of food, organizers took away the sense of sight entirely, outfitting diners with a blindfold at dinner.