A Breath of Fresh Air: 9 City Hotels with Amazing Outdoor Spaces
With postcard-perfect city views and sizable terraces, a variety of urban hotels offer meeting attendees a breath of fresh air with their artfully designed outdoor spaces. From a recently debuted green space known as the SkyLawn at the InterContinental Miami that's perfect for outdoor events to a lush secret garden for group dinners at the Virgin Hotel Dallas, properties across the ALHI portfolio are luring groups with enticing open-air meeting and events spaces.
These nine urban hotels within the ALHI portfolio feature top-notch outdoor spaces equipped to handle meetings, events, banquets and more.
Located on the fifth floor of the InterContinental Miami, the new 35,000-square-foot SkyLawn treats meeting and events guests to unobstructed views of the glittering Miami skyline, Biscayne Bay and Port Miami. The ample greenspace, which positions attendees above a canopy of palm trees, is ideal for al fresco events thanks to its flexible floor plans. SkyLawn amenities include a 172-foot long exterior projector wall; pre-reception lounge area; and sound, lighting and power capabilities. The 34-story hotel in the heart of Miami is located near South Beach and the Brickell Financial District.
A hip hotel in the artsy Design District, Virgin Hotels Dallas coined a term for its meetings and events spaces: "Funktional." The hotel's 15,000 square feet of meeting room inventory includes a whimsical, vine-covered secret garden that makes for a memorable gathering space for a happy hour or dinner. Also, the fourth-floor rooftop pool gives attendees an introduction to the Dallas skyline. Veering from tradition, guest rooms at Virgin Hotels are called "chambers"; there's 268 of them here.
The luxury InterContinental San Francisco offers three outdoor terraces configured with meeting planners in mind, plus two specialty suites that have outdoor spaces perfect for micro-meetings. Among them is Terrace 888, a new outdoor dining venue with a Michelin-starred menu. The hybrid Moscone Room and Terrace features 1,400 square feet of indoor space, a 2,800-square-foot tented terrace and two outdoor fire pits. The Pacific Terrace boasts 5,406 square feet of tent-enclosed space. With removable side panels for fresh air circulation, the Pacific Terrace can host up to 400 for events.
The stylish 2,000-square-foot Proof Bar and Patio at Royal Sonesta Yorkville in Toronto can play host to lunch, dinner, full-day meetings or teambuilding events. The Royal Sonesta is the only hotel on Bloor Street, a Toronto thoroughfare, that boasts an outdoor events space. Capacity on the secluded terrace is 130 people, or it can be configured with casual seating for 36 people. During downtime, the patio is also a nice place to sip some of the hotel's rosemary-infused gin and nosh on Basque country-inspired appetizers.
In sunny southern California, the Hard Rock San Diego enjoys a prime location near the city's bustling Gaslamp Quarter and downtown business district. Meeting planners can book Woodstock, an open-air, 8,700-square-foot terrace that can play host to an al fresco dinner, large reception or even a special concert for attendees. The space is available to book year-round, but in the cooler winter months it's adorned with an elegant tent. For smaller gatherings, Elevation is a floor-to-ceiling glass enclosed box that gives sweeping views of the cityscape, Pacific Ocean and iconic Coronado Bridge. The space is flanked by private wraparound terraces that allows guests to move between the dramatic indoor and outdoor spaces.
A majestic suite that watches over Park Avenue, the Harold S. Vanderbilt Penthouse at the InterContinental New York Barclay comes with a 1,300-square-foot private terrace overlooking the iconic Chrysler Building. Those attending an upscale corporate meeting or event here will enjoy VIP views of New York City. Inside the 2,700-square-foot penthouse are floor-to-ceiling windows. If the terrace looks familiar, it may be because you've seen the exclusive hideout on TV shows like Billions or Younger.
For a one-of-kind experience, hold your next teambuilding event or happy hour under the twinkling canopy of a majestic Texas Live Oak Tree. The lighted tree is a scene stealer at The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa, offering more than 3,000 square feet under its branches. The unique space is part of The Meadow, a beautifully landscaped lawn with 41,895 square feet of outdoor space that can hold events for up to 200 people. Another interesting outdoor space is the Manor House Event Lawn, which can be set up for a buffet, barbecue or event, and is outfitted with strings of lights, fire pits and azaleas. History buffs, take note: The Manor House estate was the former home of President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara.
The private Courtyard Garden at Hotel Crescent Court is a scenic oasis in the middle of Uptown Dallas. The garden, which can hold gatherings for up to 200 people, is awash in lush greenery and colorful flowers year-round. The adjacent Garden Room, which has glass-encased walls and doors opening up to the courtyard, offers a scenic backup space in case of adverse weather. In all, this luxe-but-charming hotel has 17,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space. Accommodations range from an intimate wine cellar to an opulent gold-ceiling and silk-walled ballroom.
Breathtaking views of the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., make the Top of the Gate rooftop extra-special. The upscale outdoor lounge at The Watergate Hotel, an urban resort filled with history, can be fully or partially reserved for a private event. The hotel's Kingbird Terrace is set along the river and is great for hosting a casual gathering or meal.