Nowhere on the Orange County coast is the resort transformation more evident than in Huntington Beach. Within the past 18
months, hotel openings, expansions and renovations have resulted
in the Huntington Beach Collection, a hotel district with 1,400
rooms and 185,000 square feet of meeting and event space “all
within a walkable footprint,” according to John Ehlenfeldt, executive vice president of sales for Visit Huntington Beach.
“We now have the largest collaborative density of hotels
within a quarter-mile on the entire Pacific Coast,” he said. “It’s all
close to downtown and our famous pier. The beauty is that you
don’t need transportation—you can do a citywide event where
attendees can walk between properties and don’t need to be in a
The newest addition is a 152-suite tower at the Waterfront Beach
Resort, a Hilton Hotel, which at press time was expected to debut
at the end of October. Along with added guest rooms taking its to-
tal to 437, the Hilton expansion also includes 20,000 square feet of
meeting space, an event lawn and a rooftop lounge called Offshore
Nine with panoramic views of the Pacific.
Last year brought the opening of the Pasea Hotel & Spa, which
offers 250 ocean-view rooms, a Balinese-inspired spa, two pools,
an event lawn overlooking the ocean and over 37,000 square feet of
“Also last year, a new complex opened up by the Paseo with
restaurants and high-end shopping, so there’s even more to walk
to within the area,” Ehlenfeldt said.
These new developments are inspiring existing hotels to “make
sure they have a stake in the game,” he added.
“The Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel increased its meeting space
from 3,000 square feet to 11,000 and did a complete redo of its
guest rooms with new soft goods,” he said.
Ehlenfeldt also noted that the city’s largest hotel, the 500-room
Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa, which has 100,000
square feet of meeting space, has embarked on a property-wide
renovation that includes updated technology and furnishings.
“When it’s completed by the end of spring, everything on the
water will be brand new,” he said.
Along with its resorts, Ehlenfeldt emphasized that Huntington
Beach, which brands itself as “Surf City USA,” offers the iconic
Southern California experience for groups.
“We have 10 miles of uninterrupted coastline with no structures
built on the sand,” he said. “You can have parties on the beach
with fire rings and s’mores. There are countless ways for end-of-meeting relaxation.”
These are golden times along California’s Orange County coast. The region is reaching new heights as a resort meetings destination,
with a stellar lineup of new and improved
waterfront properties where the only
decor needed is the setting sun glowing
over the Pacific horizon.
Orange County’s beach cities offer superlative venues for events
BY MARIA LENHART