Why You Should Host Your Next Meeting in the Big Apple
Your social media feeds are undoubtedly filling up fast with travelers posting pictures of what’s new across the globe. What’s not new in travel? That fact that New York City remains a top destination for leisure and group travel. While the pandemic temporarily kept visitors away, 56.5 million tourists are expected in 2022. According to The New York Times, rising hotel occupancy figures indicate that New York remains the nation’s most desirable destination — a desire that your attendees share. When planning your next event, why not reduce attendance stress by meeting where attendees already want to go? The Big Apple.
Dining? Name a cuisine and you’ll find it here. Culture? You’ve heard of Broadway, we assume. And most of the city’s 100-plus museums, from downtown’s 9/11 Museum to the Lower East Side’s Tenement Museum to Midtown’s newly expanded MoMA to the Upper East Side’s Frick Collection to the National Jazz Museum in Harlem and more always have new offerings. For physically inclined attendees, the city offers miles of dedicated walking and biking paths—not to mention the enormous playground that is Central Park, in which visitors can do everything from birdwatching to boating.
What’s Newest in New York City?
In the last five to 10 years, few parts of New York City have seen more development than Manhattan’s West Side. Between the creation of miles of jogging and biking paths in Hudson River Park to the relocated Whitney Museum of American Art, to the High Line and Hudson Yards, this stretch of the city features culture, exercise — and, conveniently, the Javits Center, the city’s flagship convention hub. Visitors wanting to take it all in can start their journey at Little Island, located in Hudson River Park, between 13th and 14th streets.
Opened May 21, 2021, Little Island is one of New York City’s latest, and most architecturally interesting, public parks. It is, in fact, little, measuring just 2.4 acres. But its history is significant, and its beauty (and proximity to other great tourist spots) is undeniable. The land of Hudson River Park, where Little Island is located, was home to the Lenape tribe during the early colonization of America. Between the 19th and 20th centuries, the Hudson River waterfront transformed into a busy port of entry. (In fact, in 1912, survivors from the Titanic disaster arrived safely to Pier 54 aboard the RMS Carpathia rescue liner.) The pier eventually fell into disuse, and it sustained heavy damage during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. But in 2013, the city embarked on a mission to repair and renovate the pier in the form of a new public space that created an immersive experience with nature and art. Today, visitors to Little Island will find short walking paths that wind atop cement risers, food carts, an amphitheater, and lushly landscaped gardens, as well as Instagram-worthy art installations. It is open daily, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., making it a flexible destination for post-session activities.
Steps away from Little Island is the Whitney Museum of American Art , which relocated from the city’s Upper East Side in 2015, as well as an entrance to another one of the city’s great greenspaces, the High Line , a 1.45-mile-long elevated rail structure ending near the Javits Center. Visitors who walk the High Line are treated to a scenic tour of the west side of the city from above, which extends from the meatpacking district to Hudson Yards. At Hudson Yards, visitors will find world-class shopping, dining, The Shed performance space, and the striking sculpture known for now as The Vessel .
Where to Stay
There are numerous Marriott properties that host meetings in the city. But one outstanding option includes the New York Marriott Marquis , which recently completed a major renovation that saw a complete refurbishment of the hotel’s guest rooms, restaurants, bars, ballrooms, meeting rooms and retail spaces. The renovation drew inspiration from the vibrant energy of its iconic setting: Times Square, of which Marquis visitors have an unparalleled view. In-room streaming TED talks curated for inspiration can keep ambitious attendees primed for connection — and the Marquis’ multiple dining and lounge spaces can give attendees a break from sessions.
For a luxury option, try The Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad. This new luxury hotel, opening spring 2022, now stands as one of the tallest buildings in the area (at the intersection of Broadway and 28th Street, a short distance from Hudson Yards). It has 250 guest rooms and 16 branded luxury penthouse residences, new restaurants courtesy of award-winning chef José Andrés, and a 6,800-square-foot spa and fitness center.
At both locations, as well as at Marriott’s other New York City properties, a Marriott team can work with planners to create experiences that can’t be purchased — for example, instead of a tour of MoMA, arrangements could be made for a slightly more bespoke experience, such as “coffee with the curator.”