Thanks to their attention to detail, excellent service and commitment to green practices, a slew of Canadian venues have prasied by planners and are featured in our annual Readers’ Choice round-up. By M&IT Staff, Market Report, January/February 2009
METRO TORONTO CONVENTION CENTRE
With more than 2-million sq. ft., Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) answers planners’ needs in a myriad of ways. For instance, there’s Constitution Hall, an in-demand ballroom offering 28,000 sq. ft. of flexible, divisible space, with two operable walls. Featuring up-to-date technology, a new sound system and an expanded pre-function area on the 100 level, the space accommodates 3,400 theatre-style, 2,800 reception-style and 2,520 banquet-style. Moreover, by pioneering Zero Waste Events, MTCC takes a leadership role in ‘going green.’ Witness the MTCC’s extensive recycling programme; its partnership with Bullfrog Power to provide 100-per-cent green electricity; its 40-per-cent total-energy reduction during the past seven years; and its annual donation of more than 2,000 lbs. of leftover food to local food banks. One of our Market Report Survey respondents, in fact, singled out MTCC’s “green planning, excellent client service” and a catering staff that was “very accommodating.”
Nestled in beautiful downtown Montreal, the Delta Centre-Ville hotel boasts 711 guestrooms and suites offering coffee makers and complimentary coffee; voicemail and an extra phone line for data port; and access to the on-site health club.
Additionally, the Signature Club Lounge serves a complimentary, deluxe continental breakfast and provides computer and printer access and express checkout. A revolving rooftop restaurant, the Tour de Ville, serves à la carte dinner and, on Friday and Saturday nights, themed buffets. On the meeting side, Delta Centre-Ville features 24 function and meeting rooms totaling more than 33,000 sq. ft. – including a 34-seat, classroom style auditorium and six executive boardrooms – and offers an eco-friendly ‘Meet & Green’ package. High-speed Internet is available in all function and meeting rooms and the business centre. Extolling the hotel’s virtues, a Market Report Survey respondent cited the “great, friendly staff, always wanting to make your stay pleasant and memorable.”
TORONTO CONGRESS CENTRE
It’s no surprise that Toronto Congress Centre (TCC) won a Readers’ Choice Award. The numbers tell the tale: One-million sq. ft. of exhibit space; 33 state-of-the art meeting rooms covering 60,000 sq. ft., including a ballroom with adjacent courtyard, in the South building; an additional 40 meeting rooms in the North building. And TCC is green: double the recommended air-exchange units ensure maximum air exchange; low-VOC carpeting and chemical-free paints and cleaners mean the air is virtually allergen-free. Moreover, TCC has received Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) accreditation, meeting the world’s highest standards for food-safety practices. Our readers gushed, citing “outstanding service, quality, flexibility, communication” and praising the “amazing staff and attention to details.”
THE WESTIN OTTAWA
Our planners told us that sustainable menu planning, outstanding customer service and the staff’s “can-do” spirit made the Westin Ottawa a clear winner of a Readers’ Choice award. It also didn’t hurt that recent renovations give the hotel a sleek, modern look. The lobby features 20-ft., floor-to-ceiling windows and a 14-ft.-wide gas fireplace suspended from the third floor. On the lower level, brand-new meeting space includes six executive boardrooms covering 6,300 sq. ft. The executive meeting centre features state-of-the-art technology and wheelchair access. Ottawa’s newest (and largest) ballroom, the Governor General can be divided into three function areas or one large reception room. The property is transforming its guestrooms with a contemporary new look and new rooms coming onstream from now until the end of the year.
Excellent on-site service, good value and great meeting space reflect planners’ comments praising this Muskoka resort, proud to be named the host of the G8 Summit of world leaders in 2010. In spring, 2008, Deerhurst extended its meeting space with the renovated Lakeview Room on the lower level of the original, historic Lodge. It features a direct walk-out to the water, plus the ability to meet, dine and enjoy entertainment, in one compact building. The resort has also renovated its spa; expanded its on-site team-building experiences; and created new catering options at outdoor venues including the BBQ Point beach and gazebo location. Mindful of shrinking budgets and company restructuring, the resort is also offering, for the first time, a total meetings package, which includes a free team-building option with a group event.
THE FAIRMONT ROYAL YORK
Planners across the country appreciate that this iconic Toronto landmark “clearly understands the business of meetings,” making note of the superlative cuisine created by its passionate chefs and the flexibility of staff to cater to meetings. One planner remarked, “they’re so familiar with our group, that they deliver our expectations before it’s even asked.” Melanie Coates, regional director of public relations for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, says it is always wonderful to receive kudos from the meeting-planning community. Coates says, “we are continuing our green efforts by partnering with the Ocean Wise programme to offer sustainable seafood choices to banquet, catering and in-house menus.” The Royal York also offers organic options on catering menus to help planners who want to operate environmentally responsible meetings.
Pan Pacific – Vancouver
Delta Lodge at Kananaskis
The Westin Bayshore
The Banff Centre
Hilton Suites Toronto/Markham
Conference Centre & Spa
White Oaks Conference Resort & Spa
University of Toronto Downtown Campus
The Westin Harbour Castle Toronto
Inn at the Forks – Winnipeg
Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel
The Fairmont Newfoundland
The Fairmont Chateau Laurier
Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu