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City Snapshot

Orange County, CA - Beach Cities

Each month we pick one of our favorite #DynamoDestinations that should be on your map for hosting conferences, meetings & events. Plus, we’ll reveal our top venue picks in the same 5 corporate event categories for each destination so that when you’re in a pinch and need to find the very best picks right now in a given city, you’ve got the Dynamo-approved go-to’s.

Orange County, CA – Our May 2020 Feature

With more than 40 miles of majestic Pacific shoreline, beautifully accompanied beaches, and a whole lot of amenities, we’re excited to announce Orange County, California, as our May City Snapshot!

Less than two hours away from Los Angeles and San Diego, Orange County has so much to offer event professionals and guests-alike! Some A+ features include:

Vibrant Hospitality Scene

When it comes to the hospitality scene, you’ll find a multitude of beachfront and coastal-inspired hotels. From big-box names to cute boutique gems, discover beautiful venues stretched along the +40 miles of shoreline!


With great airlift options, meeting your guests in Orange County is super simple! Depending on where you’re flying in from, you’ll have the option to choose from several different airports – John Wayne Airport (25-30 minutes), Los Angeles International Airport (just a 40-minute drive), and Long Beach Airport (20-minutes away!), to name a few!

If you’re somehow still on the fence about Orange County for your next event-destination, you’ll want to take a look at the venues we selected as part of our Top 5 Corporate Event categories in OC. They’ll leave you wondering why you hadn’t hosted an event in the city a lot sooner!

1. User Conference

Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa

Chain: Marriott
Brand: Marriott Bonvoy
Total meeting space: 20,000 sq ft indoor + 30,000 sq ft outdoor
Guest rooms: 378
Nearest airport: John Wayne Airport, SNA (25-30 minute drive depending on the time of the day)

Why we love it:

Other than being a part of the trusted Marriott brand (earn your Bonvoy points here!), this stunning Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa boasts over 50,000 square feet of meeting spaces, making it an ideal venue for user conferences.

Located on a dramatic bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the hotel offers a range of outdoor, experiential adventures like parasailing, whale watching, deep-sea fishing, and yoga. Aligned with the Orange County nature-forward mentality, they also take green programs and eco-friendly initiatives very seriously!

With 15 different meeting spaces – ballrooms, breakout rooms, oceanfront patios, lawns, and terraces – it can be slightly overwhelming to navigate as an event professional. Luckily, we have a few recommendations! We suggest starting with a Welcome Reception at the Laguna Brick Ocean View venue. You’ll be able to capture the glorious sunset and views of the harbor spanning across the horizon. When it comes to General Sessions, try hosting them in the Dana Ballroom – it’s filled with natural light and can hold up to 960 attendees. As for your meals, the hotel’s beautiful Del Mar and Vue Lawn venues are not to be missed!

2. Sales Kickoff

Montage Laguna Beach

Chain: Preferred Hotels
Total meeting space: 27,000 sq ft indoor + 19,000 sq ft outdoor
Guest rooms: 258
Nearest airport: John Wayne Airport, SNA (25 minute drive)

Why we love it:

Located in the heart of Southern California’s preeminent artist colony, this majestic 5-star hotel spans 30 acres, boasts a dreamy beachfront sanctuary, a 20,000 square foot spa, and three signature restaurants with jaw-dropping views of the California coastline. With the endless amenities, this spot is an ideal location for your next Sales Kickoff in OC!

We particularly enjoy their newly renovated luxurious guest rooms, the high-touch guest experience, and multiple high-end dining options.

We recommend starting with a General Session in the Grand Ballroom, hosting your meals in the Studio. With its panoramic oceanfront location and modern California coastal cuisine, you can take advantage of the hotel’s wonderfully sized breakout rooms located on the same floor as the General Session – this helps create a streamlined, accessible event flow your future attendees will love!

3. Executive Summit

The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

Chain: Marriott
Brand: Ritz-Carlton
Total meeting space: 26,000 sq ft indoor + 56,000 sq ft outdoor
Guest rooms: 396
Nearest airport: ‎John Wayne Airport, SNA (25 to 30 minutes depending on the time of day)

Why we love it:

Fusing modern luxury with playful creativity, this 5-star hotel, woven into Orange County’s dreamy Dana Point Community, is a true expression of what makes Laguna Beach such a special and spirited place. It’s also why we think it’s an exceptional destination for your next Executive Summit!

When it comes to dining, all on-premise options feature a curated, seasonal menu highlighting locally sourced, organic ingredients from nearby SoCal farms – We’re talking about a true farm-to-table dining experience! Their stunning outdoor lounge (180Blũ) is also not to be missed! Featuring incredible views of the Pacific Ocean at sunset and outdoor lounging, everyone will likely be meeting up there in the evening, with a hand-crafted cocktail in hand, to mingle and wind down.

With over 56,000 square feet of expertly landscaped outdoor spaces, host all your meetings, team-building activities, and networking functions outside, and overlook the coast while you’re at it!

If you happen to require more audiovisual enhancements or if you just need a little break from all the sunshine, elegant, curated indoor meeting spaces are also available. The Ritz Carlton Ballroom is great for larger gatherings, while The Plaza offers a more intimate lunch or breakout setting with an idyllic balcony and sweeping views overlooking the Pacific.

When planning an Executive (or Team Building) Retreat or Summit, it’s always a good idea to consider a hotel that’s known for offering a variety of curated activities, like site-seeing, outdoor or ocean-inspired excursions, health, wellness, and spa treatments or packages, and cultural experiences. And at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, there are plenty!

4. Road Show

Surf & Sand Resort

Chain: JC Resorts
Brand: Surf & Sand Resort
Total meeting space: 10,000 sq ft indoor + 10,000 sq ft outdoor
Guest rooms: 167
Nearest airport: John Wayne Airport, SNA (20 minute drive)

Why we love it:

Located just a mile from the heart of Laguna Beach, the Surf & Sand Resort offers a variety of venues to meet every meeting-and event-related need you might have, making it the perfect venue for your Road Show.

When it comes to event planning, their impressive, spacious ballrooms are perfect for larger group sessions, while their conference or executive boardrooms burst with natural light and are ideal for smaller meetings and networking activations.

We recommend hosting your group’s reception in their stylish ocean-view lounge, 15fiftyfive. We guarantee guests will enjoy cozying up in one of the lounge chairs placed in front of the fire pit while listening to the crashing waves. The atmosphere is dramatic yet soothing- the perfect vibe for your sunset happy hour session!

5. Incentive

The Resort at Pelican Hill Newport Beach

Chain: Pelican Hill- Newport Beach
Brand: Irvine Company
Total meeting space: 23,000 sq ft of indoor/outdoor space
Guest rooms: 204 bungalow guest rooms and 128 villas
Nearest airport: John Wayne Airport, SNA ( ‎15 minute drive or a 45 minute drive to Los Angeles, LAX)

Why we love it:

Located on one of the last oceanfront nature preserves in Southern California (Crystal Cove), The Resort at Pelican Hill Newport Beach stretches across 3.5 miles of stunning shoreline and is truly incomparable.

The hotel offers architecture inspired from the grand villas of the Italian countryside, panoramic vistas, sun-drenched, luxury bungalows and suites, and an iconic Coliseum Pool (fun fact: Its radiant blue bottom was created by hand-setting 1.1 million hand-cut glass mosaic tiles!) and an elite, renowned golf course on-premise. Hosting your next Incentive here would 100% drum up some serious competition!

When your guests aren’t attending functions, you can find them indulging in a swim, surf session, or kayaking adventure on the crystal blue waters. With this hotel’s perfect outdoorsy location, they’ll also be able to stroll along the seemingly untouched sandy beaches, explore tide pools, and jog or cycle along trails that meander through the canyon.

Group Activations

Which city would you like us to cover next? Send us a message to let us know!

Need help venue sourcing?

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What if you had a personal meeting broker to help you gather Orange County hotel venue availabilities and pricing, compare options, and negotiate your contract for you?

Start a Request for Proposal today, and we’ll have options for you next week.

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