Groups of 10 to 1,500 will soon have a new option for meetings and conventions just 10 miles outside of Washington, DC.
The Hotel at the University of Maryland will be the only four-star hotel in the College Park area, and with 43,000 sf of meeting space—including a 10,000 sf ballroom and rooftop venue—it will inevitably be a game changer for groups meeting within the Baltimore-Washington Metro area. Marian Hrab, director of sales and marketing for the hotel
, is expecting a major increase in events that springboard from the University of Maryland’s (UMD) research efforts. “UMD in itself is an enormous draw for meetings and conventions and no hotel in the region has better access to activities and programming. We’ve been contacted by various UMD departments and student organizations on campus. And there’s been a lot of interest by the UMD alumni base for conferences and events.” Intimate gathering spots at the hotel include a penthouse loft and a range of suites. The 1,800-sf Presidential Suite with its private kitchen, living and billiards rooms for entertaining and 800-sf private terrace that overlooks the university campus, can be transformed for evening cocktail parties and would also work well as creative brainstorming or networking hubs. On the culinary front, the taste ranges from the elegant Kapnos Taverna where traditional and contemporary Greek dishes and wines will be served, to an upscale coffee and New York-style bagel house grab-and-go. Somewhere in between is the artful lobby bar and the Old Maryland Grill, serving locally sourced faves like crab cakes, oysters from Maryland and Virginia waters and 24 local beers and ciders on tap. Attendees can recharge with a wellness agenda that includes basking in an outdoor Zen garden and in-room spa treatments from the Red Door Salon & Spa. The hotel is also striving for Gold LEED certification. Off-site, everywhere you turn offers new possibilities. Baltimore is 30 miles away, while Georgetown, Bethesda and charming Annapolis are even closer on the Chesapeake Bay. Whether taking in a performance or creative workshop at College Park’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, taking in the city from the National Harbor’s Capital Wheel, enjoying a summer series of literary, arts and music festivals in Bethesda or paddling along the Star-Spangled Banner and National Historic Trail in nearby Bladensburg, as tales of the War of 1812 (immortalized in the US national anthem) are told, the Capital Region has no shortage of pre- and post-event cultural experiences for groups. “College Park is also home to the oldest continuously operating airport in the world,” Hrab adds. “It’s where the Wright Brothers taught the first military pilots how to fly. Groups can host events at the College Park Aviation Museum, which is just five minutes from The Hotel.” The College Park Metro also offers easy access to noteworthy DC spots such as the National Mall and other world-class museums, famous national monuments and memorials and gardens.