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The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

New in the South

There’s always a new place to meet in the South.

The post-pandemic years have seen a plethora of new hotels, convention centers, resorts and off-site event venues being built, expanded or renovated in the southeastern United States. Here are a few that offer plenty of space and amenities for groups, along with fun activities and team building.

The Atrium on Tenth

Columbia, Missouri

Originally built in 1880 in the heart of Columbia, Missouri, The Atrium on Tenth is situated between three universities. The building itself has gone through many iterations in its long life, including as a car dealership and a funeral home. It was converted to an event space in 2016. Eclipse Catering and Events took over management of the facility in 2022, renovating the bar and upstairs bridal suite.

The classic building features tall ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, exposed brick, gold Chiavari chairs and polished concrete floors. There are three event spaces. The Great Room can host 350 seated for a banquet or 500 for a standing reception. The Lower Atrium mimics the Great Room but has a full bar and can accommodate 125 for a reception or 50 to 60 guests for a sit-down dinner. The conference room can easily seat 40 people conference-style.

Rental includes tables, chairs and linens in 30 different colors and patterns. For groups that want enhanced sound quality, such as for a wedding or dance, the facility recommends they bring in their own A/V equipment.

Waynesville Inn and Golf Club

Waynesville, North Carolina

Waynesville Inn and Golf Club in Waynesville, North Carolina, got its start in 1926 when famed golf architect Donald Ross chose an old dairy farm as the setting for his Carolina nine golf course. Originally it was named the Waynesville Country Club. The old dairy barn was turned into a clubhouse with a card room and dance hall. Since then, the property has changed hands a few times and has grown and expanded to include lodging, conference facilities and more golf.

The Raines Company purchased the property in April 2021 and spent two years completely renovating it. It reopened to the public in July 2023. It was rebranded as Waynesville Inn and Golf Club and added to the Tapestry Collection by Hilton.

Situated on 165 acres, the property has 72 guest rooms and three newly constructed four-bedroom cottages. The new owners transformed the 27-hole golf course into an 18-hole, 6,500-yard championship golf course with bent grass tees, fairways and greens.

Waynesville Inn has 9,000 square feet of outdoor event space that can host 300 attendees and 6,000 square feet of indoor event space that includes its two restaurants.

DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Resort

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

DoubleTree Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Resort is in the midst of a major property-wide renovation that is expected to be completed on May 1. The new resort, which includes Ellie Beach Resort, will be dual branded as a DoubleTree and Tapestry Collection by Hilton.

All of the hotel’s 452 guest rooms have been redesigned, and its three-story, 29,568-square-foot conference center will receive new décor, wall treatments, carpet and paint. The meeting spaces feature floor-to-ceiling windows and offer access to covered balconies that face the water. The three 8,500-square-foot ballrooms can be divided into 19 meeting or breakout spaces and can accommodate 10 to 1,000 guests. The facility has an 8,532-square-foot exhibit hall. There are also several smaller meeting rooms and hospitality suites available.

The 27-acre DoubleTree Resort has a new main building, which houses the lobby, guest registration, restaurants and a food market.

The resort is adding a new infinity pool and cabanas, three large water slides and a splash pad to the Ellie Beach Resort. A 600-foot lazy river will make its debut this fall. Outdoor venues will include firepits, hammocks, an event lawn and outdoor recreation spaces. Both resorts have beachfront locations with access to Springmaid Pier, which offers year-round fishing, seasonal boating and water sports.

Southall Farm and Inn

Franklin, Tennessee

Southall Farm and Inn is a brand-new event venue about 20 minutes outside of Nashville, in the rolling hills of Franklin, Tennessee. Set on a 325-acre working farm, the 62-room inn has greenhouses on one side and rows of heritage crops, orchards and gardens on the other. There are also 16 cottages available for rent.

Southall has several event and meeting venues on property, including The Orchard, its spacious event center, which features high ceilings, exposed beams and natural light. The facility can host events for up to 250 guests, or it can be divided into classrooms and breakout spaces. There are also two boardrooms for smaller gatherings.

An amphitheater on the shores of Lake Mishkin can accommodate 350 guests, and the Conservatory Terrace is an open-air venue alongside Southall’s greenhouse conservatories and courtyard that is perfect for a welcome reception or cocktail party. It can hold 65 guests under canvas canopies. It also features a lawn with custom Adirondack chairs.

The Jammery is Southall’s preservation kitchen, which can also double as a small meeting venue. Other venues include The Hilltop Pavilion, which overlooks the valley and includes an expansive lawn and a large deck with an outdoor cooking area. The Covered Bridge is located near the lake and can host up to 100 guests for a banquet.

Embassy Suites by Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Resort

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Built as part of the Cavalier Resort complex, the brand-new Embassy Suites Virginia Beach Oceanfront Resort is a short walk from the beach. Opened in February 2023, the property features free made-to-order breakfast every morning at Arbuckle’s Bar and Grill, a complimentary evening reception, a fitness center, and indoor and outdoor swimming pools.

The property is about a 10-minute drive from Ocean Breeze water park and Motor World amusement park. The Virginia Beach Aquarium is four miles away. The hotel has 10,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space and 157 guest rooms.

The Mainsail Ballroom is the property’s largest event space. It can host 150 for a banquet or 300 for a reception. The Mainsail pre-function space can host 150 for a reception. On the property’s second level, there is a smaller meeting room and a boardroom that work well for breakout spaces. For outdoor cocktail receptions or social hours, groups can host events on the pool deck, which can accommodate 200 for a banquet. Arbuckles and Tacos-N-Tequila, an open-air beachfront Mexican cantina, offer group dining experiences.