Vote Today: 2016 American Group Travel Awards Categories and Nominees Announced

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We encourage everyone to vote. The awards bring together some of the most innovative, leading individuals and organizations in the industry today and help recognize their hard work and dedication within group travel, the leading provider of online group travel services, is pleased to announce the categories and nominees for the 2016 American Group Travel Awards (AGTA), an event recognizing the top organizations in North America delivering outstanding services and experiences to group travelers. Voting is now officially open and to vote for your favorite, please visit and click on the “Vote Now!” link featured on the home page.

The third annual awards gala is being held yet again at the prominent Diamond Horseshoe Theatre at the Paramount Hotel in New York City on November 14th, 2016. Hosted by Dylan Ratigan, former CNBC and MSNBC TV Journalist, Documentary Film Producer and New York Times Best-Selling Author, an entertaining night is planned with performances by Queen of the Night, music by New York native DJ Dalton, and a Diamond raffle giveaway.

There are 23 categories this year, including hotels, airlines, cruises, theme parks, ground transportation, and more, along with new nominations for conventions, weddings, car rentals, and destination resorts. Categories and nominees were selected by a panel of industry experts who determined selections based on suppliers who provide the highest quality of group travel services.

“We encourage everyone to vote. The awards bring together some of the most innovative, leading individuals and organizations in the industry today and help recognize their hard work and dedication within group travel,” stated Tim Hentschel, CEO of “The group travel marketplace continues to grow and it wouldn’t be possible without the support of those nominated in each respected category for 2016.”

The American Group Travel Awards is an opportunity to reward the industry’s finest offering a great environment to network with travel professionals, and the awards also help raise scholarship money for students pursuing hospitality degrees at Cornell University, Hentschel’s Alma Mater.

The nominees for the 2016 American Group Travel Awards (AGTA) are:

Best Hotel Brand – Full Service    

  • Hilton Hotels & Resorts        
  • Hyatt Hotels        
  • InterContinental Hotels & Resorts        
  • Wyndham Hotels and Resorts        
  • Sheraton Hotels & Resorts        
  • Loews Hotels • Resorts        
  • Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts    

Best Hotel Brand – Limited Service    

  • Comfort Inn & Suites        
  • Hampton Inn & Suites        
  • Holiday Inn Express        
  • Hyatt Place        
  • Microtel Inn & Suites        
  • Staybridge Suites        

Best Hotel Brand – Luxury    

  • Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts        
  • InterContinental Hotels & Resorts        
  • JW Marriott        
  • Park Hyatt        
  • The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company        
  • Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts    

Best Hotel Brand – Boutique    

  • Andaz Hotels by Hyatt        
  • Cambria hotel & suites        
  • Commune Hotels + Resorts        
  • Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants         
  • Radisson Blu        
  • TRYP by Wyndham        
  • W Hotels         

Best Destination Resort Brand    

  • Grand Hyatt Hotels
  • Hard Rock Hotels         
  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations        
  • Iberostar Hotels & Resorts        
  • Marriott Vacation Club        
  • Ohana Hotels         
  • Westin Hotels & Resorts        

Best Sports Team Travel Hotel Brand    

  • Best Western Hotels & Resorts        
  • Comfort Inn & Suites        
  • Days Inn & Suites        
  • Hampton Inn & Suites        
  • Holiday Inn Express         
  • Sheraton Hotels & Resorts

Best Casino Hotel    

  • ARIA Resort & Casino Las Vegas        
  • Bellagio Las Vegas        
  • Hard Rock Hotel & Casino         
  • Caesars Palace Las Vegas Hotel and Casino
  • Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino        
  • Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower        
  • The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino        

Best Wedding Hotel    

  • Waldorf Astoria New York         
  • Biltmore Hotel Miami - Coral Gables        
  • Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia        
  • The Cloister at Sea Island- GA        
  • The Resort At Pelican Hill- Newport Beach        
  • The Drake Hotel- Chicago        

Best Independent Hotel Brand    

  • Affinia Hotel Collection        
  • Ayres Hotels         
  • Omni Hotels & Resorts        
  • Relais & Châteaux        
  • The Leading Hotels of the World        
  • Virgin Hotels         
  • Westgate Resorts    

Best Extended Stay Brand    

  • Cambria hotels & suites        
  • Candlewood Suites    
  • Extended Stay America        
  • Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham        
  • TownePlace Suites by Marriott        
  • Value Place         

Best Golf and Spa Resort    

  • Four Seasons Resort Hualalai        
  • Pebble Beach Resorts- CA        
  • Pinehurst Resort- NC        
  • Streamsong Resort • Golf • Spa        
  • The Broadmoor- CO        
  • The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples        
  • Wequassett Resort and Golf Club- MA        

Best Convention Hotel    

  • Hyatt Regency Chicago
  • Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego
  • New York Hilton Midtown
  • Omni Nashville Hotel
  • Sheraton Boston Hotel
  • The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
  • The Florida Hotel & Conference Center- Orlando

Best Airline    

  • American Airlines        
  • Delta Air Lines        
  • JetBlue        
  • Southwest         
  • United        
  • Virgin America        

Best Ocean Cruise Line    

  • Carnival        
  • Celebrity Cruises        
  • Norwegian Cruise Line        
  • Princess Cruises        
  • Royal Caribbean International        

Best Car Rental Company    

  • Alamo        
  • Avis        
  • Budget        
  • Enterprise         
  • Hertz        
  • Thrifty        

Best Group Ground Transportation    

  • Big Bus Tours        
  • BusBank        
  • Gray Line        
  • MegaBus        
  • SuperShuttle        
  • US Coachways

Best Theme Park

  • Busch Gardens Tampa Bay        
  • Cedar Point- Sandusky, Ohio        
  • Disney World Orlando        
  • Disneyland Park         
  • Knott's Berry Farm        
  • Six Flags Magic Mountain        
  • Universal Orlando        

Best Beach Destination    

  • Cancun, Mexico        
  • Maui, Hawaii        
  • Miami Beach, FL        
  • Myrtle Beach, SC    
  • Nassau, Bahamas        
  • San Diego, CA        
  • South Padre Island, TX        

Best City Destination    

  • Boston        
  • Chicago        
  • Las Vegas        
  • New York City        
  • Orlando        
  • San Francisco        

Best State    

  • California        
  • Florida        
  • Nevada        
  • New York        
  • Texas         
  • Washington, D.C.     

Best Live Stage Performance     

  • Finding Neverland        
  • Hamilton        
  • Kinky Boots        
  • Les Misérables        
  • The Lion King        
  • The Phantom of the Opera        
  • Wicked        

Best Shopping Experience    

  • King of Prussia Mall- PA        
  • Las Vegas Premium Outlets        
  • Mall of America- MN        
  • Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets        
  • Roosevelt Field- NY        
  • Sawgrass Mills- FL         

Best Online Travel Agency    

  • Expedia         
  • Getaroom        
  • Hotwire        
  • Orbitz        
  • Travelocity    

To find out more information about AGTA, please contact Bruce Rosenberg at (818) 661-0244 or via email at Bruce(dot)Rosenberg(at)americangrouptravelawards(dot)com.

About HotelPlanner provides group hotel booking services to 3,000 groups per day in the global group travel market. The company’s group hotel booking service ensures the lowest rates by allowing customers to receive quotes online directly from hotel group sales managers. HotelPlanner allows customers to book hotels for business meetings, conferences, conventions, family reunions, weddings, extended stays, tours, military reunions, church events, and group travels. The company also provides mobile applications for booking group hotel reservations. The company owns and operates, a site that provides information, planning and booking services for group, meeting, and individual hotel stays for the corporate, associations and business to business enterprises. With a mission statement geared towards, “Bringing People Together,” HotelPlanner & are the global experts for hotel sourcing, providing direct clients and market leading affiliates with unmatched group and event discounted room rates plus localized service levels not available at other travel companies. Founded in 2002, the company has offices in London, England, (European Headquarters), Hong Kong (Asia Headquarters), West Palm Beach, FL (USA Headquarters), and Las Vegas, Nevada. is proud to provide hotel reservation services to the following valued clients within the sports team and university, corporate, and government organizations. The company’s Pro Sports Team clients most notably include Matchroom Sport, the San Diego Chargers, Washington Redskins, St. Louis Rams, Professional Bowlers Association, European Professional Golfers (EuroPro), Super League (Rugby), AFC Wimbledon, Millwall F.C., and Queens Park Rangers F.C. In terms of college travel, Universities such as Texas A&M, New Mexico State, Saint Mary’s College, Bradley University, University of Reno-Nevada, University of Illinois-Chicago, Northeastern University, Cal Poly, and California State University Northridge use HotelPlanner to negotiate their group travel and recruiting stays. Corporations such as CROMPCO, Siemens, Jackson Motor Sports, National Grid, Chicago Bridge & Iron, Publix, and Servpro and Government clients such as the State of Mississippi, Government Services Agency, US Marines-Camp Le Jeune (Group), and US Communities also utilize as their hotel procurement provider to negotiate hotel rates, book hotel reservations and provide excellent service year-round.

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