For corporate events in Germany, consider my personal favorite, Mainz. I discovered Mainz many years ago when I had a four-day layover when working as a summer flight attendant. I returned for the first time yesterday and I was enchanted all over again. (For a personal perspective, here is where you can read about my return to Mainz.)
Mainz, a picture-perfect town on the left bank of the Rhine, combines a storybook setting with modern amenities. Boasting ample meeting and conference facilities, Mainz is the perfect destination for incentive travel, business meetings and team building retreats.
What to See in Mainz
Mainz's old town is a historic area has cobblestone streets, cathedrals, art galleries, museums, and cafes. Much of the area was damaged during the air raids of World War II but it has been restored based on the original plans and architectural. Some restaurants are renovated historical properties. For example, Heilig Geist Spital Restaurant (lower right) was once a hospital.
There are 39 annual festivals in Mainz including the Midsummer St. John's Night Festival (Johannisnacht), the wine market in August, the Carnival (Fastnacht) in November, and, of course, the Christmas market.
Of historical significance is the Gutenberg Museum that is within walking distance of local hotels.
Johannes Gutenberg revolutionized publishing by inventing the printing press. For this reason, Gutenberg was selected as the most influential figure of the last millennium. Gutenberg’s workshop has been re-constructed.
Other museums include Landesmuseum, the state museum where the Imperial stables were once located, and the Museum of Ancient Shipping.
Meeting and Conference Facilities in Mainz
Conference facilities include the historical Kurfuerstliches Schloss (Palace of the Counts Elector), Frankfurter Hof, and Rheingoldhalle with 7,000 square meters of meeting space located beside the Mainz Hilton on the Rhine River.
Some of the hotels in Mainz have generous facilities for business meetings of various sizes and conferences.
Where to Stay in Mainz
Here's a tip for event and meeting planners: If you're looking for a property that delivers time and time again, pick a hotel that airlines use for crew layovers. For example, I stayed at the Mainz Hilton many years ago during that layover I mentioned. When I visited again yesterday, I found that Air Canada is still using the property for layovers and so are other airlines. I ran into a crew from South Africa's airline and they told me that they have been staying there for years.
Not only does this 5 Star property, situated on the left bank of the Rhine, offer exquisite views of the river and Mainz, it has 10 meeting rooms. Groups of all sizes can be accommodated. For example, the capacity of Goldsaal A, B, C and D combined is 600 for receptions, 450 for dining and 350 with a classroom style set-up for meetings. For incentives, it has immediate accesses to Rhine cruises. Cross the street and you're in the picturesque historical section with many options for group dining, private dining and, of course, shopping.
Hyatt Regency Mainz
With 268 guest rooms including suites, the 5 Star Hyatt Regency Mainz integrates a historic 19th-century castle (Fort Malakoff) with modern architecture. There are 15 meeting venues.The largest is the Rhein-Main-Ballsaal that accommodates 330 guests for dining and 280 for meetings with a classroom-style set-up.
Located in the stunning historic district of Mainz, the Novotel offers 217 guest rooms and 12 meeting rooms
Photo Credits: Executive Oasis International