27 unique meeting spaces you should know about

Instead of holding your quarterly meeting in a dank, dreary conference room, consider taking the crowd out for a day of bowling or for some team-building activities on Lake Washington. Rather than closing a business deal with out-of-town clients in a tiny, nondescript office, think about banging out the terms over a round of golf.

The Eastside’s full of lush rolling hills, serene lakes and rivers, majestic trees, and innovative cityscapes, and there are plenty of opportunities to visit these places and get some work done at the same time. Cue our venue guide, where we’ve rounded up a plethora of Eastside event venues for you to consider for business-related gatherings of all shapes and sizes. Events at places like these are the ones people — ourselves included — are most excited about attending.

Bake's Place. Photo by Joanna Kresge.

Bake’s Place. Photo by Joanna Kresge.

Bake’s Place
Capacity: 150
Best for: Business lunches, seminars, and cocktail parties
Bake’s Place has a reputation for entertaining guests, but that’s not the only reason to plan an event here.
“We have one of the largest outdoor patios in downtown Bellevue — it is elevated off the street and surrounded by trees,” says owner and manager Craig Baker. “Aside from our patio, I think what people enjoy the most is that it’s a great open area inside, as well. You never feel like you are confined in a dark, windowless room.”

Bellevue Arts Museum
Capacity: 150 seated, 450 standing
Best for: Classy affairs
Whether you choose to hold your event in the art-adorned Forum, the open-air Court of Light, or the in-house auditorium, your event will exude elegance if you select Bellevue Arts Museum. End the evening with group admission to the galleries.

“With three diverse event spaces, a location in the vibrant heart of downtown Bellevue, and a backdrop of breathtaking architecture and engaging exhibits, Bellevue Arts Museum is a venue unlike any other and the ideal scene for a truly unforgettable occasion,” says Julia Sepulveda, special events manager.

Blue Lightning Brew/Vessel Wines
Capacity: 300
Best for: Award banquets, business lunches, and
cocktail parties
Located on the outskirts of Woodinville, Vessel Wines and its tandem brewery, Blue Lighting Brew, will accommodate a diverse range of event needs such as rental space and event planning. In addition, Vessel Wines can arrange catering and live entertainment for any event.

“Our downstairs event space is like a blank slate — anything you want we can do,” says event coordinator Andrea Heald. “In addition, we brew here, and we have beer, wine, cider, and root beer on tap for our guests.”

Cast Iron Studios
Capacity: 128 seated or 250 standing
Best for: Evening corporate parties
Cast Iron Studios is a downtown space that is catered by downtown eateries — Purple and Lot No. 3 — but it has a flavor all its own.

“This is a really rustic and different space for Bellevue. It’s not the typical hotel conference room — it’s much more intimate,” says event coordinator Lindsey Winters.

The event-planning staff will work with you to arrange a meeting, holiday party, corporate event, auction, or gala while organizing self or valet parking for the guests.

Courtyard by Marriott
Capacity: 270
Best for: Seminars, workshops, and meetings with out-of-town clients
Courtyard by Marriott has freshly renovated meeting rooms that offer a total of 3,888 square feet of space. The staff provides guests with a free Web page to manage their group, allowing attendees to get the 411 about the occasion and book their rooms if needed.

“We are larger than the normal Courtyard by Marriott. We operate a full-service hotel,” says Alicia Reyes, the hotel’s event coordinator. “We have a full-size restaurant, a full lobby bar, and a Starbucks, not to mention we are in prime walking distance of shopping, restaurants, and theaters.”


The Golf Club at Newcastle. Photo courtesy Okigolf.

The Golf Club at Newcastle
Capacity: 600
Best for: Business meetings, charity events, and golf tournaments
The Golf Club at Newcastle’s meeting space includes a boardroom, a ballroom, and the Wooly Toad, an intimate manor-style venue with lush leather sofas, poker and pool tables, and a private balcony with cityscape views. In addition, the club’s on-site golf course is ideal for unwinding or closing a business deal.

Didn’t come prepared to hit the links? No problem — the Gryphon Golf & Apparel shop is on-site with the clubs and apparel you need.

Hilton Bellevue
Capacity: 1,200
Best for: Everything from intimate group meetings to large trade shows
Hilton Bellevue boasts 60,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, making it suitable for events of any size. Clients are offered a package consisting of catering, audio-visual support, and a dedicated meeting planner who will coordinate room sets, meal times, and guest room arrangements.

The Hollywood Tavern
Capacity: 150
Best for: Corporate award banquets and intimate group dinners
The Hollywood Tavern teams up with its neighbor,
Woodinville Whiskey Co., to offer a customizable event venue with country-style dining in the distillery. The copper still and 25-foot distillation columns add ambiance to the space.

The Hotel Bellevue
Capacity: 400
Best for: Seminars, workshops, and meetings with visiting clients
The Hotel Bellevue, part of the Bellevue Club, calls itself an “urban retreat.” The hotel backs this proclamation with an extensive in-house catering menu made from fresh Northwest ingredients, posh meeting rooms, and a sophisticated atmosphere.

After a long day of meetings or seminars, guests can unwind with a visit to the spa or any of the Bellevue Club’s other amenitites.

Hyatt Regency Bellevue
Capacity: 1,400
Best for: Seminars, workshops, and large meetings
Centrally located in downtown Bellevue, Hyatt Regency offers 70,000 square feet of flexible, Asian-inspired meeting space, including a 135-seat sloped auditorium with a THX sound system and video conferencing capabilities.

Kristi Kosmata, director of sales and marketing, says the impeccable service and staff set Hyatt Regency Bellevue apart from the crowd. “Our culinary team is dedicated, creative, and extremely flexible given today’s plethora of dietary needs and restrictions,” she says. “The banquet and meeting concierge staff also provides attentive, friendly service to ensure that all expectations are met and exceeded.”

iPic Theaters
Capacity: 486
Best for: Video-oriented meetings
In addition to its state-of-the-art presentation equipment, iPic offers a menu of fresh, made-to-order local food that can be eaten in the cinema. If the theater isn’t the right scene for your business needs, iPic’s bar with flat-screen TVs and a diverse drink menu also is available.

Kirkland Performance Center
Capacity: 397
Best for: Media-heavy meetings
This theater-style venue gives a day of PowerPoint presentations a boost by making guests feel like they are spending the day at the movies with a concession stand, bar, and ushers.

Lucky Strike.

Lucky Strike. Photo by Adam Haney

Lucky Strike
Capacity: 1,200
Best for: Cocktail hour and team-building game play
What better way to boost employee motivation than by taking the whole crew out to bowl the night away?

Guests can bowl, play pool and ping-pong, relax at the bar, and lounge on the couches that adorn Lucky Strike’s 23,000-square-foot location. Lucky Strike offers a private meeting area complete with plush leather seating, presentation equipment, a 20-foot-long bar, and four private lanes. If that’s not enough room, you can rent the whole place.

Lunchbox Laboratory
Capacity: 70
Best for: Small businesses looking for big atmosphere
This kitschy spot in downtown Bellevue is a nerd’s paradise. In addition to its fantastic food, the Laboratory has an Event Lab that features a full bar, old-school arcade games, and a dance floor, which makes the intimate space more versatile and fun.

“We have an industry-leading event fee in that we don’t nickel and dime,” says Nathan Yagi-Stanton, Event Lab’s banquet coordinator. “There are no hidden rental fees, so you get the whole works, including unlimited game-play, for one all-inclusive price.”

Maggiano’s Little Italy
Capacity: 230
Best for: Classy dinner banquets and holiday parties
Maggiano’s offers Italian-American fare that can be served family- or buffet-style during corporate events. With professionally dressed servers, stylishly decorated rooms, and adjustable lighting for the perfect ambiance, any business event at Maggiano’s will radiate class and sophistication.

Maplewood Greens Banquets and Events
Capacity: 200
Best for: Company picnics and corporate retreats
Located on the grounds of Maplewood Golf Course, this event venue allows you to walk right out of the conference room and onto the links for a quick round of golf. You can enjoy a cold one at the end of the meeting at the River Rock Grill and Ale House.

Meydenbauer Center
Capacity: 5,000
Best for: Large corporate meetings and trade shows
Meydenbauer Center features space large enough for a concert or trade show, or small enough for a small business meeting — all under one roof. Meydenbauer is undergoing extensive interior renovation this summer.

“Meydenbauer Center is proud to be the place that local corporations like Microsoft, Costco, Expedia, and many others hold their product launches, shareholder meetings, and all-hands events,” says Sharon Linton, Visit Bellevue marketing and communication manager. “In addition, over 35 local fundraising organizations host events at Meydenbauer Center annually and collectively raise nearly $10 million annually to support families, education, housing programs, and the like.”

Mox Boarding House. Photo by Joanna Kresge.

Mox Boarding House. Photo by Joanna Kresge.

Mox Boarding House
Capacity: 24
Best for: Startup strategy meetings and working lunches
Mox Boarding House isn’t just a game store. In addition to a massive library of board and card games, Mox has a full-service restaurant as well as a tournament room for daily events and smaller rooms for more intimate meetings. Or journey into the hidden speakeasy through a faux bookcase door. There, guests can enjoy drinks from the bar.

Pickering Barn
Capacity: 400
Best for: Award banquets and cocktail parties
Pickering Barn wins over brides every summer as a rustic wedding venue, but this 12,000-square-foot barn also can accommodate up to 400 guests comfortably for a corporate event.

“We are in a great location, conveniently located off of Interstate 90,” says Jera Gilmore, City of Issaquah event coordinator. “Our space is also so versatile, it’s like a big open canvas, and we can accommodate a large number of people. The Hay Barn has two dressing rooms that make excellent breakout rooms for meetings and workshops.”

Red Lion Hotel
Capacity: 450
Best for: Seminars, workshops, and meetings with out-of-town clients
Red Lion Hotel in downtown Bellevue has 5,750 square feet of adaptable meeting space and devoted event planners to help make any meeting, large or small, a success. Forgot to print out that speech? No problem; the Red Lion’s business center has computers and printers available to help save the day.

Salish Lodge & Spa
Capacity: 180
Best for: Corporate retreats and hosting visiting clients
Located adjacent to serene Snoqualmie Falls, Salish Lodge helps businesses bring the boardroom back to nature.

“The history of the lodge and Snoqualmie Falls touches many of our guests. They are drawn back to our destination for sentimental reasons and to make new memories,” says general manager Rod Lapasin. “Salish is far enough away to keep attendees focused, but they don’t spend hours traveling to and from the destination.”

Upon arrival at the lodge’s meeting spaces, guests are welcomed by warm hearths, natural lighting, and rustic Northwest-themed décor.

Sheraton Bellevue Hotel
Capacity: 240
Best for: Seminars, workshops, and meetings with out-of-town clients

Sheraton Bellevue is located in the heart of downtown Bellevue and offers 8,000 square feet of versatile, newly remodeled space that can accommodate a corporate holiday party, a multi-day workshop or any other business function.

Willows Lodge
Capacity: 180
Best for: Corporate retreats and team-building activities

In addition to its Northwest ambiance, Willows Lodge has five acres of beautiful gardens and an on-site restaurant, The Barking Frog. Willows Lodge is also adjacent to Aerial Adventure Park for tightrope-walking team-building events. What better way to break up an indoor meeting than having the team at Willows Lodge plan outdoor breakout sessions?

Tibbetts Creek Manor
Capacity: 130
Best for: Corporate retreats and team-building activities

This picturesque two-story home, which sits beside a quiet creek, might as well have been painted upon a canvas. “There is a lot more nature here than most venues in the area,” says Cynthia Wright of the Issaquah Parks and Recreation. “In the summer, business groups can hold breakout sessions on the deck, or they can rent the city park next door for team-building activities. This spot is also great because you can escape and take a quiet walk down to the creek for a breather between meetings.”

The Westin Bellevue Hotel
Capacity: 650
Best for: Seminars, workshops, and meetings with out-of-town clients
Outdoors-inspired meeting spaces at The Westin Bellevue give clients a taste of nature without leaving downtown Bellevue. The staff will accommodate gatherings of every size and shape by utilizing the 25,000 square feet of venue space.

Woodinville Lavender

Woodinville Lavender. Photo by Joanna Kresge.

Woodinville Lavender
Capacity: 50 inside, 125 outside
Best for: Corporate retreats and team-building activities
The scent of the lavender immediately calms guests at Woodinville Lavender, a trait that helps make a truly intimate atmosphere. Events can be hosted indoors with a view of the fields, or outdoors among the lavender.

“The lavender doesn’t bloom all year, but we have year-round beautiful views of Sammamish Valley,” says Tom Frei, owner and event coordinator. “We are the only lavender farm in the vicinity. You have to go a long way to find something like this, and it’s a great location because we are near all the wineries in Woodinville.”

The Woodmark Hotel
Capacity: 240
Best for: Corporate retreats and team-building activities
All meeting rooms at The Woodmark Hotel feature a beautiful lakefront view.
“I think what sets us apart is that we are right on Lake Washington, so it’s nice to escape from the boardroom without having to go that far,” says marketing coordinator Brady Rusch. “When it comes to events, we are all about saying ‘yes’ and making it happen for the guest.”

The Woodmark also coordinates group activities on the water such as paddleboarding and boat rentals.