In 2018, the Meetings Star awards, together with Conventa, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. During this time it has gained a special status, and the awarding of prizes at Conventa has become a traditional event. This year it will be raised to an even higher level with an independent event in Grand hotel Union, Ljubljana.

More important than the competition, however, is the starting point from where, through the announcing and awarding of the best, we are contributing to ensuring high quality products and services. Meeting planners also have the same expectations. We are pleased that numerous organisers have confirmed to us that the recipients of plaques are at the top in their field and, therefore, the awards are an actual reflection of the situation in the market. In the future we will further extend our evaluations to new destinations and providers.

The top ten in the various categories will receive special plaques at the awards at the Grand Hotel Union on 23 January 2018. All the best-rated hotels and venues, together with a detailed description of the methodology used, are presented below.

For the year 2017 we chose the best in three umbrella categories:

A) The Best Meeting Destination 2017
B) The Best Meeting Hotel and Convention Centres 2017
C) Conventa Best Event Award 2017

The Best Meeting Destinations 2017

Congress travelogues or Meetologies have become a firm reference point for event organisers in deciding and choosing destinations. This particularly results from the logic and benefits that they bring to participants.

On the initiative of individual destinations that are part of the MTLG project, we have prepared a new categorisation of destinations. The objective of the upgrade categorisation is to provide meeting planners with as much information as possible about the capacities of destinations, which, since 2009, we have been evaluating using the Meetologue methodology. All destinations have been evaluated on the basis of field trips and research, in order to get as close as possible to the real situation.

The new categorisation includes a combination of criteria, with a points sum of indices that is the basis for classifying destinations in four destination classes.

Destinations that can host over 2,000 congress participants

The first category features the largest European meeting destinations which have exceptionally developed congress infrastructure and excellent aviation links. These destinations are mainly important aviation hubs.


Winning destination 2017: VIENNA – score 4.77
Finalists 2017: Munich 4.68 / Berlin 4.64 / Zürich 4.62 / Edinburgh 4.62 / Barcelona 4.58 / Prague 4.55 / London 4.46 / Athens 4.41 / Glasgow 4.40 / Warsaw 4.39

Destinations that can host a maximum of 2,000 congress participants

Congress infrastructure and aviation links in these destinations allow the organisation of congresses for up to 2,000 participants.


Winning destination 2017: LJUBLJANA – score 4.33
Finalists 2017: Graz 4.32 / Zagreb 4.31 / Venice 4.30 / Talin 4.28 / Krakow 4.23 / Bratislava 4.20 / Innsbruck 4.16 / Salzburg 4.14 / Thessaloniki 4.10

Destinations that can host a maximum of 1,200 congress participants

This is probably the most heterogeneous category. The general conclusion is that this category is dominated by regional centres and larger tourist towns.


Winning destination 2017: DUBROVNIK – score 4.27
Finalists 2017: Villach 4.06 / Klagenfurt 3.98 / Schladming 3.96 / Opatija 3.92 / Bled 3.91 / Rovinj 3.89 / Portorož 3.88 / Split 3.85 / Poreč 3.82

Destinations that can host a maximum of 600 congress participants

In this category smaller tourist towns prevail, where congress activities are supplementary in the low tourist season.


Winning destination 2017: KRANJSKA GORA – score 3.82
Finalists 2017: Bohinj 3.80 / Soče Valley 3.79 / Hvar 3.75 / Goriška Brda 3.74 / Mali Lošinj 3.73 / Laško 3.72 / Savinja Valley 3.71 / Podčetrtek 3.68 / Rogaška Slatina 3.67

Destinations in ‘New’ Europe compare with the most developed European destinations. Among them, according to our evalutions, Vienna is in first place with a score of 4.77.
We also compare and reward destinations in ‘New’ Europe. The ratings ladder of the best is:


1. Prague 4.55
2. Athens 4.41
3. Warsaw 4.39
4. Istanbul 4.34
5. Ljubljana 4.33
6. Zagreb 4.31
7. Budapest 4.30
8. Talin 4.28
9. Dubrovnik 4.27
10. Krakow 4.23


Ten years ago, when we started preparing the congress travelogues, we couldn’t possibly have foreseen that our methodology for evaluating destinations would have become such an important reference point for meeting planners. As of today, we have published 76 travelogues of various meeting destinations, all based on hard graft and solid field work. Our unflagging enthusiasm for this has demonstrated that we have been setting quality standards that are also being recognized by the wider international industry public through the Meetings Star Awards.

The Best Meeting Hotels and Convention Centres

We evaluate hotels and convention centre which are recommended to us by our readers and which are focused on congress tourism. For the 2017 award we evaluated 25 new hotels and re-evaluated 12 hotels from last year. In total 151 evalutions by hidden guests were carried out, which enables a true high-quality comparison. We deliberately avoid the possibility that part of the evaluation is made-up of online surveys. We believe that, by using such a method, the information obtained would only reflect the opinion of those users who choose to participate. Therefore, we will continue to use the hidden guest methodology, which, in our opinion, ensures the best quality results, despite the fact that this method is time-consuming and demanding.


The absolute winners for 2017 are:

Best Meeting Hotel

Regent Porto Montenegro, final score 4.96
In the middle of one of the most picturesque Adriatic bays, a prestigious marina has been developed, in which the new Regent Porto Montenegro hotel stands out. Thanks to this hotel, tourism in Montenegro has been elevated to the highest standard. The hotel is setting new regional hotel standards and places Montenegro among the luxury tourist destinations. The assessments of individual criteria speak for themselves. The hotel offers comfort, a range of high-quality materials, luxury elegance, and a quality spa centre. The generic record of events include lifestyle events, luxury weddings, and unforgettable incentive events. The world’s jet-set has quickly discovered the charm of the Montenegrin coast, and the Regent Porto Montenegro hotel also offers their own range of events.

Best Convention Centre

Austria Center Vienna, final score 4.91
The Austria Center Vienna is by far the biggest Austrian congress centre. In recent years it has been through a process of intensive renovation that has ensured its competitiveness. The centre is the strategic heart of the city’s congress facilities and enables the execution of the biggest and most demanding scientific congresses. In 2016 it hosted over 90,000 congress participants, andin 2017 its results will be even better. A special place is deserved for its efforts for permanent innovation and considering the needs of today’s congress guests. The Austria Center Vienna is the winner of the competition due to its exceptional management, which is constantly in step with the times. Thanks to the Austria Center Vienna, the city has maintained its leading position in the international congress industry and is a driver for the Vienna congress industry.

Winners in individual categories of evaluation for 2017:


  • LUXURY: RITZ CARLTON, Budapest, Hungary / score 4.95
  • PREMIUM: CROWNE PLAZA BELGRADE, Belgrade, Serbia / score 4.50


  • LUXURY: HOTEL REGENT PORTO MONTENEGRO, Tivat, Montenegro / score 4.96
  • PREMIUM: VALAMAR LACROMA, Dubrovnik, Croatia / score 4.50
    HOTEL SPLENDID, Budva, Montenegro/ score 4.50


  • SPA: X BIONIC HOTEL, Samorin, Slovakia / score 4.82


  • BOUTIQUE: AMAN SVETI ŠTEFAN, Sveti Štefan, Montenegro / score 4.92


  • CONVENTION: AUSTRIA CENTER VIENNA, Vienna, Austria / score 4.91


1. HOTEL REGENT PORTO MONTENEGRO, Tivat, Montenegro / score 4.96
2. RITZ CARLTON, Budapest, Hungary / score 4.95
3. CORINTHIA HOTEL BUDAPEST, Budapest, Hungary / score 4.94
4. AMAN SVETI STEFAN, Sveti Stefan, Montenegro/ score 4.92


1. AUSTRIA CENTER VIENNA, Vienna, Austria /score 4.91
2. ICE KRAKOW CONGRESS CENTRE, Krakow, Poland / score 4.90
3. ICC KATOWICE, Katowice, Poland/score 4.88

Among Slovenian hotels, the following hotels placed highest on the rankings ladder:


1. Kempinski Palace, Portorož 4.89
2. Grand Hotel Union, Ljubljana 4.80
3. InterContinental, Ljubljana 4.78
4. Mind Hotel Slovenia  4.76
5. Wellness Hotel Sotelia, Podčetrtek  4.73
6. Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel, Ljubljana  4.48
6. Hotel Balnea Superior  4.48
7. Grand Hotel Bernardin, Portorož 4.47
7. Hotel Brdo, Brdo pri Kranju 4.47
8. Best Western Premier Hotel Lovec, Bled 4.45
9. Hotel Golf, Bled 4.46
10. Grand Hotel Toplice, Bled  4.43
11. Hotel Lev, Ljubljana 4.43

Hotel Kempinski Palace Portorož


1. Hotel Plesnik, Logar valley 4.86
2. Hotel Cubo, Ljubljana 4.82
3. Hotel Vander, Ljubljana 4.76
4. Hotel Triglav, Bled 4.69
4. Kendov dvorec, Idrija 4.69
5. Hotel San Martin, Goriška Brda 4.28



1. Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana 4.85
2. Brdo Congress Centre, Brdo pri Kranju 4.84
3. Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre 4.81
4. Bled Festival Hall 4.19


Conventa Best Event Award

At a time when we have already seen and experienced almost everything imaginable, the organisation of unforgettable events is all but simple. In order to ensure that the best events in ‘New’ Europe, as well as their organisers, do not go unnoticed, Kongres magazine, in co-operation with Conventa, presents an award which, as part of the Meetings Star awards, will immortalise the best events in the meetings industry.

Recipients of the award will be announced at Conventa 2018. Details can be followed on our website