September Newsletter

Posted by | Travel | No Comments

We had a fabulous stay at Stoke Park Hotel recently.  The team there is very welcoming and friendly.  We stayed in the Pavilion, which is a separate building also housing the pool, gym and spa.  We were dining in the main house and they provided transport between the buildings as it was raining, which was much appreciated.

The dinner was delicious and breakfast was superb!  The hotel has extensive sports facilities including indoor, grass and clay tennis courts, a 2 story gym, hot yoga room, classes and a golf course.  There are a selection of meeting rooms most with direct access to the grounds, so perfect for summer events.

Ashorne Hill Hotel is an interesting mix of the historic manor with its original features and the purpose built conference centre.  There are 38 meeting rooms and 110 bedrooms and with 35 acres of land there is lots of space for team building.

Macdonald Alveston Manor in Stratford-upon-Avon is a lovely hotel.  A real mix of historic elegance and modern comfort.  After a very relaxing stay I wouldn’t hesitate to put it forward for meetings of up to 150 or as a base to explore the town.  The bedroom was very comfortable and quiet, the food delicious and the staff were all very friendly and welcoming.

Dartington Hall Hotel, Totnes, is set around a medieval Courtyard in a 1200 acre estate with 25 acres of grade II listed gardens so is perfect for team building activities.  The whole venue is packed full of original features.  There are 50 bedrooms and 10 meeting rooms, and the dining rooms serve delicious, locally sourced food too.

If you are looking for a modern venue offering something a bit different, we could look at the Jaguar Experience for you.  It is located just outside Birmingham and has contemporary conference facilities, ranging from a boardroom for 22 to a room for 300 in theatre style to the Reception hall pictured below.  As well as holding your meeting here they also provide Manufacturing Tours and driving experiences to make your day truly memorable.

Great Feedback

Posted by | Travel | No Comments

We have had some lovely feedback from clients that we have booked venues for last month and wanted to share it with you.

A summer party that we booked at 30 Euston Square went very well. “Thank you SO VERY MUCH for everything you and your team did to create a truly wonderful event on Saturday.  I can honestly say I have never worked with such a professional, well run and accommodating venue.  I have had really positive feedback from everyone, especially regarding the food.  Please pass on our thanks to everyone that helped make it such a fantastic night.” CW

“Huge thank you to all the staff that looked after us so wonderfully this week at the Crowne Plaza Amsterdam South.  Everything was absolutely first class from the accommodation to the AV, catering, meeting rooms and bar service. The staff are amazing and so friendly and helpful.  The feedback we received from all the attendees was very positive.” RE

We also had very good feedback from an event that we booked at New Hall Hotel in Sutton Coldfield.  The hotel has a fascinating history and is packed with original features.  There are 60 bedrooms and a range of meeting rooms from the Great Chamber which was used by King Henry VIII, to the light and bright Garden Pavilion which has a maximum capacity of 200. The outside space provides room for team building activities in the summer.

Tanya had a very enjoyable stay at the Cotswold Water Park last month.  The hotel is in a stunning location – as the name suggests it is located on the bank of one of the 152 lakes. The hotel itself has 21 meeting rooms, a fabulous spa (it’s worth visiting just for this!), Bar and Grill, Brasserie and the Boathouse restaurant.  Tanya had dinner in the Boathouse and was really impressed with the quality and value for money.  There are 328 bedrooms all with views of the lake, many with a balcony and there are even apartments for families or longer stays.

August Newsletter

Posted by | Travel | No Comments

We have had some great presentation recently from venues and hotels around the country as well as some fantastic destinations.  We have also been in contact with Destination Management Companies who offer hugely helpful services for international bookings including transport from airports to hotels, and from hotels to of site venues for dinners and activities.  They have a wealth of local knowledge and it is great to have teams around the world to assist us with our international bookings.

If you are planning a team meeting or an incentive trip in a sunny climate and don’t want to travel too far, this might well be the place for you.  PortAventura is a resort covering 5 hotels each with their own meeting rooms and restaurants, a convention centre with enormous rooms for up to 1200 delegates, a theme park for all ages featuring the wild west, Mexico, China, Polynesia and the Mediterranean, Ferrari Land, 3 Golf Courses and a beach.  And all of this just 1 hour from Barcelona!

Even closer to home is Molineux Stadium home of Wolves Football Club.  They have a vast selection of meeting spaces including 8 really large spaces that can cater for seated dinners for up to 550 people as well as smaller meeting rooms and executive boxes.  And with the training ground available for hire it is a great venue for team building activities.  Day Delegate Rates start from £25.00 per person—so great value too.

The Abbey Hotel, Redditch is another good option for meetings with some team building.  There are 7 main meeting rooms for up to 180 delegates with an additional 4 syndicate rooms.  There is a choice of restaurants, an 18 hole golf course, parkland, health club with classes, a spa and pool.

You can’t accuse the team at Montague on the Gardens of having a lack of imagination!  For the summer they have turned their outdoor space into a cool Beach Bar complete with sand, palm trees, coconut cocktails and a jet ski.  There aren’t many dates still available so if you are looking for somewhere for a staff event give me a call.  If a winter event works better for you, there is a good chance that the Alpine Ski Lodge will be back in time for Christmas!

On a trip to Manchester recently we stopped off in Cloud 23 of the Hilton Deansgate, which is a lovely cocktail bar on the 23rd floor with stunning views over Manchester.  A light and airy venue which can be hired exclusively for a large enough event.

We stayed at the Innside Manchester Hotel which is within walking distance of the city centre.  There are 208 bedrooms each with an open plan bathroom.  The meeting spaces are all on the same floor, the largest with a maximum capacity of 220 in theatre style.  They also have the contemporary Creative meeting room pictured here, perfect for small, informal meetings.

July Newsletter

Posted by | Travel | No Comments

After a month with the highest temperatures for a June in London and the most rain in June in Scotland I thought we would feature hotels with waterfront locations!

The Good Hotel London is a brand new floating hotel in Royal Victoria Dock with views over the Thames, the magic lights of the Docklands and the skyline of Canary Wharf.  They have meeting facilities for up to 50 in classroom and a lounge or the fabulous roof terrace suitable for drinks receptions for up to 100 guests.  The hotel is very reasonably priced and has a strong ethical approach and a firm focus on supporting the local community sourcing as much as they can from local small businesses.

Harbour Hotels is a group of beautiful hotels in the UK.  They vary is size and style, many have excellent meeting facilities and luxury spa and leisure facilities.  They are predominantly on the coast with some town centre locations too.  The Southampton Harbour Hotel is a newly built yacht inspired hotel with 85 bedrooms, a seafood restaurant, roof terrace, champagne bar and luxury spa.

The Lake is a stunning new hotel is due to open in August in Ullswater in Cumbria.  It is based around an 18th Century building in 18 Acres of land.  There are 40 beautifully appointed bedrooms, family rooms and cottages and, whilst there aren’t any meeting rooms, the hotel can be booked exclusively.

Hotel Cascais Miragem is perfect for incentives located as it is just 20 minutes from Lisbon and 30 minutes from the airport.  There are 18 meeting rooms and a selection of restaurants and bars with private dining options for up to 160 guest.  They always offer an excellent level of service and can also assist with booking outings, activities and team building options for your group.

Summer Newsletter

Posted by | Travel | No Comments

If you are looking for a destination for a group, for an international incentive or conference from 10 delegates up to 800 then Forte Village, Sardinia is the place to go!

I was invited for a visit recently and was amazed by the level of service, attention to detail, the enthusiasm of the team and spaces available.

As the name suggests, it is indeed a Village, with 21 restaurants to choose from, 4 and 5 star hotels, individual cottages (with a stunning bedroom and bathroom) and villas made up of 4 or more separate en suite rooms each with their own lounge area.  All rooms have a private terrace or balcony, the entry level rooms are spacious and luxurious by anyone’s standards.  The whole village has been refurbished to an excellent standard.

There is a large private beach and numerous swimming pools, bowling alley, go kart track, wine tasting in the wine bar, a wine cellar and the only Hell’s Kitchen outside the US.  There is live music in the square, and a comprehensive spa that is second to none!  I experienced the circuit of 6 luxurious outdoor pools, each with a different level of salts, minerals and oils as well as a mud bath and can whole heartedly recommend it!

Whilst the complex can cater for very high numbers it is well laid out so that you don’t feel over-crowded and it has a friendly feel.  Depending on your group size and requirements most areas can be privatized for you.

February Newsletter

Posted by | Travel | No Comments

With Christmas well and truly behind us we are looking forward to a great year of conferences, events and dinners.  Here are a few venues that might be of interest to you.  Whatever it is that you are looking for please just get in touch as we are more than happy to look for fantastic venues for you, both in the UK and internationally.

Dinner with a difference?

 If you are lucky enough to be organising a nice private lunch or dinner there are so many options to choose from and, more than ever, we are being asked to find something a bit different.

There are lots of restaurants that have smaller rooms available for private dining, chef’s tables for an immersive experience or, if you have a very big group, exclusive use of the restaurant can be arranged with enough advance notice.

One such restaurant that we visited recently was Sexy Fish in Berkley Square.  The restaurant has a private dining room housing 2 of the largest live coral reef tanks in the world.  It can cater for a private party of up to 48 for a seated dinner or 60 for a standing reception.

We had excellent feedback from a group who spent the evening in a cookery school in London.  From just £120.00 per person they made their own pasta, sauces and more under the tuition of a top chef and were then served a delicious meal with organic wine.  A great time was had by all and we wouldn’t hesitate to put it forward again.

Before Christmas I was lucky enough to be invited onto the Belmond British Pullman, sister to the Orient Express for a really special 5 course Christmas lunch.  Between the delicious food, free flowing wine, singers, magicians and attentive staff we often forgot to look out of the window of this iconic train at the passing countryside.  Running regularly from Victoria station it is a great option if you are out to impress!

Independent museums such as the London Film Museum are a great alternative to your regular restaurant if you are looking for a truly memorable dining experience.  More suited to high end events they can offer an exclusive tour of the exhibits with a drinks reception before a seated dinner.  Exclusive hire of the venue does increase the cost but for the right numbers it can be well worth it!

New Openings

Lympston Manor in East Devon is due to open in April and is definitely a hotel to look out for.  It’s a luxury Georgian mansion with a vineyard and 21 stunning bedrooms.

From the 1st May, The Ned, London is taking bookings for its Edwardian styled bedrooms.  There are a mix of categories from cosy up to generous bedrooms with king size four poster beds.  There are also a number of rooms available for private hire for meetings or dining as well as a selection of restaurants and bars.

The Tamburlaine Hotel in Cambridge is due to open in the spring.  The hotel will have an open plan ground floor with bar, restaurant and lounge as well as 5 meeting rooms and 155 spacious bedrooms.

New Space

The team at Jury’s Inn Hinckley Island are settling into their new space after a multi-million pound refurbishment that has seen the main suites refurbished including the Lakeside suite which is a multi-level meeting room with its own bar overlooking the lake.  There is also a brand new, contemporary self-contained training suite on the top floor.  This new space includes a boardroom. 3 syndicate rooms and a lounge which can cater for up to 60 delegates for a reception.

December Newsletter

Posted by | Travel | No Comments

It’s nearly the end of the year and time to reflect on our last 12 months.  All the places we have booked, visited, stayed and had presentations.  There have been so many!

We try to visit as many hotels and venues as we can so that we have first had knowledge of them and also have sales teams come to visit us in our office as well at catching up with them at trade shows.

Here are a few facts and figures.

We have visited 9 different destinations including Dublin, Hungary, Brussels and Alicante.

We have visited or stayed in over 60 hotels/venues

And we have had over 120 people visit us in our office to tell us about their properties.

Here are just some of the properties that stood out for us.

We would love to hear about hotels and venues that you really like and the reasons why.

And if there are any destinations that you have used for your meetings, conferences or incentive trips that you would like to tell us about, again, we would love to hear from you.

Lagonissi, Greece is another beautiful destination and one of Sylvain’s favourites this year. The Grand Resort Lagonissi has excellent conference facilities with a selection of accommodation including luxury villas with their own pool such as the one below.  Prices are surprisingly reasonable off peak and although it’s a 3 hour 20 minutes flight away it is well worth it!

“I visited Lainston House this year and it is beautiful, the grounds are lovely with so much to offer for team building including falconry.  The cookery school is of a very high standard so perfect for a high end team activity.” says Louise.

The Aviator by Tag has always been one of our favourite hotels.  The accommodation is great and gives you fantastic views of Farnborough airport and runway.  “The food (both dinner and breakfast) and the cocktails are amazing!” says Karen “The hotel really quirky too”

“I really like Eynsham Hall, Oxford” says Sue. “It’s traditional, trendy and cosy all at once with loads of outdoor space for team building but what stood out most was the friendly, helpful staff.”

“If you’re looking for something different with a bit of space, I would suggest Centre Parcs Longleat.  The tree houses are great but there are plenty of other accommodation options too. There is a self-contained area for conferences for large numbers so you can theme it with your company logo etc. to make your delegates feel really welcome.  The conference team are very helpful and we had great feedback so wouldn’t hesitate to put them forward again.” Says Karen.

We all love the Runnymede-on-Thames and when Louise had a client re-book for 2017 straight after their 2016 event we know it’s not just us! The hotel has a selection of adaptable meeting rooms, a choice of restaurants and the bedrooms are really comfortable.  The staff are always so helpful too.

We booked an event at The Kitchin Restaurant in Edinburgh this year.  The team there are so good and we had great feedback which is what it is all about.

Drayton Manor Hotel and Theme Park are a favourite for Karen, partly because of Rory the mascot, but also because the conference team are so proactive when it comes to tailoring proposals to the client’s needs.

“I liked working with thestudio this year” says Louise.  “I booked a couple of meetings in their venues in Birmingham & Manchester and found them to have really flexible meeting space and I received excellent feedback about the catering and service.  They also have venues in Leeds and Glasgow

Kirsty really enjoyed her stay at the Crowne Plaza Marlow and their 80’s School Disco night! “So much better than my school discos! Everyone really got into the spirit of the party which was largely down to the staff, they were friendly and welcoming and the food was Fab!”

Kirsty, Karen and Tanya all stayed at the Vineyard this year and really enjoyed the 5 course taster menu with matching wines introduced by the resident sommelier.  “It was such a great experience as we tried things we wouldn’t normally.  The sommelier was informative and entertaining and the food was delicious.  We also stayed in spacious bedrooms with very comfortable beds.”  Said Tanya.

November Newsletter

Posted by | Travel | No Comments

Since our last newsletter we have visited and had presentations from hotels, venues and destinations in the UK and internationally.  We are always on the lookout for something a bit different for your next event so here are just a few that we thought you might be interested in.

Sylvain visited Marseille last month and feels that it makes a very good alternative to Nice.  There are direct flights from the UK and the city has seen a lot of investment recently.  “There are lots of hotels to choose from.” said Sylvain “I was particularly impressed by the Intercontinental, the Sofitel and the Pullman.  Team building options could include playing petanques (boules) soap making or boating in the Calanques.”

Lagonissi, Greece, is another beautiful destination we visited recently and were very impressed. The Grand Resort Lagonissi has excellent conference facilities with a selection of accommodation including luxury villas with their own pool such as the one below.  Prices are surprisingly reasonable off peak and although a 3 hour 20 minutes flight away it is well worth it!

The countryside around Pisa is stunning and there is plenty to do from visiting the historic monuments to vine yards, cookery schools and some really impressive thermal caves.  The recognized hotel chains are represented and there are also plenty of smaller privately owned hotels that we can book for you.

Budapest

Posted by | Travel | No Comments

Louise visited Budapest last month.  A beautiful city and the capital of Hungary, it is bisected by the river Danube with hilly Buda on one side and Pest on the other.  ”I stayed at the newly opened Ritz-Carlton Hotel which is a beautiful hotel with the most amazingly comfortable beds” says Louise.  “It is centrally located with restaurants, shopping and venues suitable for off-site dinners and events close by”.

The largest meeting room can hold 180 in theatre style but would work well for smaller numbers for a residential group.
Whilst in Budapest, Louise visited other venues and took part in lots of activities including riding the beer-cycle, chocolate making, wine tasting, a river cruise and dinner in the castle district.  All this was organised by a brilliant destination management company which also takes care of transfers, meet and greet, tour guide and access to a variety of venues.

If you are looking for a destination for an incentive or European meeting this is a really good option as the prices here seem very competitive compared to Vienna or Prague and the city is only half an hour from the airport.

Christmas is Approaching!

Posted by | Travel | No Comments

With the holiday season coming to an end, we are settling back into the working week and this can only mean one thing—Christmas Time!

We are getting lots of enquiries for Christmas parties and it is surprising how many hotels are already booked on the key dates in December so if you are planning the main event for your company give us a call now and we will see what we can find for you.

Christmas at the Royal Garden Hotel this year will have a Speakeasy Party theme.  Their party package includes a drinks reception with sparkling flapper girls and an authentic 6 piece swing band, a fabulous   dinner, close up magician and burlesque dancer.  They offer special rates for accommodation too!

For something special outside London try the Tewkesbury Park Hotel with beautiful dining rooms for 10 or 20, a private parties for up to 140 or join a pre-organised party night.

The bedrooms are really lovely and they even provide a hot water bottle!

We had a presentation from Cheltenham Racecourse last month and were really impressed with the space on offer.  Over 2600 m2 of indoor space, 360 acres of outdoor space and 50 private boxes for hire on race days and as meeting rooms.  There is plenty of parking too.  This is a great venue for big summer events and exhibitions as well as Christmas parties.

Looking for somewhere a bit quirky in London? Try the Charlotte Street Hotel. It is situated a short walk from the theatre district and is filled with original artwork and unique design pieces.  There is a state-of-the-art screening room for up to 75 and the 52 guest rooms are all individually designed.

We visited the Langham Hotel in the heart of the West End and love this modern, comfortable and luxurious hotel.  The Langham club offers space to relax, and there are plenty of meeting rooms for all sizes of events.  The bedrooms are beautiful, some with the most high tech bathrooms we have come across!

Strand Palace also have their Christmas brochure out and are offering a comedy show along with their delicious 3 course festive dinner.  The hotel has 785 bedrooms in a variety of sizes from a cosy single room to more spacious executive rooms.  There are 9 meeting and event spaces and the Nook sports bar which can also be hired for exclusive use. Karen had an afternoon tea here and said it was the best ever!

The independent, international venue finder - because your time is precious Let us help