Some of the best accommodation options for touring groups and conferences.
Located in Hertfordshire, Ashridge House is a Grade I listed neo-Gothic mansion, centred in 190acres of beautifully crafted gardens. Now a registered charity, Ashridge House began life as a monastery in the 13th century, was home to Queen Elizabeth I, became the meeting place for men of letters, politicians and leading international figures throughout the intervening centuries, and was a film location for the 1960’s classic, The Dirty Dozen.
From 250-delegate conferences to intimate roundtables or one-to-one coaching sessions, Ashridge House offers organisers a complete solution, whatever their event. Sales conventions, training programmes and/ or senior management brainstorming, Ashridge House’s 15 meeting rooms, 50+ breakout rooms, plus coffee lounges and beautiful garden areas provide the perfect setting.
Experienced Events Co-ordinators are on hand to tailor Ashridge House’s hospitality to each individual and organisation, whether it’s the right room and an expert facilitator, or an eminent keynote speaker and a bespoke menu. IT and audio-visual systems, with on-site technical support, are available throughout the venue, with outdoor learning opportunities and team activities enabled by a dedicated team of development specialists.
The progenitor of the internationally renowned Ashridge Business School, Ashridge House can call on the faculty to provide distinguished keynote speakers in leadership, sustainability, strategy and change, as well as offering more niche services like psychometric testing and experiential learning.
Anna Brown, Director of Hospitality at Ashridge House, said: “At Ashridge, we understand the business of learning, and we are fortunate to have such an extraordinary place to enable active learning, reflection, innovation and change. We understand the power of face to face group interaction, and welcome our guests with a professional informality that enables some of the world’s most important businesses to meet, think, communicate and evolve.”
With settings such as private dining in an elegant function room and barbeques on the terrace, every aspect of the experience is tailored to create the right ambience for the event. Award-winning chefs showcase local ingredients, to create dishes that provide the right nutritional balance to maximise performance and learning. Once business is done, Ashridge House offers superb rest and relaxation. The bar is at the heart of the building, welcoming groups or individuals to relax and network. Guests staying in one of its 190 en-suite bedrooms can also use the Lifestyle Centre with swimming pool, squash courts, gym, sauna and spa.
Travelodge has over 500 hotels to choose from. Travelodge’s en-suite rooms have everything travellers would need for a good night’s sleep, and all hotels have food and beverage options. For those looking to make group hotel bookings, Travelodge’s dedicated group bookings team will help find the hotel and exact facilities to meet their needs. Travelodge is ideal for large group accommodation. All rooms have king-sized beds and en-suite facilities. Family rooms can sleep up to three adults, or two adults and two children aged 15 or under. There are also double rooms, rooms with accessible facilities, and twin rooms available in some locations.
Some of the chain’s hotels, generally those in central locations, have on-site licensed Bar Cafés, offering an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet and a full range of drinks, snacks and evening meals. Other hotels provide a generous selection of snacks in the reception area including hot, cold and alcoholic drinks, and generally have additional catering options nearby.
With over 500 hotels conveniently placed in city centres, on business routes and near airports, and with 40 new hotels opening this year, there is sure to be a Travelodge near wherever a group booking for business needs to be made. All hotels offer internet access for customers with a wireless-access enabled laptop computer or device. Travelodge is also ideal for stag weekends or hen packages, with centrally located hotels in cities right across the UK.
Best Western has a 30-year history in the UK and claims to offer a personal level of service, meaning that its customers get the best of both worlds – the warm local smile and the top quality of a large organisation. Each Best Western hotel has its own personality, giving customers a host of choices from castles to coaching inns, sea views to mountain views and contemporary to Grade-listed buildings. For those planning to bring a party of 12 or more to Best Western, the hotel chain’s group advisors can provide assistance. The chain has over 250 hotels featured in its dedicated Groups’ Brochure, including sites in city centres or market towns, rural and coastal locations; each one independently owned and housing a unique character. Best Western hotels can also accommodate business functions, with over 1,100 meeting rooms between them. Best Western is perfectly placed to help plan any company’s next conference or event, with everything from technology to award-winning cuisine provided upon request.
For conferences, discount hotel wedding packages and other group travel deals, Marriott have a good offering, boasting coverage all over the UK. In London and all over the South of England, Marriott can accommodate a meeting or event, allowing for some recreation too.
Marriott offers a great deal of flexibility, with options for a conference near shows and shopping, by the sea, and close airport proximity for maximum efficiency. In the Midlands, the North East and North West, Marriott offers excellent conference venues in Manchester, Birmingham and Yorkshire. For a relaxing tour base, the rejuvenating atmosphere of the Peak and Lake Districts might be better suited. There are also great business venues offered by Marriott in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland and Wales. Whether attending a conference in Brussels, or a meeting in Germany, Marriott also has a wide European offering.
Accommodation News//Renovations At Elite Hotels
Luxury country house retreat, Tylney Hall Hotel & Gardens in Hampshire, is pleased to announce the refurbishment of its popular Chestnut Suite. The renovation, which took approximately three weeks to complete, is part of an ongoing refurbishment plan, in which bedrooms and public rooms throughout the hotel will undergo lavish makeovers. Delegates using the Chestnut Suite can now benefit from new furnishings, lighting and a new sound system, as well as complete redecoration and new cloakroom facilities. The Chestnut Suite, which features stunning ceiling beams fashioned from the trees which fell during the great storm of 1987, is perfect for meetings and conferences to private celebrations, with a capacity of up to 120 people. Situated a short distance from the Main House, the Chestnut Suite becomes its own venue at Tylney Hall, with separate reception, bar, cloakrooms and catering facilities, along with a private terrace and access to the gardens.
Also seeing a recent renovation to its Mary Towneley Lounge is Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club in Sussex. Situated within Ashdown Park’s former chapel, the recently renovated lounge is the ideal place for delegates to relax and unwind between meetings, brainstorm ideas as a breakout area, or host a drinks reception prior to an event held in the beautiful Harry Clarke Suite. The refurbishment takes inspiration from its use in 1920, when Ashdown Park was a convent and the Mary Towneley Lounge was used as a place of deep contemplation. The lounge, which overlooks the courtyard of the hotel, offers delegates a tranquil and private area, with direct access to a secluded and picturesque outdoor setting. Facilities include an LED television screen, two tea and coffee service stations serving a variety of teas and speciality coffees, and a chilled drinks cabinet.