At the beginning of the year Catherine was lucky enough to receive an invite to the Celtic Manor Resort agent weekend which she jumped at as DeSouza Associates have booked the venue on behalf of one of our clients for the past few years.
Here is her blog:The weekend started as it meant to go on, with valet parking on arrival at Celtic Manor Resort Hotel and a very warm welcome from the Sales team. We didn’t have time for our feet to touch the ground before we were driven down to the Coldra Court Hotel in one of their many mini-buses used on site. We had lunch in The Rib Smokehouse & Grill where we sampled mini portions of the food plus cocktails were flowing. A walk around the hotel afterwards showed how versatile the event space was and ideal if you wish to have a more exclusive feel venue; it has 144 hotel rooms with 9 event rooms for 2 to 300 people. Free car parking on site, leisure facilities and being close to the M4 makes this a great hotel to consider for your mid-size conferences. After this pit stop we were then split into to our groups to start our afternoon of activities. My husband & I chose the gin tasting followed by falconry. Both activities were well received and so enjoyable. We got to see & experience the amount of outdoor space on offer at Celtic Manor Resort (over 2,000 acres). All types of activities can be catered for and no request is too big or unusual. We did our gin tasting & blending within one of their 10 luxury, self-catering Hunter Lodges located on site overlooking the Usk Valley. In between each activity, we all met up at the 2010 Clubhouse for a refreshment break. After all activities had finished for the afternoon, we headed back to the main resort hotel for more cocktails within the newly opened Mulberry Bar. A great, contemporary space which would be great for drinks receptions, pre-dinner drinks or a party. Whilst here we were given our bedroom keys and finally got a chance to check-in and relax for a while before dinner. Our bedrooms were located on the Signature floor where you have unlimited access to the Signature Lounge, 6ft Kingsize beds, seating area, balcony and a host of other little luxuries including a complimentary bottle of wine, chocolates and Elemis products. A lovely touch was the turndown service with a glass of champagne and canapes delivered to your door. Dinner was to be served back at the 2010 Clubhouse, so we were transported once again by the mini-buses down to the venue. The 4-course meal was delicious and all products were all locally sourced. Entertainment came in the form of a disco which we ducked out of however I hear people danced the night away into the early hours. Next morning, breakfast was served in the exclusive restaurant located on the 6th Floor for Signature guests. With views overlooking the Welsh countryside this restaurant has cow hide furnishings & offers an exclusive dining experience for adults only. After breakfast we were given a full site tour to include the main resort & Manor House conference event space, Spa & leisure facilities and both the golf clubhouse venues. It was also great to see the plans and start of the works for the ICC Convention Centre which is being built next to the main hotel. This space is going to rival the large venues in Birmingham & London with a 1,500 seat auditorium, 26,000sqm footprint and parking for up to 2000 cars. It is due to open next Summer (July 2019) so watch this space for more updates. The conference facilities available, at each of their venues on site, are so versatile and different that there is something suitable to cater for all needs. A final farewell, bag full of goodies and even our car returned valeted then we were heading home after a fully-packed but fun weekend. A huge thanks to the Celtic Manor resort sales team who made the weekend extremely enjoyable. We were thoroughly spoilt and nothing was too much trouble. DeSouza Associates are a boutique venue finding agency with an experienced team of venue finders who treat each enquiry and client individually. For more information on our services please go to our website