Some of our clients are always looking for large capacity conference hotels with the accompanying bedrooms to match and these UK event organisers will be more than familiar with all the large venues across the country. Others may only occasionally need to find a large capacity conference hotel and so this blog is probably more for you!
In this blog we will discuss a handful of the UKs leading large capacity conference hotels, which will no doubt be very familiar to you and perhaps one or two slightly less familiar or at least updates on those you may know very well! So we are going to focus on those which have a capacity of 500 pax or more from a meeting perspective and which have a minimum of 400 bedrooms.
The five-star Celtic Manor Resort is set in more than 2,000 acres of panoramic parkland at the gateway to Wales. It has four hotels – a 330-room luxury Resort Hotel, an historic 19th century Manor House with 70 rooms, the 148-room Coldra Court and the Newbridge on Usk country inn with six bedrooms – a large convention centre, two spas, two state-of-the-art health clubs, fishing, adventure golf, treetop high ropes course and tennis courts. A choice of seven restaurants including Steak on Six, Pad serving passionate Asian dishes and the Newbridge on Usk.
The Celtic Manor’s largest venues include the ballroom, exhibition hall and several large suites which can accommodate from 300 to 1,200 people and can all be tailored for any event.
The Caernarfon Suite, the largest suite at the resort, regularly plays host to large conferences, banquets, product launches and award ceremonies. The room undoubtedly has the versatility, scale and ability to meet the requirements of any event. Complimentary WiFi internet access is available on this floor as well as an organiser’s office.
The Resort’s Convention Centre (the ICC Wales due to open later this year) facilities also include an Exhibition Hall offering in excess of 1200 square metres of floor space. This unique facility gives organisers additional accessible, flexible and versatile options in planning events.
Designed as a dedicated exhibition space and not an additional meeting room, its features include concrete block work flooring, vehicular access, telecom and data supply, wireless networks and comfort panel radiant heating as well as a public-address facility with a distributed loudspeaker system for announcements and background music.
With its high ceiling, natural daylight and open plan layout, the Exhibition Hall is ideal for product launches, trade shows, receptions and of course, exhibitions.
The Lancaster London is renowned as one of Europe’s leading venues, boasting some of the largest event spaces in London.
The Nine Kings Suite is a pillarless venue divisible into separate areas with state-of-the-art technology and is therefore ideal for product launches, conventions and a wide range of large capacity events – its scale and adaptability are a winning combination. The whole venue can be revealed at the touch of a button, with the walls lifting up. Both the large foyer, ideal for receptions, and the main area enjoy natural light whilst after dark, chandeliers can be lowered to instantly create a glamorous evening ambience. It has a maximum capacity of 1200 for a Reception. The Westbourne Suite can comfortably accommodate up to 1200 people for a Reception and due to the advanced technology available in this Suite, it is particularly suited to events involving elaborate presentations. Lighting, sound and visual technology have been designed and integrated to provide a ready to go, functional and cost effective event space. The powerful multi-zoned Bose audio system, built-in LED lighting and ceiling sparkle lights create the perfect atmosphere and platform for any occasion. The suite can be split into four separate areas, its load-bearing hanging bars are recessed out of sight into the ceiling and it benefits from large off-street access for easy delivery and installation.The Hotel has 411 brand new rooms which include 22 suites.
There are several Hiltons across the England which come under the category of large capacity conference hotels.
Starting in the Midlands and working down to London, The Hilton Birmingham Metropole at the NEC Birmingham has a capacity for 2000 pax theatre-style or for a reception. In total is has 33 meeting rooms (a total of 6000 sqm of meeting space) and 790 bedrooms. The central UK location is obviously a real plus as this allows easy access via road, rail and air.
In London, there are two large Hilton Hotels, the London Hilton on Park Lane and the Hilton London Metropole (Paddington). The Park Lane property can cater for approx. 1100 delegates for a reception or theatre-style for a conference and has 453 bedrooms. The Hilton London Metropole has a capacity for 1600 theatre-style in its largest space. It is one of the largest hotels in London in terms of bedrooms having 1059.
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London is ideally located, with the City of Westminster on its doorstep. It offers state-of-the-art meeting space – 32 flexible event venues that range in size from the 1,200-square-metre Westminster Ballroom to the 29-square-metre City Rooms. They offer services such as group check-in desks, on-site coach parking and large room blocks (they have 1091 bedrooms) which help conferences run smoothly. The hotel is a five-minute walk to Waterloo and Westminster Underground stations.
In terms of capacities, the largest meeting space can cater for 2000 theatre style/ 1,350 for a banquet/ 1,500 for a Reception.
The Sofitel T5 is the only Heathrow Airport hotel with direct access to Terminal 5 via a covered walkway and Terminals 1, 2, 3 and Terminal 4 via courtesy Heathrow Express/ Heathrow Connect rail connection. It is also only 21 minutes from Central London by train. The hotel boasts 605 bedrooms including 27 suites. In terms of function space, it has 45 meeting rooms, including a Lecture Theatre with wide screen cinema and 3 Premium Boardrooms. The largest function space is the Arora Suite (1309sqm) which has a maximum capacity of 2000 people for a standing reception
You may not previously have considered somewhere like Center Parcs for your next conference so here is a bit of information to remind you of the excellent facilities on offer. Their newest venue is Center Parcs Woburn Forest, Beds
Woburn Forest comprises 625 luxury lodges ranging from contemporary Woodland Lodges to the more lavish range of Exclusive Lodges. Surrounded by the tranquillity of the forest and with more than 2,000 bedrooms available on the Village, the range of accommodation will cater for all requirements. It is only 50 minutes from London.
Modern and contemporary open living spaces ensures their accommodation is ideal for colleague interaction and bonding. Woburn Forest also has a 75-bedroom hotel. Ideally positioned in close proximity to The Venue (the meeting space) the hotel rooms are perfect for your delegates if they prefer a little privacy.
The meeting space can cater for 600 delegates theatre-style or for a gala dinner. It is comprised of 9 suites varying in size.
There are 365 acres of natural woodland at Woburn Forest. Delegates can be challenged to overcome their fears with adrenaline fuelled activities at the Outdoor Activity Centre or Action Challenge. For delegates who prefer something a little calmer, there is an Aqua Sana Spa.
A little further afield …. DeSouza Associates do offer a worldwide venue finding service
So we are going to throw in one US venue, for good measure, as DeSouza Associates were involved in organising a medical conference in Washington DC last November at another Hotel on the outskirts of Washington.
The Washington Hilton Hotel in the D.C. metropolitan area, offers convenient transportation options near three major airports, Union Station and Dupont Circle Metro. It is a truly large hotel, having over 1100 bedrooms and a meeting capacity, theatre-style, of 4150 pax.The meeting facilities stretch across the first floor, Lobby, Terrace and Concourse levels. The largest meeting space, the International Ballroom complex, which is 30,000 sq. ft. can cater for a banquet for 2,670. There are a number of smaller meeting rooms for training and other smaller events in the Heights Executive Meeting Centre.