BMA House opens Worcester Room

A new event space has been unveiled at BMA House which can accommodate up to 75 guests. The Worcester Room, named after the home city of British Medical Association founder Sir Charles Hastings, has views of the venue's courtyard and benefits from natural daylight. It also has AV facilities including video conferencing and allows use of it's 'video wall', which features four 55-inch LED screens. BMA House is launching the new space by offering event organisers a 50 per cent discount on room hire if they book before 16 September. Rebecca Hurley, deputy head of events for BMA House said: "It’s always exciting to be launching a new venue space. Paying homage to Sir Hastings, the Worcester room reflects his ambitions for The BMA. It is a friendly place to meet and a hub for exchanging knowledge. The room is ideal for small to medium meetings but can be easily jazzed up for evening drinks receptions for up to 75 guests." The Worcester Room adds to the venue's existing 25 rooms for meetings and events.

Service with style in Bath

Nine new apartments have been added at SACO The Serviced Apartment Company’s aparthotel in Bath. Four new ‘club’ apartments have been added, plus five one-bed apartments have taken the SACO – St James’ Parade property’s overall inventory to 53 units. Built within a restored Georgian terrace, the SACO apartments are kitted out with minimalistic British décor and luxury additions such as Sky TV, Bose SoundDocks, early check in and late check out. The new club apartments are being rolled out across the country, while SACO also has plans to open three lifestyle aparthotels in London and Edinburgh before the end of 2017.

AVANI enters Middle East

AVANI is launching its first hotel in the Middle East, when it takes over the 216-room Mövenpick Hotel Deira in Dubai. The upscale hotel, which will reopen under the hotel brand on 1 July, is four kilometres from Dubai International Airport. Robert Kunkler, chief operating officer of Minor Hotels, the operating company of AVANI, said: "This key acquisition to our portfolio allows Minor Hotels to take a strategic foothold in the Middle East for our fast expanding AVANI Hotels & Resorts brand in what is a vitally important market. We are thrilled to continue our excellent relationship with Bin Sulayem Investments. AVANI Deira Dubai Hotel will have the freedom to establish and maintain its individuality and distinct character while benefitting from being part of the Minor Hotels portfolio."

Barbados hotel begins expansion work

A multi-million pound expansion of Sandals' Dover Beach property in Barbados is underway, which will add an additional 222 rooms. Dubbed Sandals Barbados Phase II, the expansion - due to be completed in November 2017 - will add to the existing 280-room count, making the property the largest Sandals resort in the Eastern Caribbean. Once finished, the resort will offer an expansive 1,000 sqm conference facility capable of seating 550 people, an addition that reflects the growing demand for meetings space in Barbados. It will also house five new restaurants, a new spa and wellness sanctuary, three new swimming pools and an entertainment pavilion complete with a bowling alley, the first for a Sandals resort. Tourism Minister Hon. Richard Sealy said: "In 2015 we welcomed 591,000 visitors to Barbados which was a new record and at least 20,000 of those were Sandals guests, so indeed we have seen the positive impact of Sandals."

New hotel takes notes from author

A five-star hotel inspired by the works of American romantic writer Washington Irving has opened in Granada. The 63-room Eurostars Washington Irving is located near the Alhambra, which is famed from the author's collection of short stories, Tales of the Alhambra. It is Eurostars' fourth hotel in Granada and its 20th in Andalusia. President of Grupo Hotusa, Amancio López Seijas, said: “It has been a long, costly process. However, since the hotel closed in 1999, our sole intention has been to make the hotel perfect for the city of Granada. It's a very important project for our company and we are sure that it is destined to become an emblematic hotel for the city of Granada.”

Cavendish lights up conferences

Cavendish Venus has shone a new light on its conferencing capabilities after installing a showpiece lighting system in its tiered auditorium. The venue's new system uses the desk surfaces as a light source which can be varied to suit the event. Cavendish Venues, located near Oxford Circus in London, can now offer clients a choice of 16 million shades and colours. Dermot Waldron, operations director at Cavendish Venues, said the main objective was to provide a "distinctive, cutting edge experience" for clients. He added: "Our clients are our future and we invest for the future. This major financial investment into what is already a state-of-the-art venue only goes to further enhance the status and service that we provide to our clients – that’s been a winning formula for the last 20 years which we look to continue for the next 20."

Room Mate doubles presence in Barcelona

Innovative hotel brand Room Mate Hotels has opened its third property in Barcelona, Room Mate Carla, while announcing it will unveil its fourth by summer 2016. The 81-room Room Mate Carla is moments from Calle Mallorca, a few steps from the Paseo de Gracia, and has been transformed from the former 987 Hotel. The hotel has been designed with Barcelona's history and culture in mind, including influences of industrial themes, ceramics and mosaics. The forthcoming Room Mate Anna is expected to open in a matter of weeks, adding to existing properties Room Mate Emma and Room Mate Pau. Kike Sarasola, founder of Room Mate Hotels, said: "Barcelona is a global tourism destination and the city epitomises the Room Mate spirit. Our objective is to have six hotels here by 2017, creating our strongest presence in any territory."

Novotel's towering addition in Canary Wharf

AccorHotels' four-star Novotel brand is set to open a new property in Canary Wharf by the end of the year. At 127m tall, the building will boast 313 rooms and 26 suites, in addition to nine meeting rooms and breakout areas, each with an ‘individual design’. AccorHotels MD UK & Ireland Thomas Dubaere has promised that the London hotel will be Novotel’s flagship in the UK, with ‘cutting-edge’ restaurant and bar concepts, and strong sustainability credentials.

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