Sky's the limit at Mauritius resort

A large, completely transparent marquee has been set up permanently at Outrigger Mauritius Beach Resort. Called the Crystal, the unique space opens up opportunities at the resorts for meetings and events. It is fully air conditioned and can seat up to 250 people banquet style. Its positioning on top of the hotel gives visitors beach views of the resort's Bel Ombre coast. Cyrille Carmona, deputy general manager of the resort, said: “Crystal is unique in Mauritius and repositions the Outrigger as a full-on MICE destination for events, incentive meetings, weddings and banquets. With Crystal, the sky is now the limit.”

Ritz-Carlton opens in Kazakhstan capital

Ritz-Carlton has opened the doors to its first hotel in the capital of Kazakhstan, saying the city is an emerging destination for business and leisure travellers. Located in the Talan Towers, The Ritz-Carlton, Astana, is a 157-room hotel. It joins an elite business centre and luxury shopping gallery to create the city’s first high-end, mixed-use complex, creating a new type of lifestyle and luxury experience in the region. Hervé Humler, president and chief operating officer, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, said: "We are excited to be launching The Ritz-Carlton in this flourishing capital and can’t wait to help our guests discover what made The New York Times call Astana one of the 52 places to visit in 2017. With the highly anticipated international exposition, Astana EXPO-2017, expected to draw 3 to 4 million visitors to the city this summer, there is no better time to introduce The Ritz-Carlton, Astana and showcase this as a destination with a bright future."

Second YOTEL to open in Amsterdam

YOTEL has announced plans to open its first city property in the Netherlands, marking its sixth hotel property in Europe. Due to open in late 2019 with 204 cabins, YOTEL Amsterdam will be located at Asterweg, Amsterdam Noord. Built alongside a sidearm of the River IJ, the hotel is at the epicentre of the up-and-coming Buiksloterham neighbourhood for start-ups and creative businesses. This will be YOTEL’s second city centre hotel in Europe, following the recently announced London Clerkenwell property. It is the second in Amsterdam, alongside its YOTELAIR Schiphol airport hotel. All cabins will include YOTEL’s space saving adjustable SmartBed, monsoon rain shower, technowall which includes adjustable mood lighting and smart TV with easy connectivity to own devices. YOTEL Amsterdam will also feature the Club Lounge concept with a restaurant and bar as well as space to work and relax. All cabins and communal areas will be served by super-fast and free WiFi connectivity.

Macdonald hotel gets digital makeover

One of Scotland’s largest hotel conference venues, Macdonald Inchyra Hotel & Spa in Falkirk, has revealed its new hi-tech meetings facilities following a £120,000 investment. The month-long project saw innovative technology, handmade furniture and carpets fitted in the hotel’s meetings spaces. One of the conference rooms, which can host up to 16 delegates, has undergone an extensive refurbishment. In addition to designer lighting and hand-crafted wall coverings, the hotel has installed ClickShare technology. This enables all delegates using the space to connect their devices to the main presentation screen and share content at the click of a button, allowing for a more collaborative meeting. The Grange room, which can cater for 70 delegates, has also been fitted with state-of-the-art smart televisions and additional charging points. Clients will further benefit from superfast Wi-Fi services, with the option to add dedicated bandwidth of up to 100 Megabytes per second. Macdonald Hotels’ sales director Gill Jackson said: “From our experience, audio visual and Wi-Fi connectivity are big influencing factors for event planners. We have upgraded our facilities with the most innovative technology to ensure that our clients have everything they need for a successful and productive meeting."

Monastery finishes biggest ever investment

A £3 million extension to the multi award-winning Monastery Manchester conference and events venue has been completed, creating an extra 617 sqm of flexible space. The venue's new Welcome Wing provides a new light and airy reception and function space and bar area leading directly into the Great Nave as well as the enclosed gardens. It adds to a wide range of additional meeting rooms and breakout facilities with flexible space for all occasions. Widely regarded as Manchester’s most unique events venue, the Monastery can accommodate up to 450 people, with all proceeds used to maintain the heritage site and support the charity trust that cares for it, The Monastery of St Francis & Gorton Trust. Elaine Griffiths, chief executive of the Monastery Trust, said: "This new building blends beautifully with the church and friary and we are delighted with the result. We also love how it is flooded with light, making this a fantastic space for corporate events. This has been the biggest investment we have made in the building since we completed the major £6.5 million restoration work to save the Monastery ten years ago and it’s wonderful to see it finished."

Cloth Hall Court reopens as conference venue

Once a major trading centre for the textile industry in Leeds, the Grade II listed Cloth Hall Court has undergone a multi-million-pound refurbishment and is now a contemporary dedicated conference venue. Set to open in July, Cloth Hall Court will be the latest addition to Well Met’s portfolio of venues and has already received around £700k worth of enquires. Central to the 3750 sqm development has been the desire to restore the building to its former glory; Sheppard Robson has creatively weaved the rich cultural heritage of the site into the fabric of Cloth Hall Court, with attention being paid to the smallest of details. Each conference and board room space takes inspiration from the building’s cloth selling heritage, and include the Tweed Suite, Bobbin Gallery and Cotton Room. Fixtures and fittings have been chosen to enhance delegate comfort and elevate the building’s sustainable credentials, with modern design features such as acoustic panels, soft furnishings and LED lighting.

Bristol gets fifth Regus workspace

Global workspace provider Regus has opened its fifth Bristol business centre, a 1,260 sqm space in Redwood House on Almondsbury Business Park. The centre offers a range of flexible working options for businesses and professionals including co-working space, virtual office services, meeting rooms which are bookable by the hour, and over 80 offices of varying sizes. Richard Morris, UK CEO of Regus, said: "Almondsbury Business Park is a popular business hub which is home to a whole host of leading companies and, as such, is the perfect fit for our flexible workspace offering. Our new centre is perfect for any business looking for flexible workspace in an accessible location." The new Regus centre joins the company’s existing Bristol centres, located at Castlemead, Aztec West, Broad Quay and Temple Quay.

Stamford Bridge reopens pop-up summer space

Stamford Bridge, home to Chelsea Football Club, has reopened its pop-up Summer Garden for exclusive hire throughout the summer of 2017. Opening 5 June, the 50 sqm outdoor entertainment space is suitable for alfresco team meetings, incentive events and private parties for up to 300 people. Chris Townsend OBE, commercial director at Chelsea Football Club, said: "We’re delighted to bring back our ever-popular Summer Garden which offers a wealth of options for local businesses and corporate groups to add a unique outdoor dimension to their meeting or event." A selection of private hire packages are on offer for 2017 including the Summer Garden Package, which offers semi-exclusive use of the Summer Garden, with exclusive use of the Marco Grill restaurant, as well as an assortment of ice cream, canapés and unlimited Pimms, beer, wine and soft drinks for two hours. The pop-up Summer Garden is positioned outside the stadium’s two on-site restaurants - Frankie’s Sports Bar & Diner and Marco Grill. A variety of food options are available as well as a full drinks menu of champagne, wine, beer, soft drinks and cocktails, perfect for alfresco lunching and dining.

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