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Kensington marks Princess Diana's life


A major new exhibition exploring the style of Princess Diana will open at Kensington Palace, alongside a temporary garden that celebrates her life, in 2017. Diana: Her Fashion Story will open in February, before a temporary White Garden dedicated to the princess opens in time for Easter. Clients hosting events at the palace will be able to enjoy access to both throughout spring and summer next year. The fashion exhibition will explore the Princess's style, from demure outfits of her first public appearances to the glamour, elegance and confidence of her later life. The temporary garden will be planted with flowers and foliage inspired by memories of the Princess’s life, image and style. The White Garden will be installed for spring and summer 2017, so the garden will be in full bloom in time for clients hosting summer events at the palace to view. Liz Young, head of events at Historic Royal Palaces, says: "We’re pleased that Kensington Palace is celebrating the life of Diana, Princess of Wales with what promises to be a wonderful exhibition and temporary White Garden in 2017. The Princess was a treasured figure around the world and we are delighted to be able to offer our clients the opportunity to view both the exhibition and temporary garden when they host their events at Kensington Palace."
 

Rocco Forte opens in Saudi Arabia


Rocco Forte Hotels has opened the Assila Hotel in Jeddah, a hotel that promises European warmth, charm and service alongside traditional Arabian hospitality. The property, consisting of 147 rooms and 63 suites, has been designed by Olga Polizzi, director of design of Rocco Forte Hotels and sister of Sir Rocco Forte. Assila Hotel offers fine dining at the Twenty Four restaurant and homemade Italian patisseries, ice creams and cakes at Il Caffé coffee lounge, both open 24 hours daily. Traditional Arabic mezze are served Al fresco on the terrace overlooking Tahlia Street. General manager Frank Heller said: "We are proud to be the first Rocco Forte hotel in Saudi Arabia and my team and I look forward to welcoming travellers and guests to Assila Hotel where they will enjoy the unrivalled individual service excellence that has won the hearts of guests worldwide."
 

Jumeirah Emirates Towers unveil new luxury meeting space


Jumeirah Emirates Towers Dubai has unveiled its new Executive Conference and Meeting Suites following an extensive refurbishment. Positioned across seven floors of the five-star hotel, the 11 Meeting Suites provide the newest technological innovation combined with sleek, luxuriously decorated spaces and unbeatable views of Dubai’s skyline. Selected Meeting Suite tables are also equipped with a motorised rotary presenters’ panel, providing connectivity to data points, HDMI input, VGA input, USB, Audio input and Power outlets. Each attendee is equipped with a personal touch screen work unit, either a Creston 7” or an iPad Air, which also provides in-suite lighting and blind control.
Other features include a pic’n’mix sweet bar and an extensive menu of refreshment options including breakfast, lunch and everything in between, to suit any meeting requirements.
 

Gherkin launches industry Christmas packages


The Gherkin, part of the Searcys Collection of venues, has launched corkage free Christmas packages in January and February aimed at event organisers and hospitality staff too busy to celebrate in December. “We recognise many of our industry colleagues are simply too busy organising everyone else’s Christmas party in December to find time for their own, which is why we have launched this special package for January and February,” said sales and marketing manager Charley Taylor-Smith. “And, as event professionals ourselves we also recognise that potential clients from within the sector are likely to have bin ends and excess stock – so rather than buy from us or charge corkage, why not bring it along?”
 

EDITION moves into China


EDITION has launched its first hotel in China with The Sanya EDITION, an ocean property on Hainan Island, off the coast of Southern China. The hotel brand, conceived in partnership between Marriott International and American hotelier Ian Schrager, is set within lush tropical greenery and has a 20,000 sqm private ocean. Schrager said: "The Sanya EDITION was conceived for the China of today and the China of tomorrow. The resort is a unique sophisticated vision and embodiment of a cosmopolitan China for all the world to see." The property features 512 rooms, all with ocean views. As well as a number of dining options, the property features a rooftop bar with an open-plan layout and a 1,300 sqm ballroom capable of seating up to 900 guests.
 

Whittlebury goes gold for delegate packages


Whittlebury Hall has introduced two new delegate packages after being awarded the Meetings Industry Association's (mia) AIM GOLD accreditation. The conference, training centre and hotel, based near Milton Keynes, joins one of 32 venues in the country to be accredited. It has launched two Gold Delegate Packages to celebrate, available to book until 31 January 2017 and valid until 30 December 2017. The Gold Day Delegate package, at £45 per person, will include a fully-equipped training room with plasma screen or projector, screen and flipchart. A three-course buffet or working lunch buffet in the meeting room is included, as is unlimited refreshments. The Gold 24-hour Delegate package, at £145 per person, adds on a three-course dinner with set menu, use of facilities and overnight accommodation, followed by breakfast.
 

Open Camp scores with corporate groups


The world's first sports theme park, Open Camp, has appointed Franck Barbaras as it's new sales director to take charge of meetings and events. The Barcelona venue, which opened in July, is located in the Olympic Stadium in Montjuic and covers 95,000 sqm. It offers various team building activities such as mini Olympic Games, allowing companies and organisations to drive their message in a unique environment. Barbaras will help market the park's corporate and teambuilding offer, including more than 25 activities such as scoring goals, running the 100 metre sprint or participating in a Paralympic wheelchair race. The experiences mix technology and sports together, such as Open 360, pictured, the world’s most advanced simulator of football; the first basketball court with integrated technology, or an innovative boxing straining simulator, as well as baseball or hockey experiences. The venue is also suitable for small meetings to large cocktail receptions and gala dinners for up to 3,000 people.
 

Rocco Forte unveils Brown's Suites


Brown's Hotel in London has unveiled two new Brown's Suites, a stylish addition that will give guests a relaxing space to unwind. The two suites, designed by Rocco Forte Hotels' director of design Olga Polizzi, have been decorated with treescape wallpaper and pops of vibrant colour and fitted with statement pieces of furniture. With oak wood flooring throughout and double door openings, the suites have a spacious apartment feel. A range of organic luxury amenities are also available, including a candle, body balm and bath oil and bath salts. Two half-hour treatments in the hotel's spa are also included in bookings.
 

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