Starwood expands with dual hotel in London

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide is expanding into London with the development of a dual hotel in East London. Scheduled to open in early 2017, the connected Aloft and Element hotels will be built at Tobacco Dock within easy reach of The City, Canary Wharf and the capital's attractions. The 251-bedroom Aloft London Tobacco Dock - which will offer four meeting spaces - will be the second Aloft hotel in London and third in the UK, while Element London Tobacco Dock, which will feature 77 studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites, will mark the debut of Starwood’s eco-wise brand in the market.

Meet in Victorian splendour at Clevedon Hall

Clevedon Hall, a Victorian mansion in Bristol, is being re-launched to the corporate market after undergoing refurbishment and being taken over by new management. It offers six event spaces, including the Great Hall, which can accommodate 150 people seated and the panelled Grand Library (120 pax theatre style) which connects to the glazed orangery where coffee breaks are held. There are also a small number of uniquely furnished bedrooms, while catering is provided by in-house firm Parsnip Mash. The venue also boasts extensive grounds and parking spaces. A grand opening is set to take place later this year.

National Theatre pops up with event offering

The National Theatre’s stripped-back Temporary Theatre becomes available for a limited period as a pop-up events space, prior to its relaunch as a drama venue in spring 2015. The theatre, on London's South Bank, is taking bookings for corporate events between 15 September 2014 and 28 February 2015. The Temporary Theatre’s exterior offers an innovative space to event planners for product launches, conferences, drinks receptions or seated dinners; it has a standing capacity of 200, seats 70 guests for dinner and accommodates 185 for a conference.

Let the light in at Royal Opera House

The Royal Opera House (ROH) has a rare opening for hire of its Paul Hamlyn Hall on 24 July. The venue can only host 12 large events a year because of its busy performance schedule, and the hall can help shed light on conferences and meetings with its huge glass-vaulted ceiling, which features special glass panels designed to cut glare and overheating during the warmest months of the year, and maintain warmth during the winter. “We all know that daylight has beneficial effects on our sense of wellbeing and productivity, so why do we so often compromise the success of events by holding them in basement venues?” said Moya Maxwell, the ROH's head of commercial programming.

Chicheley is newest member of De Vere Venues

The relaunched Chicheley Hall will be celebrating joining the De Vere Venues portfolio by hosting a Great British Garden Party on Thursday, 19 June. Tucked away in 80 acres of grounds, Chicheley Hall in Buckinghamshire is a Grade I-listed mansion with 48 bedrooms. It has nine meeting rooms, the largest of which, Wolfson 1, can accommodate 100 delegates. Regarded as one of the finest examples of early 18th century architecture, it’s an impressive setting for any event – from conferences and meetings to private functions.

New CCT Venues opening at South Quay

London-based event space specialist CCT Venues has opened a new venue at CCT Venues-South Quay. Building on the success at South Quay, the existing venue will be closing at the end of June to be immediately replaced by a brand new venue on a different larger floor within the same building. Among the new features will be two large interconnecting conference suites including the new Sugar Suite, and its larger counterpart the Spice Suite, which have a combined capacity for 400 delegates. The venue will be open for business in July 2014. In the meantime the existing venue at South Quay will continue to operate.

Stoneleigh Park set for £1.5m facelift

Around £1.5 million is set to be ploughed into improving conference and event facilities at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire. Grandstand – Stoneleigh Events took over the event business management in January 2013, and has now been joined on-site by its parent company, Grandstand Group, which has moved its headquarters from Hertfordshire. The relocation and reorganisation within Grandstand Group, which employs about 50 full-time staff, is expected to create around a dozen new posts. Existing on-site facilities include 21,000 sqm of indoor exhibition space, 1,050 acres of outdoor space, a 58-bedroom hotel and free parking for more than 30,000 cars.

Historic Scottish venues primed for events

The National Trust for Scotland is throwing open the doors of its most exclusive heritage venues to meetings and events buyers with its new Unique Venues for Corporate Entertaining collection. In total 19 historic castles and stately homes are now primed to host corporate dinners and incentives, team building events and boardroom away days, from imposing venues such as Culzean Castle to the multi-media experience at the Battle of Bannockburn centre. As well as partnering with teambuilding specialists Team Challenge, the Trust can also offer bespoke packages, such as bushcraft at Crathes Castle, roaring 1920s-style fun at Hill of Tarvit and murder mystery dinners at Pollok House.

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