Travelodge opens in York

York’s first branded budget hotel chain – Travelodge - has opened its new flagship hotel at Layerthorpe. The company’s fifth hotel in the city also marks Travelodge being crowned York’s largest branded hotel provider in the city. York Layerthorpe Travelodge is the company’s 547th hotel and its 34th hotel in Yorkshire. This year Travelodge is also celebrating its 30th anniversary of trading in Yorkshire. The company opened its first Yorkshire Travelodge in Skipton in 1987. York Layerthorpe is the company’s largest hotel in the city of York. The purpose-built, 128-room hotel with Bar Café and on-site car park is located in Layerthorpe, York YO31 7RE, and overlooks the River Foss. This hotel represents an investment of £5 million for the landlord and has created 47 new jobs within the local community.

Year-round events at Heythrop Park

Heythrop Park Resort has launched a new event space, The Archery Suite. The new space is a fixed marquee able to accommodate up to 1,000 people and is intended for year-round events, offering Wi-Fi, heating, and a dedicated car park. The new space complements Heythrop Park Resort’s existing 358 bedrooms, 28 meeting rooms, 400 seated auditorium and separate ballroom, and adds to the great list of facilities available at the venue. Director of Heythrop Park Resort, Paul Russell, said: "We are very excited to announce that Heythrop Park Resort continues to grow and with the addition of the fixed marquee, we can now hold events for up to 1,000 people. This is a wonderful investment for Heythrop and along with creating jobs, it allows us to attract larger events into the Oxford region supporting local businesses."

Tower Pursuits launches at Tower of London

The Tower of London has launched a new activity, Tower Pursuits, for teambuilding. The activity has been designed in partnership with Wildgoose and brings to life many famous features while also uncovering hidden secrets and lesser known facts about the palace. With a focus on technology, social media and guest interaction, Tower Pursuits draws on the history of the famous fortress, which is almost 1,000 years old. Participants are tasked with visiting ‘hotspots’ around the palace, and answering a series of trivia questions, filming creative videos and taking photos at each site, to collect maximum points and beat their fellow competitors.

WiFi upgrades for Bournemouth centre

Bournemouth International Centre has had a major connectivity upgrade to enhance the quality of its services. Venue operator BH Live has partnered with WiFi SPARK to design, install and implement a new WiFi network with coverage throughout. A user experience portal has also been added, offering marketing opt-ins and personalisation for clients. The solution also applies content filtering and aims to provide a flexible and robust platform to meet the diverse connectivity requirements of clients and customers. "Bournemouth International Centre holds many high profile conferences, events and concerts that require complex broadcast and streaming configurations, says Pat Coyne, director of venues and events. "This improved connectivity has significantly enhanced the venue’s tech capabilities and provides our clients with the confidence that we can deliver fast and reliable connections." This latest investment complements other recent improvement schemes at the venue, such as solar PV panels to generate power, LED lighting replacement to reduce energy consumption and sustainable food purchasing to improve the venue’s green credentials.

Grade-II Newcastle hotel finishes £1.2m refit

An historic hotel at the heart of Newcastle has unveiled the results of a £1.2m development. Grade II-listed Grey Street hotel, on one of the most famous Regency streets in Britain, has come to the end of an 18-month phased refurbishment by its owner, North East hospitality heavyweight, Malhotra Group plc. The hotel – which retains a number of historically significant features such as art nouveau tiling and mosaic flooring - remained open throughout the development which began with the transformation of its 49 en-suite bedrooms. Each has been individually styled to combine contemporary luxury with unique tributes to the city’s heritage. Each room has a feature wall bearing a large-scale image of a Tyneside landmark or figure, such as Earl Grey, from whom the street and hotel take their name. There have also been changes to the hotel’s layout, including the relocation of the entrance and the creation of All About You, an urban beauty retreat in the upper basement. Atul Malhotra, operations director at The Malhotra Group plc, said: "This development goes way beyond cosmetic. We’ve taken an entirely fresh look at the space to widen its appeal to residents and non-residents alike and to ensure it is as attractive to the city’s business community and spa-goers as it is to those visiting from outside the region."

Dual-branded Manchester hotel to open in 2018

The first dual-branded hotel under one roof in the north of England is on course to open early next year in Manchester - after its newly-appointed management team took part in a topping out ceremony. Containing 328-rooms the dual-branded Crowne Plaza and Staybridge Suites - known as a ‘double pack’ concept - is located on Corridor Manchester and will be unveiled to the public in early 2018. The 19-storey building, just off Oxford Road and within walking distance of the city centre, will boast a 212-room Crowne Plaza and a 116-room Staybridge Suites. The Crowne Plaza will feature a 120-cover restaurant and seven meeting rooms catering for more than 200 delegates. The new hotel forms part of the University of Manchester’s £1 billion Campus Masterplan and redevelopment.

Los Cabos resort reopens

One of Los Cabos' most iconic resorts has reopened its doors as The Westin Los Cabos Resort Villas & Spa. The property, designed by renowned architect Javier Sordo Madaleno, offers 147 villas ranging from studios to a 200 sqm presidential suite, which are all equipped with kitchenettes. Other features include community grills for outdoor barbecuing, a luxurious spa day at the property's Otomi Spa, and three pools. It also has four venues including the upscale, gourmet restaurant El Ciruelo; the oceanfront Margaritas swim-up poolside bar for cocktails and light bites; La Cantina Sports Bar and Coralline, located beachside for casual menus and the Cocina Casera for regional and international cuisine.

Longleat hotel plans given green light

Plans for a new 240 room hotel at Longleat have been given the go ahead by Wiltshire Council. The approval, subject to sign off from Highways England, provides a green light for the development, which include a water park and conference facilities. Bob Montgomery, the CEO of Longleat Enterprises Limited, said: "The decision to approve our application is a huge boost to Longleat’s long term future, for Wiltshire and our local town and village communities. We've still a little way to go and are working to secure Highway England's final view on the impact of our proposals to the strategic road network in the area, but are confident this will be concluded soon. We believe the hotel will enable Longleat to develop and grow over the coming years and will provide a new tourism hub for the area which will create many more jobs and attract new investment." Located on a 135-acre site to the south and south east of Tascroft Court, and close to Warminster and the A36, the proposed hotel will also incorporate a unique animal experience for its guests and business conference facilities for up to 200 delegates.

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