Warwick’s Scarman set for £750k refresh

The Scarman training and conference centre at Warwick Conferences will renovate 13 meeting rooms has part of a £750k investment. In addition to new signage, carpets, paintwork and graphics across the venue, the University of Warwick’s events arm is creating two lounge-style informal boardrooms with comfortable sofas and armchairs. A kitchen space is also being introduced to create “let’s do lunch” areas for informal discussions, while a creative ideas space will be a more casual setting for breakout sessions, workshops or networking. The work comes ahead of a major revamp of facilities in Warwick Conferences’ Radcliffe facility.

American Airlines unveils new-look lounge

An 'oasis of calm' awaits American Airlines premium customers landing in London, after the airline unveiled the result of a multi-million dollar investment in the Arrivals Lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 3. The new-look lounge offers complimentary services, including 29 spa-like shower rooms with C.O. Bigelow toiletries, and an express clothes pressing service. As part of the enhancement, American has extended its partnership with Rhubarb, known for its flagship restaurant Sky Garden. The lounge improvements are the latest in an ongoing $3 billion (£2.3bn) investment the airline is making in the customer experience including fully lie-flat seats, international Wi-Fi, more in-flight entertainment options and power outlets.

World's best airport hotel to expand

Crowne Plaza Changi Airport, named the world's best airport hotel, has announced a 10-storey extension which will increase its total capacity by 75 per cent. The extension features 243 business rooms in addition to the existing 320 rooms in the hotel and will help Crowne Plaza Changi Airport - named best airport hotel at Skytrax World Airport Awards in 2015 and 2016 - cater to an increasing number of visitors to Singapore. It comes as Changi Airport continues to grow as a key regional aviation hub, with upcoming developments such as Terminal 4 and Jewel Changi Airport. The rooms will include features like built-in USB charging points, spacious writing desks, wireless printing and day and blackout blinds. Each room will contain floor-to-ceiling glass windows, offering a view of Jewel Changi Airport once it's finished in 2019. Leanne Harwood, vice president of operations, InterContinental Hotels Group, South East Asia and Korea, said: “Singapore has been ranked by World Bank as the best place in the world to do business and continues to attract over three million business visitors each year with a year-long calendar of major events and conferences. As the World’s Best Airport Hotel, its strategic location and seamless connectivity to Changi Airport perfectly caters to transiting passengers, while its proximity to nearby business parks makes it a suitable choice for business travellers."

Skin Snatchers to launch at Alton Towers

A new attraction being released in time for Halloween could make participant's skin crawl. Skin Snatchers, Alton Towers Resort's new maze, sees delegates wander around the town of Altonville, home to a family of inbred hillbillies who have been cast out due to their hideous disfigurement, and who will try and 'snitch' the skin from passers-by. The maze forms part of the resort's Scarefest and is available for exclusive hire for corporate groups between 8-31 October. Karen Johnson, corporate events manager at Alton Towers Resort, said: "We are always looking to develop our current teambuilding activity portfolio and Scarefest is such a great opportunity to add a little fear and excitement into a corporate event. We always look to utilise our leisure offering for the corporate market and Skin Snatchers is no exception. What better way to build bonds and motivate a team with this thrilling, scary experience." The popular Sub Species the End Games, where delegates enter a post-apocalyptic sewer dwelling community, is also available for exclusive hire. Exclusive hire is available at a discounted rate of £1,500 when booking a residential conference with a minimum of 100 bedrooms by 2 September 2016 or £2,000 thereafter. The mazes are available for exclusive corporate hire on selected dates.

Marriott brings five-star style to Minsk

Marriott has opened the first five-star hotel in the Belarus capital Minsk. The 217-bedroom Minsk Marriott Hotel is the brand’s second in property in Belarus and sits on the Svisloch riverside. Rooms boast local touches including hand-made wall finishings and natural colours and materials, plus balconies with riverside views. The Minsk Marriott Hotel also has 940 sqm of meeting space, including the Falcon Ballroom which can accommodate up to 600 people for events ranging from traditional business meetings to extravagant galas. A bespoke chandelier comprised of more than 800,000 crystal beads is also available to enhance the ballroom’s atmosphere. Dining options include the Mediterranean-style Fornello (pictured), a private dining area for up to 10 people, plus the Barrel Bar, featuring colonial-style interiors.

Dine Elegantly at Edbaston's new offer

Edgbaston Stadium, the home of Warwickshire County Cricket Club, and its official caterer Levy Restaurants UK has expanded Birmingham’s culinary scene with the launch of a new fine dining restaurant, Elegant Eat. Under the guidance of Dave Hill, Edgbaston’s head chef, guests will enjoy tasting menus that draw on the season’s harvest and local larder while enjoying commanding views over the outfield and stadium. Elegant Eat will host a bi-monthly series of events to reinforce the culinary excellence and tradition at Edgbaston. The launch of Elegant Eat reflects the importance placed on food by guests in both the match-day and non-match day experience.

Cowan Court completed at Cambridge

Cambridge University's Churchill College has completed work on its Cowan Court, providing 68 hotel-standard double ensuite rooms and a new meeting space called the Sixties Room. The new facility takes the total bedroom number to 200 ensuite rooms available for conferences during vacations, along with 250 standard rooms and a purpose-build lecture theatre for 300. Cowan Court, named in honour of the Benefactor Fellow Michael Cowan, an alumnus of the College, also includes three fully accessible bedrooms for disabled visitors and residents. Green credentials include insulation; solar panels to provide more electricity than the building will consume; and natural ventilation with opening panels to either side of the special solar glass in the triple-glazed windows. Rainwater will also be collected to irrigate the trees inside the courtyard, which provide shading for the corridors running around each floor.

Azamara adds sparkle to packages

To add a little fizz to each of its cruises, boutique cruise line Azamara Club Cruises has upgraded its beverage programme to include complimentary sparkling wine and bottled sparkling water as part of its inclusive package following guest feedback. It comes as Azamara also announces that it has doubled the number of complimentary wines available on board with each sailing. Guests can now enjoy a choice of two white wines, two red wines and a rosé wine each day and throughout the evening. Azamara Club Cruises UK and Ireland MD, Richard Twynam, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to upgrade our inclusive beverage programme for our guests. Each sailing will have different wines on offer, based on the destination and countries we will be visiting, to give our customers the opportunity to try new and exciting wines from across the globe. As wines are a very personal item and preferences from one culture to another tend to be different, we will continue to listen to guest feedback and ensure our selection fits the majority of guests’ preferences.”

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