18th October 2016
(Well hello Italy, you're looking mighty fine)
I was very lucky to join Melia’s first fam trip to Italy last week and what a weekend it was...
It all started very early on the Friday morning flying with BA from Gatwick to Genoa, after we landed we headed straight to the gorgeous 5* Melia Genova for a quick coffee & pastry.
After we had refuelled we had a lovely stroll through the streets of Genoa taking in the history & culture from a local guide.
On our return to the hotel we had a chance to explore and see a couple of the 99 bedrooms the hotel has along with the two meeting rooms & spa. We had lunch in their restaurant before boarding the coach for our drive to Milan.
The Melia Milano has 291 bedrooms and 18 meeting rooms with the largest holding up to 520 delegates (theatre style). We had a lovely dinner in one of their private dining rooms and tried an array of delicious Italian dishes (accomplished with some tasty wine!!).
On Saturday we explored Milan (the largest city in northern Italy & fashion capital of the world), it started with a trip to Unico Milano, located on the 20th floor of the WJC Tower at Portello and the highest Michelin star restaurant in Europe and offers amazing views of Milan’s skyline.
We then headed to Obicà at Duomo, a rooftop bar/restaurant with an up-close view of Duomo’s spires and were treated to some yummy Mozzarella and Prosecco … I can confirm this was the best mozzarella I have ever eaten!
After a leisurely stroll through the streets of Milan & a quick peek at the high end boutiques in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II we arrived for lunch at Latre - art, glamour & fine food all combined together in a contemporary venue.
Once we'd finished lunch - we had some free time in Milan before our arrival at our second hotel in Milan, the ME Milan il Duca - This contemporary hotel has a cosmopolitan atmosphere and is cutting edge in style, it has 132 bedrooms & two small meeting rooms. STK Milan is the hotel’s very popular restaurant which has its very own DJ to provide an energetic atmosphere. We popped up to the hotel’s Radio Rooftop Bar for a couple cocktails after dinner, this also is very popular with guests & local residents.
On Sunday we jumped on a train to Rome, this was a 3.5 hour journey which gave us the opportunity to take in the beautiful Italian countryside and also travelling through Florence, this was where Luigi sadly left us.
On arrival we met Lorella (Luigi’s colleague who was going to show us Rome) and we were transferred to our next hotel, the Gran Melia Rome. The hotel is located on the exclusive Villa Agrippina close to the Vatican and has an exclusive urban feel. We had a little time to check in and freshen up before heading out on Vespa’s for a tour of the city!
We were chauffeur driven (thank goodness!!) and visited some of the top tourist spots like the Spanish steps, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain. This is one of the best experiences I have ever had and I highly recommend it to everyone. We had a relaxed dinner at the hotel in their restaurant followed by a relatively early night.
Monday started with a show-round to see some of the Gran Melia's 116 bedrooms, three meeting rooms and the beautiful spa, the hotel is perfect for board meetings and smaller events.
We then made our way into the city to start an iPad challenge, we got ourselves into small groups and had to use the iPad to navigate the city and unlock questions to gain points. This was an amazing way to see Rome and the attractions by foot – my group obviously won (we were all a little competitive!!).
Before heading to the airport we stopped at Casa Bleve for a spot of lunch & well deserved rest (and maybe a little glass of wine!)
Then sadly it was time to leave, it was an absolutely amazing four days with Melia experiencing the hotels and cities and it is safe to say that even having just over 24 hours in Rome it has quickly become my favourite City.
Where will my next adventure take me?
PS - if you're looking to hold your next meeting in Rome, or anywhere else in the world - give us a call today! Free Venue Finding.
5th October 2016
On Saturday 17 September, one day after her birthday, and one day before her fiancé’s birthday – our Lizzie got married to Adam.
Not a couple to stick with tradition; the reception was held in a beautiful glamping site, at Lunsford Farm near Hastings. The views from the site over the Pett Level was stunning, even on what was a slightly damp and misty day!
Most of the office helped Liz and Adam celebrate; with cocktails, Prosecco, BBQ food – and lots and lots of laughter!
Liz – all of us here at TCP wish you every happiness for your future!
4th October 2016
Hi guys, Liz here reporting back on an amazing trip to the Midlands for Mel and I.
We visited so many amazing places so here is a quick rundown:
We left Eastbourne bright and early to head to the University of Hertfordshire! The M25 was kind to us and we made it in record time, and a good job too as there were so many lovely spaces to see. Alison guided us round and showed us the Weston Auditorium, moving on to the catering area and bedrooms. This venue really has everything you could need for residential conferences up to 440 delegates.
Next stop was the University of Leicester. The venue is made up of smaller campuses including Stamford Court and College Court, both of which we had the pleasure of seeing. These venues have a really exclusive feel and the Gilbert Murray Hall at Stamford Court is simply amazing. The floor to ceiling windows provide excellent light and a really inspiring atmosphere.
It was time to move on to University of Loughborough, where Hayley met us, our favourite site here has to be Holywell Park with its impressive entrance and multi-coloured lecture theatre! But if that doesn’t take your fancy they’ve also got Burleigh Court, The Link Hotel or Loughborough campus itself!
After all that excitement, we were definitely ready for a rest and a glass of wine! We checked in to Park Plaza Nottingham who kindly put us up for the night. Our rooms were beautiful with everything you could need including a large comfy bed. After a good night’s sleep, we got to see the meeting space with Trisha. On the dedicated conference floor, the views are simply spectacular. Being able to see the train station from your meeting room makes you realise just how central this venue is!
Setting off on our travels, first stop was a short walk to Nottingham Conference Centre – part of Nottingham Trent University where we met with Katie. This venue impresses as soon as you enter. From the light bright lobby area leading to a variety of lecture theatres and meeting rooms, to the gorgeous Old Chemistry Theatre which retains some of the buildings original features. This venue would be an amazing choice for any event!
Jumping in the car, it was time to visit De Vere East Midlands Conference Centre and The Orchard Hotel, University of Nottingham. With the Conference Centre and hotel just a 30 second walk away from each other, you couldn’t get a better location. The meeting rooms are flexible and spacious, some with privacy glass that becomes opaque at the flick of a switch but the most impressive room has to be the Banqueting and Exhibition suite that can hold up to 1,000 delegates. It even has outdoor space to host a BBQ lunch or team building!
Back in the car, we made our way to Keele University where Lesley met us to give us a tour of the main spaces. These are all within walking distance to each other and they have a variety of spaces to suit everyone’s needs. However, for us, Keele Hall really takes centre stage here. Steeped in history and retaining its character, it would be a great place if you’re looking to impress.
Moving on to our next stop, it was time to see the International Centre Telford. This venue is well presented with lots of versatile spaces and grand open foyer areas that would be perfect if you like to brand! They are also building a large retractable tiered seating section which allows this venue to be event more flexible to your needs!
University of Birmingham was our penultimate stop. We got to see the stunning Chancellor’s Court, with an impressive entrance, the Great Hall definitely lives up to its name! What more could you want…How about a modern, full equipped auditorium with the capability of raising a car onto the stage? They’ve got it!
Final stop on our Grand Tour was Conference Aston, this central venue is easy to find and well presented. Our favourite location here has to be the Steelhouse Rooms that allow for ultimate flexibility. The room is divisible and has multiple screen to make sure every delegate can see what’s going on easily. Outside the room is a comfy and bright lounge area for refreshments with good quality, sizable bedrooms.
Following a very busy two days, it was home time for these two venue finders! Until next time…