If you consider Portugal as just a holiday destination, then think again....! Jasmine experienced all that Portugal has to offer as an events and incentive destination, read on to see how she got on!
Travelling up to Hilton Heathrow Terminal 5 Hotel, ready for a hot bath and early night before my flight in the morning, I stood on the train thinking one of the perks of my job are definitely the trips away and this one I was super excited for… ! A jam packed weekend of meeting and building relationships with some fantastic venues from all over Europe, a jeep experience (which I will not be repeating!) and a brilliant awards dinner with superb food!
Landing in Lisbon, the sun was shining and everyone was in a great mood and ready for the start of our weekend. After a short coach trip to the beautiful Palacio Estoril Golf & Spa Hotel, we were treated to a glass of wine and a huge buffet lunch before the start of our appointments. The appointments were great! Everyone I spoke to enthusiastic about working with agencies and excited to hear about our Clients and the types of events they organise.
Dinner was a casual buffet at the beautiful Quinta da Marinha Hotel where they put on some fantastic entertainment including a singer (who popped up out the blue on the golf course) and some interesting dancers! Oh.. and they even had the staff dancing around as they handed out drinks and canapes! A relaxed evening getting to know the group was a great way to spend our first evening together.
After a good night sleep and a wonderful breakfast, we were back in for the last set of appointments before heading into the mountains in a James Bond themed “Mission Impossible” activity! It was great fun being driven around the streets of Estoril, wind blowing my hair, sun beaming down on my face and shoulders... then we hit the mountains and the winding paths and the bushes brushing against the jeep. Not my cup of tea (but then I’m a wimp when it comes to things like this!) but the rest of team enjoyed it although, sadly we didn’t “diffuse the bomb in time”.
Back at the hotel, ready for the last dinner of the weekend, everyone had made such an amazing effort dressing up! Whether it was a beautiful cocktail dress, a sharp suit and tie or an actual costume (there were some very brave “characters”) I knew it would be a good night! After a few welcome drinks and a quick game of blackjack, it was time to head into dinner. After a few kind words to those who had arranged the weekend, provided the jeep experience and, of course, everyone who attended, the awards were presented and after a very moving speech and video on the charity which industry friend, Dan Atkins has set up, Buses for Homeless, a delicious three course dinner was served. Of course with a few more glasses of champagne, people really let loose and the dance moves in particular were something I won’t be forgetting in a hurry!
My last morning, I had some free time before I caught my flight home so I took this opportunity to relax by the pool, soaking in the morning sun before returning to “The Sunshine Coast” that is Eastbourne!
If you think your next event would work well in Portugal, give one of our team a call today!
Until next time...