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ISSUE 15

BY CAPITA TRAVEL AND EVENTS

BRANDS TO WATCH

The new names in the accommodation world

SAFETY IN NUMBERS

Get the latest facts and figures on traveller security

HEALTH CONSCIOUS

Why hotels are taking your wellbeing seriously

DOWN BY THE SEA Landmark venues and nautical charm in Portsmouth

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U K ’S B E ST A D D R E SS E S F ROM GAT WIC K TO G L ASG OW, L I V E R P O O L TO LO N D O N For more information, contact Capita Travel and Events

Aberdeen | Birmingham | Cardiff-Caerdydd | Gatwick | Glasgow | Liverpool | London | Manchester Merry Hill-Dudley | Newcastle | Plymouth | Reading | Sheffield | Slough-Windsor

www.millenniumhotels.com

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ISSUE 15

Contents 044

005 Welcome Our chief commercial officer, Trevor Elswood, reveals the latest groundbreaking traveller insights

Smarter stays: Traditional hospitality meets hi-tech guest experiences at Edwardian Hotels London

IN BRIEF 008 10 things to take on board We round up the latest business travel, meetings and events news 009 Service update Don’t miss the most recent updates from Capita Travel and Events 011

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Have you tried?: Life after email Upgrade your internal comms with the latest non-email networks News digest The latest venues you need to know about – and clever currency exchange disruptors A to B: Crossrail The Elizabeth Line is coming and these are the numbers behind its development 10 top: Points to include in your venue contract Expert tips that work for you

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Around the world: Tokyo From tech to transport, Tokyo is a thriving business hub for a reason

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Talking point: Informal versus formal networking Is an office or an out-of-hours setting better for doing business?

020 That figures: Safety in numbers Our at-a-glance infographic on traveller safety and security

FEATURES 024 Destination: Portsmouth Nautical history, unusual venues and modern landmarks abound in the south coast city 032 Briefing: Healthy hotels Insight into why the fitness-focused travel trend is here to stay 037 Eight of the best: New hotel brands to watch What to expect from the hippest new names in the hotel world 040 The guide: Inverness Where to work, meet and entertain in the city that crowns the Scottish Highlands 044 Check in: Radisson Blu Edwardian, Bloomsbury Street How technology is revolutionising service at this London stalwart 050 City versus country Inside two contrasting hotels from our Collection of independent properties 003

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INSIDER’S GUIDE 054 Travel clinic We ask the experts to tackle your travel and meetings dilemmas 056 In the event: Game on Today’s team-building experiences are more immersive than ever 060 Must-have travel gadgets Our pick of accessories that will save you space, time and stress 063 Day in the life Air traffic controller Peter Eggeling takes us behind the scenes at London City Airport 064 Travellers’ tales The lowdown on chic Los Angeles, historic Malaga and sunny Athens 066 Take five: Airport hotels There’s more to these properties than being handy for your flight DESTINATIONONLINE.CO.UK

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On Business saved members ÂŁ47 million through reward flights last year. Join today to start saving and earn triple points for up to 12 months. Not the toughest business decision to make. Sign up at ba.com/onbusiness or for more information contact Capita Travel and Events.

For terms and conditions see ba.com/onbusiness

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Capita Travel and Events Head of marketing Neal Poole Senior marketing executive Suzi Johnson Marketing executive Toni Byrne Think Group editor Claire Sargent Deputy editor Gaby Lane Deputy chief sub-editor Marion Thompson Editorial assistant Elizabeth Oliver Art director George Walker Designer Alix Thomazi Account director Rachel Walder Managing director Polly Arnold Destination © 2017 ISSN 2052-4536 Published on behalf of Capita Travel and Events by Think Capital House 25 Chapel Street London NW1 5DH 020 3771 7200 destination@ thinkpublishing.co.uk destinationonline.co.uk Printed by Full Spectrum, Basildon

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Capita Travel and Events Meridian Court, 18 Stanier Way Wyvern Business Park Derby DE21 6BF 0330 390 0340 Calls will cost 13 pence per minute, plus your telephone company’s access charge travelevents@capita.co.uk @CapTravelEvents capitatravelevents.co.uk

NEW BRANDS ON THE BLOCK Get the lowdown on the hippest new names in the hotel world on page 37

Welcome There’s no such thing as a typical business traveller – and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to meeting their needs. At Capita Travel and Events, we know that better than most – our latest research is helping customers understand their different types of travellers and see the big picture of their travel. We are bringing together data from right across an organisation – travel booking details, expenses and human resources – to help make sense of who its travellers are and how and why they travel. Such insights can help us understand the impact of travel on things like employee productivity and absenteeism, and empower our customers to work smarter than ever – whether that means messaging different travellers more effectively, making travel budgets go further, or taking steps to improve employee welfare on the move. You’ll find plenty of inspiration on all these topics in this issue of Destination.

Capita Travel and Events does not necessarily agree with, nor guarantee the accuracy of, statements made by contributors or advertisers, or accept responsibility for any opinions they may express in this publication.

Trevor Elswood

Chief commercial officer, Capita Travel and Events

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For tips on promoting your travel policy internally, see our expert’s advice on page 54. With traveller safety and security top of the radar in 2017, don’t miss our overview of the latest facts and figures on this on page 20. And while there’s nothing new about venues promising to look after our health and wellbeing, we’re hearing a lot of noise in the industry about the technological advances underpinning that – read the latest on page 32. This year, we’ll be using our investment in technology, our specialist market knowledge and our industry leverage to help drive efficiency for all our customers, whatever their Find fresh business travel size or sector. We insights every month in our look forward to newsletter and on our website – sign up for updates at working together destinationonline.co.uk throughout 2017.

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My place to be: sofa 22H.

Premium Economy Class is available on the long-haul fleet

Premium Economy Class: for those who want more

For more information please contact Capita Travel and Events

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Tokyo’s reputation for international business opportunities has blossomed in recent years

In brief

GETTY

Your round-up of news, views, trends, tips and must-know insights from across the travel, accommodation, meetings and events industry INDUSTRY UPDATES

HOT HOTELS

CROSSRAIL FACTS

TOKYO FOR BUSINESS

NON-EMAIL TOOLS

SMARTER EXCHANGE

CONTRACT MUST-HAVES

NETWORKING STYLES

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10 things to take on board OUR ROUND-UP OF TOP INDUSTRY STORIES FROM THE PAST FEW MONTHS

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The UK’s regional airport boom continues: Birmingham Airport has been named as the most punctual in the world by aviation data specialist OAG. In 2016, 91.28% of its flights arrived and departed within 15 minutes of their scheduled slot. Birmingham Airport’s CEO Paul Kehoe has called the achievement “tremendous” and a “team effort”. Elsewhere, Newcastle was named the most punctual small airport, a category for those with 2.5 to five million passengers a year. Its on-time performance rating was 90.94%.

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Passengers on London’s Elizabeth Line (see page 14) will be guaranteed a comfortable journey in all weather conditions when it opens this year. Bombardier Transportation, which has manufactured the Crossrail trains, sent a carriage to Vienna to be tested in temperatures ranging from -25°C to 40°C. It was also subjected to high winds, snow and ice to check commuters can expect a smooth journey when part of the route opens in May. The line should be fully operational in December 2019.

3 Below: Passengers on the Deutsche Bahn in Germany are spending less on rail travel than those in Britain

Prepare to take your events off the beaten track. The government has announced that £440m is to be invested in helping rural areas access fast broadband of 24Mb per second. The move to extend the network has been welcomed by the British Hospitality Association, which has said that online connectivity in remote areas will help hotels, restaurants and other businesses improve their operations and enhance customer experience.

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Last year was one of the safest on record for air travel. According to air travel consultancy to70, high safety standards and aircraft design mean there were relatively few accidents – in spite of high-profile headlines. There have also been no reported fatal accidents involving a British airline for more than two decades.

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British travellers could be spending six times more on rail travel than their European colleagues. A recent report from Action for Rail found that some UK passengers are spending 14% of their monthly salary on tickets, compared to an average of 2% and 3% in France and Germany respectively. While some rail fares have doubled in the past decade, wages have risen approximately 24% in the UK. All the more reason to ask your travel management company for advice.

ISSUE 15 DESTINATION CAPITA TRAVEL AND EVENTS

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Innovation and creativity should be at the heart of events this year, according to the Meetings Industry Association. At its Don’t Stop – rethink conference in March, speakers will suggest that the economic conditions created by Brexit and the US election can encourage bold new thinking. It will also show how social media can shed light on industry trends.

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Flight costs could become cheaper after Heathrow Airport cut its domestic passenger charges by £10. The cost, which is levied at airlines

including British Airways and Flybe, is £19.10 per person – more than a third less than last year. It’s hoped the saving will be passed on by the airlines to customers. Heathrow wants to keep the discount in place until 2037.

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‘Co-living’ is the new hotel buzzword of 2017 – and it’s an emphasis on communal spaces. Brands including Hilton Worldwide want to focus on bringing guests together, which will help business travellers feel less isolated. In September, AccorHotels launched its Jo&Joe brand (see page 37) with

self-service kitchens and lounges similar to those in serviced apartments.

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The HBAA, the trade association for the hotel booking agency, apartment and venue community, marks its 20th anniversary this year. Capita Travel and Events is a founding member of the HBAA, which works with the industry to champion excellent service, simple contracts and choice. “The HBAA helps customers get the right answers, at the right time from the right supplier,” says our chief commercial officer, Trevor Elswood.

IN BRIEF NEWS DIGEST

Left: Communal spaces are central to AccorHotels’ Jo&Joe brand

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Team-building events and those championing social skills are more important now that more of us are opting for remote working and flexitime. QHotels’ trend predictions for 2017 reveal that events including more time to network or develop interpersonal skills are now hot tickets: they help boost morale and corporate identity. For inspiration, turn to page 56.

SERVICE UPDATE THE LATEST NEWS FROM CAPITA TRAVEL AND EVENTS New talent Capita Travel and Events has partnered with Derby College to help students of travel and tourism to develop their skills. The team will offer expert lectures and two-week work experience placements, and will collaborate on special projects as part of the Capita Travel and Events Academy. Charlotte Young, director of organisational development at Capita, says: “We’re passionate about supporting and working with local colleges to equip people with the skills, knowledge and insight needed to thrive in the business travel and events industry. We have so much to share with the learners, and

as potential newcomers to the industry, we know we can learn from them, too.” Awards thanks A big thanks to all of those who have voted for us in the M&IT Industry Awards 2017. We have been nominated in the Best Intermediary Agency (with more than 40 employees) category and the results will be announced on 3 March, in a ceremony at the Battersea Evolution venue in London. The nomination follows our recent wins at the 2017 Business Travel Awards, where we were named Travel Team of the Year, in partnership with our customer, Direct Line Group.

The judging panel commented: “Direct Line Group/Capita Travel and Events travel team are a true example of listening to your travellers, and working with your TMC, to make it work for everyone. Simply brilliant and a worthy winner.” James Parkhouse, chief executive officer, Capita Travel and Events, said: “It’s a partnership that we can innovate in. We’re able to provide really good insight and analytics to help them make better buying decisions.

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My warm congratulations go to everyone involved in the day-to-day workings of this award-winning relationship.” Meanwhile Kevin Swindells, senior procurement manager for Capita Travel and Events’ customer Royal Mail Group, was awarded ‘Travel Buyer of the Year’. More than a thousand representatives of the business travel industry gathered at the prestigious event, which took place in January at London’s Grosvenor House.

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Journey times based on route between London Paddington and Heathrow Terminal 3. Data sources: Google Maps for journey time by Taxi, TfL Journey Planner for journey time by Tube and Heathrow Express. For Tube, the journey time represents an average, based on estimated best journey times shown on TfL Journey Planner on the hour every hour from 6am to 10pm for each day of September 2016. For Taxi, the journey time represents an average, based on an estimated range of journey times shown on Google Maps on the hour every hour from 6am to 10pm for each day of September 2016. For full terms and conditions visit heathrowexpress.com

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27/01/2017 08:32


IN BRIEF H AV E Y O U T R I E D ?

Life after email

In January, Yammer joined forces with Microsoft Office 365 to enable users to access and share documents seamlessly. Last year, Capita Travel and Events piloted Yammer to connect our employees, who are based across six sites. “We know we have heaps of industry experts within our business,” says people engagement and communications manager Bernie Murtagh. “So we needed somewhere that they could easily share their knowledge, and for it to be visible and easily accessible to everyone else.”

THE NEW GENERATION OF MESSAGING TOOLS FOR THE WORKPLACE ARE HELPING TEAMS TO SHARE IDEAS, POOL EXPERT KNOWLEDGE AND STAY IN TOUCH REMOTELY – WITHOUT A SINGLE EMAIL BEING SENT

SHUTTERSTOCK

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that reading and replying to emails occupies up to 28% of our working week, according to data from research firm McKinsey Global Institute. But that could all be about to change. In October, Facebook launched Workplace by Facebook, a version of its social media platform that is specifically designed for business users. Structured like the personal version of the social networking website, the application enables colleagues to collaborate and share images, updates and messages between individuals and groups at the click of a button, or deliver video presentations to colleagues using the Facebook Live tool. Connected on the move Originally designed for employees within the same organisation, the Workplace app also enables interaction with professional contacts at other companies by inviting them to join groups, too. And, as a mobile app, Workplace promises to make it easy for business travellers who aren’t traditionally working at desks to stay connected to their colleagues and their work; combining tasks that are usually achieved using different

Protecting productivity While some companies might worry that employees will be distracted by updates and unfolding conversations on these new platforms, introducing tools (such as email and a company a tool without engagement rules intranet) in one place. seems to have boosted the spirit Julien Codorniou, director of of collaboration. Workplace, naturally claims that Our teams can now easily it’s a more efficient tool than email itself, as its algorithm helps prioritise share industry insights, ideas and suggestions to improve our what’s important: “With email you business – and are doing so more wake up every day and get 400 often, because of the inclusivity emails listed by chronological that the service creates. order,” he says. “If the intern in “Our people are posting more of Japan just posted something, you their ideas through the tool than by might get it before the CEO who email,” says Murtagh. “Workplace posted two hours ago.” networking tools have that element of encouragement and praise Better than email? because of the ability to use ‘likes’, The launch of Workplace follows comments and shares, as with other the rise of other professional social media tools.” messaging tools, such as Slack Far from being of internal and Yammer. Both support value only, workplace messaging a flexible working culture by tools can have direct benefits for allowing communication between customers, too, says Capita Travel individuals or whole groups. With Slack, instant messages stack up on and Events CEO James Parkhouse. “If our people are kept up to top of each other as a conversation date and feel part of our everyday unfolds, facilitating real-time team activity,” he explains, discussion on a topic-by“they will feel more topic thread. Microsoftcommitted and owned Yammer works connected to our as a network with Total of Slack’s latest vision and goals, a wall of posts, round of investment which is to deliver which users can the very best selectively attend service to our to, and comment How much Microsoft customers, and directly on, at paid to buy Yammer grow our business.” their convenience. in 2012

$3.8bn $1.2bn

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Behind the brand THANKS TO A MULTIMILLION-POUND INVESTMENT, JURYS INN CONTINUES TO OFFER COMFORTABLE STAYS AND GREAT EVENTS FACILITIES – INCLUDING ONE VERY TEMPTING NEW ADDITION… JURYS INN

What to expect Jurys Inn prides itself on offering city-centre properties with great customer service. Each hotel is decked out with meeting facilities and free WiFi, and has a dedicated events team. Staying over? The Jurys Inn bespoke DREAM bed promises a comfortable night’s sleep. There are great bars, restaurants and Costa coffee hubs at most hotels, too. Where to stay Following a £10.8m refurbishment in 2016, Jurys Inn Oxford unveiled 20 updated meeting and banqueting spaces, including one that can accommodate up to 300 people. This year it has also opened a Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill. The restaurant is available for corporate hire for up to 180 guests, and joins a new Juvenate Health & Leisure Club, on-site. General manager Chris Broderick says: “This is a truly exciting time for us, as we complete our extensive refurbishment. We look forward to welcoming tourists, business travellers and Oxford locals alike to our newly upgraded hotel, and that they enjoy the wonderful new amenities we have to offer.”

The facts • 1993 was the year the Jurys Inn brand was created • 42 hotels are operated by the brand, 36 of them under the Jurys Inn name • 61% growth in meetings and events space in 2016 • 2.5 million guests per year • 13+ industry awards, including Best Hotel Brand at the British Travel Awards

New and next

OUR EXPERTS HAVE ALL THE LATEST ON HOTEL AND VENUE OPENINGS. HERE, THEY PICK THREE DESTINATIONS THAT EVENTS BOOKERS ARE TALKING ABOUT THIS SEASON

OPEN NOW

Novotel, Canary Wharf

The towering 39-storey Novotel London Canary Wharf is the latest landmark addition to the capital’s skyline. Situated at the heart of the city’s bustling commercial centre, the hotel is a short walk from Canary Wharf underground station, and less than 30 minutes by public transport to London City Airport. The 313-bedroom property is very much aimed at business travellers, with nine meeting rooms, complimentary WiFi and a state-of-the-art fitness centre. The hotel’s contemporary bar and restaurant serves a variety of international cuisines – with a roof terrace providing jaw-dropping views over London. ISSUE 15 DESTINATION CAPITA TRAVEL AND EVENTS

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ZEITGEIST IN BRIEF NEWS DIGEST

THE CURRENCY EXCHANGE DISRUPTORS WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR CHANGING CURRENCY – AND COULD NEW DIGITAL PLATFORMS BENEFIT BUSINESSES? The way we exchange travel money is evolving – underpinned by technology. Smartphone currency exchange app Revolut has become the latest service to pledge to improve exchange deals for business travellers, and as the company’s business development analyst, Dan Westgarth, reveals, plans are under way to further expand its corporate offering: “Foreign exchange was a traditionally laborious and expensive process,” he says. “There is a need for a currency exchange process that is slick, fast and efficient – and offers a fair deal.” The rise of the disruptors A number of so-called ‘currency exchange disruptors’ like Revolut have sprung up in recent years, aiming to offer better value for money for business travellers spending overseas. Many convert funds at the Interbank rate (the rate at which banks trade with each other), which means that the value of a transaction isn’t depleted by hidden banking charges. The market for such services has flourished in the wake of the 2008 global economic recession. A study by Viacom Media Networks, the Millennial Disruption Index,

found that post-crisis, the modern consumer wanted transparent services and was open to new and innovative finance brands. One-touch transactions Technology is also allowing us easy access to services previously beyond our reach. Transactions can now take place at the click of a button, and exchange rates compared at a glance. The value of these new capabilities is so great that analysts predict investment in the financial technology sector will reach $5bn within five years. The Revolut mobile phone app allows users to create an account and upload funds, then spend online or with a linked Mastercard debit card in approximately 130 currencies. As the currency is converted at the point of purchase, you can also avoid being left with surplus currency at the end of your trip. Another popular service is TransferWise. This website allows companies and individuals to transfer funds to overseas accounts at a low cost, using a network of peer accounts based in the same country. Stuart Gregory, head of business product at TransferWise, insists these new exchange platforms can

ease admin and fees for businesses: “This summer we connected to the Faster Payment Scheme in the UK, making EUR-GBP transactions a lot faster,” he says. “On most of our routes, we will be able to guarantee same-business-day delivery on 90% of transfers by the end of the year, and the remaining 10% will be delivered by the next business day.” Could it work for you? If you’re considering using a modern currency conversion platform, check that it is registered by the relevant financial authorities, and compliant with your company travel policy: “Before reaching for any of these solutions, we advise you to check your internal processes for buying currency for business travel. Most employers have a clear policy on the purchase of currency and paying for anything that can be reimbursed – this should always be used as the first reference point before any alternatives are considered,” says Chris Truss, director of proposition and consulting – air, rail and ground transportation, for Capita Travel and Events. All being well, new ways to exchange currency could save you time and money.

COMING SOON

Nobu Hotel, Shoreditch

Taking its inspiration from the vibrant culture of Shoreditch, Nobu Hospitality’s first European hotel will offer 143 guestrooms and seven suites. Set to open this June, this sleek property will naturally include a restaurant serving the sort of inventive food the Nobu group is known for. Plus there are dedicated fitness facilities, including a gym, a wellness centre, and steam and sauna rooms. For meetings and conferences, the Kaijo Meeting Space will offer 180m2 of flexible space that can be transformed into six separate rooms.

ONE TO WATCH Aloft, Brighton

Due to open in autumn 2017, the 150-bedroom Aloft Brighton promises smart accommodation at an affordable price. Next door to the American Express Community Stadium – home of Brighton and Hove Albion football club – it will have a handy rail station on site as well as good links to the city centre. With features including keyless entry (allowing guests to use their smartphone or Apple watch as a room key) and a 24-hour deli, the hotel will be geared towards visitor convenience. There will also be 55m2 of creative meeting space with all the latest audiovisual hardware. 013

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A TO B

Crossrail: the Elizabeth Line WITH THE FIRST PHASE OF LONDON’S HIGH-SPEED RAIL LINE OPENING IN 2018, WE LOOK AT THE DETAILS AND BEGIN THE COUNTDOWN TO FULL OPERATION…

34 MINUTES READING

will be the journey time from Heathrow Airport to Liverpool Street (it’s now 55 minutes)

THE YEAR THE ELIZABETH LINE WITH BE FULLY OPEN

2019

is the capacity of each air-conditioned Crossrail train

IS THE LENGTH OF A CROSSRAIL TRAIN – DOUBLE THE LENGTH OF A NORMAL LONDON UNDERGROUND TRAIN

WILL FEATURE ON THE ELIZABETH LINE ROUTE, INCLUDING KEY HUBS LIKE HEATHROW, READING, PADDINGTON, LIVERPOOL STREET AND CANARY WHARF

2.5 minutes

CANARY WHARF

200M

40 stations

SHENFIELD

passengers

LIVERPOOL STREET

PADDINGTON

HEATHROW AIRPORT

1,500

30% LESS ELECTRICITY will be used by the lightweight, energy-efficient trains

ABBEY WOOD

THE FREQUENCY OF TRAINS THAT WILL RUN THROUGH CENTRAL LONDON AT PEAK TIMES

WHAT’S NEXT: CROSSRAIL 2 The proposed Crossrail 2 line serving London and the wider South East would connect National Rail networks in Surrey and Hertfordshire with TFL services. It would increase London’s rail capacity by 10% and be operational by 2030.

Online booking tool The system that travel Offline and meeting bookers connection use to make bookings A connecting flight that requires where their company’s preferred policy and switching to a suppliers are available. different airline. ISSUE 15 DESTINATION CAPITA TRAVEL AND EVENTS

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GETTY

JARGON BUSTING

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IN BRIEF 10 TOP

10 TOP

Points to check in your venue contract NICOLA JOHNSON, CONFERENCE CONSULTANT AT CAPITA TRAVEL AND EVENTS, SHARES THE SECRETS OF A SUCCESSFUL CONTRACT

The basics. A venue contract should include the name of the space being booked and the times that it’s needed between: remember to factor in the time taken to set up and clear the space before and after the event. Also, some venues state that they can change a room without your approval, so make sure you specify that you are able to approve any changes in writing.

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The cancellation clause. Cancellation clauses vary between venues. You’re likely to be responsible for the full cost of venue hire if you cancel within 60 days of the event, so try and negotiate flexible terms. We aim to reduce this to 30 days. If a venue is resold after cancellation, state that the amount recouped should be reduced from your charges.

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The permission slip. If you’re planning on filming a video of your event or taking publicity photographs, include this in your contract. The venue might have confidential information that it doesn’t want to share with the public, so needs to know in advance.

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The cost. The key factors are the venue cost and whether it is paid in instalments. Beyond that, ensure that the company’s legal address (rather than office of the person who is signing the agreement) is on the contract. When we, as a travel management company, are responsible for the funds, we always make sure customers see a copy of the contract by email and authorise us in writing to pay the bill. Be aware that if booking an event the following year, the total cost might be subject to price changes or VAT increases – the venue should flag any potential increase.

The food and drink bit. A venue will often want to name its preferred food and drink suppliers for health and safety reasons, and a lot of venues will not allow delegates to bring their own refreshments. If you want to arrange your own catering, discuss it upfront.

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The logistics. Make sure you include details of how your guests are arriving in the contract. That way, if the venue is a busy one, you’re guaranteed a time slot for parking or any other access you need. If you’re planning any team-building activities or audiovisual equipment, it’s vital to agree this, too, so the event can run without a hitch.

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The liability jargon. It’s crucial to define who has liability for health and safety issues or damage at an event. The venue is usually responsible for risks under its control, but you may need your own cover when taking delegates off-site. Check with your procurement manager. Also, ask that the venue tells you if there are any competitive companies on-site – it might be a confidentiality risk to your business. 015

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The guests. Bear in mind that it’s often better to agree your minimum number of delegates for an event, rather than your maximum – to limit your cancellation charges if numbers change.

9 Find out more Need help with venue contracts? Contact your Capita Travel and Events team.

The attrition. Each standard contract should include an attrition clause. This clause will allow you to reduce numbers by 10% or 20% (industry standard) up to seven days prior to an event taking place. As with most things, this is open for negotiation.

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The final details. After your contract has been issued, expect to confirm final details in writing seven to 10 days before an event. This is your opportunity to tweak details mentioned in the contract, such as the timing of tea and coffee breaks. Essential aspects of your event should go in the original contract, but flexible arrangements and contact details on the day can be added in here. DESTINATIONONLINE.CO.UK

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Tokyo Pioneering and vibrant, Japan’s capital city is the place for cutting-edge technology and international networking Located in Honshu, the largest island in Japan, Tokyo is a city of towering skyscrapers, technological innovation and historic buildings. In 1590, the shoguns – Japan’s hereditary military dictators – moved their base to Tokyo, and it has remained an influential city ever since. The capital’s international appeal is growing, too. In 2016, it came third in the Global Power City Index (GPCI) by the Institute for Urban Strategies, behind only London and New York in its ability to attract individuals and corporations. In 2020, it will host the Olympic and Paralympic Games, kickstarting yet more investment in its infrastructure.

Open for business

With its bustling metropolis home to major names in industries from electronics to transport, Tokyo is ripe for international business opportunities. Thirty minutes from Haneda Airport and 60km away from Narita International Airport, the city is accessible to visitors from all over the world, one of the factors that saw it replace Paris in the GPCI. It’s also easy to navigate. Regular travellers recommend taking advantage of Tokyo’s public transport network and buying a prepaid IC travel

card, which enables you to ride virtually all trains, subways and buses in Greater Tokyo, as well as buy food and drink items from some local shops. The city also offers numerous conference venues to suit your business needs. Tokyo Conference Centre has 10 meeting rooms, with an executive boardroom and a large hall with a 500-seat capacity. For a more unusual business location, Aqua Park Shinagawa (inside the Shinagawa Prince Hotel), can cater for up to 1,200, offering the opportunity to have a meeting surrounded by jellyfish. Of course, there are many premium hotel brands operating in the city for those wanting to work and stay in the same location. A popular choice is InterContinental Tokyo Bay. The property has a range of amenities such as a fitness suite, and nine restaurants and lounges, as well as dramatic skyline views. “It’s my preferred hotel,” says one recent guest. “It has good facilities, but is quiet. It’s also close to the monorail to go into [business and commercial district] Shimbashi.” The Royal Park hotel in Shiodome is another great choice, thanks to its central location in the business district and rooms styled by local artists.

TOKYO, JAPAN

GETTING IN AND OUT Haneda Airport • 30 minutes south of central Tokyo • Served by buses and trains • Taxis between 5,000 and 11,000 yen (depending on time of day) Narita International Airport • 60km from Tokyo • Served by buses and trains (journey time approximately one hour) • Taxis between 16,000 and 22,000 yen (depending on time of day)

THE ESSENTIALS

Left: Colourful billboards in Shinjuku’s Kabukichō district, known as ‘Sleepless Town’. Above: Aerial night-time view of a highway intersection in Shinjuku ISSUE 15 DESTINATION CAPITA TRAVEL AND EVENTS

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Time zone GMT +9 City area 2,187 sq km Population 13 million Language Japanese Monetary unit Yen Hottest months June-August (average high of 26˚C) Coolest months DecemberFebruary (average low of 5˚C) Wettest month June (average rainfall 181mm)

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IN BRIEF AROUND THE WORLD

Make it count

WORDS BY SARAH WOODS; IMAGES GETTY/LUCIANO MORTULA/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

It’s the ability of the city to cater to a ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality that makes Tokyo memorable for many. Taro Watanabe, who sometimes works out of Fujitsu’s HQ in the city, says: “Tokyo is not only one of the business hubs of the world, but has a unique culture of Japanese food and animation. Therefore, all business travellers can feel the difference from other cities they visit.” Whether you opt for a cruise to see why Tokyo is ‘the city of water’, or sip cocktails at the Star Road restaurant at the Grand Pacific Le Daiba, Tokyo’s vibrant culture enlivens a professional itinerary.

Ahead of your working day, set the alarm for 4.30am to visit the traditional fish market; enjoy downtime in the Japanese and English landscaped gardens of Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, or if you’re feeling adventurous and able to build in a weekend stopover, take a Shinkansen (high-speed bullet train) and explore the mountainous scenery of Mount Takao. Tasty street food is perhaps best experienced in the Shimbashi district. Alternatively, treat customers to fine Japanese cuisine at Sukiyabashi Jiro. The Michelin-starred sushi restaurant has impressed former world leaders including Barack Obama.

Find out more Left: Tokyo’s glittering skyline. Above: Take time out to sample sushi in one of Tokyo’s many restaurants

To learn more about the latest global developments, or to book overseas travel, hotel stays or meetings and events, get in touch with Capita Travel and Events.

GLOBAL HAPPENINGS A WHISTLE-STOP TOUR OF INTERNATIONAL HEADLINES

Australasia Melbourne Airport’s T2 international terminal will undergo extensive redevelopment. With a completion date of 2018, it is hoped this project will make Melbourne the airport of choice for travellers to Australia.

Europe European hotel occupancy remained consistent towards the end of 2016, found market analytics firm STR. The average daily room rate fell slightly, to €113.51, while room supply in London was up by 1.9%.

South America Brazil’s first Hyatt hotel, Hyatt Place São José do Rio Preto, opened in November 2016. With 152 spacious guestrooms and three meeting rooms, it is well equipped to meet the needs of business travellers.

North America Business travel spend in the US reached $292.5bn in 2016, a year-on-year increase of $2bn. A survey by JD Power and Associates found travellers spend the most in western states such as California, Colorado and Utah.

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Middle East and Africa Through its $360m expansion of Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, completed last October, Zambia (pictured) hopes to boost its air travel sector and business opportunities for the region.

Asia China continues to be the world’s largest business travel market, with total spend estimated to reach US$317.9bn by the end of 2017. The 9.2% increase from 2015 shows it is one of the fastestgrowing, too.

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For more information, contact Capita Travel and Events.

At Lime Venue Portfolio we’re here to help you maximise the effectiveness of your conference and meetings. As the UK’s largest collection of unusual and unique venues, all supported by superb food, we’re perfectly positioned to help you deliver inspiring and memorable events.

www.limevenueportfolio.com INSPIRATION: CHURCHILL WAR ROOMS, LONDON 018_CAPITA_Issue15_17.indd 18

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IN BRIEF TA L K I N G P O I N T

Informal vs formal networking IS IT BETTER TO BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH CUSTOMERS AND COLLEAGUES IN AN OFFICE ENVIRONMENT, OR IN A RELAXED, OUT-OF-HOURS SETTING? WE ASKED TWO TOP NETWORKERS

Be efficient with a structured meeting Structured networking helps you focus your time. Having a clear idea of whom you are meeting and what you want to learn can help us achieve business objectives more quickly and effectively, and help to advance our careers. A golf day or corporate box is not the place for a pitch. These events often become social intercourse. It’s great to get to know people in an informal environment, but such events should stay as informal. The Bribery Act has also made the rules around entertaining even tougher: companies need to be savvy about the way they engage with their networks. There’s less room for error. Sometimes employees will go out for long lunches with alcohol, but fail to use the business opportunity effectively. They won’t ask for the help needed at the right time or in the right way.

Build trust in an informal business environment

You need to have business materials with you. For me, the exchange of a business card is a symbol of a commitment to follow up and develop the conversation. You always need to have a pen with you, too – you might want to write something down in the moment.

Business is about building relationships and winning hearts. People are more likely to build trust in an informal environment where they can relax. This makes them want to connect and work together. Upholding brand values is important, but if people don’t get on, they can become irrelevant.

Formal networking builds employees’ confidence. Networking can develop an employee’s ability to think on their feet and understanding of the wider business, but they need to understand why they should engage from a career and business perspective.

You can do business outside a boardroom. If you like someone and want to work with them, you should be able to call or meet them outside of office hours, because you have a relationship. We should encourage meaningful interaction. Meeting outside of the office removes distractions. You can look at each other, talk to each other and be present. Combining drinks, food and new people is a good formula for forging a connection.

Structured doesn’t mean boring. You can still invite a mix of colleagues, have new conversations and serve refreshments at more traditional meetings.

Andy Lopata, author of …and death came third: the definitive guide to networking and speaking in public

You should know who you’re dealing with. Meeting someone in a social environment can tell you a lot about them – and being curious can help us learn new things. Informal networking will get you remembered. You are more likely to be yourself out of the office. If professional contacts can see and understand your passions, they’re more likely to want to share that enthusiasm with others, which can extend your professional network. You can spot someone who is only interested in doing business a mile off. This might be efficient, but it doesn’t endear them to you.

Pinky Lilani CBE, founder of the Women of the Future and Asian Women of Achievement Awards 019

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Informal meetings are good for work/life balance. Meeting people on a personal and professional level should be enjoyable. I love hosting dinners and lunches with a mix of different people.

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Safety in numbers MANAGING RISK

A SNAPSHOT OF FACTS AND FIGURES ON TRAVELLER RISK AND SECURITY, WITH HELP FROM GLOBAL EMERGENCY SPECIALIST INTERNATIONAL SOS

PROTECTING TRAVELLERS 72% OF TRAVELLERS

NEARLY 1 IN 3 TRIPS abroad are to countries with a higher medical or security risk than the traveller’s home country.

say their travel risks have increased over the past year – those in Europe and North America are most likely to say this.

72%

of global travel buyers reported that their organisation has a risk management plan in place – but more than a quarter either don’t have one or aren’t sure if there is one.1

81%

8 OUT OF 10 TRAVELLERS

have felt their personal safety could be threatened while abroad – yet less than half research security issues pre-travel.

of travel buyers surveyed after the 2016 terror attacks in Brussels found their company’s risk management plan was effective in the aftermath.1

57% OF TRAVELLERS

expect travel risks to increase in 2017.

80% OF TRAVELLERS

say their organisation has modified travel itineraries due to health or travel security concerns:

“Events of 2016 have resulted in a sense of increasing challenges to travel in places once thought secure. While risks are changing, organisations must ensure their actions to mitigate those changes are proportionate, and based on reality, not perception”

51%

DUE TO TERRORISM

Rob Walker, head of information and analysis at International SOS and Control Risks

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36%

DUE TO CIVIL UNREST

32%

DUE TO COUNTRY RISK RATINGS

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MOST COMMON RISKS

TOP 5 RISKS PREDICTED TO HAVE THE BIGGEST IMPACT ON GLOBAL TRAVEL IN 2017

THE MOST COMMON RISKS FACING BUSINESS TRAVELLERS2 ARE:

TERRORISM 1. PETTY, NONVIOLENT CRIME

CIVIL UNREST EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS

2. ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS

NATURAL DISASTERS 3. FOOD POISONING

PETTY CRIME

IN BRIEF T H AT F I G U R E S

TOP 5

FEMALE TRAVELLERS 31% OF FEMALE BUSINESS TRAVELLERS have experienced sexual harassment while travelling.5

79% OF FEMALE TRAVELLERS say they are under-prepared to deal with incidents they encounter while travelling.5

1 2 3 4 5 TOP 5 ACTIONS TAKEN BY BUSINESSES

45% 39%

have updated travel risk policies

71% OF SENIOR EXECUTIVE TRAVELLERS

have experienced a medical problem abroad.

have introduced pre-trip advisory emails

32% 25%

have implemented travel safety training

have implemented programmes to locate travellers

54%

of incentive travel planners rate political stability and safety the top factor affecting their choice of destination.3

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believe that travel suppliers should try harder to address the needs of female business travellers.5

85%

of European incentive buyers say the threat of terrorism is impacting incentives.4

1. Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) poll, March 2016 2. As reported in Buying Business Travel magazine, based on travel assistance company research, November 2016 3. C&IT Incentive Travel Report, December 2016 4. Society for Incentive Travel Excellence Foundation SITE Index 2017 5. Maiden Voyage Women in Business Travel 2016 Report All other statistics from International SOS/Ipsos MORI research 2016 and 2017.

ALIX THOMAZI

50%

70%

have reinforced travel security measures

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Redefining transatlantic

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travel Together, Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines® operate up to 43 transatlantic nonstop flights a day and connect to over 200 US destinations. Whenever your customers fly with us, they’ll enjoy the same friendly, intuitive service both are famous for, award winning entertainment and an incredible onboard experience in some of the most impressive cabins in the sky. Seamless connections If your customers are catching a connecting flight to one of our 200 US destinations, they can expect a smooth, seamless transfer. Virgin Atlantic and Delta operate from the same terminal at key airports such as JFK and Heathrow so they won’t have to go far to catch their next flight. Synced up schedules mean we offer the right flight, not just lots of flights. And bags are checked through to their final destination.

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse

Delta Sky Club® Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses and Revivals lounge

Mutual loyalty programmes If your customers travel regularly, they’ll love being able to earn and burn their frequent flyer miles on both airlines, on any flight. Business travel just became even more rewarding.

Both airlines have luxurious, innovative pre and post flight lounges designed to inspire, relax and rejuvenate.

Refreshing, undisturbed sleep Virgin Atlantic Upper Class and Delta One™ cabins have fully flat beds with direct aisle access. So your customers can have a restful sleep in a private space, and wake up refreshed ready for the day ahead.

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Award winning service

Delta One™

Award winning hospitality is a big part of both airlines. So your customers can always expect warm, friendly service and amazing inflight entertainment.

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Portsmouth

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Could this historic city be your next port of call? Norman Miller finds out what Portsmouth has to offer the business traveller

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D E S T I N AT I O N PORTSMOUTH

STAY

Left: The historic Gunwharf Quays Marina. Above: Spitbank Fort in the Solent. Below: Henry VIII’s Mary Rose

Solent Forts These three former military forts, built to guard the sea approach to Portsmouth, have been imaginatively redeveloped as truly unique hotel and events spaces catering for up to 200 guests. Available for exclusive hire, the man-made islands offer dining, entertaining, and team-building activities, plus a total of 31 luxury bedrooms and suites. Business bonus: Activities on offer range from fishing and boat rides to treasure hunts, laser battles, spa treatments, foodie experiences and the traditional art of champagne sabrage (that’s opening a bottle of bubbly with a sabre, in case you were wondering). No. 1 Gunwharf Quays These smart, contemporary serviced apartments range from studios to deluxe two-bed properties (some with balconies and harbour views). They’re fantastically situated in the Gunwharf Quays retail and restaurant quarter – and a stone’s throw from the Historic Dockyard. Business bonus: There’s private onsite parking (for a daily fee) and inclusive WiFi.

A BLUFFER’S GUIDE We quizzed hotel concierges and tourism insiders for their pick of things to do in the ‘Great Waterfront City’…

HISTORICDOCKYARD.CO.UK

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he UK’s only island city, Portsmouth’s long-standing links with the British navy have made it one of the world’s most famous maritime hubs. Founded in the 12th century, it’s still home to legendary ships such as Nelson’s HMS Victory and Henry VIII’s Mary Rose – raised from the Solent seabed to become the centrepiece of one of Britain’s finest museums – which help attract more than nine million visitors a year. Since 2005, the historic waterfront has been overseen by a soaring landmark, the 170m Spinnaker Tower (currently sponsored by Emirates), which offers jaw-dropping vistas of the south coast from its three viewing decks. The city’s proud naval heritage is complemented by a spirit of innovation and enterprise that has made it a beacon for 21st-century industries, too. Major companies with a presence in the area include IBM, Airbus Defence and Space, and BAE Systems, as well as defence contractor QinetiQ and aerospace multinational Thales Group. “Portsmouth is actively targeting inward investment from industries in the marine, aerospace and advanced engineering sectors, as well as a growing creative and digital presence,” says Jane Singh, visitor services and development manager at Portsmouth City Council. It is also a notable academic city, with more than 20,000 students and a university that is a centre of international excellence in areas such as biomedical sciences, applied mathematics and materials engineering – the latter particularly appropriate for the birthplace of renowned Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

• Restaurant 27 showcases chef-patron Kevin Bingham’s contemporary, French-influenced cooking near the Southsea waterfront – the tasting menus include one for vegetarians, too. • For something quirkier, Pie & Vinyl is a bric-a-brac-filled space combining a record shop with a diner serving up distinctive, locally made pies. • To unwind over a drink, head to Sant Yago in Southsea for great cocktails, a vintage-inspired ambience plus excellent tapas. • While the crowds flock to the Historic Dockyard to see HMS Victory and the Mary Rose, far fewer visit HMS Warrior. But it’s a beautiful vessel, built in 1860, and the pride of Queen Victoria’s fleet. • A classic day trip from Portsmouth is the sail over to the Isle of Wight – take the passenger ferry to Ryde to experience an old-school seaside resort. 025

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Portsmouth Marriott Hotel Handy for the station and motorway, this fourstar property offers contemporary rooms and suites with comfy pillowtop mattresses and blackout curtains for a good night’s sleep. The Sealevel restaurant specialises in grilled meats, and there is also an on-site spa (with steam room), as well as a gym and heated indoor pool. Business bonus: Eleven function rooms offer 727m2 of event space for up to 350 delegates in total.

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By air Just 20 miles down the road, Southampton Airport offers UK and international air connections, while Gatwick and Heathrow are both within 60 miles of Portsmouth. By road A two-hour drive from London via the M3/A3, Portsmouth is also connected to its south coast neighbours Southampton (20 miles away) and Brighton (50 miles) via the M27/A27.

As Singh points out, the city’s unique heritage has provided it with some very memorable venues for meetings and events. “It has a host of unusual meeting spaces – from The Mary Rose Museum and historic ships HMS Victory and HMS Warrior to Henry VIII’s Southsea Castle, the Emirates Spinnaker Tower and the Solent Forts, which are complete man-made ‘islands’ available for accommodation bookings and exclusive corporate use,” she says. Alongside current investment in city-centre infrastructure, regeneration plans are afoot for the Tipner area to the west of the city, as well as major expansion at the Lakeside Business Park to the north. There are ongoing improvements to retail and leisure hotspots such as designer outlet Gunwharf Quays, as well as to the Portsmouth Hard and the Naval Base areas. Meanwhile, the sale of surplus land currently owned by the Royal Navy promises new uses for an array of attractive and historic dockyard buildings. Other notable developments include this year’s Heritage Lottery-funded transformation of the city’s D-Day Museum, while on the hotel front, this autumn will see the opening of the £21m Village Hotel Portsmouth at the Lakeside Business Park. Answering demand for additional accommodation in the city, this modernist development will offer 153 rooms, a conference centre, and state-of-the-art leisure club and pool.

By rail Direct trains to London Waterloo take around 90 minutes. There are also south coast services to Brighton and the West Country, and a direct service to Gatwick Airport. By ferry There are direct ferries to Caen, Cherbourg, St Malo and Le Havre in France, Bilbao and Santander in Spain, plus Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Wight.

PORTSMOUTH’S UNIQUE HERITAGE HAS PROVIDED IT WITH SOME VERY MEMORABLE VENUES FOR MEETINGS AND EVENTS 027

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TRAVEL

Memorable venues

D E S T I N AT I O N PORTSMOUTH

Right: Portsmouth’s waterfront setting and unique heritage make it a memorable destination for events. Below: Hotwalls Studios in the city’s old town

Dickens and dockyards

One of the city’s most famous sons is Charles Dickens, born in 1812 in a house on Old Commercial Road – now a charming little museum attracting literary fans from around the world. And artistic energy still flourishes in a city with around 400 creative businesses – get a taster at the Hotwalls Studios, a complex for artists and designers carved out of the historic Point Battery and Barracks in the old town. Portsmouth also boasts two major theatres – the New Theatre Royal and the Kings Theatre – while the 19th-century neoclassical Guildhall provides a stirring setting for music and stage productions. The Guildhall also offers one of the South East’s grander meeting and conference venues, with rooms offering capacities ranging from eight to 2,000 people. While the ships and museums at the Historic Dockyard are the city’s big-ticket cultural attraction, it’s well worth making time to visit the Portsmouth City Museum to delve into some of its less wellknown stories – such as the link to Arthur Conan Doyle and his most famous creation Sherlock Holmes (along with a chance to test your own powers of deduction against the master sleuth). If you’re in need of some extreme teamwork inspiration, try one of Portsmouth’s distinctive military museums. The Royal Marines Museum tells the story of the bravest of the brave from the 17th century to the present, in a striking Victorian seafront museum in Southsea. The Royal Navy Submarine Museum – a pleasant 10-minute ferry ride away in Gosport – brings a whole new perspective to coping with tight situations in a pressurised work environment. DESTINATIONONLINE.CO.UK

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Destination-Magazine-(JAN17)-275w-x-215_Classic-British-Hotels 16/01/2017 16:32 Page 1

Stay inspired

There’s nothing ordinary about a Classic British Hotel. Every one of our 70 hotels is inspiring in its own unique way. Ensure your next business stay is a pleasure. Stay refreshed. Stay focussed. Stay inspired. Classic British Hotels. World-class spa hotel with sublime facilities Ramside Hall Hotel, Golf & Spa, Durham

Heritage meets luxury in the heart of Norwich Maids Head Hotel, Norwich (City Centre)

Design-centric city boutique hotel St James Hotel, Nottingham (City Centre)

Edinburgh’s historic country house resort Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club, Edinburgh

In-room tech, parking & garden in the city Gonville Hotel, Cambridge (City Centre)

Space to unwind and clear your mind Donnington Valley Hotel & Spa, Newbury

Key locations across the UK

Superior accommodation

Championship golf courses

Free Wi-Fi

Award-winning dining

Flexible meeting spaces

Free parking on-site

Spa & health clubs

Team-building spaces

Next time, stay inspired. For details contact Capita Travel and Events

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Facilities available vary by hotel.

www.ClassicBritishHotels.com

27/01/2017 08:44


HISTORICDOCKYARD.CO.UK

D E S T I N AT I O N PORTSMOUTH

MEET By the waterside

Above and above right: Nelson’s HMS Victory in the Historic Dockyard

New Place, Southampton Another option slightly further afield is this rural venue, centred on a Grade I listed manor house. With 110 bedrooms in 13ha of landscaped gardens, New Place is within easy reach of both the M3 and M27. The grounds offer plenty of scope for team-building or downtime, with activities including croquet, cricket and 4x4 driving. Meeting spaces: The 40 customisable meeting and training rooms cater for up to 110 delegates. Best Western Royal Beach (pictured below) With 124 bedrooms, most of which have been recently refurbished, with many overlooking the beach at Southsea, this historic property first opened its doors in 1866. Used by the military to house wounded servicemen in both world wars, there are still Royal Observer Corps lookout posts on the roof. It’s eco-friendly, too, powered by on-site biomass boilers. Meeting spaces: Four conference suites range from the Endurance (16-30 delegates) to the Invincible (160-250 delegates).

Portsmouth off-duty

Engaging with nature isn’t just about all things briny in Portsmouth, though. Southsea Common is a particularly enticing portion of the city’s 900ha of open space – a vast green sward of land stretching back from the seafront promenade and beach, offering locals and visitors alike a space for tennis, beach volleyball, pitch and putt or just strolling its skein of paths. For a more urban taste of relaxation, Gunwharf Quays is the heart of Portsmouth play, serving up a buzzy melange of restaurants, bars and shops in the lee of the Spinnaker Tower. Or for a slice of James Bond glamour, hit the modern Grosvenor Casino to weigh the odds over a host of classic games including roulette, blackjack and poker, which you can play in a special 100-seat room. All work and no play isn’t good for anyone, after all.

Book ahead To book a hotel or event in Portsmouth, get in touch with the Capita Travel and Events team.

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MARTIN DABEK

The sea continues to shape a destination that officially styles itself the ‘Great Waterfront City’. Major terminal improvements are also seeing Portsmouth build on its reputation as a commercial and cruising port. Just under 50 cruise ships – including vessels from global leaders such as Crystal Cruises – are already booked for departures for Portsmouth International Port in 2017, while alongside the regular ferry services to nearby Gosport and the Isle of Wight, it offers more routes to France, Spain and the Channel Islands than any other British ferry port. Portsmouth also offers plenty of opportunities for a rather more active engagement with the ocean. Head for the Portsmouth Watersports Centre to learn – or show off – skills in sailing, kayaking, windsurfing and rowing. The centre’s half-dozen Olympic-class Laser sailing boats are particularly popular, offering an easy introduction for novice sailors. Visitors with free time in the city could also enjoy a diving or fishing excursion from Langstone Harbour, or book a tailor-made sailing or speedboat itinerary around the Solent – the strait between the mainland and the Isle of Wight – aboard one of Synergy Sailing’s fleet of 30 leisure boats. You could set a course for the exact spot the Mary Rose sank, or head for the idyllic Buckler’s Hard coastal hamlet to see where warships for Nelson’s navy were built.

The Langstone Hotel This four-star, 148-room property on the shore of Hayling Island offers stunning sea views and three miles of Blue Flag beach, just a mile off the M27 and eight miles from Portsmouth city centre. Meeting spaces: The 12 meeting rooms offer plasma screens, laptop connectivity, DVD players and internet access. Views over Langstone Harbour make the Spinnaker Suite the pick of three large spaces for up to 160, while the 10-person Fowley room is the most intimate.

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Events to inspire in venues that will impress

D E VERE G RA ND CO NNA U G H T RO OMS Holborn, WC2B 5DA

At De Vere, we’re proud to provide memorable venues for meetings and events of all sizes in central London. Whether you’re looking for somewhere grand and historic or a space that’s stylish and contemporary, our venues are flexible enough to accommodate all kinds of events. From large scale conferences and glamorous award ceremonies or exhibitions, to intimate board meetings and team training days, our venues will impress.

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D E V E R E WEST ON E Marylebone, W1B 1PR

DE VERE CA NA RY W H A RF Canary Wharf, E14 4HD

D E V E R E D E VON P ORT HOUS E Greenwich, SE10 9JW

DE VERE H O LB O RN BA RS Holborn, EC1N 2NQ

FOR MORE I N F O R M AT I O N , P LE A S E CO NTAC T CA P I TA T R AVE L A ND E VE N TS

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HEALTHY HOTELS

Thought fitness-focused hotels were just a passing fad? Think again. When the global giants of the hospitality world all start targeting the health-conscious traveller, you know this is a trend that’s here to stay, says Suzanne King

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resting easy, keeping active and accomplishing more), the brand incorporates everything from organic meals and ergonomically designed workstations to in-room fitness walls and natural bathroom amenities. Hyatt Hotels, too, is now taking a more holistic approach, recently partnering with Be Well (a trendy New York-based brand of supplements and nutrition products) to look at making every stage of the guest experience healthier. Starting with Park Hyatt hotels in three US cities, the initiative will eventually roll out across all Hyatt brands globally. “Our guests are increasingly looking to integrate healthy habits into their travel experiences,” says Hyatt’s global chief marketing officer, Maryam Banikarim. “Wellness is not a one-size-fits-all concept, and it can be difficult. We are committed to giving them easier options to make the best choice for them.”

$563bn THE ANNUAL VALUE OF WELLNESS TOURISM – MOST OF WHICH COMES FROM THOSE WHO ARE LOOKING TO INCORPORATE WELLNESS EXPERIENCES INTO ANY TRIP

ILLUSTRATIONS: ALIX THOMAZI

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n an increasingly competitive hospitality world, hotels have to work harder than ever to grab our attention and stand out from the crowd. And right now, it seems, appealing to our inner health junkie is the way to do it. Every week someone ups the ante on the fitness front. Hotel gyms are getting bigger, better and opening longer hours. Chefs are coming up with healthier menus and accommodating ever more specialised diets; mixologists are adding seeds and superfoods to their cocktail cabinets; and interior designers are concentrating on creating rooms that are more conducive than ever to a stress-free night’s sleep. It’s hardly surprising. On the one hand, we know frequent business travel can seriously impact on your health, so employers are starting to see it as part of their duty of care to help staff stay well when they’re away. Little wonder, then, that major hotel groups are beginning to target such an important market, with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) blazing a trail when it launched its EVEN Hotels brand in the United States in 2012. “Our studies showed that there are 17 million wellness-minded travellers who find it hard to stay active and eat right, and often ‘fall off the wagon’ when they travel,” says Jason Moskal, vice president of lifestyle brands at IHG. “EVEN Hotels was created to meet the large and growing demand for a hotel brand to help wellness-minded travellers keep their balance on the road.” Built around four key areas (eating well,

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OF MILLENNIAL TRAVELLERS AND 38% OF GEN-XERS SAY FITNESS CENTRES AND SPAS INFLUENCE WHERE THEY BOOK A ROOM

BRIEFING H E A LT H Y H O T E L S

45%

Rooms for improvement

STATS: GLOBAL WELLNESS INSTITUTE, MMGY GLOBAL

Gyms and jogs

Gone are the days when hotels could get away with bunging a couple of exercise bikes in their basement and labelling it a gym. As we’ve become more healthconscious and technology has transformed the face of keeping fit, so our expectations of hotel exercise facilities have become increasingly demanding. That’s not a problem for Village Hotel Club, which makes a point of ensuring its health clubs are constantly evolving to stay ahead of the game. Guests at the recently refurbished Village Farnborough, for example, will find all the latest Technogym cardio and resistance kit, hooked up to the mywellness cloudbased platform for managing your fitness on the move, along with new spin bikes, Zero Runners (the hi-tech treadmills that replicate natural running with minimal joint impact) and the renowned Les Mills virtual workout programme. Those who prefer jogging to gym-ing are increasingly well catered for, too, with many hotels ramping up their running offering. Westin Hotels & Resorts provides running maps for joggers and employs a network of run concierges to lead guests on guided runs. Carlson Rezidor, meanwhile, won the Best Digital Innovation award at the Worldwide Hospitality Awards in 2016, for its #BluRoutes from Radisson Blu and #runinn routes from Park Inn by Radisson – app-based exercise circuits that begin and end at particular hotels. Even leaving your gym kit at home needn’t be a problem. Fairmont, for example, has teamed up with Reebok to loan workout shoes and clothing to guests lacking their own. Delivered freshly laundered to your room, if required, the kit is yours to use throughout your stay.

Turn to page 55 to get some expert tips on working out in your hotel room

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Not everyone wants to join others in the gym, or go jogging round a strange city. When the Kimpton hotel group first introduced on-demand yoga programming in its rooms in 2003, it struck a chord with guests who prefer to keep up their fitness regimes in the privacy of their own guestroom. Now every Kimpton room comes with yoga and pilates programming and mats. There’s even a ‘Roll-Out Service’, where someone will prepare the space for you, rolling out the mat, supplying extra towels, water and fruit, and setting the TV to the right channel. Others have taken in-room fitness facilities even further. A handful of Hiltons have fitness guestrooms for cardio and yoga, each with a dedicated workout area and appropriate equipment. Marriott trialled new ‘Stay Well’ rooms at its MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and has now installed them at six more properties, initially in the US. All boast a range of innovative features to improve health and relaxation, from a dawn simulator alarm clock and air-purification system to vitamin C-infused shower water, to neutralise the effects of chlorine. Clearly, US hotels are leading the way on the fit rooms front, but you don’t have to go transatlantic to give it a go. TRYP by Wyndham also has fitness rooms, aimed at business travellers, and equipped with a treadmill, elliptical cross-trainer or exercise bike, plus an exercise mat and workout gear. And, towards the end of last year, Swissôtel Zurich unveiled the brand’s first Vitality Room, with bespoke wellness features including circadian light (said to help overcome jet lag or a lack of sunlight) and a ‘Wellbeing Wall’ offering a choice of training modules for an in-room workout with your very own ‘cyber trainer’.

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84%

OF HOTELS IN THE US OFFERED FITNESS FACILITIES BY 2014, COMPARED TO 63% IN 2004 High-energy meetings

DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY • Hotels offering yoga isn’t new – but now classes are moving out of the studio and into the great outdoors, by the pool, on paddleboards, in the garden and on the roof. At The Trafalgar Hotel, London, a trial class at Vista, the rooftop bar, proved so popular, it plans to run yoga brunches and suppers there from September. • Never mind hotels providing gyms – at least one gym company is planning to do things the other way round. Upmarket fitness chain Equinox has announced it is moving into the

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hospitality market, with plans to open a 225-room hotel in Manhattan by early 2019, followed by a Los Angeles property in 2020. • Creative takes on corporate fitness at Kurhotel Skodsborg near Copenhagen include Functional Fridays – invitationonly workout sessions for CEOs and other influential people, who come to train and network at the same time, then take the healthy lifestyle learnings back to their companies to implement among their employees.

Appreciating that the right kind of catering can help delegates concentrate all the way through an event, rather than slumping in a mid-afternoon sugar crash, Rezidor first introduced its Brain Food concept to the UK at Radisson Blu Stansted Airport. Since then, it’s been rolled out across the brand (and to Park Inn properties), and while the exact product may vary at each hotel, the six fundamental ‘Brain Food Principles’ remain the same: lots of fish, wholegrain products, fruit and veg; primarily fresh, locally sourced ingredients; minimal industrial processing; less meat and a maximum 10% fat content; natural sweeteners and never more than 10% added sugar; and a focus on good taste. As the launch video declared, “It’s not magic – it’s just common sense.” So it’s not surprising that other hotel groups are also making meetings healthier – including The Lowry Hotel in Manchester, which brought in nutritional biochemist Jeanette Jackson to create a range of healthy menus for delegates. “Traditionally, meeting planners would make sure executives were pumped full of coffee and sugar-loaded snacks, believing this to be the best way of keeping energy levels high during meetings,” she says. “We now know that this actually has the opposite effect, with caffeine and sugar providing a temporary energy boost that leaves people feeling even more tired once the effects have worn off.” The new wellness meeting package at Hilton London Bankside includes snack options designed to aid concentration, and lunch dishes that have been devised for their brain-boosting properties. In addition, it builds in an al fresco team-fitness class with StreetGym and gives delegates all-day access to the hotel fitness suite and swimming pool.

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Sleep and serenity

STATS: AMERICAN HOTEL & LODGING ASSOCIATION, BROWN UNIVERSITY

Overnight guests may or may not take advantage of fitness facilities – but one thing Introduced last year, the Traveller First they’re guaranteed to use is the bed. And programme from Capita Travel and Events the more we learn about the impact sleep aims to reduce stress and improve quality quality has on mental and physical health, of life for business travellers. Starting with the more seriously hotels are taking their pre-trip advice and information, travellers responsibilities in that area. will be armed with all the info they need No one’s surprised by the idea of pillow before they set out, and treated to a range menus or hypoallergenic bedding any of exclusive benefits while they’re away – more, and even budget groups are investing whether it’s a room upgrade, discounted in high-quality basics. Travelodge and food and beverages, free parking and Premier Inn’s mattresses (from specialists lounge access or a free fitness class (or Sleepeezee and Hypnos respectively) have glass of wine!) after a hard day. See the proved so popular that both now have a nice Capita Travel and Events website to find sideline in selling them on to guests; a move out more about Traveller First. pioneered by Westin when it launched sales of its Heavenly Beds back in 2000. Westin has moved on to introduce even more sleep-friendly initiatives – from a Sleep THE MORE WE LEARN ABOUT Well menu, available round the clock at its hotels, to THE IMPACT SLEEP QUALITY HAS ON a bedside Sleep Well balm MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH, THE infused with essential oils MORE SERIOUSLY HOTELS ARE TAKING of lavender and chamomile, THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES IN THAT AREA to help guests wind down.

The Benjamin in New York was one of the first hotel properties to focus on the importance of sleep, appointing a dedicated sleep concierge many years ago and subsequently training up the whole staff, so there’s always someone around to advise on the best choice of pillow or most appropriate bedtime snack. Now they’ve created an ondemand meditation programme: press the ‘meditation’ button on the in-room phone and you can choose between two different 10-minute sessions (mindfulness or mantra). Closer to home, QHotels – having discovered just how stressed-out and sleepdeprived many event organisers become during events – has put together A Business Traveller’s Guide to Wellbeing, including mindfulness exercises and tips on getting a better night’s sleep. And don’t be surprised if you start finding crayons by your bedside. Inspired by the craze for adult colouring books (a pastime believed to help destress and soothe you into a state of quiet mindfulness), Morgans, W Hotels and Yotel all commissioned artists to produce limited-edition designs for their guests last year.

BRIEFING H E A LT H Y H O T E L S

TRAVELLER FIRST

1/2

OF YOUR BRAIN REMAINS ON ALERT WHEN YOU SLEEP IN AN UNFAMILIAR LOCATION FOR THE FIRST TIME

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EIGHT OF THE BEST

New

HOTEL BRANDS to watch

Confused by all the new names popping up in the hotel world? Suzanne King reveals what to expect from some of the major players promising to transform the urban accommodation scene

The hip new JO&JOE venue brand promises quirky spaces such as yurts, caravans and outdoor bars

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2 3 Clockwise from bottom left: Amba Hotel Marble Arch; Jo&Joe promises laid-back beach chic; funky interiors at Moxy; the design concept for Vīb

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JO&JOE

VĪB

AMBA

MOXY

If the mock-up designs are anything to go by, the hotel world hasn’t seen anything quite like Jo&Joe before – which is, of course, the whole point of this new brand from the Accor group. It blurs the boundaries between hostel, hotel and private rental, with ‘Together’ sleeping areas for people who don’t mind sharing, and ‘Yours’ rooms and apartments for those who prefer privacy and their own bathroom. Public spaces are designed to appeal equally to locals (townsters) and visitors (tripsters), and the plan is to open 50 venues by 2020, starting (probably) with Paris and Bordeaux next year.

In 2014, Best Western announced plans for its first new hotel brand in nearly seven decades – a string of hip, urban boutique properties in key cities around the world. Soon the vision should come to life, with the first openings planned for the US and Asia later this year. Vīb (short for vibrant and pronounced ‘vibe’) is aimed at the upper midscale market and promises ‘contemporary, techcentric design’ – think polished concrete floors, local artworks and media walls in the lobby space, and compact but cleverly conceived bedrooms with smart TVs, workstations and LED-lit rain showerheads.

Promising a hotel experience designed by you, London-based hotel group glh unveiled its first Amba-branded property at Charing Cross Station after extensive guest research (see Destination issue 10 for our behindthe-scenes guide). Amba Hotel Marble Arch followed at the end of 2015, and the group has ambitious plans to bring the four-star brand to key cities worldwide. After listening to its customers, glh has invested in the details: superfast WiFi; super-comfy Hypnos beds; in-room tablets to use during your stay and no extra markup for room service for those times you want to eat in the comfort of your room.

Marriott was quick off the blocks in targeting the millennial market, opening the first of its hip young Moxy Hotels at Milan Malpensa Airport in September 2014. Now, with the opening of Moxy Aberdeen Airport last December, it’s up to seven properties, with more on the cards – including a 164-room hotel in London Docklands, due to open in February. Fun is high on the Moxy priority list (think playful design, buzzy communal areas and free cocktails on arrival), but the rooms also have features for non-partying business travellers, including fast, free WiFi, lots of USB ports and sound-reducing walls.

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EIGHT OF THE BEST N E W H O T E L B R A N D S T O W AT C H

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Clockwise from bottom left: New value brand Thistle Express; Canopy Reykjavik takes its cue from local colours; conferencing, Radisson RED-style

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CANOPY BY HILTON

THISTLE EXPRESS

PRINCIPAL

RADISSON RED

“Travel should be fun,” said the launch video for Canopy by Hilton, “even on a business trip.” To that end, this new lifestyle chain has evening tastings of local wines or beers; on-site ‘enthusiasts’ (Canopy-speak for employees) full of recommendations for nearby attractions; and a free welcome gift from the neighbourhood. The local angle is big for the brand: the debut Canopy, opened in Reykjavik last July, takes its colour cues from the city’s volcanic rock and ocean, and music boxes in the bedrooms play an Icelandic lullaby. Another 20+ properties will follow in the next few years, including London City in early 2018.

Now that most of us view fast, free WiFi as a basic rather than a luxury perk, it’s hardly surprising that glh is investing significantly in that area for Thistle Express, the new value-hotel concept it announced a couple of years ago. Modern design and smart TVs are also on the cards, along with a ‘Choose Your Own Room’ service, which allows guests to preselect their exact room before arriving. You’ll get the chance to check it out soon: the first Thistle Express opens its doors in Luton in the first half of this year, with Swindon to follow in the second half of 2017, and more to come over the next five years.

In issue 12 we flagged up an exciting new brand, known only by its code name of ‘Project 1898’. Now it’s been revealed as Principal, an urban lifestyle hotel collection that breathes new life into heritage city-centre buildings. It’s already earned rave reviews for the launch properties – The Principal Manchester (formerly the Palace Hotel), The Principal Edinburgh (previously The George Hotel) and The Principal York (once The Royal York Hotel) – so expectations are high for the next arrivals, which include The Principal London, a radical transformation of The Hotel Russell, due to open this summer.

They don’t have employees at Radisson RED, the new Carlson Rezidor brand that debuted in Brussels last year. Instead, they have ‘creatives’, recruited (via a social media campaign) for their ‘emotional spark’, ‘expressivity’ and ‘communicative enthusiasm’. It’s all part of RED’s anti-dull philosophy, designed to foster more informal interaction between employees and guests, both drawn from a bold, urban crowd keen on art, music and fashion. When the first UK property opens in Glasgow next year, expect striking design, a lively feel and millennial-friendly techno-wizardry.

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INVERNESS

THE GATEWAY TO THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS, INVERNESS IS BRITAIN’S NORTHERNMOST AND FASTESTGROWING CITY. AROUND 90 MINUTES BY AIR FROM LONDON AND KEY REGIONAL AIRPORTS, IT CAN ALSO BE REACHED IN EIGHT HOURS ON THE HIGHLAND CHIEFTAIN SERVICE FROM LONDON KING’S CROSS

STAY Pentahotel Inverness (pictured below) pentahotels.com Inverness’s hippest hotel oozes designer cool. Public areas are all polished wood and exposed brick. Minimalist, Scandi-style décor extends to the bedrooms. If you’re lucky enough to have some time on your hands, you can enjoy a leisurely breakfast until 10.30am, while other perks include late checkout until 3pm as standard. Its central location – a five-minute walk from the station – is another plus. Heathmount Hotel heathmounthotel.com Five minutes from the city centre,

this chic wee inn has eight rooms, each with its own style. Two have four-posters and all offer iPod dock, safe, tea- and coffee-making facilities, WiFi and flatscreen TV. The gastropub-style restaurant menu emphasises local produce. Best Western Plus Lochardil House lochardil.co.uk Set in wooded gardens, this 19thcentury mansion has a countryhouse feel, though it’s only 1.8 miles from the city centre. Lochardil House offers traditional rooms in the main building, or newer rooms – some with outside space – in the Garden Wing. The Conservatory Restaurant serves a full Scottish breakfast that sets you up for the day, and other perks include off-street parking.

EAT & DRINK

The Mustard Seed

The Mustard Seed mustardseedrestaurant.co.uk The Mustard Seed is a local stalwart, with a menu that combines contemporary European influences with local fish, meat and game. It’s also very affordable, particularly for lunch or an early-evening meal. Rocpool Restaurant rocpoolrestaurant.com Since this riverside eatery opened in 2002, it has become the Inverness diner by which all others are judged. Huge windows look out across the River Ness to Inverness Castle, and the menu is an eclectic mix of modern Mediterranean, Asian and Scottish. River House Restaurant riverhouseinverness.co.uk The menu at River House is distinctly fishy, but there’s plenty of meat dishes to enjoy, too. Watch the team at work in the open-plan kitchen – and don’t miss ‘Oyster Hour’ on Fridays from 5.30pm, with oysters at £1 each.

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THE GUIDE INVERNESS

MEET

ENTERTAIN

WORDS BY ROBIN GAULDIE; IMAGES ALAMY AND TERRY BOUCH/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Macdonald Drumossie Hotel macdonaldhotels.co.uk (pictured above) The Macdonald Drumossie Hotel is surrounded by nine acres of manicured, wooded grounds that make it an impressive base for team-building, with open-air activities ranging from Highland Games to quad biking. The hotel offers flexible, daylit spaces for groups as small as 14 or as large as 500. Just off the A9, it’s 10 minutes from central Inverness and 20 minutes from the airport.

Eden Court Theatre eden-court.co.uk The entertainment and cultural hub of the Highlands, Eden Court Theatre has two theatres and two cinemas, and presents everything from music, cabaret and comedy to live big-screen performances from the National Theatre and Royal Ballet. It’s also the city’s largest meeting venue, hosting up to 800 delegates. The Ironworks ironworksvenue.com This theatre, cabaret and club venue is where world-class rock, pop and comedy names come when they play Inverness. The venue also hosts up-and-coming bands, club nights and even conferences.

Jurys Inn Inverness jurysinns.com The functional, 118-room Jurys Inn, close to the city centre, has four fully equipped meeting rooms that can be configured for anything from groups of 18 (classroom style) to 200 (theatre style). Mercure Inverness mercureinverness.co.uk With a hard-to-beat location, 200 yards from the station and overlooking the River Ness, the Mercure Inverness Hotel has space for up to 220 meetings participants in two rooms that can be configured to seat 70 to 180. Free parking is available as part of its meetings packages.

Culloden Battlefield nts.org.uk/culloden Inverness’s must-see heritage site lies midway between the city centre and Inverness Airport. Culloden Moor was the scene of the last pitched battle fought on British soil, on 16 April 1746, between Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Highlanders and the Duke of Cumberland’s redcoats. A new visitor centre immerses you in the heat of the fight.

Clockwise from top: Inverness sits on the River Ness; a memorial cairn marks the site of the Battle of Culloden; dolphin spotters will be treated to sightings of these amazing creatures

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Dolphin Spirit dolphinspirit.co.uk The waters near Inverness are home to Britain’s largest population of bottleneck dolphins. Passengers on Dolphin Spirit boat trips from Inverness Marina stand a good chance of spotting them – as well as seals and other amazing wildlife.

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NOW IN EVEN MORE GREAT LOCATIONS!

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CM

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CMY

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Now open in Aberdeen Airport, Cardiff, Cheltenham, East Midlands Airport, Hinckley Island, Inverness, Middlesbrough and Oxford

Inverness

Aberdeen

Glasgow Edinburgh

Newcastle Gateshead

Jurys Inn Guests Can Enjoy:

Middlesbrough

Belfast

• 36 central locations in Ireland, the UK and Czech Republic • Stylish bar and restaurant • Free WiFI

• Warm friendly service • AIM accredited venues for meetings, seminars, workshops and conferences

Bradford

Dublin

Cork

Leeds Manchester Sheffield Nottingham Derby East Hinckley Midlands Birmingham Milton Keynes Oxford Watford Cheltenham Swindon

Liverpool

Galway

London

Cardiff

Croydon

Southampton Exeter

Brighton

Plymouth

For more information, please contact CAPITA Travel and Events 042_043_CAPITA_Issue15_17.indd 42

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DoubleTree by Hilton Glasgow Central

Hilton Edinburgh Carlton

£11 million refurbishment completed in 2016

£17 million refurbishment completed in 2016

300 spacious bedrooms newly designed in 2016

211 spacious bedrooms newly designed in 2016

11 flexible meeting rooms including Scotland’s largest meeting and event space The Grand Ballroom, accommodating up to 1,500 people Excellent location 10 minutes from Glasgow Queen Street and Glasgow Central stations

7 function rooms catering for a wide variety of events and up to 220 guests, including the Highland Suite with views of the Royal Mile. Excellent location 2 minutes from Waverley Station

Complimentary WiFi

Complimentary WiFi

Stylish Cask bar and contemporary restaurant Brisket

Stylish Nineteen Hundred Bar & Lounge and Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill

Juvenate Health & Leisure Club with indoor pool

Modern fitness room

All-day Costa Coffee bar

Executive Lounge

For more information, please contact CAPITA Travel and Events.

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Jurys Inn Hinckley Island

Jurys Inn Oxford

£7.8 million refurbishment completed in 2016

£10.8 million refurbishment completed in 2016

362 spacious bedrooms newly designed in 2016

240 spacious bedrooms newly designed in 2016

25 flexible meeting rooms accommodating up to 650 delegates

20 flexible meeting rooms accommodating up to 350 delegates

Excellent location 2.1 miles from Hinckley railway station

Excellent location 3.3 miles from Oxford city

600 complimentary parking spaces

250 complimentary parking spaces

Complimentary WiFi

Complimentary WiFi

2 stylish bars and Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill

Stylish bar

Juvenate Health & Leisure Club with indoor pool, fitness suite, sauna and steam room

Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill coming soon

All-day Costa Coffee bar

Juvenate Health & Leisure Club with indoor splash pool, gym and steam room All-day Costa Coffee bar

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Smarter stays

Old-school hospitality meets hi-tech guest experiences at Edwardian Hotels’ Bloomsbury Street property, as Annabelle Thorpe discovers Clockwise from above: The Bloomsbury Street hotel has an enviable location in the heart of London; expect chic modern interiors; Virginia Woolfinspired art in the lobby; the Steak & Lobster restaurant and bar; the Edward app

T

ucked away on an elegant London side street, just a stone’s throw from Covent Garden and Oxford Street, the Radisson Blu Edwardian, Bloomsbury Street, doesn’t necessarily look like somewhere that runs on cutting-edge technology. On first glance, it’s a classic central London hotel; spacious lobby with gleaming reception desk, 174 sleek rooms and a restaurant, Steak & Lobster, that taps into the current zeitgeist for simplicity in dining. But what gives the hotel its X factor is the one person guests will never actually meet: ‘Edward’. “Edward was born of a desire to engage more with both customers and hotel employees, and link the two more smoothly,” explains Michael Mrini, director of information technology for Edwardian Hotels. “We decided to create a ‘virtual host’; a central point of contact, via text, who welcomes guests before they even check in, is on hand 24 hours a day to deal with any queries, and can see them through check-out. But Edward isn’t just a range of preset responses. We built him with AI [artificial intelligence], so he responds to customers like a real person.”

Your virtual host

JACK HARFY

The virtual host service is available across all 12 properties in the Edwardian Hotels group, with the process beginning three days before arrival, when guests can check in with Edward and select a room from a simple online floorplan showing real-time availability. Requests can also be made at this point: a particular type of pillow, flowers or ISSUE 15 DESTINATION CAPITA TRAVEL AND EVENTS

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Your business, our pleasure ENJOY STAYING WITH US No. 1 hotel operator worldwide 3,700 hotels & 480,000 rooms worldwide Welcome to AccorHotels, where friendly staff are on hand in over 180 hotels across Britain – whatever your needs, whatever your budget.

For more details or to book, contact Capita Travel and Events Accor_Capita_Issue 15_17.indd 46 1 046_CAPITA_Issue15_17.indd

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CHECK IN R A D I S S O N B L U E D WA R D I A N , B LO O M S B U R Y S T R E E T

STAY The hotel has 174 guestrooms, ranging from 36 standard doubles to 68 king deluxe rooms and seven luxury suites. All rooms have complimentary WiFi, flatscreen TVs with ondemand films, and marble bathrooms. There are two rooms suitable for wheelchair users, two for ambulant guests and five for those who are hearing-impaired. King deluxe rooms offer more space, a free movie and £15 credit towards food and drink for each night of your stay. Business-class rooms There are 23 business-class rooms, which offer a spacious work area, complimentary web printing and separate analogue and digital phone lines. All come with complimentary movies, drinks, WiFi and turndown service, and early check-in may be possible, subject to availability. Exclusive seventh floor A family-free zone, the seventh floor has 11 business-class king rooms, deluxe bedrooms and studio suites. Guests staying on the floor are offered late check-out (2pm), automatic turndown service, espresso machine and complimentary newspapers and fresh fruit in the seventh floor lobby. For small conferences, the seventh floor can be booked for exclusive use.

MEET The seven business spaces at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Bloomsbury Street can cater for anything from a major function for up to 300 people, to small, intimate rooms for just 10 to 15. The Folio Room is an impressive, three-part space that can host up to 350 delegates for a reception or 140 in a conference ‘classroom’ set-up. Gala dinners, cabaret performances and boardroom meetings have all been held in the Folio, which can be partitioned to create smaller spaces, allowing a group to move from a formal meeting space into a more relaxed area for drinks and networking. The six meeting rooms, which can host from eight to 30 people in varying sizes, each have an LCD screen, AV and flipchart, stationery, WiFi and mineral water. The latest technology is available, including cinematic projection screens, HD videoconferencing and in-built PA audio systems. Special packages are available for ‘training days’, with a dedicated event manager, lockable storage for training materials and a bespoke, self-booking service for delegates. All business packages can be arranged and booked in just one phone call.

champagne in the room, or any specific business needs. Thanks to his AI programming, Edward can answer multiple requests in one text, and can also understand Spanish, French and Arabic. “The way people travel is changing,” says Mrini. “Business travellers, particularly, often have a specific list of needs that they want done smoothly and quickly. Edward is linked through to every department in the hotel; whether you want your room made up, a shirt pressed or a quick sandwich before you go to a meeting, you simply ask Edward and he relays the request. There are more than 900 topics Edward understands; if you ask a question he doesn’t recognise, he simply says ‘I’ll get back to you shortly’. The query is then relayed to a member of staff, who can deal with the issue.”

A literary location

Edward is just one tool for a brand that is working hard to position itself as one of London’s most innovative and guestfriendly. The privately owned Edwardian Hotels group now has 11 properties in London and one in Manchester. In 2019, a new hotel will open in Leicester Square. All have a rich history – and none more so than in Bloomsbury Street, which makes the most of its literary location, with pages from Bloomsbury Group novelist Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway creating an unusual artwork in the lobby. Bedrooms at the hotel are sleek and modern; every class of room comes with free WiFi, flatscreen TVs and iPod docking stations. The décor is clean and unfussy without being overly minimalist; warm, berry-coloured fabrics break up the coffee-and-cream colour scheme, while businessclass rooms offer more space, upgraded bathroom amenities and in-room office facilities. For travellers who require guaranteed peace and quiet, the small, exclusive seventh floor has just 11 business-class rooms and suites, which are not available to families. 047

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Above: The elegant Folio Room can host up to 350 delegates

TRAVEL By rail Euston mainline station is 15 minutes’ walk away; other stations can be reached by tube. By tube Tottenham Court Road (Northern and Central lines) is five minutes’ walk; Holborn (Piccadilly and Central lines) is 10 minutes away. By road Around 18 miles from Heathrow airport. No parking available at the hotel; Great Russell Street car park is a couple of minutes’ walk away.

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Non-stop flights from 8 UK and Ireland airports to North America CALGARY VANCOUVER

ST. JOHN’S OTTAWA HALIFAX TORONTO MONTREAL NEW YORK (NEWARK) CHICAGO

SAN FRANCISCO

WASHINGTON D.C.

LOS ANGELES

UK departure airports Birmingham

Dublin

Edinburgh

Gatwick

Glasgow

Heathrow

Manchester

Shannon

Air Canada

HOUSTON

United Airlines

Air Canada provides more daily non-stop flights to Canada from the UK than any other airline; including four daily services London Heathrow to Toronto and daily departures to Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver, as well as regular services to Halifax and St. John’s. In addition to Economy and Business Class, on flights to Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver, experience Premium Economy in a spacious, separate cabin.

United offers comprehensive access to the U.S. from five U.K. airports, and onward connections to over 300 destinations across the Americas. And you won’t just arrive at your destination: you’ll arrive refreshed, thanks to our high levels of inflight comfort and personal service. From adjustable seats in United Economy® to 180 degree flat-beds in United Polaris business class, air travel is a pleasure.

Number of onward connections includes destinations served by United Airlines, Inc. and United Express. Onboard facilities may vary depending on aircraft. Seasonal variations to route schedules may apply. United Polaris travel features, including aircraft and airport configuration, may not be available in all markets and/or flights.

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“Whether guests are travelling for business or leisure, they expect an immediate response to questions, requests – and even complaints,” says Mrini. “Because we use ‘cloud-based’ technology, all of our systems are linked, and Edward can check anything, from the status of a meeting room to the nearest cinema showing a particular film, within seconds. The feedback from guests has been amazing; we’ve had lots of people who didn’t realise Edward wasn’t a real person! One guest actually came to the front desk with a tip in an envelope.” The virtual host is just part of Edwardian Hotels’ plan to digitally transform the way it does business – both internally and customer-facing: “Next, we want to do away with check-in altogether,” says Mrini. “We’re working on a system where guests will be able to open their bedroom door using their mobile phone; for business travellers, this kind of innovation is really important. It all contributes to a smoother, easier stay.” As for Edward himself, Mrini says he’s learning all the time, developing new responses to unforeseen questions and constantly being added to. “Human beings are unique,” he says. “Every day there will be one or two queries that he won’t be able to answer. The most important thing is to ensure that every single query gets responded to as quickly as possible. The only response Edward is programmed never to give is ‘no’.”

CHECK IN R A D I S S O N B L U E D WA R D I A N , B LO O M S B U R Y S T R E E T

Service in seconds

While guests can check in with their mobile, they can still find the traditional reception desk

“WHETHER GUESTS ARE TRAVELLING FOR BUSINESS OR LEISURE, THEY EXPECT AN IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS, REQUESTS – AND EVEN COMPLAINTS”

OTHER EDWARDIAN HOTELS DISCOVER SOME OF THE OTHER STANDOUT PROPERTIES IN THE EDWARDIAN PORTFOLIO

The May Fair The May Fair is an elegant, five-star hotel on Stratton Street, a moment’s walk from Green Park, with 400 rooms, including 37 suites. Meetings can be held in one of the 11 private rooms, while for larger functions there are three spectacular spaces: the Atrium, the Danziger Suite, which seats up to 170, and the Crystal Room, which can host meetings for up to 280 delegates.

Radisson Blu Edwardian, Manchester Manchester’s Free Trade Hall, built in 1853, is an icon of the city, and has been through many incarnations before becoming a 263room hotel in 2004. The conversion was careful to preserve the original façade and artefacts, creating a mix of contemporary luxury and period drama in the colonnaded OpusOne bar and restaurant. Ideal for meetings and conferences, there are 18 meeting rooms and two suites, the largest of which, the Halle Suite, can host events for up to 550.

Radisson Blu Edwardian, Vanderbilt The Vanderbilt is surrounded by the elegant streets and boutiques of South Kensington, and comprises 10 19th-century townhouses, converted into one 215-room hotel, including nine family and 11 business-class rooms. There are eight meeting rooms and four function suites; the largest – the Victoria & Albert – can host 140 guests for a reception. The hotel’s proximity to Gloucester Road underground station makes it a brilliant choice for attending events at Olympia.

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Radisson Blu Edwardian New Providence Wharf A short hop from Canary Wharf, this 169-room hotel is a riverside sanctuary, and includes 17 suites and nine rooms for disabled guests. Ideally located for London City Airport, the 02 and ExCel, the hotel has six meeting rooms, which can cater for up to 70 delegates, the River Room, which can host up to 60 for a reception, and the Ontario Suite, which has space for up to 250 guests.

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CITY

country Whether you’re after the accessibility of a city-centre hotel or the tranquillity and outdoor space of a rural retreat, we’ve got it covered in our Collection of independent properties – take these two very different options...

 IDEAL FOR RURAL ESCAPES

Escape to the country with team golfing, cosy suites and a relaxing spa

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The hotel The Mere Golf Resort and Spa, Knutsford, Cheshire The lowdown Formerly a country estate, The Mere Golf Resort and Spa is now a luxurious retreat that offers corporate golfing breaks alongside ample meeting space and awardwinning cuisine. Although set in more than 60ha of Cheshire countryside – complete with its own prestigious 18-hole golf course – it’s only a 20-minute drive from Manchester city centre, making it a rural escape that’s easy to reach. With meeting suites and boardrooms for anything from 50 to 550 delegates, this is a resort geared towards entertaining and forging relationships. Book a banquet in its lakeside restaurant, arrange some golfing tuition, or unwind after hours in its spa and 20m swimming pool. Alternatively, opt for a long walk in that glorious countryside to blow away the cobwebs and get some out-of-office inspiration. The bottom line A classy choice for meetings, smart suppers or customer entertaining. 050

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THE COLLECTION CITY VERSUS COUNTRY Park Regis offers superb city views, modern dining and versatile meeting spaces

 PERFECT FOR CITY SLICKERS The hotel Park Regis, Birmingham The lowdown Conveniently located in the heart of Birmingham and wellequipped for business travellers, most of the 253 modern guestrooms at the Park Regis benefit from panoramic views of the city. This high-rise hotel also just happens to include the biggest Presidential suite in Birmingham, with 151m2 of floor space. Its 15th floor is exclusively dedicated to events, with five meeting and conference spaces, the largest seating 170 delegates theatrestyle. For entertaining, the Park Regis has an all-day restaurant named 1565, although tables at its Japanese dining room, Rofuto, are particularly sought after. Contemporary and fun, it leads onto a cocktail bar that’s the ideal spot to toast a successful day’s work. Staying over? Don’t forget to take advantage of its luxury spa and gym, too. The bottom line Ticks all the boxes for a city-centre meeting, break or away day.

Book a venue with character To book these or find out more about our huge selection of independent venues, get in touch with the Capita Travel and Events team.

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HOTEL IN LONDON? WE’VE GOT IT COVERED. glh is London’s largest hotel owner-operator with 5,000+ bedrooms and 130+ meeting spaces. With hotels ranging from 4* convenience through to luxury 5*, you’ll find free Wi-Fi as a standard, and excellent service as a given. With showstopping meeting spaces all excellently connected to transport hubs, we’ve got London covered.

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Trick of the trade

“When giving a presentation, ask yourself, ‘What is the one thing I want my audience to know?’” says Carmine Gallo, author of The Storyteller’s Secret and Talk Like TED. “Answer the question in one sentence that fits in a Twitter post of no more than 140 characters, and deliver it at least twice in your presentation.” For more tips on holding your audience’s attention, turn to page 54

Insider’s guide GETTY

Our experts share tips, tricks and answers to your burning business questions – even those you hadn’t thought to ask POLICY PROMOTION

IN-ROOM FITNESS

TRAVEL GADGETS

DISCOVER LOS ANGELES

GET ATTENTION

TOP TEAM-BUILDING

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL

AIRPORT STAYS

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Travel clinic

From the experts Get more tips and insights from industry insiders on our website destinationonline.co.uk

WE ASK THE EXPERTS HOW TO TACKLE YOUR TRAVEL, MEETINGS AND EVENTS DILEMMAS

HOW TO… HOLD YOUR AUDIENCE’S ATTENTION

VERONIQUE STOHRER

HOW TO… PROMOTE YOUR TRAVEL POLICY INTERNALLY Name those responsible for promoting the policy. Encourage line managers to support compliance, so that spreading the message is a group effort. They should pay particular attention to new starters or others who are new to business travel. Talk about the employee benefits. Suggested hotels and venues are often chosen on the basis of location and duty of care. Employees should know that following a travel policy is as much about their welfare as it is about budgets. Turn it into a game. Create a league table at department level to compare travel spend and compliance with a policy. A bit of competition seems to get senior stakeholders to buy in. Reward good behaviour. Generate interest in supporting a travel policy

by providing incentives at department level. For example, could some of the savings generated be used for training or team-building days? Make it easy to talk about. Include a summary sheet for your travel policy, and highlight any changes that occur. If a policy is long or complicated, employees are less likely to think positively about it. Keep it visible. Display info in social hubs such as the canteen – it’s more eye-catching than on internet portals. Find role models and tell their stories. Getting a senior person or road warrior to show compliance in a company magazine or online will inspire others to do the same. LONE KONRADSEN, HEAD OF CONSULTING SERVICES, CAPITA TRAVEL AND EVENTS

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Practise like a stage performer. A pitch or presentation that captivates your audience should have all the elements of a theatrical production, including props, characters, multimedia and a strong narrative. And, like any performer, you should put in enough practice time to have your pitch down cold. One famous TED speaker rehearsed her 18-minute presentation more than 200 times! Craft a story. Facts alone are not enough to grab the audience’s attention. Humans are wired for story – the more personal the better. Use stories to inform, inspire and give context to the information you are presenting. Use more pictures than words. It’s well established in neuroscience literature that words and pictures

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INSIDER’S GUIDE T R AV E L C L I N I C

TRAVELLER RANT on a presentation slide are more powerful than words alone. Keep text short on slides and never use bullet points alone. Express your passion. Passion is contagious. It’s nearly impossible to persuade someone to back your vision if you are not genuinely and authentically passionate about the topic yourself. Create a headline. Ask yourself, “What is the one thing I want my audience to know?” Answer the question in one sentence that fits in a Twitter post of no more than 140 characters, and deliver it at least twice in your presentation. Get feedback. Most people will not offer unsolicited feedback on your presentation, so try out your pitch on friends or peers and ask for their thoughts on the delivery and content of your message. CARMINE GALLO, KEYNOTE SPEAKER AND AUTHOR OF THE STORYTELLER’S SECRET AND TALK LIKE TED

HOW TO… KEEP FIT IN YOUR HOTEL ROOM Start with stretches. A dynamic (moving) form of stretching increases the body’s range of motion after a flight. Lunges are one option: keep your upper body straight and step forward with one leg in turn, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. The ‘my body is my gym’ mindset. Choose four bodyweight exercises, such as press-ups, and work for 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off. Repeat four times to raise the heart rate and burn calories. Remember health and safety. Never lift items that may be too heavy for you. Instead, choose light equipment available in your room, such as bottles of water, which can be used as weights. Don’t discount your suitcase. If it is not too big, it can be used for resistance training: press it overhead, push it out in front of you or hold the handle and lift it to replicate the one-arm dumb-bell ‘row’ that tones your arms. Hotel towels are a great workout tool. Holding onto the ends of a towel with hands out to the front, try to pull the towel apart, bringing the elbows back in a rowing motion, to strengthen the triceps. Use the hotel bed. If it’s safe, position yourself facing the floor with your feet up on the side of your bed, tense your core and lean forward in a decline press-up. End with static stretches. When cooling down, hold static stretches for at least 30 seconds. After the first 10 seconds, increase the stretch and it will help reduce the likelihood of picking up any delayed onset muscle soreness. JOHN ALLISON, FOUNDER AND HEAD COACH, STREETGYM 055

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THE MEETINGS ABOUT MEETINGS PHENOMENON Is it time we took back some of the time spent in meaningless meetings? For most of us, working life without meetings would be unimaginable. Some tasks require a team effort. Some knotty issues can only be solved by getting everyone in a room and putting their heads together. And sometimes there’s no substitute for a face-to-face approach. But for every handy problemsolving session and constructive catch-up, there are also the meaningless meetings: dead time lost to foggy agendas, needless diary invites and rambling roundtables. Not only do you lose time in these meetings themselves, you also lose the precious minutes you spend hastily preparing for them, trying to decipher your post-meeting notes and scrabbling to complete all the next steps with your initials next to them in the hour before your deadline. Many meetings lack a clear goal or a meaningful conclusion. Stuck in an infi nite loop of follow-up sessions, we slowly become desensitised, like prisoners sentenced to life behind bars made of ‘action points’. Some people attend so many meetings that a form of corporate Stockholm syndrome kicks in. These individuals will book a meeting for any occasion – even if it requires an epic cross-country journey for all concerned. While such individuals are to be pitied, others are even more deserving of your contempt. Take the colleague who schedules regular meetings to let everyone know just how swamped they are. Ironically, of course, this is usually the least busy person in the office. But, of course, not all meetings are meaningless. Sometimes the stars align and you come out with a sense of achievement, a great new working relationship or a host of new ideas. Just please don’t let it spill over into a follow-up. DESTINATIONONLINE.CO.UK

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Game on

Today’s team-building experiences are more immersive, more cinematic and pack more of a punch than ever, writes Steven Short

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ophie is trapped. She’s in a locked room and doesn’t know how to get out. All she knows is that she has 60 minutes to work out her escape route. Luckily, five of her workmates are in the room with her. Welcome to team building, 21stcentury style. In recent years, out-ofoffice bonding activities have become increasingly immersive as we look for compelling, real-time thrills when planning our team-building activities. “Now that everything’s at the push of a button, people want events, parties and themes to be at another level, like they are actually in movies, to feel totally part of the event, allowing them to take the best selfies and have great stories to tell,” says Jenna McCartney, marketing executive at Off Limits, which specialises in team-building and corporate events. The firm recently introduced an ‘escape room’ challenge in Nottingham to its portfolio – something McCartney says is “more physically and mentally intense than a lot of team-building events”. It’s a growing trend – the original Escape Room experience has so far taken more than 500,000 people ‘captive’. Adrenaline-boosting activities like these can be traced, in part, to

the popularity and increasing sophistication of the games industry, where players feel central to the action. Another company answering this demand is events specialist Chilli Sauce, which, among other adventures, gives participants the chance to solve a murder, train as stuntmen or women, try Dragons’ Den-style business pitches, or unleash their inner Bear Grylls with an outdoor ‘survival academy’ devised by the adventurer himself and his team. As head of corporate events at Chilli Sauce, James Diment notes: “With the experiences we’ve developed with Bear Grylls, people actually get to learn from the experts. It’s not just applied theory; participants walk away with hands-on experience.” PART OF THE ACTION

Technological advances that allow us, for example, to hunt creatures in real time on our phones, à la Pokémon Go, also mean that we can, and do, demand more of our leisure experiences. Mobile data and GPS tracking can turn whole cities into playgrounds for so-called urban gaming experiences, from ‘geotagging’ (hiding clues or treasures for players to track down) to live-action games with hundreds of participants. In the corporate events realm, expect

OUT-OF-OFFICE BONDING ACTIVITIES HAVE BECOME INCREASINGLY IMMERSIVE AS WE LOOK FOR COMPELLING, REAL-TIME THRILLS WHEN PLANNING OUR TEAM-BUILDING ACTIVITIES ISSUE 15 DESTINATION CAPITA TRAVEL AND EVENTS

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CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE We round up some of the most fun and involving team-building experiences around…

JOIN THE HUNT James Diment and his team at Chilli Sauce have developed a spin on the Channel 4 series The Hunted, where participants become ‘the hunters’, learning surveillance skills (but “still with the fun element – it’s the fun that breaks down the barriers!”). The team is also working on a ‘Ninja’ experience.

PLAN YOUR ESCAPE The trend for ‘escape room’ challenges shows no sign of slacking. Expect locked rooms, clues and puzzles to solve– and lots of team bonding along the way. Off Limits’ Escapologic experience in Nottingham is one of Britain’s most immersive, while Chilli Sauce can arrange escape rooms in a host of European destinations as well as the UK.

RELIVE TOP TELLY You can now relive the legendary The Crystal Maze TV show in London or Manchester, while both Off Limits and Chilli Sauce offer similarly themed packages. Fans of The Apprentice, It’s a Knockout, I’m a Celebrity… and Total Wipeout will also find plenty of events loosely based on the celebrated TV shows.

STAR IN THE MOVIES Secret Cinema offers film lovers the chance not just to watch a film, but to be part of it. Experiences have included a zombie-populated 28 Days Later and Stormtroopers galore at Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. This spring’s extravaganza is a totally immersive spin on Moulin Rouge.

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BRUNO MANGYOKU

INSIDER’S GUIDE IN THE EVENT

GPS-enabled challenges and treasure hunts with live scoring updates sent direct to your devices. Meanwhile, fastdeveloping virtual reality tech is also set to shake up the events world, promising whole new levels of immersion. Other thrills are more nostalgic. A big hit in the events world has been The Crystal Maze, based on the TV show, where teams test their skill, and mental and physical ability across four adventure zones in order to win the crystals. So far, more than 120,000 people have joined the fun – something co-founder Tom Lionetti-Maguire put down to the fact that: “People are no longer content to be passive or merely

spectators of entertainment. They are more adventurous, more discerning and want to be part of the action – part of living, breathing worlds.” PUSHING THE COMFORT ZONE

Such adventures can be the starting point for great team-building opportunities, says McCartney: “We believe these immersive events enable delegates to really see team members in a different light, as they are placed into situations they would never expect to be,” she says. Diment agrees: “Team building is all about pushing people outside of their comfort zone, without pushing 057

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Find out more Want to book one of these unforgettable team-building adventures? Get in touch with your Capita Travel and Events team.

them into their fear zone. They’re in a different environment and get to know people in a different way – their strengths and weaknesses.” The insiders agree these kinds of experiences are brilliant for raising delegates’ energy levels and honing problem-solving skills. “Some delegates tend to stand back,” continues McCartney, “but once they see the outstanding theming or get drawn into the event, you can see the change straight away. They begin to get fully immersed and involved in completing the task, and it’s always great to see the amount of effort everyone puts in to succeed.” DESTINATIONONLINE.CO.UK

27/01/2017 16:26


Connected Business Travel Made Simple Connecting the dots in travel As the leading business-to-business travel technology company, you may not know us by name. But our wide-ranging distribution solutions are facilitating the journeys of millions of people the world over, day in and day out. Our vision is to create a more joined-up travel industry which revolves around the needs of travellers like you. That’s why we’re working with great companies like Capita Travel and Events to shape the future of travel. Find out more at www.amadeus.com

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INSIDER’S GUIDE M U S T - H AV E T R AV E L G A D G E T S

Must-have travel gadgets With travel technology getting smarter by the day, we’ve picked out the latest clever solutions to make your life easier on the move…

2. The find-anything hero Tile Mate, £23

ALL PRICES CORRECT AT TIME OF PUBLICATION

1. The next-generation suitcase Bluesmart One Suitcase, £399

This handy gizmo is a Bluetooth tracker that helps you find lost items easily. Once you’ve attached Tile Mate to an item, you can use an app on your phone or tablet to make it ring. As long as your Tile Mate is within a 100-foot range, it will play a tune to help you locate your item. If you’ve lost your phone, simply double-press Tile Mate and your phone will ring (even when on silent). We’re thinking passports… In a nutshell: Never leave anything behind again thetileapp.com

Gone are the days when suitcases simply carried your clothes. One of the most hi-tech cases on the market, Bluesmart One has a range of useful features. These include a power bank that can recharge your mobile up to six times, two USB ports and a built-in digital scale. You can even lock your suitcase from your phone and locate it across the globe with its GPS tracking and 3G data capabilities. Fitted out with a weather- and scratch-resistant shell, it looks pretty darn stylish, too. In a nutshell: A case packed with wheely great ideas bluesmart.com

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3. The smart padlock Nokē Padlock, £52.88

Nokē is the world’s first Bluetooth padlock: a keyless lock that you open with your smartphone. Stylish and simple, Nokē automatically finds and connects to your Bluetooth phone, as well as keeping track of lock use for added security. And don’t worry if you forget or lose your phone – Nokē also allows you to create a custom security code of short and long taps, so you can always access your possessions. In a nutshell: Security at the touch of a button amazon.co.uk

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4. The entertainment lifeline Roku Express, £29.99

This is a handy HD streaming stick, providing access to more than 350,000 movies and TV shows, and channels including Netflix, Amazon Video, BBC iPlayer and Sky Sports, on the go. Simply plug into your nearest TV and connect to WiFi to get started. Its Hotel and Dorm Connect feature is ideal for travellers, easily connecting to nearby wireless networks for speedy streaming. In a nutshell: Pack your favourite shows roku.com

5. The super charger Anker PowerCore+ 20100 USB-C Power Bank, £45.99

The ultra-high-power output of the Anker PowerCore+ 20100 USB-C Power Bank has seen it dominate the portable charger market. Not only can it charge three devices simultaneously (and speedily), its ability to recharge a phone up to seven times before running out of juice makes it ideal for those constantly on the road. Compact enough for travel, it will save you space – and stress. In a nutshell: The only recharger you need amazon.co.uk

7. The ultimate toothbrush Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Toothbrush, £270

6. The go-anywhere adaptor Go Travel Worldwide USB Adaptor, £29.99

Say goodbye to adaptor stress with the Go Travel Worldwide USB Adaptor. Compatible with electrics in more than 150 countries, its two USB ports enable you to connect and charge devices simultaneously using power points around the world. In a nutshell: A multitasking tool for multi-stop tours go-travelproducts.com/uk

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An electric toothbrush that’s no hassle to pack, the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Toothbrush comes with a recharging travel case that can be connected to your laptop via USB. It also happens to remove plaque up to seven times more effectively than a manual toothbrush, thanks to its specially shaped bristles and 62,000 movements per minute. In a nutshell: A toothbrush you won’t want to forget philips.co.uk

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27/01/2017 16:52


Your hotel of choice in Mayfair, London

LO N D O N M A R R I OT T H OT E L P A R K L A N E 140 PARK LANE | +44 20 7493 7000 | LONDONMARRIOTTPARKLANE.CO.UK fa ce b o o k . co m / l o n p l |

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@ Lo n d o n P a r k L a n e |

@ M a r r i o tt P a r k L a n e

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INSIDER’S GUIDE D AY I N T H E L I F E

Blue-sky thinking NATS air traffic controller Peter Eggeling oversees flights and airspace at London City Airport, one of the capital’s business travel hubs

I’ve always enjoyed puzzles. As an Air Traffic Control [ATC] watch manager, whether you are in front of a radar display or in the visual control room, there are always puzzles to solve. In the radar environment, it’s about moving traffic towards its destination and enabling an aircraft to climb or descend alongside others. In the visual control room, it’s about moving aircraft around the airport grounds. Every day the traffic presents differently, and the level of problem-solving required is what attracted me to the role. My background isn’t in aviation. I have an engineering degree and worked for a logistics company before joining the team at London City Airport. It may not be immediately apparent, but there are similarities in the roles; we are always looking for ways to improve efficiency. Air traffic controllers come from a variety of backgrounds, but the most sought-after skills are spatial awareness, clear decision-making, communication and teamwork. Want to join us? Prepare for intensive training.

highest early in the mornings and again in the evenings, so that passengers can attend all-day meetings and still make it back the same day. Some flights are given special priority. The highest priority flights are reserved for aircraft in emergency medical flights where safety of life is involved, or police emergencies. At my unit we deal daily with helicopter ambulance and police flights. Thankfully, aircraft in emergencies are much less common. We’re ready for anything. There is a requirement to train annually for unusual situations. In training we discuss real-life examples of incidents from around the world. The controllers are then given similar scenarios in simulators where their immediate reactions are tested. By law, we have to take a break of at least 30 minutes, after every two hours of controlling.

In practice it is unlikely that I would control in the busiest operational position for more than an hour. This variation helps you to maintain concentration.

It starts at our dedicated Air Traffic Control College in The most common misconception is that air traffic controllers carry table Hampshire. Students learn theory, including tennis bats! We are not responsible aviation law and meteorology, as well as for guiding an aircraft onto its stand – practical skills in our simulators, for six Up in the air that’s the duty of an aircraft marshal. to 12 months. This is followed by live Another misconception, is that an ATC training alongside an instructor for a NATS is looking for trainee air room is a hectic, noisy environment. similar length of time. That’s the first traffic controllers. Interested? Apply now at In practice it is very calm, even in time you can experience controlling nats.aero/careers/traineeemergency situations. a real, moving aircraft. I’m responsible for the safe and efficient operation of the entire team.

air-traffic-controllers

As an ATC watch manager, I ensure staff are fit for duty, roster staff to operational positions and liaise with the airport customers. As traffic demand increases, I will be rotating through the different operational positions, too. ‘Air’ requires managing the runway and any air traffic in the vicinity; ‘ground’ is controlling aircraft and vehicles in the airport campus; and ‘coordinator’ involves additional tasks. I can be responsible for 12 aircraft at once. In the control tower I could be controlling six or seven aircraft on the ground, one or two aircraft on the approach to the airport, and possibly two or three ambulance or police flights that might be transiting through the airspace. The busiest times vary from airport to airport. London City Airport is mainly used by business travellers: demand is

Right: Peter at work in the control tower, from where he manages the runway and nearby air traffic. Above right: His role involves monitoring radar screens to ensure the safe passage of aircraft at the airport

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DESTINATIONONLINE.CO.UK

01/02/2017 14:25


Our travel experts discover another side to LA, experience history in Malaga and drop in on a beach party in Athens

DESTINATION

Los Angeles

TIPS • Escape from the city to Runyon Canyon Park, where we did an exhilarating earlymorning hike. The views were amazing, and it was great working as a team to complete our trip.

The traveller: conference consultant Rebecca Waite Los Angeles really exceeded my expectations. I was initially sceptical about it as a meetings and events location – I thought it would be very expensive, and more of a leisure destination. But I was completely won over by how much there is to do and see in LA, as well as the unusual venue spaces available for events. We flew out with Virgin Atlantic from Heathrow to LAX, and had access to the airline’s VIP lounge at Heathrow. It even had its own spa, ideal for stressed-out frequent fliers. Before boarding the flight I was upgraded to upper class, which meant I had my very own pod with a lie-flat bed – a great perk on the 11-hour-plus flight. Once in LA, I stayed at the towering 54-story JW Marriott Los Angeles LA LIVE hotel, which offers three floors of conference and events space,

Hills. Yet, as the name suggests, it has a distinctly British feel – like a piece of including three ballrooms – London hidden in LA. not to mention some superb Top conference and views from the guestrooms. events venues included the It’s also just a stone’s throw • We may think of it as a city ultra-modern Petersen from venues including the of drivers – but it’s perfectly Automotive Museum, the Walt Disney Concert Hall and possible to see LA car-free, music-themed GRAMMY LA Convention Centre. Later, by using the Metro system. Museum, and Universal I moved on to the Sofitel Los • Make sure you visit Studios Hollywood and Angeles at Beverly Hills, a chic downtown LA – it has so Paramount Pictures Studios. ‘urban resort’ offering 295 many gems, such as the An unforgettable choice for rooms and suites. With ample Arts District and Chinatown. incentive trips, the latter can meeting space on-site, the offer anything from private spectacular rooftop swimming tours of movie memorabilia pool was also impressive. and exclusive dinners to events on But perhaps my favourite hotel visit was to the London West Hollywood film sets. It really had that wow factor. at Beverly Hills. Just steps from the I was completely struck by how famous Sunset Strip, this property friendly the people were in LA; they has bags of LA glamour, with its own couldn’t do enough for you! And movie screening room, an amazing the standard of the venues on penthouse suite and rooftop events offer was very high. All in all, it’s space overlooking the Hollywood an amazing place.

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• The Panathenaic Stadium and the Acropolis are must-see destinations if you love history.

INSIDER’S GUIDE T R AV E L L E R S ’ TA L E S

TIPS

• You can get quite far on foot, but Athens is huge, so take a taxi if you can – they are cheap and widely available.

DESTINATION

The traveller: conference consultant Claire Hopwood My trip to Athens was fantastic – not least because I visited the most amazing hotel. My room at the Grand Resort Lagonissi had breathtaking views, and the sunrise in the morning was astonishing. I flew with Aegean Airlines from Heathrow to Athens, and I was pleasantly surprised by the city when I arrived. I’d assumed Athens would be dirty

Athens

and crowded in the city centre, but it was beautiful. I spent one night at the Hotel Grande Bretagne, which was stunning, too. I also visited lots of great restaurants, my favourite being the Tudor Hall Restaurant at the King George hotel. It had spectacular views of the Acropolis, which was lit up at night.

If you like history you’ll love the Acropolis Museum. I also got to visit a beach party – lovely and chilled – and tried the traditional Greek craft of sandal-making. In terms of conferences and events, the Grand Resort Lagonissi has a hall that is 2,500m² and a ballroom that holds up to 1,350 delegates. The Panathenaic Stadium has

• Try spanakopita (a Greek pastry with a spinach and feta filling) while you’re there.

a hall for meetings for up to 80 delegates, and makes a brilliant ‘out of the box’ venue. Athens is a hidden gem for meetings and events, with plenty of venues and large conference spaces. The sheer amount of history in the city makes it unlike most places. Everyone was so friendly, and I can’t wait to go back again!

DESTINATION

The traveller: conference consultant Katie Bloor Clear blue skies and sunshine greeted me on arrival in Malaga – and set the tone for the trip. It was my first visit to the city, and I found it a really lovely, cultured place. During the trip, I had the opportunity to stay at two beautiful yet very different hotels: Barceló Málaga and La Bobadilla, a Royal Hideaway Hotel. More centrally located, the Barceló Málaga has great rooms decorated with images of the city, with suites also available. They’re well-equipped for business travellers, with free WiFi and a safe that’s big enough for a laptop. One of the best parts of my trip was staying at La Bobadilla.

Malaga It is situated in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by hills, with a variety of activities onsite – for example, I took part in a cycling activity around the grounds. The hotel even has its own stables for those who want to take part in horse riding. We were lucky enough to spend an evening in the beautiful centre of Malaga. We visited El Pimpi, a restaurant located inside an old 18th-century Malaga mansion house and one of the longest-standing bodega bars in the area. It was very traditional, and really gave you a feel for the culture of Spain. We also got to visit the Picasso Museum, which was really interesting and informative.

TIPS For business travellers, Malaga is a beautiful city with a lot of history, and there are great venues for conferences or business events in the area, too. The Barceló Málaga was especially good, with a 1,500m² convention centre, which can be divided into 16 separate rooms. 065

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• Visit the city centre – it’s beautiful and there is a lot of history to explore. • Try the local dish of tomatoes with olive oil – it was really simple, but the best thing I ate on the trip! • Pay a visit to the Picasso Museum – there’s so much to see.

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TA K E F I V E AIRPORT HOTELS

Convenience isn’t the only plus point of staying at these properties located near some of the UK’s busiest air hubs

Contemporary and comfortable, Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 is only 10 minutes away from Heathrow Airport via the Heathrow Hoppa service. Wow factor: Hilton takes customer service to the next level with a luxury spa, and a choice of five bars and restaurants. Business bonus: Hilton has 14 conference and meeting rooms. Conference rooms cater for groups of up to 25, and the Gallery Rooms have a capacity for 1,700 theatrestyle, 800 for a banquet. Audiovisual equipment rental, videoconferencing and complimentary WiFi are available, too.

 RADISSON BLU HOTEL, EAST MIDLANDS AIRPORT

Located just 0.8km from East Midlands Airport, and close to the M1, Radisson Blu offers a range of 218 chic suites and rooms. Wow factor: The winner of the Luxury UK Airport Hotel of the Year award in 2016, this hotel has modern décor, 24-hour room service and a Runway Brasserie offering speedy service for those catching flights. Expect a stress-free stay. Business bonus: Radisson Blu’s nine meeting spaces, equipped with LCD projectors and high-speed internet access, can be adapted to suit various events – from board meetings to large galas. The hotel also offers a flexible Residential Package for groups of 10 or more, offering overnight accommodation, complimentary car parking and three-course table d’hôte.

NOVOTEL  BIRMINGHAM AIRPORT

MOXY  ABERDEEN AIRPORT

Less than 100m from Birmingham Airport, Novotel Birmingham Airport is ideal for business travellers, offering spacious rooms with dedicated work areas, and 24-hour room service. Wow factor: Involved in sustainable development schemes, eco-designed materials feature in the hotel’s rooms. Novotel Birmingham Airport also promotes local food products in its restaurant. Business bonus: The six meeting rooms have customisable layouts, with the largest accommodating up to 35 people. All are air-conditioned and soundproof, with audio and video equipment available.

Completed in November 2016, this new hotel is located five minutes from Aberdeen International Airport, with close proximity to the Scottish mountains and the North Sea. Wow factor: Moxy Aberdeen Airport’s 200 rooms have art feature walls, backlit glass panels for ambience, and high-end bathroom products. And, with food and drink available 24/7, Moxy aims to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Business bonus: Meeting rooms available on-site have 56-inch screens and free WiFi.

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MARRIOTT  COURTYARD GLASGOW AIRPORT A five-minute walk from Glasgow Airport and close to the M8, Marriott Courtyard offers a range of spacious Deluxe and Executive rooms in modern surroundings. Wow factor: The hotel’s numerous workspaces and a well-equipped fitness centre mean you can work and work out with ease. Its on-site restaurant, The Bistro, offers an all-day dining menu, perfect for winding down after a busy day. Business bonus: With three event rooms, each with a capacity for 14-16, Marriott Courtyard is geared up to host intimate business meetings. A full-service business centre offers network and internet printing, and audiovisual equipment and free WiFi are available.

WORDS BY SUZANNE KING. IMAGES: CHAZ SNELL/CLARE SKINNER/IDEA INSIGHT

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Airport hotels

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Rooms with a view Meeting rooms with a difference

We don’t do business as usual www.bestwestern.co.uk/business For more information contact Capita Travel and Events Images from top: Best Western Invercarse Hotel, Dundee, Best Western Plus Seraphine Hammersmith Hotel, London, Best Western Palace Hotel & Casino, Douglas, Isle of Mann, Dean Court Hotel, BW Premier Collection, York,

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Whatever brings you to London, Edwardian Hotels London puts you within walking distance of it. We have 12 luxury boutique hotels, in the most prestigious areas of the city. Each has its own distinctive character and atmosphere. And everyone you meet here is committed to making even the shortest stay last long in the memory.

For more information, contact Capita Travel and Events. The May Fair • Radisson Blu Edwardian, London: • Berkshire • Bloomsbury St • Grafton Hampshire • Heathrow • Kenilworth • Manchester • Mercer St • New Providence Wharf • Sussex • Vanderbilt

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Destination - Issue 15  
Destination - Issue 15