Some of the news items you may have missed this week include:

YOTEL is planning to launch an aparthotel concept – YOTELPAD, with the first opening, YOTELPAD London Stratford, expected to open late 2023. YOTELPAD will include a multi-functional live, work and sleep area plus a bathroom and a fully equipped kitchenette. YOTELPAD London Stratford, when it opens, will be the third London property in the YOTEL group and the seventh in the UK.

Lydiard House & Park, plus conference centre, is set to reopen this April following completion of a £2.6million makeover of its bedrooms and events spaces. Lydiard House has 31 bedrooms plus eight meeting and events suites over two floors with the largest room seating up to 100 delegates theatre style. Lydiard House and Park is located in Swindon, a short drive from the M4J16.

PPHE Hotel Group, the international hospitality real estate group, is planning to launch a new €250 million European Hospitality Real Estate Fund which will enable the group to make strategic acquisitions of hotels across Europe. The group currently operate the Radisson, Park Plaza and Art’otels in the UK.

Plans have been approved for the demolition of a low-rise building in Haymarket Yards, Edinburgh which lies close to Haymarket Station and its replacement with a new nine storey hotel with 200+ bedrooms plus a ten-storey office block alongside. Both properties will share an internal winter garden space and extensive landscaped roof terraces. Construction is expected to start in 2024. Details of its operators await publication.

Kew Green Hotels Group has partnered with PoGo to install new electric car charging hubs at the 40 hotels it owns and operates in the UK- mainly Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, voco and Courtyard by Marriott hotels. Work will start this summer with completion anticipated by the end of the year.

The Kings Arms Hotel, part of the Lake District Hotels group, has reopened following a £5000,000 refurbishment programme.  The 17th century coaching inn, located in Keswick town centre, has 13 bedrooms plus a restaurant and bar.

Fairtree and Blantyre have just acquired the seven Scottish-based hotels previously operated by Crerar Hotel Group. These include Balmoral Arms in Royal Deeside, the Oban Bay Hotel in Oban and the Loch Fyne Hotel & Spa in Argyll.

Looking to raise its profile this week is: Hawkstone Hall & Gardens. located near Shrewsbury in Shropshire. Hawkstone Hall & Gardens offers a venue with six meeting rooms with the largest seating up to 200 delegates. These include space for team building, corporate events, lectures, celebratory dinners - plus 12 suites and 24 Classic bedrooms.

The Clermont Hotel Group, who operate 17 hotels in London, have just opened The Academy, a dedicated learning and development centre for new and current employees. The Academy is based in the group’s Tower Hotel in London.

City news:

Manchester is set to introduce a tax on people visiting the city for overnight stays from this April. 74 hotels and short-stay serviced apartments in the city will charging an extra £1.00 per room per night. The tax is being levied to help develop and promote tourism in Manchester.

Finally, it’s a long way off but we wait in anticipation to see if the City of Birmingham in partnership with Aston Villa Football Club is successful in its bid to host football’s UEFA EUROs in 2028. Birmingham is currently one of seven cities on the longlist of English cities. Villa Park’s redevelopment plans will ensure that the stadium meets the essential aspects of the UEFA bid requirements.

Some of this week’s hotel and venue news items you may not have come across include:

New hotels on Dalata’s drawing board include properties in: Brighton, Liverpool and Manchester all expected to open next year plus a new hotel in London scheduled to open early 2024. In addition, the group is planning to open the Maldron Hotel Finsbury Park in London this summer with 192 bedrooms.

Hilton Brighton Metropole has just completed a £26million refurbishment. This includes the hotel’s 24 meeting and events suites plus the hotel’s public areas, lobby, restaurant and bar. The largest events space at the hotel will accommodate up to 3000 guests. The Hilton Brighton Metropole has 321 bedrooms plus a health club and indoor swimming pool. It is located on Brighton seafront next to the Brighton Centre and less than a mile from Brighton station.

Rudding Park Hotel in Harrogate has invested £50k in 12 new electric vehicle charging points. These will be available to the public with plans to introduce more in future. They will be powered from the Rudding Park Energy Centre.

Remaining in Harrogate - the Inn Collection Group, new owners of the 90-bedroom Hotel St George in the town, plan to rebrand the hotel as The Harrogate Inn. This will follow completion of a refurbishment which will see the addition of six new bedrooms.

Lucky Voice chain of karaoke bars in London has just opened its fifth venue – Lucky Voice Liverpool Street on Devonshire Square. A private karaoke room is available for corporate hire for a two-hour karaoke session or if that is not long enough the venue is bookable for the evening.

Launched in 2018, voco hotels has become IHG’s fastest-growing brand worldwide. The hotel group now has 46 open hotels with 55 hotels in the pipeline. Its next UK opening will be voco Lythe Hill Hotel and Spa launching in 2023.  Formerly Lythe Hill Hotel in Surrey, the rebranded hotel is a Tudor-built property. It will feature 99 bedrooms plus an oak-beamed restaurant, gym and spa.

The Signet Collection has just opened its third site – The Barnsdale in Oakham, Rutland. Formerly known as Barnsdale Lodge, the hotel has been closed recently for a full refurbishment. The Barnsdale has 46 bedrooms and suites plus a restaurant, conservatory, courtyard garden, croquet lawns and a beauty salon. Barnsdale Lodge has a range of meeting and events spaces and will offer exclusive use. The Barnsdale is situated on a 30-acre site around a mile from Rutland Water.

Manchester brewers, Joseph Holt, has just acquired a site next to one of its pubs, the Cat and Lion in Stretton, Warrington. It has added 29 bedrooms plus a restaurant and bar and renamed the expanded operation as the Cat and Lion Country Pub and Hotel. The Cat and Lion was built in the 1600s as a coaching inn and still retains some of its original features with a hay hatch door and wooden beams.

Plans have been published to convert the former John Lewis department store at Birmingham's Grand Central into a new workplace and amenity destination. Proposals envisage repurposing the ground floor to complement the existing food and hospitality hub with extra hospitality space and flexible events space. Plans also include the addition of a rooftop garden lounge. It could be an interesting development from a meetings and events point of view. We will monitor its progress through the planning web and report back with any positive news. Grand Central, as its name suggests, is right in the heart of the city.

We finish this week’s roundup with brief details of two unusual properties with interesting events facilities which you may not be aware of:

The St Bride Foundation is a very interesting events venue in the centre of London. The Grade-II listed building just off Fleet Street was originally built as a printing school. Today the Foundation is home to the world’s largest library of printing, typography and graphic design. It also has a range of ground floor meeting and events spaces suitable for lectures to board meetings and conferences with a full catering package available. The largest room, Bridewell Hall, will seat up to 150 delegates. St Bride Foundation is a stone’s throw from Blackfriars and St Paul’s tube stations and is a two-minute walk from Thameslink.

Introducing Orchards Events Venue. It’s a purpose build venue with several multifunctional events and conference spaces with a capacity from 10 to 200 delegates, all set within 200 hectares of fruit orchards. Alongside the Orchards Events Venue is the Grade-1 listed  Bradbourne House, a Tudor Queen Anne style building set in 20 acres of land. It has four meeting rooms, the largest seating 60 delegates cabaret style. Both venues are located in East Malling, Kent, close to Junction 4 of the M20 and a short walk from East Malling station.

We will be back next week with a selection of the week’s news items.

The biggest story of the week is: The Fattal Group, operators of Leonardo Hotels, has just acquired the Grand Hotel Brighton with plans to invest in the property. The Grand Hotel currently has 201 bedrooms, a restaurant and bar plus 1,200 sq-mt of dedicated meeting and banqueting space across 13 rooms. We will monitor progress.

Staying in Brighton, Staybridge Suites Brighton has just opened with a range of 51 suites over nine floors each equipped with a double-bedded bedroom and a fully equipped kitchen with an on-site fitness suite, a laundry room and a fully stocked pantry open 24/7.  Staybridge Suites Brighton is located in Fleet Street, a 2-minute walk from Brighton station.

IHG Hotels has published plans to open a new hotel in London - Hotel Indigo London K West Shepherds Bush. It will be the sixth Hotel Indigo in London and will be one of the brand’s flagship properties due to its individual design. Spring 2025 is its planned opening date. It will have 252 bedrooms and suites, a restaurant and bar, a boutique spa plus business facilities and events suites.

Dalata Hotels has acquired a ‘new finished hotel’ in Finsbury Park, North London. It will be the group’s first Maldron-branded hotel to open in London. The existing hotel has never traded and Dalata is planning a major renovation prior to opening this summer.  The hotel has 192 bedrooms plus a ground floor restaurant and bar. It is located next to Finsbury Park station.

Stockton House a former country house in Stockton, Warwickshire has been converted into an office plus conference and events space following the completion of a £1.5m project. Stockton is a small village south-west of Rugby. Stockton House has conference and events space for up to 120 delegates with office space for up to 15 people plus a café.

Another hotel changing hands is The Queens Hotel in the centre of Leeds. It has changed ownership from Aprirose to Pandox. The Queens Hotel has 232 recently upgraded bedrooms plus a restaurant, bar and an on-site gym. It also has 13 meeting and events suites accommodating up to 500 delegates.

Mercure Oxford Hawkwell House, the boutique hotel in Oxford has just unveiled the results of its £3.5million refurbishment. The historic hotel has 77 bedrooms and features a restaurant and bar and three meeting rooms with the largest seating 200 delegates theatre style plus a heated outdoor terrace. Adjacent to the main hotel is Elm House, a 15-bedroom house with private gardens which can be exclusively hired. Mercure Oxford Hawkwell House, is located in Iffley village, ten minutes from Oxford city centre.

Stanwell House in Lymington in the New Forest has just opened a new multi-purpose function room – which is available to small groups of up to 32 delegates for exclusive use. The room has plenty of natural daylight plus state-of-the-art TV and presentation facilities plus fast and reliable wi-fi. Stanwell House is a boutique hotel in the centre of the town with 29 bedrooms plus a restaurant and bar.

WeWork collection in conjunction with Spaces & Stories is offering exclusive access to its Leadenhall Street site in the City of London for the first time. The venue, the site of London’s first monastery, features medieval architecture with modern working spaces. The venue has two floors of meeting space linked by a spiral staircase with an upper mezzanine level and a larger open-plan space below. The venue can accommodate up to 80 guests for meetings, conferences, networking, workshops and product launches. Access-wise it is a short walk from Bank, Fenchurch Street, Liverpool Street and Monument stations.

etc.venues is planning to double the size of its venue at 155 Bishopsgate in London. It is adding 20,000 sq-ft of conference space on the second floor above the existing events space on the first floor. It will have the capacity to seat up to 475 delegates theatre style together with a Galleria and Lounge which will accommodate up to 51 exhibition stands. 155 Bishopsgate has recently undergone a full refurbishment. 155 Bishopsgate is located in the heart of the City of London in the largest pedestrianised neighbourhood in central London and is a short 2-minute walk from Liverpool St Station.

We finish with our favorite story of the week. Karen's Diner will be launching at The Hadley Hotel in New Barnet, London this March.  Karen’s Diner is a restaurant chain famous for being rude and insulting to its diners – reputedly ‘an absurdly fun experience’. At Karen's you will be greeted and waited upon by rude waiters and forced to play a variety of games. 12 bedrooms have been allocated to Karen at The Hadley Hotel with the promise of rudeness and a ‘lack of room service’. We could name several venues where guests suffer similar indignities, but they don’t use it as a selling point.

A selection of this week’s hotel and venue news includes:

Gloucester City Council has struck an agreement with IHG Hotels to launch a Hotel Indigo at the new Forum development in the city centre. Hotel Indigo Gloucester will include 131 bedrooms, a restaurant, conferencing and events facilities plus a rooftop cocktail bar, a gym and a car park. Hotel Indigo Gloucester is due for completion in the summer of 2024.

The Royal Glen Hotel in Sidmouth, Devon is the latest hotel to join the Bespoke Hotels portfolio. The Royal Glen building dates from the 1700’s and was originally a farmhouse and dairy. Now it is a 30 bedroom hotel complete with a restaurant and bar, indoor swimming pool and gym plus a garden, sundeck and verandah – all just a ten minute walk from the beach.

Gino D’Acampo will be opening his 160-seater open-plan restaurant and outdoor terrace at the Leeds Marriott Hotel on 10th April. The hotel. located in Trevelyan Square in the centre of Leeds, is a five minutes' walk from Leeds Station.

The Greenway Hotel and Spa in Cheltenham has just completed a £1.2million refurbishment. The hotel is a 16th century manor house hotel located on the edge of the Cotswolds and ten minutes from the M5. It has 21 bedrooms with a restaurant, spa and four meeting rooms – the largest seating up to 40 delegates theatre style.  It is a member of The Eden Hotel Collection.

De Vere Beaumont Estate in Windsor has unveiled the final phase of its £25million refurbishment.  Works included updating the hotel’s bedrooms as well as an upgrade of the Beaumont Restaurant and the hotel’s indoor swimming pool. Now all 429 bedrooms feature a new contemporary look. De Vere Beaumont Estate features a Grade-II 19th-century chapel, which now offers a backdrop for meetings and events.

Whittlebury Park in Northamptonshire, is hosting a corporate festival experience on 21st March for event planners to showcase its potential for outdoor business events. Whittlebury Park is set in over 700 acres of ancient forest and parkland, a 10-minute drive from junction 15a of the M1. Facilities include: 254 bedrooms, a conference and training centre, a 3 AA Rosette restaurant plus a 36-hole golf course.

Donnini is an Ayrshire based property company specializing in leisure and corporate lets. The company has just moved into the hotel business with the launch of Donnini Collection Hotels. The Kylestrome  is their first hotel with 12 bedrooms plus a restaurant and bar. It is located right in the heart of Ayr, just minutes from the beachfront.

Bike & Boot’s second hotel is set to open May 2023 in the Peak District, 20 minutes from Chatsworth House. With 60 bedrooms the hotel is designed for bikers, hikers and dog walkers with bike storage and dog grooming facilities. Bike & Boot’s first hotel is located in Scarborough.

AGO has just opened its first central London hotel, The Rove London Paddington Hotel. It is located in a newly refurbished property with 75 bedrooms and is a two-minute walk from Paddington station. The hotel has no dining facilities. AGO operate a range of hotels across the country including nine Ibis branded hotels.

We try and finish each week’s round up of news with an unusual venue which may be new to you. This week we highlight: Waterperry House. It is just seven miles from the centre of  Oxford and there you will discover a retreat centre for the study of practical philosophy and economics. Located in the village of Waterperry, it features a range of seven meeting rooms in total. These include the Ballroom accommodating up to 80 delegates, The Round Room overlooking the gardens seating up to 30 delegates and the Artists Hall containing contemporary frescos and accommodating up to 30 delegates for a meeting. There is a self catering kitchen plus a garden teashop. Accommodation-wise there is a range single, twin and dormitory style rooms with shared bathrooms.

We will be back next week with a summary of the week’s news items.

Art’otel London Battersea Power Station located within Battersea Roof Gardens and managed by Park Plaza Hotels has officially opened with 164 bedrooms and a rooftop restaurant and bar plus a swimming pool, gym and spa, a Grand Café and an Art Gallery. The hotel has six meeting and events suites across two floors which can host up to 250 guests.

IHG Hotels & Resorts strengthens its grip on the UK market with the addition of nine new hotels. These include: Hotel Indigo:  Hotel Indigo Exeter with 104 bedrooms is now open. Hotel Indigo London – K West Shepherd’s Bush with 255 bedrooms is expected to open in 2026. voco Hotels: voco Lythe Hill opens in Surrey this spring with 60 bedrooms. Holiday Inn: Holiday Inn Manchester Oldham has opened with 73 bedrooms following a full refurbishment. Holiday Inn Sunderland, a new-build with 120 bedrooms is now open as is Holiday Inn Manchester Airport with 280 bedrooms. Holiday Inn Express: Holiday Inn Express Fleet in Hampshire is now open with 76 bedrooms. The new Holiday Inn Express & Suites Halifax opens at the end of 2026 with 106 bedrooms in the centre of the town. Staybridge Suites: Staybridge Suites Brighton has just opened with 101 bedrooms. The final tally:  IHG Hotels & Resorts now has 348 open and 18 pipeline properties in the UK.

Development work will be starting shortly on a revamp of Lancashire County Cricket Club’s Emirates Old Trafford stadium. The Red Rose Suite is to be replaced with a new six-storey block which will also house a 100 bedroom extension to the existing 150 bedroom Hilton Garden Inn Hotel.

Norton Park Hotel in Hampshire, part of the QHotels Collection, has just completed a major refurbishment, both of the main hotel plus the 16th century Manor House in its grounds. A 17th century Tythe Barn, also located in the hotel’s grounds, has also been upgraded and is now equipped with the latest technology for both private and corporate events. Norton Park Hotel is located in Sutton Scotney on the outskirts of Winchester, around eight miles from Winchester station.

The first Soho House in the North of England is set to open in Manchester in May this year. It will be located within the former Granada Studios in the heart of the city. Soho House Manchester will comprise a members’ club on the top two floors, overlooking a rooftop pool and outdoor terrace. On the first floor there will be an extensive members’ gym. Across the remaining floors there will be members’ events spaces and bedrooms with various spaces for members to eat, drink and socialize. The group’s motel and diner brand Mollie's is also due to open a 140-bedroom unit onsite on the lower floors of the Granada Studios building. Granada Studios are located in Quay Street in the heart of Manchester, a short walk from Manchester’s Piccadilly, Victoria and Oxford Road stations.

Planning permission has been secured for a new 52 rooms aparthotel on the upper floors of the Grade II-listed Market Chambers in the St Mary Street Conservation Area in the heart of Cardiff.

Amidst all the new openings we have one closure, albeit temporary, to report: Best Western Premier Yew Lodge Hotel in Kegworth, Derbyshire has been taken over by the Home Office for exclusive use.

Latest Conference Venue news includes: Unity Place is Santander Bank’s new £150 million UK headquarters. It opens in late spring in Milton Keynes. It will be a centre for digital banking innovation and will also incorporate a range of community facilities including a conference auditorium for 300 guests, a restaurant and a sky lounge plus a range of community facilities. Further details to follow.

The Fitzwilliam Hotel in the centre of Belfast has just opened a new meeting and events space being marketed as BYOM – that’s Bring Your Own Meeting i.e. walk in and connect automatically to cameras, mics, speakers and sound bars – seating up to 22 delegates boardroom style.

Unique Venues of London has just added Frameless to its collection of venues this month. Frameless, near Marble Arch, offers a permanent multi-sensory experience with four galleries and state-of-the art projection technology ‘showcasing some of the world's greatest works of art in ways never seen before’ – Frameless can offer a range of facilities for private events from hiring the entire venue to their dedicated event space: Blank Canvas.

Finally, from Easter this year the Postal Museum in London is exhibiting its first King Charles III's new definitive stamp in a special, exclusive exhibition. It will be the first time a new monarch has been featured on stamps for 70 years. You will find the museum plus meeting and events space in Phoenix Place, less than a mile from Kings Cross St Pancras Station in central London.

News items you may have missed this week include:

Hilton Garden Inn Snowdonia at Adventure Park Snowdonia in North Wales has just reopened following three months as a venue housing asylum seekers. Hilton Garden Inn Snowdonia is a purpose-built venue with 106 bedrooms plus versatile meeting space hosting conferences up to 300 plus delegates with team-building possibilities offered within the grounds of Adventure Parc Snowdonia.

Dalata Hotel Group has just acquired a new 192-bedroom hotel in London's Finsbury Park close to the Emirates Stadium, home of Arsenal Football Club. It is scheduled to open summer 2023 and it will be the first Maldron hotel to open in London. Another Maldron hotel in the Shoreditch district of London will open in the last quarter of 2023.

The Exclusive Collection have just acquired Ansty Hall Hotel from Macdonald Hotels. It is a 62-bedroom hotel on the outskirts of Coventry. It is now the seventh country-house hotel in the Exclusive Collection portfolio. Ansty Hall is a Grade II-listed manor house and sits in eight acres of landscaped gardens with the M1, M40 and M6, Birmingham Airport and HS2 all under 30-minutes away.

The Beckford Group is a small group of four traditional country inns across the south west of England. The group has just acquired its first hotel – the former Howard’s House Hotel located in Teffont Evias in Wiltshire. The building is currently closed for refurbishment and is set to open in the autumn with 16 bedrooms with a restaurant, a walled garden and a mini spa in the grounds.

Plans have been lodged in York to redevelop a unit on Coney Street, most recently occupied by TK Maxx, into a new aparthotel. The upper floors of the building would become a 64-bedroom aparthotel with an additional storey added to provide penthouse suites - all operated by Room2.

The Frobisher Rooms and Auditoriums at the Barbican in central London are now available to hire again following completion of a facelift. The suite comprises six individual rooms accommodating between 10 and 170 delegates on the 4th floor, the dedicated conference floor at the Barbican.

Heckfield Place Hotel in Hampshire is set to open a new wellness hub called The Bothy by Wildsmith this April. The 17,000 square-foot space will feature six treatment rooms plus an 18 x 6 metre hydrotherapy pool.

Prestonfield House in Edinburgh and Cromlix hotel in Dunblane have joined the Pride of Britain Hotels (PoB) collection.

Plans are afoot in Oxford to upgrade and rebrand Linton Lodge Hotel, part of the Best Western Signature Collection, into a four-star boutique hotel, increasing the number of bedrooms from 87 to 123 plus the addition of a new café and bar.

Edmiston House is a new, standalone events space located on the Ibrox campus in Glasgow, home to Glasgow Rangers FC. It is due to open in March 2023. Edmiston House will accommodate up to 700 delegates. It is divisible into two and will host conferences, product launches, large scale dining and exhibitions.

The former Barbican Hotel, the Grade II-listed building in the centre of Lincoln is to be turned into an arts centre, fifteen years after the hotel closed.

Finally, Oakwell Events at Barnsley Football Club have reminded us they have five meeting rooms varying in size to host meetings, events, exhibitions, team building events plus 16 Executive Boxes that can be used for interviews, private meetings or one to ones – with free car parking and a mere 10 minutes' walk from Barnsley Interchange station.

If you have scrolled this far down the page you will have a good idea of the services we offer. We simply believe in finding the right venue for the right meeting at the right price - because the venue and the services provided are the most important component of a successful meeting. Ring us today 0121 749 7575