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.

News items you may have missed this week include:

New Openings: The Holiday Inn Manchester Airport has just opened. It has 280 bedrooms, a restaurant and bar plus the group’s signature open lobby. There are three ground floor meeting rooms with a pre-function lounge. The hotel is located directly opposite Terminal Two, and just a few minutes' walk from both Terminals One and Three.

The Birch branded hotels group is expanding. Birch Cheshunt was its first, now Birch Selsdon is taking over what was the Selsdon Park Hotel in Croydon. It is opening this spring, with 181 bedrooms, two restaurants, three bars, a lido and a wellness space plus eight event spaces – ranging from 10 to 200  delegate capacity. It is all set within 200 acres of rewilded landscapes.

The Dower House Hotel and Spa in Knaresborough, Yorkshire will reopen this spring as The Knaresborough Inn. The Grade-II listed building has been renamed by its operators, Inn Collection Group, following completion of a major refurbishment. The Knaresborough Inn will have 57 bedrooms including 16 new additions plus new-look ground floor food and beverage spaces.

This week has seen the Pride of Britain Hotels relaunched as PoB Hotels still with 54 independent luxury and boutique hotels but now with a new website and a host of initiatives.

At the planning stage: Plans are afoot to convert the MFN (Miles From Nowhere) Club, the former biker bar set up by Showaddywaddy drummer Malcolm Allured into a boutique hotel and events venue complete with an artificial lake. The venue, on the Nottingham/Derbyshire border, would see 21 shipping container glamping pods added plus a catering area inside a refurbished train carriage. We will follow progress and report any positive news.

Plans for a new boutique hotel – The Dean -  with a rooftop pool and restaurant in Belfast city centre have just been submitted to Belfast City Council. The hotel would have 91 bedrooms and would be located next to Ulster Hall in the city centre. The Dean is one of Ireland’s leading boutique, design-led hotel groups and now has properties in Dublin, Cork and Galway. Plans for the new hotel have been submitted by Irish Hospitality Group.

Planning approval has been granted by Liverpool city council for a new food hall and events space with BOXPARK its operator. BOXPARK will be located in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle. The 21,000 sq ft venue will include 10 internal units on the ground floor seating up to 400 guests inside and 200 on its alfresco terrace.

Carlowrie Castle in Scotland, dating from the 1850’s, currently includes 21 bedrooms plus meeting and events facilities. A planned £3million investment will see a derelict stables block in the castle grounds restored to house seven bedrooms plus five modern cabins and a sauna to accommodate a further 10 guests in the castle’s 32 acres of grounds. Carlowrie Castle is located on the outskirts of Kirkliston, around 10 miles from Edinburgh.

The Guildford Pavilion is taking steps to raise its profile and has recently joined Venue Directory. The event space at Guildford Pavilion includes two floors accommodating up to 120 delegates for an indoor event plus outside space for marquees and larger festival style events up to 4500 delegates. Its location in the centre of Guildford is its unique selling point.

We finish with a story which has nothing to do with hotels or the meetings market, but it could possibly influence your selection of a post-event ‘relaxation spot’ in central London because Bierschenke, the LondonGerman beer hall brand, is opening a 12,000 sq-ft site in London's Covent Garden this spring. It will serve a menu of German beers, sausages, Schweinshaxe and Schnitzel all served by staff wearing traditional leather lederhosen. Sounds to us like the perfect end to a successful day.

News items you may have missed this week include:

The Maybourne Hotel Group is to open its fourth London Hotel this winter – the Emory Hotel in Knightsbridge. It will be an all-suites hotel with 60  across nine floors. It will feature a wellness space set across four floors below ground with a 22-metre pool. The restaurant will be run by acclaimed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The Emory will also feature a rooftop space with a 360-degree view of the capital for the exclusive use of hotel guests. Opening date to follow.

The Bay Horse in Wigan has reopened following an extensive refurbishment. The hotel now has 28 bedrooms all with a new décor, furniture and bathrooms. The hotel has two meeting spaces: a marquee to seat up to 80 guests and a front beer garden with new lighting and seating up to 120 guests. The Bay Horse is located in Warrington Road, Wigan.

The Birch brand opens its second hotel at the former Selsdon Park Hotel in Croydon this spring. It follows the opening of the Birch in Cheshunt in 2020.The hotel has been closed for refurbishment since December 2021. The Birch Selsdon Park will have 177 bedrooms and suites, two restaurants, three bars, a lido, a wellness space, a co-working hub, several communal areas, all set within 200 acres of rewilded landscapes.

Hyatt Hotels have just opened SCHLOSS Roxburghe, marking the UK debut of its Destination by Hyatt brand. SCHLOSS Roxburghe is a 102-room resort which has recently completed an extensive transformation, including the addition of 58 new rooms and suites plus 12 cottages. SCHLOSS Roxburghe has two restaurants alongside a tearoom, three bars and two lounges. In addition, the hotel has a spa, infinity pool, saunas plus a Championship Golf Course with practice facilities and Clubhouse. There is a selection of rooms for corporate meetings and events. SCHLOSS Roxburghe is located in the market town of Kelso, around an hour from Edinburgh and Newcastle.

Plans have been approved to convert former warehouse space in central Manchester into a 117-bedroom aparthotel. Located in Oldham Street, the aparthotel will be a mix of two/three and four person apartments with a kitchen facility and luggage store plus a gym, laundry and roof terrace. We will monitor progress.

News from the hotel groups:

Hotel group, Accor has launched a new branding - Handwritten Collection - described as: ‘a global portfolio of charming bespoke hotels that offer an intimate and stylish hospitality experience’. 12 properties have already been secured with the portfolio expected to reach more than 250 hotels by 2030. There are none planned in the UK so far.

Virgin Hotels have joined forces with Virgin Limited Edition – the private global collection of retreats, hotels and exclusive islands with both now trading under a new brand - Virgin Hotels Collection.

Hilton Hotels have just launched ‘Spark’, its 19th brand. Spark is a premium economy brand targeting a more affordable spot in the hotel price range. Spark bedrooms will feature clean design schemes, an in-room refrigerator, bright bathrooms and a workstation. The hotels will offer a simple free breakfast. There will also be a 24-hour market for grab-and-go food options. There are currently more than 100 Spark hotels in various stages of development across the U.S. but none so far in the UK.

Travelodge has completed the first phase of its property-upgrade programme. Sixty-five hotels now sport the brand’s “budget-luxe premium” design. These include the three new-builds which have all opened in the past six months, including two in London — in Docklands and Wimbledon, and one in Hexham, Northumberland.

…and unusual venue news includes:

Oceandiva London is a floating events space opening on the River Thames in London in Spring 2023. It will be the UK’s first CO2-neutral venue. Oceandiva London spans three decks and offers 2625sq-mt of events space for meetings, conferences, receptions, gala dinners, cutting edge product launches and brand activations. Oceandiva London can host events for up to 600 seated or 1,500 guests standing and offers extensive exterior space. Oceandiva London allows guests the unique opportunity to view London’s famous landmarks through its main artery – the River Thames. Oceandiva London is located at Butler’s Wharf on the south bank of the Thames, just east of London's Tower Bridge.

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.

The Maybourne Hotel Group is set to launch its fourth hotel in London this winter -The Emory.  The Emory will be located in Old Barrack Yard in London’s Belgravia. It will have 60 suites and a penthouse set over nine storeys. As well as a restaurant and bar, The Emory will also feature a rooftop terrace with 360 degree views of the London skyline. A wellness space including a 22-metre swimming pool will fill four floors in the hotel basement. We await confirmation of the opening date.

This week has seen the opening of the Roseate Edinburgh Hotel – a luxury hotel   with 35 bedrooms and suites spread across two newly refurbished, heritage Victorian townhouses in Edinburgh's West End. Facilities include a bar and restaurant, lounge, garden conservatory and private gardens plus the fully equipped Club Prive Room and Club Prive Conservatory for boardroom style meetings. Roseate Edinburgh is five minutes from Edinburgh Haymarket station.

Ruby Molly, the first Irish hotel from the Ruby Hotels group, is scheduled to open in Dublin in Q1 2024. It will open with 272 bedrooms plus a ground floor bar, cafe and lounge. It will be centrally located at the intersection of Arran Street East and Mary Street Little in the heart of Dublin.

Jurys Inn Belfast is to be renamed Leonardo Hotel Belfast from the end of January. It will be the first of 35 Jurys Inns across the UK which will switch branding by the end of this year – all part of the group’s investment programme and growth strategy.

Plans have been submitted to Kirklees Council for the redevelopment of The George Hotel in Huddersfield. The Grade-II listed hotel dates from the 1850’s and is known as the birthplace of rugby league - but has been vacant since 2013. Plans envisage 91 bedrooms, a bar and restaurant, banqueting and events space plus two conference rooms and a gym and fitness suite. The hotel will be operated by the Radisson Hotel group

Spanish tennis player, Rafael Nadal, is set to launch Zel Hotels, a new branding from the Melia Hotels group. Melia claim that Zel Hotels are a ‘new concept with a Mediterranean aesthetic based on the outdoor living’. The first Zel branded hotel is set to open in Mallorca with 20 international locations set to follow including London, Madrid, Paris, Asia and the Middle East.

Travelodge has just completed upgrades of two of its hotels in south Wales: in Swansea city centre and Whitchurch in Cardiff. The refurbishment is part of the group’s UK-wide multi-million pound upgrade to create "budget-luxe" hotels.

The Manufacturing Technology Centre (or MTC) is a new conference venue based in Liverpool City Centre. It is situated in the heart of the Knowledge Quarter and features a multi-functional, reconfigurable conference room fully equipped with state-of-the-art AV which can host up to 60 delegates plus a large exhibition space and workshop area providing 1,923 square feet of space. On-site catering can be arranged and a range of Liverpool city centre hotels are within walking distance. MTC is a 10-minute walk from Liverpool Lime Street Station.

The refurbishment of the 42-year-old Harrogate Convention Centre is expected to start this autumn and will include improving conferencing facilities, its 2,000-seat conference auditorium plus its more than 13,000 sqmt of exhibition space.

The refurbishment work currently underway at Brighton Dome Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre is almost complete. The refurbished Grades-I and II listed Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre will reopen in May with a Van Gogh Alive exhibition. Conferences and private events will be returning from autumn 2023..

We finish with a note about Landing 42. Located in the ‘Cheesegrater’ building in central London.   Landing 42 offers private use of the 42nd floor with 5,000 square feet of flexible, uninterrupted space with unrivalled views across the Capital. It is available for film, television and photography shoots plus product launches and brand showcases with reduced rates during quiet periods.

We start this week’s news summary with some group news.

Radisson Hotels group is planning to bring its Prizeotel branded hotels to the UK.  Prizeotels offer a lifestyle, midscale experience. The brand which Radisson first launched in 2009 operates 16 properties principally in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Watch this space for updates.

Meanwhile, Accor Group has launched its latest brand - Handwritten Collection – “elegant hotels with genuine personality”. The Collection is expected to reach more than 250 hotels by 2030. As yet no openings are planned in the UK.

Kew Green Hotels group is planning a multi-million-pound investment across its portfolio of hotels primarily to elevate their technological capabilities. At the same time they are planning to introduce the Open Lobby concept, transforming the traditional hotel lobby by combining all public spaces, from the reception area, the restaurant, bar and lounge into one open lobby. Hotels due for the transformation include the Holiday Inns in Reading, Rochester, Leeds/Wakefield, Lincoln and Derby/Nottingham.

In other news:

The Hyatt Regency London Albert Embankment has just opened. Located on the banks of the River Thames, it is the group's eighth property in London. The hotel has 142 bedrooms and suites, a cocktail bar and two restaurants, a fitness centre and three fully equipped meeting rooms seating up to 62 delegates. The hotel was formerly a Crowne Plaza property.

Private member’s club Soho House is opening in Manchester in the former Granada TV studios in Spinningfields. It will include a rooftop pool and bar area, events spaces, wellness facilities and a bar and dining room. Mollie’s Manchester will also be opening in the former television studios. It will include 140 bedrooms, a restaurant, cocktail bar, events space, lounge, workplace plus an outdoor terrace. Opening dates ‘some time in 2023’.

Cameron House, 30 minutes north of Glasgow and overlooking Loch Lomond, has just opened its new Lomond Wing extension. It marks the final phase of its extensive transformation following the hotel fire five years ago. The Lomond Wing includes 68 new luxury, contemporary styled bedrooms and suites plus a new events suite/ ballroom seating up to 500 guests theatre style as well as a new loch-facing terrace.

A major expansion of the Grand Hotel Swansea is planned this year. A four-storey rear extension will add 42 bedrooms to the current 53, and there will be an expanded rooftop bar area on the fifth floor with conference and events space.

easyHotel has just opened its first hotel in Ireland. easyHotel Dublin City Centre is in Benburb Street in the Smithfield area in the heart of Dublin. It has 160 fully equipped en-suite bedrooms. There is no breakfast or dinner restaurant in the hotel although there are plenty of options on the doorstep. Heuston Station in central Dublin is a 10 minute walk away. Dublin Airport is 7 miles away.

The former Holiday Inn Express Liverpool Knowsley has changed its name to the Knowsley Inn & Lounge following completion of a £250,000 refurbishment programme. The hotel has 86 bedrooms, a restaurant, bar and four meeting rooms. It is located at junction 4 of the M57 near Liverpool FC’s Anfield stadium.

Finally, Neverland a ‘diverse and unforgettable’ events venues, next to the River Thames in London and with a sandy beach, is hosting a VIP showcase event on the 26th January as an opportunity for events and corporate travel agents to view the unusual events spaces.

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