Road trip with Accor!
Visiting venues is essential to a venue finder’s knowledge of hotels, venues, meeting rooms & event spaces; it also ensures we are up to date with any new development properties or refurbs within our industry. Four members of the operations team, Heather, Karen, Milly & Polly set off on an Accor Hotel road trip to update our knowledge of the brand and 4 lovely properties within the Midlands.
First stop, Mercure Warwickshire Walton Hall & Spa. This property is a 16th century Grade II listed beautiful building with spa facilities such as swimming pool, treatment rooms, gym and studio onsite perfect for both leisure and business travellers. The photos on the website really don’t do this property justice – first recommendation is to definitely site visit! The public areas are light, airy with classy touches of character to reflect the swamped character, high ceilings, open wood fires within the Manor House. Walton Hall has 22 fully- equipped function rooms which hold up to 180 delegates.
These meeting rooms are split between the Hotel and Manor house, with the Manor House offering a more traditional feel and the Hotel having more modern meeting rooms & dining spaces. All 4 members of the team had an amazing dinner. Walton Hall is set within private gardens, offers lots of car parking and team building space to fit with all types of events, located just outside of Stratford Upon Avon.
“Don’t judge a book by its cover” springs to mind when we whizzed across to our second stop; Honiley Court Hotel. Formerly a 16th century farmhouse, the hotel is nestled inbetween Kenilworth Castle and Warwick Castle, close to the major motorway network of the M6, M40 and M42, making it really accessible for delegates. It has a purpose-built conference centre with the capacity for up to 220 delegates theatre style, the advantage of “The Boot” pub for relaxed dining, 62 spacious bedrooms and ample complimentary onsite parking. The hotel is a cost-effective option within the Warwickshire countryside for a range of different events.
Brandon Hall –
Next, we arrived at Mercure Brandon Hall Hotel & Spa Warwickshire; a 4-star property located on the outskirts of Coventry and set within beautiful gardens with its own Christmas Lodge for the festive season. The venue has 17 meeting rooms within the main house and in their separate conference building, with each meeting room offering difference capacities so the venue is flexible for a range of different events. This venue is currently going through a full refurbishment which is due to finish in June were the public areas, meeting rooms and all bedrooms are completely changing their look (a much more modern style impending!) and so far, it is looking great! The hotel also has its own leisure facilities, which consist of a pool, gym and spa facilities. This easily accessible hotel is a great option when looking for a venue in the Midlands!
Banbury Whately Hall-
Lastly, we visited Mercure Whately Hall, a beautiful hotel located in central Banbury. The property is a characterful 17th century 3-star hotel with original features throughout and a lovely lawn, great for when the sun comes out and delegates want to break outside! The meeting rooms themselves vary in size and can accommodate small boardroom meetings to receptions or banquets seating up to 120 people. All meeting rooms come with natural daylight which is always a bonus and Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel. The hotel also has 69 bedrooms, and if you are not faint hearted then make sure you speak to the hotel team to find out all about the hotel’s resident ghost and its exciting history.
A great feature in this property is the Hornton Bar, a pub style area with an open fireplace, oak panelled walls and a rustic feel. This is a great area to relax and provides a cosy place for a drink and a bite to eat if your delegates do not wish to have a full restaurant meal. All in all, for events where you want to be in a hotel that does not feel overly corporate, this traditional property is a great option for a ‘home away from home’ feeling.
The FCCE team thoroughly enjoyed learning about and experiencing all 4 of the Accor properties we visited and all of the hosts we met at the hotels really couldn’t do enough to ensure we were well looked after. If we had to pick a favourite option for the Midlands, Walton Hall Hotel & Spa was the team’s favourite venue, the mix of the modern hotel, with the beautiful traditional hall and gardens offered so much for delegates. However, after seeing the refurbishments under way at Brandon Hall this was a very close second!