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Reviews and ratings by Customersure 20th May 2019

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meine Reise nach Frankfurt : my trip to Frankfurt 29 Oct 2014

Frankfurt is Germany’s fifth largest city with a population of 680,000. It has many tourist attractions such as The Old Town, Skyscrapers,St. Bartholomäus Imperial Cathedral (Kaiserdom), the Christmas market and much much more. Experiencing Frankfurt from a corporate perspective with its Finance District is very different and almost feels like another world. Hospitality Guaranteed got to experience both. Stepping one way to the cultural historic Frankfurt and stepping the other way and being surrounded by modern skyscraper buildings. It was a phenomenal experience.

Friday 24th October: Hilton Frankfurt Airport

Hilton Frankfurt Airport is literally situated next to Frankfurt Airport with a very unique set up. You’re in a building and Hilton Frankfurt Airport Hotel is in that building (I’m probably not making sense here), basically a building within a building; located in the iconic ‘The Squaire’, which looks like a glass ship from the outside, means that the hotel is sitting on top of the InterCity Express train station, 15 minutes journey from downtown Frankfurt. You have immediate access to the airport via Terminal 1 as well as a connection to the intersection of the A3 and A5 motorways.

My suite was larger than most flats I’ve been in. There was a coffee station and mini bar and to top it off I had both a bath and shower in the main onsite bathroom. This makes a massive difference for me whether I’m traveling for leisure or corporate because you never know when you're going to have a long day and all you want to do is soak in the bath. As soon as I seen the size of the tub I  could have ran a steamy bubble bath and ate my complimentary chocolates and grapes like a true queen in her tower.

The staff and service at the hotel were brilliant. The staff truly went that extra mile for you. I, not surprisingly, forgot my adaptor and even though there was a UK plug in the room it was attached to the business desk for using your laptop and it wasn’t near a mirror. I asked at reception if they had any adaptors and unfortunately they didn’t have any left, but they didn’t stop there. The receptionist rang the Hilton Garden Inn next door and managed to get an adaptor from them. And the good service continued throughout our stay; at our evening meal the staff were extremely polite, we didn’t have to ask for anything as they were already by our side topping up our wine glasses or asking if we needed anything else. They served a local white wine which was to die for. The meal itself tasted amazing! I’ve not had a meal like it in a hotel before. If this was a local Hilton Hotel close to home I would want to go to this restaurant at my own leisure even if I wasn’t stopping at the hotel.

Saturday 25h October: Hilton Mainz Hotel/ Hilton Frankfurt

I had a lovely sleep, and it wasn’t because of the wine we had, but because the bed was big enough to sprawl out and sleep like a baby. Also, the hotel was very quiet. I was not disturbed by any doors shutting, traffic or public noise all night. A little touch which makes the biggest difference is the fact the bed had a built in reading light so in the morning I could just flick the light on, without any difficulty in reaching for a light/ lamp switch, and it only lit up my side of the bed.

Having a show around the hotel after breakfast we established the hotel can hold maximum capacity of 570 delegates in the main ballroom, with 10 meetings rooms in total. The hotel is only two years old being built in 2012 which means the pictures you see of the hotel actually look exactly the same as the hotel as it does now.

Before I move onto Hilton Mainz Hotel, I will tell you a quick fact about the hotel, which being a huge fan, I was very impressed! Justin Bieber actually stopped at this hotel! Ok, so it’s not the best of facts but imagine going to Frankfurt for business and telling your teenage daughter you stopped in the same hotel as Justin Bieber- major parent points for you!

Hilton Mainz Hotel is similar to Hilton Frankfurt Airport in terms of its modern feel. However it is very different and unique in style; not every Hilton hotel is the same. There is one meeting room in the hotel that has a lot of character with a classic ballroom style decor perfect for awards ceremonies or a private dining function. The hotel is also attached to the Mainz Congress, which has a lot of space for larger events such as exhibitions, making the hotel very flexible in delegate numbers.

My favourite part of the trip was definitely visiting Mainz Old Town. As the Hilton Mainz Hotel is situated on the edge of Old Town on the picturesque banks of the River Rhine there is so much to do and all within walking distance. We took a tour of the town and there was a market going on with fresh vegetables and homemade crafts and there was one stall selling eggs with a rooster. This was a real life rooster- I kid you not! It took me 22years and a trip to Germany to stroke a rooster but it was definitely worth it! The Old Town gave you a really good feel for the culture of Frankfurt and it’s perfect for having a break from your corporate business travel if you get an hour or so in between meetings.

On the Saturday evening we checked-in at Hilton Frankfurt. This hotel has a lot of character and history located in the heart of Frankfurt city centre. The hotel used to be the City Pool and still has a half size Olympic swimming pool. The hotel has kept a running theme throughout of water and waves. You can see this in the lighting fixtures in the meeting rooms as they look like waves and there is a fountain in the reception area that you can hear the running water. One of the staircases is also the old frame of the diving board which was used for the pool.

I’m not a massive fan of heights, in fact I’m terrified! As my suite was on the 12th floor I resisted looking out the window for as long as I could however my curiosity always gets the better of me, which I’m glad as the view was amazing. I could see Frankfurt’s Skyline, including the famous Main Tower and the roads leading into the city. I wasn’t so scared after all as the comfort of my welcoming slippers with my name on them and also some complimentary chocolates definitely helped me feel right at home.

Before heading into the city centre to experience Frankfurt at night, we had a lovely meal and a cocktail making class. This was a brilliant idea for a team activity and we had a lot of fun trying out recipes- my favourite being the Jack Daniels Lynchburg Lemonade. At night we experienced the Main Tower first hand. This tower is 200m tall and to get to the top you have to take a lift which gets you there in about 60 seconds or so. At the top of the Tower you have a panoramic view of Frankfurt, which was breath-taking!

Sunday 26th October

Again, I had an excellent night’s sleep. I think it was the deep purple colour of the room. Purple always makes me quite sleepy to begin with and with good black out curtains and the warmth of the room I slept the full night without stirring. We had the Sunday pretty much at leisure to ourselves so we had a quick sweep of the Business Centre and 16 meeting rooms with a restaurant that has a terrace outside perfect for BBQ style lunches in the summer. We then took a walk into the city centre and passed Frankfurt’s Goethestrasse which is just a block from the hotel and has shops the likes of Tiffany’s, Prada and all the juicy expensive brands! Our trip was truly unforgettable and I would recommend Frankfurt as a great location for a business trip and for leisure…

We would just like to say a massive thank you to Valentina and Barbara for their very kind hospitality and showing us the corporate and leisure side to Frankfurt as a key location for travel. If you would like to see some more images of our trip go to https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.561995293889797.1073741833.105731372849527&type=1

Emma Hall

Why Use a Venue Sourcing and Booking Agent? 28 Oct 2014

When it comes to organising an event- it’s a profession in its own right. However, for whatever reason many companies don't have dedicated event bookers, it usually falls on the desk of a PA or Office Manager.  Even if they do have an Event Booker, organising a small board meeting or large annual conference for 1,000 delegates is never an easy task....especially when you have to juggle organising the event with other daily tasks in your job. Working with a good venue sourcing and booking agency hugely increases your chances of a successful event!

Reasons why to use an agent:

1.       They will save you precious time! They have a vast amount of knowledge when it comes to venues across the UK and usually worldwide!   From your brief they will usually be able to tell you off the top of their heads exactly which venues in that area will suit your requirements and budgets......and even if your brief is a little more complicated than usual, don’t worry, they will have a detailed search system which will automatically generate the best venues for you.  It saves you hours of time searching through venue websites and review sites! Agents are definitely the quickest and most efficient method of sourcing a venue.

2.       They have powerful buying power so will save you money! Once they have found you the perfect venue they will then undoubtedly be able to save you money when booking it.  As they book accommodation and meetings space for numerous clients on a daily basis they already have the relationship with the venue and usually a pre-negotiated discounted rate.   They also know exactly how much things cost and can spot an opportunity to negotiate a discount, for example they will usually negotiate for room upgrades and lunch and refreshment upgrades as standard.

3.       They have experience.  Most agents will have previous experience within the hospitality industry.  They will have had firsthand experience of working in hotels and will have a vast amount of knowledge in conference and event management.  They will not only be able to advise you on which venue is best for your requirements but also additional vital information such as room layouts, delegate registration process, AV equipment etc which will help your meeting, conference or event room smoothly.

4.       A venue finding agency is free! Yep, that’s right! Most Venue finding agencies, like Hospitality Guaranteed, won't charge you for the venue finding and booking service.   The agency generally gets commission on bookings, but because they have such buying power they can still get you a cheaper rate than going direct so their commission will never affect you.

5.       Loyalty Schemes Any reputable booking agency will have a loyalty scheme.  This encourages you to continue to book through them to help increase their buying power but this also means you personally receive valuable points for each booking, which can then be transferred into shopping vouchers!  They will also honour any loyalty schemes you already have in place with particular hotel chains you already book with.

6.       You can take the credit!  As there is no fee your boss need never know that it isn't you doing all the work!  You can take all the credit for finding the perfect venue, negotiating a fantastic rate and organising a great conference!

So what's the catch I hear you say?

There genuinely isn't one!  You may think we are slightly bias but there honestly isn't any reason why you shouldn't be using a Venue Sourcing and Booking Agency like Hospitality Guaranteed.  If you don't already use us then why not give us a try?  You've got nothing to lose and everything to gain! 

Emma Hall

 

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VOTE for Best Intermediary Agency (fewer than 40 employees) 20 Oct 2014

Wouldn’t you love to win a trip to Abu Dhabi? This year we are hoping to be nominated for the Best Intermediary Agency (fewer than 40 employees). To do this we need your votes, which will also get yourself entered into a prize draw for that trip to Abu Dhabi, offered by M&It! This is why and how…

It has never been more apparent that the modern day business traveller or conference booker lives a dynamic lifestyle. Having more choices of venues and more accessibility to systems is something that we all once strived towards. Now, it is more of a burden with the complexity of tracking travel arrangements and expenses, becoming time consuming and stressful with multiple systems tracking and storing many different things. The new world demands a more robust innovative end-to-end online system with a single integrate platform solution. The days of sifting through receipts are long gone.

The main advantages, to the traveller or booker, of an integrated system are: the ease of use, single data entry and the efficiency and simplicity of using only one system- saving both a substantial amount of valuable time and money.

To the organisation, benefits include more accurate tracking and reporting, a detailed audit trail, and tracking against a company travel policy.

A solution which balances the traveller’s needs with a corporate organisation’s, is an integrated platform from searching to booking through to reporting.

HG One Stop is your integrated online platform you've been looking for, and is bespoke to Hospitality Guaranteed. The system alongside the service of the HG Team is the backbone to Hospitality Guaranteed. Whether you are booking an annual conference, small board meeting, yearly event or accommodation, the system can search, book and report.

We pride ourselves on our FIVE star customer service rated by no other but you- our customers http://www.hgonestop.co.uk/hospitality_guaranteed/testimonials. It would be an honour if we were nominated as Best Intermediary Agency (fewer than 40 employees) at the M&It Industry Awards 2015. M&It will also enter you into a prize trip for two to Abu Dhabi including flights as an incentive to vote!

To vote, go to http://www.meetpie.com/modules/eventmodule/mit/mitvote.aspx

Emma Hall

 

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Happy #NationalPADay 07 Oct 2014

Thousands of PA’s will be gathering today at Office* 2014, Olympia Stadium, London, to celebrate being an amazing PA!

Working with many PA’s we understand the monstrous workload, the pressures of finding last minute venues and the million and one other tasks a PA has to do.

As you know, meeting rooms within your office space are like gold dust- and that’s just for the office meetings! There are also board meetings, Executive Team away days and many other external meetings that require facilities, and of course PA’s will be asked to source the venue, usually at the last minute. It’s a tough life being an assistant and we, at Hospitality Guaranteed, understand the weight of finding the perfect venue.

So here are a few tricks of the trade our current clients find useful:

  • Know what location you are looking for- the more defined the better. If you are unsure, it’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
  • Consider what important factors the venue must have. For example, if you have delegates traveling internationally, do you need a venue close to an airport? If delegates are traveling by car, do you need a venue with free car parking and close to a certain motorway? This in turn will help you define a location.
  • Once you have the location it’s good to consider if you are looking for a city centre venue or something more on the outskirts. This can heavily impact your budget as city centre venues are generally more expensive.
  • Know what you budget is and be realistic. If you have a budget of £30 day delegate rate, then don’t look for a property in London city centre because getting a DDR for this price in that location is pretty impossible and unrealistic.
  • Negotiate added value to your bookings to save you money and give your delegates the best experience you can. If you don’t ask, you never get. Even something as little as upgraded refreshments can make the biggest difference.

If you would like any more advice and support from the HG team, feel free to speak with our conference team on 0844 8223227- they’ll be happy to help!

We also post latest offers and news as well as advice on our twitter account at https://twitter.com/HGonestop

Emma Hall

 

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Sharon on Tour: Oulton Hall and Slaley Hall 01 Oct 2014

It was a Friday evening and I arrived at Oulton Hall for around half seven. I was shown to my room, which had sumptuous Egyptian cotton bed linen and duvets and right in the middle of the bed there was some traditional Yorkshire Parking cake sitting as a welcoming gift. My immediate thoughts of the hotel were fantastic; there was plenty of parking, a short walk to the hotel with beautiful grounds and then being welcomed by the open arms of Yorkshire Parking cake! The hotel is a beautiful old building from the 18th century making it very unique in décor. It’s very much picturesque to look at. We had some drinks and a three course meal, which were outstanding and the staff were brilliant- treacle tart is a must!

At breakfast on the Saturday the staff again were amazing and nothing was too much trouble. We had a show around of the hotel and seeing the sweeping driveway lead up to the grand entrance in the daylight was more breath-taking than the night before. The hotel has great flexibility in what they have to offer. With massive grounds for team building, an outside terrace for a champagne reception, golf, a choice of up to nine meeting rooms and a drawing room ideal for afternoon tea, there isn’t much this hotel doesn’t have to offer.

Later that morning we went to Snozone in Castleford. There was a selection of cakes and hot chocolate for us when we arrived. I think this was to sweeten us up before we ventured onto the slippery slopes! We kitted out in ski suits, helmets and snow boots and had a fantastic time Yooner Sledging. Might I just add I also won the race for team HG! We also tried sledging in the inflatable rings, which was an experience just trying to fit into them!

By Saturday afternoon we had ditched the snow kit and travelled to Slaley Hall. The hotel is a grand Edwardian mansion with 1000 acres of Northumberland moorland and forest, ideal for activities such as quad biking, adding to the hotels old grandeur with a modern twist. The bedrooms were huge with a separate seating area and TV, and a beautiful bouquet of flowers giving the room that little extra special touch. The bathroom was also extremely big with a bath and separate shower cubicle. I had a walk around the grounds which are kept very neat and immaculate. You could get lost in the amount of activities there is to do, everything from 4x4 off road driving, gorge walking and paintballing to archery. You could go for one night and end up staying the week!

On the Saturday evening we had a three course meal from the steak and fish restaurant, which again like Oulton Hall was fabulous. After the meal we had a couple of drinks in the bar which was very relaxing- Martine Expresso cocktail was my favourite!

Sharon and the HG Team would like to say thank you to Rachel (Oulton Hall) and Jo (Slaley Hall) for the great weekend!

Emma Hall