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:
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
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!
Arriving at the Double Tree by Hilton Leeds all three of us were excited to check in. Not because myself, Zoe and Sharon had been working all day and felt exhausted, but if you have ever stopped at a Double Tree you would have had the pleasure of being greeted with one of their signature freshly made, mouth-watering, warm cookie! I think it’s the best idea ever. Who doesn’t want a cookie? Never mind a cookie that’s warm and oozing with chocolate. They remind me of those Maryland Gooeys- just bigger and better!
You’re probably wondering what we’re doing in Leeds stuffing our faces with cookies? Following the cycle lanes of Tour De France visit to Yorkshire, Hilton Worldwide Portfolio hosted a roadshow as an opportunity to network, familiarise ourselves with the brand and properties, and brush up on our knowledge of Hilton venues. After all we are a venue finding agency, not cookie tasters.
This was the first launch of the Hilton Yorkshire Roadshow and it was a great success! We got to put a name to familiar voices we speak to on a regular basis and we definitely learnt a lot. One thing that we didn't know about Hilton Worldwide is that they work in partnership with the FA at St George’s Park. Operating a flagship hotel in the magnificent grounds, Hilton Worldwide can offer a range of accommodation options to suite guests’ varying needs. With state-of-the-art conferencing facilities, the park is establishing itself as a world-class venue for not just athletes, but for corporate clients. The hotel is stylish and modern, situated on the edge of the National Rainforest you can enjoy the tranquil scenery from large windows and relax in an elegant bathroom. Not only did we remember this Hilton property for its uniqueness, but they were also giving out little football shopping coins and we got our very own Hilton football stress ball!
We retired for the night to our rooms at the Double Tree, which were very modern with the latest technology including Mac TV’s and computers. I believe the rooms were classed as Hilton HHonors rooms which meant we had a little bottle of red wine and a Graze box waiting for us- the little touches always make the biggest difference. The bathrooms were very clean and had walk-in power showers. I couldn’t fault my room to be honest and had an excellent night’s sleep! I also had a lovely view of the Granary Wharf from my room. Although, if you want to see the best view of Leeds then you have to go to the SkyLounge and sit out on the balcony- the views are amazing. At the back on the SkyLounge there is actually a conference room that has a panoramic city view- a good way to impress your colleagues for a meeting!
If you haven't already guessed- the HG Team have been to Belfast! We had all heard some great things about this vibrant city; we couldn't wait to experience them first hand.
Did you know Belfast is the city where the RMS Titanic was designed and built? Home to one of the world's largest urban waterfront regeneration project, The Titanic Belfast building is a cultural attraction, situated in the Titanic Quarter, preserving the authenticity of Belfast's maritime and industrial heritage. You can even have afternoon tea by the Grand staircase, a brilliant replica of the original.
Just minutes from the Titanic Quarter sits the Hilton Belfast, with a riverside location and in walking distance of Belfast city centre, the location is perfect for either a corporate or leisurely visit. Zoe, our Conference Co-Ordinator said- 'I couldn't really fault this hotel. The staff were great, the rooms are spacious, clean and modern, and the food was lovely. The bedrooms in the hotel are nicely decorated and the suites are very spacious with beautiful views of Belfast, especially suite 1215, which had panoramic views of the waterfront. There is also a patio area outside of the restaurant that is fantastic for the warmer weather.'
Neighbour to the Hilton Belfast, the Belfast Waterfront will shortly be going through a £60 million expansion which will double the overall floor space of the venue. With lots of natural daylight and space for flexibility, the Waterfront Belfast is a brilliant venue for conferences and events. There are also two bars on separate levels with amazing panoramic views of the city being ideal for a drinks reception and private functions such as weddings.
The group also ventured on a trip to the Victorian Prison, Crumlin Road Gaol, for a private tour which proved very surprising. A hidden gem in the city, the prison actually has conference and banqueting facilities. It is a great venue if you are looking for something a little out of the ordinary and different, with prison cells still being open and the hanging room being one of the main attractions, this venue certainly has the eerie factor, or at least Zoe thought so.
After the prison the group went for a showaround at Hilton Templepatrick Hotel. Even though the hotel is just off the A57, it feels secluded and private presenting 220 acres of beautiful wooded parkland within the Castle Upton Estate. The food here is very unique in style with fish and chips served in a mini fryer and other dishes in mini saucepans. Not only do they taste fantastic, but their choice of presentation gives the food a quirky edge. The hotel is also home to an amazing award winning golf course which the group got to sample!
Zoe's favourite part of the adventure to Belfast was the dining in Ballywalter Park, the home of the Lord and Lady Dunleath. The group indulged in a six course dinner especially homemade by the Lady of the manor herself. The hosts were very accommodating- they even invited the minibus driver in for the evening and fed him just as well! The wine cellar was also fascinating to see as it was packed wall to wall with an extensive range, reaching back to 1977. This property is a perfect venue for extra special occasions.
We set ourselves (which seemed at the time an impossible goal) to raise £500 for the Great North Air Ambulance by completing the Stockton Duathlon, which included a 5K run, 20K cycle and 2K run.
We are very pleased and thankful to announce we managed to raise £504.75. It's great to know that our donation has been appreciated by receiving a 'thank you' letter from the GNAA.
It was a painful, but rewarding experience and we would like to say a massive THANK YOU, from the HG team, to everyone that sponsored us and believed in us from the very beginning.
We are throwing together some ideas for our next Charity Event...let us know if you have any suggestions!