Earlier this year, Conference Team Supervisor, Phoebe Scott-Browne was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to see 3 of the 4 venues within the Sarova group on a multi-agency familiarisation trip. Here’s her guide through the weekend.
When I was given the opportunity to join this trip I jumped at the chance to see them first hand! Being able to take a plus one was a bonus – you know a venue is good when someone from outside the industry is just as impressed!
The itinerary was busy and we arrived at 3:00pm on Friday at The Bull Hotel, Gerrards Cross, greeted by a lovely drinks reception and a show round of the venue, exhibiting the charm of the venue and the quality of the recent refurbishments – impeccable service from every member of staff we met from the offset (and this didn’t let up all weekend)!
A short coach journey into central London led us to our hotel for the night, a lovely 4* property, The Rembrandt Hotel, Knightsbridge. Check in for our group of 40 people was seamless and we were able to go straight to our spacious double bedrooms to be greeted by a welcome letter and bottle of champagne whilst we got ready for the evening – this was a really lovely touch! We met in a reception in the hotel’s restaurant, followed by a buffet style dinner. The food was delightful and almost everyone went up for seconds – always a good sign! We then hopped back on the coach for a very short drive to The Royal Albert Hall for an out of this world viewing of Cirque du Soleil’s new show, Totem. This was the perfect evening entertainment for any group staying in the area! After the show we headed back to the hotel for dessert and a night cap (or two!)
The following morning, we enjoyed a few hours free time to explore the local area – there is plenty to see and do with the hotel being walking distance to the Natural History Museum and Science Museums. Myself and my plus one explored further afield to Oxford Street for some retail therapy, all within walking distance still via a lovely route through Hyde Park.
Come midday we were back on the coach with the lovely added touch of a packed lunch for us all, for another short journey to The Sir Christopher Wren Hotel, Windsor, where we did a treasure hunt style show round – a definite twist and worked really well with what is quite a quirky venue, split across a few buildings on the riverside. We ended in their brand-new meeting room (which is gorgeous!) for drinks before heading over to the restaurant for a champagne afternoon tea where everyone indulged in some lovely food and more beverages! Some down time allowed us to walk off the calories and explore the hotel and local area.
We headed back to The Bull Hotel for Saturday evening where we checked in to spacious and lovely bedrooms (greeted with a goodie bag in each room of Sarova goodies!). We got ourselves ready for the gala dinner that evening. Our welcome reception was in the foyer of their largest meeting room which worked extremely well for the group with plenty of space. Once seated in the beautifully set room, we perused the menu for the evening and were thoroughly entertained by one of the best magician acts I have seen so far, Simon Alexander, as he made his way around the tables, followed by a show to the whole group at the end. Mind. Blown.
Later that evening a group of us remained and entertained each other with some questionable dance moves, limbo, and song choices before retiring to our rooms. We had breakfast at leisure the following morning and a pleasant drive home to sleep off the whole weekend.
Based on the weekend’s experience, I would be entirely comfortable proposing any Sarova venue as the hospitality and standard of service was second to none and outshone a lot of the venues I have experienced to date. The team really are lovely and the venues just work so well – everything has been thought of in a logical way and I am confident delegates would leave thoroughly satisfied by their experience in any of the venues.