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Wyboston Lakes Resort has joined many leading hotel groups, further education colleges and industry associations in signing the Hoteliers’ Charter.

The Bedfordshire resort that includes a four-star hotel and two purpose-built venues for conferences and training events, as well as a spa, restaurants and golf course, is among the first organisations in the region to commit its support to this industry initiative, launched earlier this year.

The Hoteliers’ Charter aims to introduce parents, careers influencers and young people to the attractions of careers in the hospitality industry and explain the benefits of attending a catering or hospitality college, or working with a Charter Hotelier, where they can benefit from good training, mentoring and apprenticeships.

In signing the Charter, Wyboston Lakes Resort has committed to abide by ten pledges covering all aspects of working practice and environment, from respecting work/life balance and fair pay to mental health, wellness and diversity.

Linden Beattie, General Manager of the Waterfront Hotel at Wyboston Lakes Resort explained: “As the hospitality, meetings, events, training and leisure industries work to recover from the terrible impact that the pandemic and now Brexit has had on the pool of talent in our sectors, we need to attract the best young people to the wide range of exciting career opportunities that we offer. We are very happy to commit our support to this vital initiative.”

With its venues re-opening in April and May, Wyboston Lakes Resort recently announced a recruitment drive to take on staff across most areas.


Twickenham Stadium has added to its portfolio of unique spaces with the addition of the World Rugby Museum, which is now available for conferences, banquets and events at the venue. Housed within the South Stand of the stadium, the space presents a tour of world rugby, from its roots in the UK, to its global growth, offering a different tone for events both as a breakout room, reception or for smaller presentations.

Also linking to other spaces within Twickenham Stadium, the World Rugby Museum provides an indoor incentive option that complements the venue’s outdoor spaces. Event organisers can also use the museum as part of a wider social itinerary or as an added bonus for delegates to stay on and explore the home of England Rugby with a stadium tour.

Furthermore, the World Rugby Museum has just released exclusive hospitality packages for the upcoming autumn internationals at Twickenham, allowing guests to opt for fully inclusive packages complete with all day access to the museum, an opportunity to rub shoulders with rugby legends, dining pre and post-match and a match ticket.

The World Rugby Museum is the definitive home for everything and anything about rugby. Featuring exhibits from around the world, it represents rugby from different countries and in all its forms, and offers an international feel, as well as one that captures the very best of elite sport.  

“We’re building a portfolio of conference and event spaces which cater for every aspect of the event; be it pre-event reception, entertainment, the conference itself or an incentive to stay on a while after the meeting,” comments Nils Braude, Managing Director, Twickenham Experience Limited. “The World Rugby Museum isn’t just about rugby, it’s about sport, history, heritage and people coming together, ideal concepts to support a meeting.”

“The museum houses the world’s most prestigious collection of rugby memorabilia including the Calcutta Cup,” says Phil McGowan, Museum Curator. “The collection also features commentary, film and match-footage from the most iconic moments, memorable tours, and greatest players in the history of what is the world’s most dramatic team sport.”

Check out the new museum website at, like the World Rugby Museum on Facebook and follow on Twitter.


The Queens Hotel Leeds, part of The QHotels Group, has revealed their much-anticipated, £16 million refurbishment includes an exciting partnership with Living Ventures’ Raffles-inspired restaurant and bar, Grand Pacific, due to open in summer 2021.

The Queens Hotel has announced that the newly refurbished hotel, which is due to be completed in summer of this year, will be home to Grand Pacific, an all-day opulent restaurant and bar, which “aims to recreate the golden age of high society with a sumptuous yet relaxed charm accompanied by great service”.

The 100-cover restaurant, private dining rooms and bar will offer flavours from far-flung lands fused together with quintessential British classics. The all-day menu features dishes such as ‘Asian spiced Duck Cottage Pie’ and ‘Tempura Szechuan sea bass’, as well as lunch time favourites such as ‘Teriyaki Steak Sandwich’ and a classic Club alongside its popular ‘Business of Lunch’ set menu.  

Honouring the great British tradition of a Sunday roast, Grand Pacific will offer a ‘Classical Sunday Lunch’, a twist on the nation’s favourite meal. Guests can enjoy roast beef carved at their table accompanied by a live contemporary classical music set by the Grand Pacific Palm Court Orchestra. 

Famed for its indulgent High Tea, Grand Pacific will offer a delectable variety of bite-sized sweet treats and sandwiches matched with fragrant teas and Champagne cocktails on their popular afternoon tea menu.

The Grand Pacific cocktail bar will offer masterfully mixed spirits, spices and botanicals imported from all over the world to create cocktails which are both beautiful and delicious. Classics such as a Singapore Sling sit alongside newfound favourites such as the signature Pineapple Daquiri designed to spirit guests away on a voyage of sensory discovery.

In addition to the main restaurant and bar, the hotel will be home to Café Pacific, an all-day social hub offering coffees, drinks and snacks providing the perfect destination for dining, drinking, working or relaxing.

With a history spanning over 80 years, The Queens Hotel Leeds required a sympathetic refurbishment, something that is of paramount importance to the team.

Richard Moore, Group Chief Executive of The QHotels Group, which boasts a 21-strong, nationwide portfolio of hotels, says: “We are thrilled to finally reveal the exceptional food and drink offering we’re bringing to The Queens. With such a rich history, it seemed only fitting to bring on board a partner who celebrates the grandeur of times gone by but with that all important contemporary twist. Throughout the refurbishment we have retained historical details that make the hotel so special but have introduced elements such as the social hub that accommodate and celebrate the new way people use hotel spaces.”

Chairman of Living Ventures, Jeremy Roberts comments: “We are delighted to bring this beautiful space back to life, echoing the glorious history of The Queens Hotel. Its heritage as a place to relax, eat, drink and just enjoy some of the pleasures of life simply oozes from the walls. It is our privilege and pleasure to let it continue to be what it was always meant to be." 

The hotel and Grand Pacific will be open for business from summer 2021. Plans includes a much-anticipated renovation of all bedrooms, as well as adding an additional 16, bringing the room total to 232.

For more information on The Queens Hotel Leeds transformation, please visit 

‘Planner confidence is needed’

Venuedirectory’s Michael Begley calls on planners to confirm bookings after enquiry numbers double

Enquiries for meetings space doubled in the week after 12 April, the latest landmark in the government’s roadmap to reopening, according to Michael Begley, CEO of

The largest booking and data distribution service of venue information in the UK MICE industry received enquiries from across the venue sourcing, event production and convention bureaux markets after the first stage in the Government’s roadmap plan last week.

Confidence is now key to convert enquiries into bookings and drive the recovery of the business events industry, as Michael explains: “The surge in enquiries we received shows there is huge demand among planners as they look ahead to the gradual opening up of the business events sector. However, to really drive our industry’s recovery, more confidence is needed to confirm bookings and secure dates in the diary.

“Planners can be assured that venues and suppliers are putting into place measures to support them – including flexible cancellation terms and robust health and safety measures - and I know that organisations such as HBAA are committed to building the confidence of planners and delegates through, for instance, the Meet Safe Meet Smart campaign.

Michael sums up: “In the lead up to the next milestone – 17 May – I’d encourage planners to be confident and get their event diaries back up and running. The business events sector is resilient and will recover, but we all need to work together and plan confidently ahead to achieve this.”

Wyboston Lakes Resort in Bedfordshire has been awarded a 3-star accreditation for the second time by Best Companies, based on employee feedback. This means the venue is considered a ‘world class’ employer in terms of employee engagement.  

The conference, training and leisure venue’s Best Companies Index (BCI) score and potential listing in the ‘Best Companies to Work For’ lists will be announced at Best Companies Live, a virtual event on 21 May. 

Steve Jones, Managing Director said: “After the toughest year this company has ever experienced, we are thrilled that our team is so engaged and has commented so positively on working at Wyboston Lakes Resort. It is feedback like this that spurs us on to keep improving things for the team and to try even harder to make Wyboston a great place to work, no matter what life throws at us. 

“We believe that having a happy healthy team makes the difference to our guests, to each other and to the future success and growth of our business.” 

The 380-acre resort employs over 200 people across two modern conference venues, a four-star hotel, spa, 18-hole golf course and extensive serviced offices. 

Accolades from Best Companies are regarded among the UK’s most comprehensive and coveted, with a rigorous process determining the merits of organisations from all industries, by assessing the methods in which they encourage, motivate and engage with their employees.  

The list is compiled using scores (on a scale of 1 to 1000) from employees’ responses to questions within the Best Companies survey on a range of factors including leadership, pay and work-life balance. Ratings are then determined from that score, ranging from ‘One to Watch’ to one star acknowledged as ‘very good’, two stars as ‘outstanding’ and three stars as ‘world class’.   

Clarity Business Travel, one of the UK’s leading independent travel management companies, has signed an agreement with for its end-to-end venue finding software, GRATIS, that will enable the company to enhance the efficiency of its services.

Paul Casement, Director of Sales and Account Management at Clarity, explained "The past year has been a challenging one and as a business, we have been focussing on enhancing the efficiency of all of our processes.  Utilising industry know-how and focussed client feedback, the team at has developed software that offers a focus on Strategic Meetings Management Programmes for the customer journey coupled with enhanced back-office solutions to facilitate client bill-back and handoff.

“This is a game-changer for us - I am really excited to be working with them."

GRATIS is a key component in any Strategic Meetings Management Programme providing an end-to-end venue sourcing solution from corporate booker through to venue and supplier. Today this software is used by over 50 specialist businesses and organisations throughout the UK.

Clarity is a global business travel service provider with a global network that comprises 105 agencies in 90 countries worldwide and has 15 offices in the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands. It works integrally with the major travel service systems providers across the globe.

Michael Begley, CEO of "This is a significant win for our business as it is superb testimony to the quality of our products and validation for the commitment and investment we have made in developing them. We’re looking forward to working with Paul and his team.”



LONDON, 14th April 2020 — Serviced apartment company SilverDoor has announced a new partnership agreement with TRIPBAM, the leading provider of hotel benchmarking, analytics and contract auditing capabilities to the corporate travel market. The agreement would give travel managers who currently use TRIPBAM’s rate re-shopping tool access to SilverDoor’s global portfolio of serviced apartment inventory. 

As part of the integration of TRIPBAM’s software with SilverDoor’s proprietary API, TRIPBAM clients will be able to identify travellers who have booked long-term stays and shift them to SilverDoor serviced apartments, which not only saves money, but improves traveller experience.  

“This new partnership with SilverDoor will give TRIPBAM clients the ability to better serve their organisations by bringing accommodations appropriate for longer stays into their hotel programmes,” said Peter Grover, TRIPBAM Managing Director for Europe. “Beyond the benefit of providing savings, this agreement promises to enhance traveller satisfaction and confidence post-pandemic and also expands TRIPBAM’s offering to the non-GDS environment.” 

Recent changes in travel patterns and behaviours owing to COVID-19 have created new demand among business travellers for long-stay properties and accommodation with kitchens, larger floorplans and fewer shared spaces to better support post-pandemic travel. TRIPBAM’s own analytics data has found the average length of stay for business trips has increased by an extra day on average compared to 2019.  

“SilverDoor’s partnership with TRIPBAM symbolises another leap forward for the serviced apartment sector,” said SilverDoor Group CEO Stuart Winstone. “Bringing apartments into the competitive hotel re-shop market, SilverDoor can demonstrate to corporate travel buyers the cost advantages of serviced apartments and the tangible benefits they provide for long-stay business trips in the post-COVID world.”  

Newbury Racecourse is delighted to announce the re-opening of its doors for all conference and events from today and is looking forward to welcoming guests back to the site, which offers an extensive variety of unique indoor and outdoor spaces.

Whether you are looking for full horsepower for an automotive launch, unlimited space for filming a brand advert, or thinking about a major Summer event to re-connect your team, Newbury Racecourse can help and are ready to support with any requirements with the guarantee of full flexibility when you book.

Elena Gurgul, Head of Sales, commented: “We are absolutely delighted to be re-opening our doors today for all conference and events at Newbury Racecourse and are excited about the variety of unique spaces we have on offer as we emerge from the pandemic.

“We have taken the time to really look at the spaces and ensure the right safety measures are in place for those companies thinking about hosting larger events again to ensure confidence when booking. We have got some interesting new areas on offer including an abundance of outdoor space which is perfect for those looking at hosting a team building day in the summer.

“It’s vitally important for us to ensure that our clients can book in total confidence and that as a venue we are flexible with our terms.”

All of Newbury’s spaces are Covid secure and have been adapted with revised capacities and layouts to offer socially distanced set ups across the site to cater for larger conferences in a safe space. With hybrid technology also on offer, Newbury has the ability to stream live feeds across the site to other internal or external spaces which can also be broadcast remotely to delegates unable to join in person.

Wyboston Lakes Resort is giving all its team the opportunity to ‘go green’ at home by switching to renewable energy – with a financial incentive as well.

The offer is a result of Wyboston Lakes Resort’s partnership with The Energy Check, energy saving experts who, since June 2020, have been advising the Resort’s management team on energy usage, how to reduce it and become more sustainable.  The 380-acre site which includes a hotel, two conference and training venues, spa, golf course and business units operates 100% of the time on renewable energy. The Resort was recently presented with three major awards for the sustainability of its operations and has reduced its carbon footprint by 65% of its total emissions since 2019.

All members of the Wyboston Lakes Resort team who switch to the competitively priced renewable energy will also receive a £20 shopping voucher for completing a dual fuel switch and a £10 voucher for a single fuel switch.

Katherine White, Director of People said: “The team here are totally committed to finding every opportunity to help us make the site’s operations more sustainable. We thought that, in addition to the other employee benefits we offer, we would give them the chance to make their homes more sustainable as well. Many have already shown keen interest in it.”


There has been an average reduction of 39 per cent in full time equivalent positions within agencies in the meeting, events and accommodation industry since February 2020, according to a new HBAA survey due to be published in April.

This figure has increased by 9% since June 2020 when a previous HBAA study revealed that 30% of employees working in the sector at the time were at risk of redundancy.

The HBAA’s Q1 2021 research, which surveyed close to 100 members, also revealed that 20% of venues and agencies have not received any grants or business rates relief.

Some 74% of agencies also said their business needed an extension to the government’s furlough scheme and 44% need the relief on business rates to be able to continue.

HBAA anticipates it will be easier for venues more than agency members to continue to benefit from business rates relief now confirmed for 2021-22. Agencies will be left in the precarious position of relying on grants from Local Authorities.

Julie Shorrock, HBAA Membership Director and Managing Director of Hotel and Travel Solutions, said: “This research shows the grave effect the pandemic has had on the meeting, events and accommodation industry. Bearing in mind this survey has been conducted during the furlough period, it is likely there will be more redundancies when the scheme ends unless there is a dramatic upturn in business. It is of great concern that the furlough scheme is hiding the true impact of Covid-19 on our industry.

“HBAA has continued to strive to support members throughout the pandemic with a voice into government via the BVEP and directly, and by providing timely advice and education on pertinent issues. It has also been important for us to bring together our community to share ideas, experiences and best practices around our four pillars of resilience, innovation, ethics and quality. Our immediate priorities going forward are to continue campaigning for recognition and sector specific support, to provide our members with the toolkits they need to revive their businesses, and to build customer confidence to spend again.”


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