MGallery Hotel Collection opens in downtown Chicago

The latest addition to the MGallery Hotel Collection opened on 4 February in downtown Chicago. The 297-room boutique hotel, which is combined with a multi-venue art museum, brings a jolt of contemporary culture to Chicago’s River North neighbourhood.

The property’s 930 sqm of meeting and event space can accommodate a variety of events from board retreats and intimate cocktail parties and events for up to 300. Unique to 21c, the meeting and event space will be curated with contemporary art and open to the public as museum space when not reserved.


£400,000 upgrade for Wolverhampton’s Ramada Resort Park Hall Hotel

The Ramada Resort Park Hall Hotel on Park Drive is undertaking a major refurbishment on part of the hotel to transform 20 bedrooms and its 750 sqm ballroom and foyer.

The Grade II listed hotel and spa, which hosted more than 250 conferences and events in 2019, is investing over £400,000 as part of its exciting expansion plans for 2020.

The 20 executive suite rooms will see new art deco style lighting and finishes, new carpeting, super-king-sized beds and bespoke furniture installed. While the 600-capacity ballroom will benefit from 750 sqm of Italian marble flooring, colour changing LED lighting and art deco style sweeping curtains.

Clare Pitcher, who designed the ballroom and executive suites, said: “Through this investment, we’re creating a truly unique conference and events space that will be unmatched in the local area.”


Nobu hospitality expands into Poland with first property in Warsaw

Nobu Hospitality has announced the launch of its first hotel in Poland. Set to open in June 2020, Nobu Hotel Warsaw will have 117 spacious rooms, tailored meeting and event spaces and its signature Nobu Restaurant and café.

Nobu Hotel Warsaw will have 438 sqm of flexible first-floor events space providing a setting for large conferences and meetings. The space can also be divided by a mobile wall with acoustic separation, to offer two independent spaces – the Sakura room at 266 sqm and Hikari room at 171 sqm.

Crushed glass walls will allow for plenty of natural light and an independent lobby complete with terrace allows for total privacy.


Hyatt expands presence in Turkey with plans for Hyatt Regency Izmir Istinye Park

The Hyatt Regency brand will be entering into Izmir, Turkey, with Hyatt Regency Izmir Istinye Park.

Expected to open in 2021, the 161-room hotel marks the seventh Hyatt branded property in Turkey and will offer 2,000 sqm of flexible event space for event planners.

Hyatt Regency Izmir Istinye Park will be part of a new major development, Istinye Park Izmir, comprising of shopping outlets and a big park.

Located 12 miles from the airport, the hotel will be in close proximity to the metro, tram and bus stations, providing direct access to downtown Izmir.


Hamburg to welcome planet-friendly congress centre

The new CCH - Congress Center Hamburg will open at the end of August 2020 and be the largest of its kind in Germany.

It will offer more than 12,000sqm of exhibition and foyer space, and 12,000 seats in up to 50 halls and rooms.

Sustainability played a key role when the new CCH was planned and built, and recognised principles, such as those of the German Society for Sustainable Construction (DGNB), have been applied.

One of the key objectives was to ensure eco-friendly operation of the building. For example, the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system will draw in air from the adjacent park. The CCH aims to obtain DGNB 'Gold' certification and meets international standards for a barrier-free convention centre.


Jurys Inn introduces ‘How to Meet Happy’ delegate package

In response to increasing levels of anxiety caused by the stresses and strains of work, the hotel chain has teamed up with wellness and happiness expert, Tania Diggory, to create Meet Happy; 10 instantly actionable steps drawn from psychological and evidence-based research designed to improve meeting efficiency and attendee enjoyment levels.

The package includes a timer to go off every 90 minutes prompting all attendees to take a break, essential oil diffusers to increase levels of calm and focus, blankets and plants.

“A study by ACAS has revealed that in UK organisations, over 91 million working days are lost each year due to mental ill-health, and this costs businesses between £33bn and £44bn each year. It is a clear business case for investing in the health and wellbeing of all members of staff, improving their experience at work, and increasing overall productivity too,” Tania says.

The Meet Happy package will be available on request during a trial at Jurys Inn Oxford from 18 February and will be rolled out nationwide based on demand.


Science Museum is set to revamp the IMAX Theatre with next-generation laser technology

To mark 20 years since the Science Museum’s IMAX Theatre first opened its doors, it will be undergoing a major revamp that will further enhance the event experience for clients who chose the IMAX for their events.

Bringing together the original 70mm film and next-generation IMAX with Laser, the new IMAX will deliver brighter images with greater contrast as well as the widest range of colours available to organisers and filmmakers.

Due to open in summer 2020, IMAX: The Ronson Theatre will be one of only two screens in Europe to feature dual 4K laser projectors, providing the very best of digital and analogue cinema side by side, allowing the museum to host newly-released blockbusters, 3D educational films and cinema classics, as well as an array of live events. Clients hosting events in the theatre will benefit from this new technology, meaning they can push the boundaries even further with their events in 2020.


Twickenham chef adopts plant-first approach

Twickenham executive head chef Tom Rhodes has announced a plant-first approach to the stadium’s match day and non-match day hospitality. The approach, which coincides with the chef’s experiment of ‘going vegan’, is part of the venue’s wider environmental policy, and the increasing demand for plant-first options within events.

Rhodes will continue to serve locally and responsibly sourced meats and fish, but will also be rebalancing the menus to offer better plant-based and vegan dishes.

“This isn’t just coming from guests and delegates to the stadium, it’s coming through strongly from our event organiser clients who are learning more about the relationship between food and the environment,” commented Rhodes.

“Plant-first isn’t vegan, it’s about offering the very best plant-based menus to make them a viable option to both meat and non-meat eaters,” continued Tom. “To those that want to eat meats and fish, we’ll give them ethically sourced, local produce which tastes amazing, and serve it with as much care and attention as everything else on the menu.”


Plans submitted by EventCity to build a modern event venue in TraffordCity have been approved

The application, submitted in September 2019, proposed the creation of a bespoke events venue which would allow the business to be even more flexible when hosting conferences, exhibitions, gala dinners and meetings.

The new, purpose-built facility will see a multi-million-pound investment by its owners, Peel L&P. At 23,700 sqm, the enhanced offering will cater for a range of events and will be more malleable, allowing for areas to be divided off with acoustic walls, so multiple events can take place at any one time. The venue will include updated features, such as a central foyer with breakout space and a reconfigured entrance.

Securing the former Soccerdome site, the new address will bring the venue even closer to existing leisure destinations and hotels within TraffordCity, boasting ample free parking alongside excellent road and public transport access. The Metrolink, due to open in TraffordCity Spring 2020, will be just a seven-minute walk from the new EventCity location.


BMA House focuses on W for wellbeing across delegate food offering

London based, sustainable venue, BMA House have introduced a (w) symbol for Wellbeing across their hospitality menu’s, to sit alongside the commonly used (vg) for Vegan and (v) for Vegetarian.

Dishes marked with a (w) may be low in saturated fat or have reduced sugar or calories and are more environmentally friendly by being primarily plant-based and providing an alternative protein to meat.

“Our focus here at BMA House has always been to come up with new, innovative ways to help the environment whilst ensuring our delegates receive the best quality food and get the most out of our facilities. As the launch of our ‘W’ concept has been such a great success, we are really looking forward to continuing and further developing this idea and seeing what more we can do to guarantee delegates are having the best possible experience whilst at BMA House,” said Kat Winfield, venue manager of BMA House.