Britta Weiser talks to Sydney Paulden
Gibraltar is known, to many people, simply as The Rock. It rises up at the entrance to the Mediterranean on the very tip of Spain and is only 15km across the sea from Morocco. It is an amazing sight to behold as the sun reflects off its mirror-like sheer stone cliffs like.
Organisers, in choosing Gibraltar, can offer their groups possibly the most compact destination in the world. It has remarkable historic tunnels to explore, unexpected wildlife on the rock and in the waters of its bay. St Michael’s Cave serves as an unrivalled, inspiring conference and concert facility deep under the ground.
Excursions for incentives or as part of a leisure programme can embrace a hop into Spain for beaches or golf or even a short stay to tour the bazaars of Morocco.
But one essential thing is lacking in Gibraltar – and that is level land space. Which is why it needed the simplicity of genius to realise that lots of space was available offshore and the idea arose of installing a floating hotel, the Sunborn Yacht.
I have enjoyed an overnight stay to attend a reception held by Hotel Republic for Robinson Hotels aboard the Sunborn London Yacht alongside the Docklands ExCel Conference & Exhibition Centre and so my first question to Britta Weiser was: ‘I presume the Sunborn Gibraltar is identical?’
Britta is the Sunborn Gibraltar’s Director of Sales. Her reply surprised me. ‘Not at all! It’s completely different!’
Sunborn Gibraltar, she explained, was purpose-built as a 5-star hotel in Malaysia. It was actually transported from Asia to its location in the bay at Gibraltar on board another vessel.
‘We have been here now for three years’, says Britta. ‘It is a magical location for organisers of groups, because so many attractions and facilities are so close-by in Gibraltar and also in Spain and Tangiers, as well as enjoying the privacy, security and glamour of the accommodation of a luxury cruise ship.’
‘We are very proud of our f&b facilities on board’, says Britta. ‘Our Sky Restaurant has 160 covers and it has the Sapphire Bar which is a great venue for a quirky style gathering, with its own p.a. system and the latest technology to provide countless options for colourful lighting effects’. On the top deck, equivalent to the roof of a 7-storey hotel, there is the Aqua Poolside Bar that offers views over the sea or the impressive cliff-face of the Rock and across the border to the landscape of Spain.
‘It is definitely the place for a memorable event’, says Britta.
Gibraltar’s own airport receives BA and Easyjet flights from the UK. Malaga Airport welcomes airlines from all parts of the world. Meet and greet services are provided by a number of Gibraltar-based DMCs and the road transfer from Malaga, just over an hour, is comparable to the drive from outlying airports into most cities around the world.