London is a star destination, attracting every kind of event through all the seasons. The problem for organisers is that there are thousands of hotels and venues in London and it could be a mammoth task to identify the one that has all the required facilities at the right price and that is available at the right time.
It must be good news, therefore, to learn that there is one hotel group that has 14 properties in central London with a total of 120 meeting rooms and which is shortly to set up a central unit staffed with MICE specialists. Organisers will be able to submit a detailed list of their requirements, including timing, number of guestrooms, largest meeting space, number of breakout rooms and so on – and this RFQ will be turned round promptly when all 14 properties have been checked to find the most suitable offer.
This central contact unit is to be set up by Spring 2018 by glh hotel group, says David Taylor, the Chief Commercial Officer. ‘If an enquiry comes to an individual hotel, currently, then,’ he says, ‘that hotel would explore within the group if they can’t fit the bill, but the new central events enquiry desk will be especially set up to handle it’.
Glh Hotels? Well, you might not have heard of it before, but it will be gaining a higher profile on the international MICE scene from now on. The parent company is a multi-sector group based in Hong Kong, but glh Hotels has its HQ in London, where David is based.
‘We have properties with different brand names and of different sizes and we are located all round central London. With such an unrivalled variety of venues and accommodation, we can tailor quotes to fit exactly the needs of an event organiser.’
Some of the properties were previously well known under different names, but when taken over by glh, they have had multi-million pound investments for extensive remodelling and then re-launched as a new brand. Two of these are now the Amba Marble Arch Hotel and Amba Charing Cross Hotel, formerly Thistle properties. They have both been redesigned and fitted to aim especially at the international MICE markets. They could not be better located for incentives and for leisure programmes and both have new meeting facilities.
Amba Marble Arch has over 600 guestrooms and stands where the beautiful open space of Hyde Park and the buzzing shopping centre of Oxford Street meet. It boasts as many as 13 meeting rooms, the largest, the Hyde Park Suite, able to cater for up to 500 delegates.
Amba Charing Cross has over 300 guestrooms and 9 meeting rooms.
‘Before embarking on their refurbishments’, says David, ‘we carried out extensive research into what organisers and delegates would like to see in a hotel. After we had completed the work, we again asked their opinion of what we had done and we were very happy with their comments. Although the properties are officially 4-star, our guests rated the facilities and services in the 5-star category. They were also very pleased that we are able to offer blocks of rooms for delegates with equal high standards throughout, so everyone can be treated the same.’
The glh range in London is unequalled within one hotel group. There is the iconic Tower Hotel alongside Tower Bridge in St Katherine’s Dock with 19 meeting rooms and also the Royal Horse Guards Hotel in Whitehall, the political centre of the capital, offering ten meeting spaces that can configure to seat as many as 650 delegates theatre style. Both of these properties are under the Guoman brand.
‘The internationally famous Cumberland Hotel, also in Marble Arch, is being remodelled’, says David, ‘and will be relaunched as The Hard Rock Hotel’.
This all adds up to a valuable new service for event organisers globally.