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Big houses for big ideas – New trends in choosing corporate venues

Goodbye boring sterile ’corporate’ hotel rooms, hello corporate retreats with a home from home feel whilst you’re working 9 to 5.
Sounds ideal doesn’t it? But increasingly there is much more choice for those involved with planning venues for corporate days throughout the UK and abroad. Those seeking accommodation for meetings, workshops or client get-togethers are looking for locations with the ‘wow’ factor and accommodation to match.

Research by the large property specialist site,, has revealed that searches on their website for properties with ‘corporate’ facilities in the last year were up by 30%. Clearly there is an opportunity for those in charge of organising company away–days to take note of this and start thinking about how important the venue is as an incubator of great business ideas and relationships.

Matt Fletcher, Marketing Manager for said: “The market for corporate away days is changing rapidly. Our owners who rent their large properties through are increasingly making their properties the ultimate ‘flexible’ work space. They are including quiet areas for ‘thinking’ and creative areas for generating ideas. They are also making sure their corporate guests can unwind with hot tubs, tennis courts, outdoor games rooms and even yoga rooms. Anything that encourages collaborative working and a positive atmosphere will get the most out of the working days that their guests spend with them. Working hard and playing hard in these great new flexible locations makes this time valuable and personable.”

Case studies of large properties suitable for the ‘big think’:
Mears Ashby Hall Near Silverstone.
• Owned by Clive Hilton
• Rented by luxury property companies, accountancy firms and overseas businesses • Typical rental of three nights • Great facilities including 11 acres of grounds, small football pitch and basketball court. Croquet lawn and all year round clay pigeon shooting on site. Hot tub.

North Cadbury Court, Somerset
• Owned by Archie Montgomery
• Rented by some famous brand names including Innocent Drinks, Neals Yard and Unilever
• One of the strangest teambuilding requests was for a duck herding session
• Large ballroom available for presentations. Disco and full stocked casino in basement. Golf tees on the roof and golf course on lawn. Has own airstrip.

Hallsannery, Devon
• Owned by Hannah Evans
• The property has previously been rented by NHS, Cornish Golf Tem, Millward Brown, IGI Ltd and
• Rental can be daily or up to five days
• Hallsannery offers a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of break-out spaces and large areas for communal dining. Tennis court, games room and lots of outdoor space.

Heathfield House, Hampshire
• Owned by Mener and Jackie Tsitsis
• Create a comfortable corporate retreat for companies, away from the sterility of hotel spaces
• Under two hours from London, the property is located on a regular train route. It is not remote, but offers a relaxing environment for businesses.
• Offers multiple work spaces for different sized groups, warm and inviting environment. Quiet breakaway spaces for meetings and private work.

Top technological facilities demanded by corporate guests are:
• Fast broadband, Ethernet plug-ins, multiple charge points • VOIP telephony and telephones in all living & bedroom areas • Conference call facilities and video call facilities • AV facilities • ‘Concierge’ style service for local area including restaurant recommendations, transport and entertainment.

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